Convocation Research and Design (CoRDs) is a research, design, and art agency that combines human rights, technology, activism, advocacy, policy and design together to make complex technology more human readable. CoRD entwines justice, research and design to build provocative tools and creative interventions. With our staff and affiliates we build technology and tech interventions, along with crafting research and research outputs, using design research methods, qualitative research, quantitative research, criticality and technology analysis. 

Convocation Design + Research catalyzes change by creating innovative public facing research and advocacy work, through campaigns, research publications, consulting, and tool building that pushes for social justice and equity driven technology. We believe in good communication strategies and great design to help tell research and unpack some of technology’s most difficult problems. Some of our work manifests as publications creating frameworks and exploring topics that affect everyday users, such as when to use AI in cities, how online harassment effects journalists and activists, and how to work with emerging technology through an intersectional lens.

We think of our work across four areas: weave, entangle, secure and transfer. 

Weave: designing spaces for and with communities. Making use of participatory design frameworks and connecting people and their future.
Entangle: revealing dark patterns, holding tech companies accountable, revealing relationships and connections that aim to remain hidden or obscure — entangling them into their world.
Secure: keeping spaces safe, protecting from harm, and mitigating risk.
Transfer: transferring information as a means to transfer power. Educational resources, course design, public information campaigns and projects.


Strategic Research + Development / Applied Research / Design Research / Policy / Advocacy / Design Storytelling / Technology R&D / Reverse Engineering / Digital Forensics / Privacy / Security / OSINT

The Team

Caroline Sinders
Co-Founder & Researcher

Caroline Sinders is an award winning critical designer, researcher, and artist. For the past few years, she has been examining the intersections of artificial intelligence, intersectional justice, systems design, harm, and politics in digital conversational spaces and technology platforms. She has worked with the United Nations, Amnesty International, IBM Watson, the Wikimedia Foundation, and others. Sinders has held fellowships with the Harvard Kennedy School, Google’s PAIR (People and Artificial Intelligence Research group), Ars Electronica’s AI Lab, the Weizenbaum Institute, the Mozilla Foundation, Pioneer Works, Eyebeam, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Sci Art Resonances program with the European Commission, and the International Center of Photography. Her work has been featured in the Tate Exchange in Tate Modern, the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, Telematic Media Arts, Victoria and Albert Museum, MoMA PS1, LABoral, Wired, Slate, Hyperallergic, Clot Magazine, Quartz, the Channels Festival, and others. Sinders holds a Masters from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Leila Wylie Wagner
Project Manger

Leila Wylie Wagner is a project manager with a background in user research and strategic planning, particularly in healthcare and disaster response. Her areas of interest are how technology intersects with disaster response and environmental resilience, with a focus in the Gulf South. She earned her Bachelors degree in Anthropology at Brooklyn College. 

She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Environmental Management at Tulane University.

Cooper Quintin
Co-Founder & Lead Security Engineer

Cooper Quintin is a security researcher and senior public interest technologist with the EFF Threat Lab, and one of Convocation’s co-founders. Cooper is board member of Open Archive. He has worked on projects including Privacy Badger, Canary Watch, and analysis of state sponsored malware campaigns such as Dark Caracal. Cooper has given talks about security research at prestigious security conferences including Black Hat, DEFCON, Enigma Conference, and ReCon about issues ranging from IMSI Catcher detection to fem tech privacy issues to newly discovered APTs. He has also been published or quoted in publications including: The New York Times, Reuters, NPR, CNN, and Al Jazeera.  Cooper has given security trainings for activists, non profit workers, and vulnerable populations around the world. He previously worked building websites for nonprofits, including Greenpeace, Adbusters, and the Chelsea Manning Support Network. Cooper was also an editor and contributor to the hacktivist journal, “Hack this Zine.” In his spare time he enjoys making music, visualizing a solar-punk communitarian future, and playing with his kids.

Sam Smith
Co-Founder & Researcher

Sam has been practicing as an open source intelligence (OSINT) investigator to aid in human rights and social justice organizations for almost 10 years. Previously he has worked as Research Director at Equality Labs and Black Core Security. He focuses on combating violent extremism, dis/misinformation campaigns, and cultural manipulation. Sam uses his broad breadth of knowledge about global extremism, as well as his skills in OSINT, and deep understanding of digital security to better serve marginalized and vulnerable communities, movement partners, thought leaders, and collaborators. When he is not conducting research, he is sharpening his digital security skills, expanding digital privacy, analyzing state/non-state/private surveillance capabilities, as well as leading training sessions on general digital security, opposition research, OSINT, and more. Sam’s work has been directly used by outlets like ProPublica, Political Research Associates, Right Wing Watch, and many other mainstream media sources.

Our Affiliates and Collaborators

Schessa Garbutt 
Brand Identity and Creative Direction

Schessa Garbutt (they/them) is the founder and creative director at Firebrand in Inglewood, CA. They specialize in visual identity and UI/UX for mission-driven organizations and social impact efforts within larger companies. Clients include Black Wealth Data Center, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Mindfulness for the People, and Facebook Open Arts. Garbutt is also an essayist and lecturer, speaking on topics of diversity in design education and co-design practices. They are currently working on a forthcoming anthology of QT-BIPOC near-futurism art and writing called Time and Its Travelers.

Hadeel Abdelkarim
Design and Social Media Strategy

Hadeel Abdelkarim is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer from Cairo. Influenced by relocation and being part of the diaspora, their work explores visual storytelling as a form of resistance and its impact on the collective memory.

Eryk Salvaggio
Content Strategy

Eryk Salvaggio is a systems researcher and interdisciplinary artist examining technology and design from a critical perspective. He holds a Masters in Media and Communication from the London School of Economics (2014) and a Masters in Applied Cybernetics from the Australian National University (2021) with undergraduate degrees in New Media and Journalism from the University of Maine (2010).  He has presented talks and keynotes to the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), California College of the Arts, Brown University, Melbourne Design Week, RightsCon, and Gensler. He has exhibited work at the United Nations, Eyebeam/The New Museum, Rhizome, City Art Gallery Ljubljana, Pace University, CalArts, Brown University, Turbulence, The Internet Archive, and in books including Jon Ippolito & Joline Blais’ At the Edge of Art, Alex Galloway’s Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization, and Peter Langford’s Image & Imagination. His website is cyberneticforests.com.

Roxy Zeiher
Graphic Design

Roxy Zeiher is a graphic designer living and working between Berlin, London and Zurich. Particularly interested in critical and contemporary subject areas communicated through design, she pursues a multi-disciplinary creative practice. She interrogates culture with her research-driven design practice that investigates how the designed world, especially new technology, is shaping our behavior, perception and understanding.