Beatrice Martini was a Practitioner Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab (2019-2020, 2020-2021).
Beatrice is a technology capacity builder and researcher. She is the Education Coordinator for the Access Now Digital Security Helpline, a 24/7 real-time resource for civil society groups, activists, journalists and human rights defenders.
Previously, Beatrice led the Human Rights Technology program at the nonprofit Aspiration , driving collaborative initiatives with information security practitioners, community organizers, lawyers, and researchers supporting human rights efforts globally.
Before that, she worked at the Open Knowledge Foundation and on several projects leveraging open source technology in support of justice and rights endeavors.
She is also a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she explores the implications of Internet infrastructure design on human rights, and serves in a formal advisory role with the Center for the Cultivation of Technology and OpenArchive.
Beatrice Martini advocates for human rights as embodied by digital infrastructure in her day job and as a fellow. In her work with the Access Now Digital Security Helpline, she speaks directly with activists facing digital security crises to provide both preventive and emergency support trainings. This work requires her to understand the many layers of the tech stack – from user interfaces to deep protocols. As a DCSL fellow, Martini built on this knowledge and daily experience to publish a white paper called “Internet Infrastructure and Human Rights: A Reading List.” The paper compiles and annotates resources from scholars to bloggers on human and digital rights in modern contexts, particularly in light of Covid and longstanding biases of gender, class, or geography. The paper has been picked up by scholars and used in academic courses, some of which have invited Martini as a guest lecturer.
Martini sees civil society, and digital civil society specifically, as becoming more and more aware–and self-aware–of the need for internet safety and infrastructure attention. Access Now’s Helpline hit 10,000 cases (with a growing number of preventive cases) recently, which Martini sees as a sign of important change. Still, she says, strategic funding is lagging behind awareness. Her work prioritizes a deeper understanding of people and processes over the fluctuations of technology, work that takes longer and requires time and space to step back, breathe, and observe the system in action.