CARR/CGHR 2024 Spring Convening of Technology and Human Rights Fellows

From left to right: Ashwin Varghese (CGHR Postdoc), followed by Carr Fellows Dragana Kaurin, Ella McPherson (also CGHR Co-Director), Sebastián Lehuedé, Lukas Meier, Maggie Gates (Executive Director of the Carr Center), Albert Fox Cahn, Alexander Belias, Mathias Risse (Director, Carr Center), Isabel Ebert, Sharath Srinivasan (also CGHR Co-Director), and Anusha Arumugam (CGHR Coordinator).

On 7 and 8 May 2024, CGHR hosted the CARR/CGHR 2024 Spring Convening of Technology and Human Rights Fellows at the University of Cambridge. 

The Carr Center’s Technology and Human Rights Fellowship examines how technological advancements affect the future of human rights, human life, as well as the protections provided by the human rights framework. While recognizing the enormous progress that societies have made since the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, technological advancements have inevitably profound implications for the human rights framework. Yet for the multitude of areas in which emerging technologies advance the human rights agenda, technological developments have equal capacity to undermine efforts. From authoritarian states monitoring political dissidents by way of surveillance technologies, to the phenomenon of “deepfakes” destabilizing the democratic public sphere, ethical and policy-oriented implications must be taken into consideration with the development of technological innovations. 

The Convening itself marked an exciting opportunity for the fellows to come together and delve into critical discussions surrounding the intersection of technology and human rights. All of us at CGHR were thrilled to host this collaborative event, where scholars, practitioners, and experts from diverse backgrounds explored innovative approaches, shared insights, and charted pathways towards advancing justice, solidarity, and citizen voice in our ever-evolving digital landscape. 

The Convening’s agenda spanned various topics and formats, including a public panel discussion on AI and Human Rights, CGHR Lightning Talks by our own Student Groups, and reflexive sessions. These sessions explored links between scholarship and praxis, speculative imaginaries for technology and human rights, and the ethical dimensions of tech values. Fellows also presented work-in-progress projects, fostering collaboration and interdisciplinary exchange. (More information on these sessions coming soon!)

From punting to going on the Uncomfortable Cambridge walking tour, we are so grateful to the Carr Fellows for participating with such heart and sparks in the many inspiring conversations —and fun! —during our time together. We at CGHR are delighted to be part of such a network of brilliant thinkers at the urgent intersection of technology and human rights.