Julie Owono was a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab (2019-2020, 2020-2021).
Julie studied at the Paris Bar School, and holds a Master degree in International Law from La Sorbonne Law School.
She is the Executive Director of the Internet Sans Frontières (Internet Without Borders), an organization which works to preserve an open and free Internet, accessible to all without discrimination. There, her work is focused on Rights and Freedoms in the digital space, and develops the organization globally.
She regularly writes columns for various publications, including Al Jazeera where she addresses issues related to politics, law and innovation in the Gulf of Guinea. She often appears as a Gulf of Guinea expert on International TV channels like France 24, BBC World, Russia Today, Huff Post Live…
Julie Owono thinks that we, as a society, have two choices in response to this nearly unprecedented time of crisis: we can either reflexively snap back to an “old normal” and pretend nothing happened–a tempting idea to many. Or we can move forward into what she calls the “real normal”–in which we’ll make systemic changes based on the knowledge we’ve gained during this period of simultaneous catastrophes. Owono knows that people like her in the race and technology industry have a burden to ensure this “real normal.” Indeed, it is the next generation, the younger generation, that she trusts most with this difficult task.
Owono’s own project within this larger mission is to facilitate a multi-stakeholder space for collaboration in the content moderation sphere. This has two components, the higher level and the specific: first, Owono makes the case far and wide for real inclusion of civil society experts and actors within the content moderation space, something she intends to prove is both possible and necessary. Second, in August, 2021, she facilitated the first ever roundtable with multiple stakeholders on the Nigerian ban of Twitter, bringing together companies, civil society organizations, and governments. Owono is excited for the Nigerian/Twitter event to inform and kick off the multistakeholder process.