Sam Gregory, Program Director

Sam Gregory helps people use the power of the moving image and participatory technologies to create human rights change. He is Program Director of WITNESS and he also teaches the first graduate level course at Harvard on harnessing the power of new visual and participatory technologies for human rights change. As well as overall strategic direction on WITNESS’ Programs, Sam leads WITNESS’ Innovation Initiatives, advocates to technology companies on how their platforms are used for human rights change, supervises WITNESS’ work on the award-winning ObscuraCam and CameraV tools and helped co-found the global Video4Change network. In 2015, he launched the ‘Mobil-Eyes Us’ initiative focused on combining the experience of live and immersive video with the power of distributed networks to drive more meaningful and useful global activism.

He has worked on impactful campaigns worldwide, and particularly in Latin America and Asia, and video advocacy he has supported has engaged decision-makers in the U.S. Congress, the U.K. Houses of Parliament, and the United Nations and contributed to changes in policy, practice and law. He has created a range of innovative training programs and teaching texts and was lead editor on ‘Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism’ (Pluto Press, 2005).

Sam was a 2010 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident on the future of video-based advocacy, 2012 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, in 2013 a Knight News Challenge winner and ‘Future for Good’ Institute for the Future Fellow on the future of activism, in 2015 a Gifted Citizen prize awardee of the Ciudad de Las Ideas and in 2016 a WIRED Innovation Fellow and a New Media Ventures Innovation Fund awardee.

He has spoken at the White House, Davos, TedX, SXSW, the WIRED conference and at the Amnesty Global Activism meeting.  Among his publications in human rights, social entrepreneurship and visual media journals including WIRED, the Journal of Human Rights Practice, First Monday, American Anthropologist and Information, Communication and Society are Cameras Everywhere: Ubiquitous Video Documentation of Human Rights, New Forms of Video Advocacy and Concerns about Safety, Security, Dignity and Consent (2010) and Kony 2012 Through A Prism of Video Advocacy Practices and Trends (2012) in the Journal of Human Rights Practice, Remixing Human Rights: Rethinking civic expression, representation and personal security in online video (2012) in First Monday , and Ubiquitous witnesses: Who creates the evidence and the live(d) experience of human rights violations  (2015) in Information, Communication and Society. In 2011 he was a co-editor of WITNESS’ report:  Cameras Everywhere: Current Challenges And Opportunities At The Intersection Of Human Rights, Video And Technology

Sam has an MA in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, attending as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar, and a BA from the University of Oxford. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Human Rights, and of the Technology Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court. He blogs at http://blog.witness.org/author/sam and tweets at http://twitter.com/samgregory.



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