What is COVIDCon?
COVIDCon is a virtual Oslo Freedom Forum event presented by the Human Rights Foundation.
This two-day event, open to global audiences, will feature presentations and panels about the current pandemic and its relationship to state censorship, disinformation, surveillance, and civil liberties. COVIDCon sessions will showcase the difference in the responses of authoritarian regimes and democratic governments to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
With degrees in computational biology, she previously worked as a research scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and then for a large biotech firm. Born in Singapore, she has always been very vocal about the necessity of free expression and education as guarantors of human rights and as a means to check the power of authoritarian institutions.
As a journalist, Melissa’s writing has focused on China’s rising economic and geopolitical influence, and the implications of both on freedom and democracy around the world. She’s been on Fox News, the Rubin Report and the Joe Rogan Experience podcast speaking about these issues.
Mr. Bass is a founding member of the Committee on the Present Danger: China. He is also Chairman of the Board of The Rule of Law Foundation (https://rolfoundation.org/). Mr. Bass is the former Chair of the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), which manages approximately $45 billion. Mr. Bass has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. In 2015, Bass was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Global Patent Market as named by Intellectual Asset Management magazine. Mr. Bass has lectured on global economics at various universities, including Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Texas, and the University of Virginia. Mr. Bass was the recipient of the 2019 Foreign Policy Association Medal for his responsible internationalism.
Before forming Hayman, Mr. Bass was a Managing Director at Legg Mason and a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns. He graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in finance. Mr. Bass serves on the board of the Texas Department of Public Safety Foundation (www.texasdpsfoundation.org) and is on the advisory board of Predata, a machine learning and predicative analytics platform.
He is one of thirty-three members of the parliament who was sentenced by the unlawful Supreme Court and stripped of his immunity. At the United Nations Human Rights Council he exposes the crimes committed by Nicolás Maduro's dictatorship, coordinates the support of diplomatic missions to put pressure on the regime, and requests support to alleviate Venezuela’s Complex Humanitarian Emergency.
Journalists, activists, and
experts from the front lines
of the pandemic.
COVIDCon’s speakers bring first-hand experience in how tyranny sparked and is exploiting the pandemic.
Join the largest
for human rights.
DAY 1: April 13 (Eastern Times)
12:00 p.m. Censorship in China: The Pandemic Spark
Presentation by Ian Birrell, followed by Q&A.
12:30 p.m. How Democracies and Dictatorships are Reacting to the Virus
Panel discussion featuring Joshua Wong, William Yang, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, and Alex Gladstein, followed by Q&A.
1:05 p.m. The Chinese Communist Party: Savior or Culprit?
Presentation by Dr. Yang Jianli, followed by Q&A.
1:30 p.m. Intermission
2:00 p.m. Eight Questions with Ai Weiwei
2:25 p.m. What the Pandemic has Revealed about Chinese Economic Dominance
Conversation with Kyle Bass and Melissa Chen, followed by Q&A.
3:00 p.m. The Increasing Risk of Synthetic Biology
Conversation with Rob Reid and Thor Halvorssen, followed by Q&A.
DAY 2: April 14 (Eastern Times)
12:00 p.m. Iran’s Criminal Negligence: COVID-19’s Gateway to the Middle East
Presentation by Masih Alinejad, followed by Q&A.
12:30 p.m. Pandemic Power Grab: State Abuse of Emergency Laws
Presentation followed by discussion with Péter Kréko, Garry Kasparov, and Anne Applebaum.
1:05 p.m. Authoritarianism and Public Health in Times of Pandemic
Panel discussion featuring Mu Sochua, Miguel Pizarro, and Nanjala Nyabola, moderated by Philippa Thomas.
1:40 p.m. Intermission
Stretch and refresh.
2:00 p.m. How China’s Disinformation Has Weakened and Divided the West
Presentation by Mahmoud Farahmand, followed by Q&A.
2:25 p.m. Keeping Protest Movements Alive During the Pandemic
Panel discussion featuring Bobby Ghosh, Evan Mawawire, Frances Hui, and Rania Aziz, followed by Q&A.
3:00 p.m. How the Pandemic Changes the Relationship Between Citizen, Technology, and State
Conversation with Naval Ravikant and Thor Halvorssen, followed by Q&A.