(Closed) "Investigation is Collaboration" - Online Conference, 2-6 August, 2021

On 2-6 August 2021 Tactical Tech’s 'Exposing the Invisible' project hosted a 5-day online conference to celebrate the people, initiatives, techniques and topics that can make investigation accessible to everyone willing to take the step. Our aim was to share and learn about what techniques and creative means can be used and what sources of data are available to almost anyone willing to uncover issues affecting communities locally and across borders. Below you find the original announcement and background details of the event, which resulted in a rich collection of resources including articles, guides, videos and a podcast.

Investigation today is no longer a specialized activity undertaken by law enforcement and investigative journalists, it has become an every day practice. Whether it's verifying something you read on social media or getting to know more information about a company or politician in your region, there are many tools, information sources and techniques that have become available to individuals to perform these activities. Exposing the Invisible is a Tactical Tech project that has long celebrated the evolving techniques around investigation and the non-traditional actors who have established and engaged with these techniques.

"Investigation is Collaboration" is a conference that brings together the stories of investigators, investigative initiatives and techniques that have emerged and developed lately, in the hopes of getting individuals interested in delving deeper into topics and questions, to get inspired and learn from these techniques and stories.


Join the Conference to Learn, Share and Connect

This is an opportunity to network with independent investigators and established ones. There are many fascinating investigations that take place every day started by ordinary people who are armed with curiosity and determination to uncover facts and evidence. Technology has brought not just an interconnection of people but a wealth of data and tools that can be used to unravel previously unexplored issues.

We are spicing up this year's summer holidays with an intervention to boost inspiration, knowledge and awareness on ways to uncover the issues affecting our communities through evidence discovery and investigation.

Join to learn more about what techniques can be used and what sources of data are available to almost anyone, and how some techniques can be employed by anyone interested to get deeper answers and dig further into topics that concern them.

Topics and Speakers

You will attend talks about:

  • investigating 'in the open' and reaching out to sources confidently
  • making the best out of collaboration to enhance cross-border projects
  • how to keep safe and aware by assessing risks like a pro
  • overcoming data-phobia and getting started with datasets
  • investigative initiatives and new projects combining documentation, reporting and tech
  • best practices and tips on crowd-sourcing for investigations
  • creative ways of telling investigative stories and reaching people

Conference Speakers:

  • Megha Rajagopalan - senior corespondent for BuzzFeed News, co-winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in International reporting for a collaborative investigation series exposing China's growing network of secret prison and internment camps for Muslims in Xinjiang.
  • Jim Mintz - investigator, founder of citizen investigations NGO DigLab
  • Pavla Holcová - editor for Central Europe, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)
  • Crofton Black - investigator with focus on tech and security
  • Anne Schroeter - human rights investigator, coordinator at Investigative Commons, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
  • Jose Miguel Calatayud - investigator, coordinator of Cities for Rent at Arena for Journalism in Europe, Dataharvest Conference
  • Anne Koch - program director, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN)
  • Rowan Philp - reporter, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN)
  • Adriana Homolova - freelance data journalist and trainer with Dataharvest conference and Lost In Europe
  • Heba Y. Amin - multi-media artist and researcher, Professor of Art at ABK-Stuttgart
  • Jelena Prtoric - journalist, coordinator of the Arena Climate & Energy Network, Arena for Journalism in Europe
  • Justus von Daniels - editor-in-chief, CrowdNewsroom, CORRECTIV
  • Tina Lee - editor-in-chief at Unbias the News, Hostwriter
  • Nuria Tesón - independent multimedia journalist, storyteller
  • Tetyana Bohdanova - researcher and crowdsourcing specialist, elections and civil society engagement
  • Jeff Deutch - director of operations and research at Mnemonic and co-founder of Syrian Archive
  • Fatima Hudoon - freelance journalist with the Bristol Cable, The National News, BBC and the Bureau Local/TBIJ
  • Robin Taylor - leading open source investigator with the Tibet Research Project
  • Leopold Salzenstein - freelance investigator on climate change and societal safety

Program and Online Venue

Conference sessions will take place online for five days, on 2-6 August 2021.

Each day's schedule will contain four one-hour sessions divided in two time intervals (all times expressed in Central European Time/CET):

  • first daily session interval: 10:00-11:00 CET and 11:30-12:30 CET
  • second daily session interval: 15:00-16:00 CET and 16:30-17:30 CET

The event will take place on Tactical Tech's self-hosted video-conferencing platform Big Blue Button (BBB) that does not require any software installation. Session links will be provided to registered participants (registration free of charge, please see details below). BBB user tutorials are available here and will also be provided to registered participants before the event.


The daily conference agenda for 2-6 August 2021, including session details and speakers' bios, is available HERE.

*Please note that some sessions may still be updated, therefore please check the agenda regularly for additional details.

Registered participants will also receive the agenda and related details via email.


(CLOSED, the event has passed)

About the Organisers

This event is organised and hosted by Exposing the Invisible - ETI - a Tactical Tech project that has been actively experimenting with ways to promote investigation as one of the most important forms of public engagement. Through a series of films, interviews, guides and resources, ETI looks at different techniques, tools and methods along with the individual practices of those working at the new frontiers of investigation. ETI's flagship project is the Exposing the Invisible Kit, a collaborative, self-learning resource that makes investigative techniques and tools used by experienced investigators more accessible to people and communities who feel motivated to start their own investigations, without losing sight of ethical or safety considerations.

Tactical Tech is an international NGO that engages with citizens and civil-society organisations to explore and mitigate the impacts of technology on society.

The conference is part of a one-year EU-funded project developed by Tactical Tech, which focuses on organising activities and developing self-learning resources for journalists, citizen investigators, activists, researchers and others interested to receive training in safe online and offline investigative techniques.

This project is supported by the European Commission (DG CONNECT)

European Commission

This text reflects the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


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