conference themes

From Shannon on Flickr

BetaNYC’s four freedoms are rooted in the four freedoms articulated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Those four freedoms are the freedoms of speech and worship, and the freedoms from want and fear. In the fall of 2012, BetaNYC reorganized and the community articulated its values in a civic technology roadmap for New York City. BetaNYC’s four freedoms and its code of conduct outline a collective and inclusive framework for a city and its municipal government powered by the people, for the people, for the 21st century.


This is how our four freedoms will intersect with NYC’s School of Data conversations.

Freedom to Connect sessions will cover access to networks and the tools that connect to them.

The freedom to connect is expressed through two rights: accessibility and extendibility. First, we believe that access to free high-speed bi-directional internet is a prerequisite to full participation in a 21st century democratic society. Second, we believe we have the right to develop tools and extend this network’s capability. This is the freedom to connect.


Freedom to Learn sessions will address access to knowledge and the future of education.

To be a lifelong learner, one needs access to knowledge, code, data, tools, and institutions. Providing opportunities for people to gain greater proficiency in technology is essential to developing an empowered citizenry. This is the freedom to learn.


Freedom to Innovate sessions will present workshops that highlight tools, technologies, and maps that defend the commons and enable innovation.

Innovation is vital to the development and perseverance of a thriving civil society. It is through innovation that we create the tools to identify, analyze, and solve problems. This is the freedom to innovate.



Freedom to Collaborate sessions will present innovative policies and discuss proposed and current laws to empower a 21st century for and by the people.

We, the people, have the power to effect change and be govern by ourselves, for ourselves, for the 21st Century. Our democracy is only realized by increasing human connections, embracing platforms that promote participation, and enshire our ability to solve problems. This is the freedom to collaborate.



If you are interested in presenting or hosting a session, please drop us a line. We are interested in what you have to say.

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