Rebecca MacKinnon is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation where she conducts research, writing, and advocacy at on the intersection of networked technologies, human rights, and corporate accountability. She is author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom (2012) and is co-founder of Global Voices Online, a path-breaking citizen media network. In 2012 the Columbia Journalism Review named her one of “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years.” MacKinnon also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder organization that advances corporate responsibility and human rights in the technology sector.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, MacKinnon worked as a journalist for CNN in Beijing for nine years and was Beijing Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 1998-2001, then served as CNN’s Tokyo Bureau Chief and Correspondent from 2001-03. From 2004-06 she was a fellow at Harvard, first at the Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy and then at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In 2007-08 she taught online journalism at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre. In 2009 she was an Open Society Fellow, and in the Spring of 2010 she was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton’s Center or Information Technology Policy. MacKinnon received her AB magna cum laude from Harvard University and was a Fullbright scholar in Taiwan in 1991-92. She currently lives in Washington DC.
Isaac Mao is a venture capitalist, blogger, software architect, entrepreneur and researcher in learning and social technology. He divides his time between research, social work, business and technology. He is currently Vice President of United Capital Investment Group, a Director of Social Brain Foundation and an advisor to Global Voices Online and several Web 2.0 businesses.
Isaac was one of the first bloggers in the Chinese community. He is a co-founder of CNBlogs.org, the earliest evangelizing site in China on grassroots publishing and co-organized the Chinese Blogger Conference. The CNBlog team morphed into Social Brain Foundation (SBF) with a goal of promoting Social Media and free culture in China covering Free Access, Free Speech and Free Thinking. Current SBF projects include Ideas Factory, Memedia, Digital Nomads, Open Education and Creative Commons China.
Isaac earned a BS in Computer Science at Shanghai Jiaotong University. He is a director of the Shanghai Youth Development Foundation. Isaac made waves in the technology and business world with his open letter to Google, challenging the search engine giant to support anti-censorship efforts and change its China strategy.
James Vasile directs the Open Internet Tools Project, which supports development of anti-censorship and anti-surveillance tools. He is a partner at Open Tech Strategies, which advises organizations and businesses as they navigate the open-source world. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Software Freedom Law Center, where he acts as a strategic advisor on a range of free software efforts.
James has helped boot up a number of free software organizations, including the FreedomBox Foundation, Open Source Matters, and the Software Freedom Conservancy. His FreedomBox work has been recognized by an Innovation Award at Contact Summit 2011, as well as an Ashoka ChangeMaker’s award for Citizen’s Media.