Data Investigation Camp – Open call, Tactical Technology Collective, Montenegro

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    Craig Zelizer

    Data Investigation Camp – Open call

    A 5-day camp for exploring data, investigating issues and finding stories

    Apply now until Monday 29 May 2017 (23:59 CET) – Application form here

    data investigation camp cover image

    In a nutshell

    What: A five-day, 50-person event in a small medieval port in Montenegro

    When: 19-24 July 2017

    Who: Experienced evidence explorers, data critics and data storytellers working on social/political issues such as corruption, environmental and social justice, human rights, and abuses of power.

    Application deadline: Monday 29 May 2017 (23:59 CET)

    Apply online here


    What we’ll be doing

    We increasingly live in data driven societies, from the apps and platforms we use through our computers and cell phones, to the data gathered on us by banks, travel providers, insurance companies, health providers, city planners, and just about anybody running any kind of digitised business or service. This camp is dedicated to the flip-side of that state of pervasive data collection – just as we, as individuals, leave data traces, so too do companies, governments and individuals in positions of power and influence.

    The Data Investigation Camp will bring 50 people together to focus on how we can use this data to understand and expose misconduct and abuses of power within a human rights, investigative journalism and anti-corruption framework.

    This event is specifically designed for participants who already have existing experience using data to tell stories and change narratives through proven and successful projects.

    We plan to share practical knowledge, techniques, methodologies, tools and skills on data investigations. From collecting to analysing to visualising data, we will look at working with closed and open, small and big, personal and public data. We will work together to explore new techniques, share skills, push boundaries and build on the existing knowledge, skill, and experience of our community while including new voices.

    This event is specifically designed for participants who already have existing experience using data to tell stories and change narratives through proven and successful projects that have been realised. In turn it will provide an environment engineered to provide inspiration, skill-share and a space for critical reflection, research on utilising data for effective research and investigations.

    Come with a project, get inspired by others and learn new skills and techniques. We will push the boundaries of data led evidence gathering, share practical techniques, spark friction, explore difficult dilemmas and build networks.

    What you’re signing up for

    To spend five days with fifty others in the medieval port in Kotor Bay to join the long local history of re-imagining data boundaries.

    The Data Investigation Camp will offer a unique opportunity to break out of silos, meet with others working on the intersection of technology, art and investigation and build lasting relationships. There will be very little lecturing or presentations: instead, the camp will be carefully designed to offer time for practical work – hands on, sleeves up, serious discussion and fun.

    This is a peer-learning event, a space that will facilitate collaboration and hands-on learning around data investigation and practices related to finding and exposing evidence, while at the same time exploring frictions and deeper ethical questions around these very techniques and the data society at large.

    Those attending will leave with three things: New projects to work on during the camp and beyond, as defined by the group over the week; new collaborations, skills and tools for individual projects; and lastly, as we experienced with our previous camps, an informal network of experts, enthusiasts and friends.

    Time commitment:  We will be in session for 7-8 hours a day. You will need to be free for the entire period between 18-25 July in order to attend (including travel days). It is not possible to come for a portion of it. Please note that this event will be in English.


    The camp will be split into three core areas. In the morning there will be a number of different tracks themed by the type of projects people are working on. By grouping people together by projects and interest areas participants will work both individually and together on common difficulties, data dark zones, and so on.

    The early afternoon and evening will focus on sharing techniques and actions to find, collect, analyse, and visualise data such as: web-scraping; googleDorking; image forensics;  metadata analysis; and finding information from social media platforms, to name a few.

    Permeating the days will be undercurrent themes of security, accountability, verification and responsible data use.

    Our belief is that those who are successful in their data investigations will undoubtedly have privacy and security concerns and our approach is to focus on integrating security throughout the process, rather than as an afterthought. To this end, digital security and privacy experts will join to share their knowledge and expertise with integrating trust and accountability into processes of working with data.

    Who should apply

    We are looking for 50 people from across the world with different backgrounds, experiences and skills who are interested in working across disciplines: experienced data handlers, technologists, digital security experts, investigators, activists, artists, lawyers, investigators, designers, policy-makers as well as data, privacy and security experts who have a proven track record of working with data in the context of investigation.

    As this particular event is a skill-share event, we are afraid that it is not open to people who wish to learn these skills from scratch, but is rather a chance for experienced practitioners to share what they know and to learn from others who have different skills, experiences and insights.

    The main currency of the camp will be data, evidence and information so we are looking for those who have skills and techniques around this currency and who are enthusiastic about sharing this with others; who are willing to collaborate and experiment, and who are keen to learn.

    If you have a current project: Apply with individual projects that you, or your organisation, are passionate about that would benefit from advanced development and collaborative working.

    If you don’t have a current project: Let us know what skills you can share based on relevant successes and experience and in return what skills you are looking to gain.

    If you want to propose a group project: We are looking for suggestions for larger group projects that focus on finding opportunities, loopholes, and frictions when working with data looking at issues of power, truth, and accountability.

    You should consider applying to the camp if you are: 

    • An activist, investigative journalist, lawyer, campaigner, organiser, researcher, digital media activist, data journalist or rights advocate working with data or information for social change. This means that you are already working on, or in the past have worked on a data investigation.
    • Working with data as a data specialist, data wrangler, statistician or mathematician working with advocacy groups / activists, or would like to share your skills with such groups.
    • A developer or technologist working with advocacy groups / activists with experience in data investigations, and/or digital security.
    • An information designer, graphic designer, animation filmmaker, video filmmaker , artist, story teller or other digital media practitioner already working on investigations from a social justice and rights issue perspective and  with a proven track record.

    Your information and privacy

    We will use information only for the process of selection participants for the camp and for our evaluation requirements. We will not give it to any external service or organisation. It will be handled and stored securely. All data collected through this webform is safely transmitted and stored using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 bit encryption. If you would prefer to submit the application for through GPG encrypted email then download the form and public key and send it to


    We have a limited number of places open for applications. The selection of applicants for the camp will be vetted and reviewed by both Tactical Tech and Share Lab and applicants will be chosen on the basis of their ability to gain from attending the camp, whilst at the same time contributing to it for the benefit of others. We will also choose applicants based on the overall diversity, skill-base and experience of the group.

    Please note that the Camp will be held in English and the venue is not wheelchair accessible.


    There are a limited number of full and partial grants to award to participants who need assistance covering travel, accommodation or visas. In the past many participants have been funded by their own organisations or sought funding from other sources. Please let us know, if you wish to attend, but don’t have the funds to do so. Include reasons of why this is the case.

    Application deadline: Monday 29 May by 23:59 CET

    Access the online application form

    If you have any questions, please contact us at Public key – 0x479c022561bf500e

    For more info click here

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