Community position statement, contribution guidelines, forum improvements

As you may have noticed, both the layout and the categorization of the forum have undergone some changes. Also, Contribution Guidelines can now be found in the dropdown menu in the top-right corner.

Position statement

After much discussion the position of the community with regards to the organization has become clear:

The community was founded by The Center for Humane Technology and remains an intricate part of it:

  • We are a subsidiary of the CHT

However, the nature of the problems we are facing and want to address, requires The Center to spend most, if not all, of their time at the highest levels of government and corporations, where their influence and connections are most effective. In other words: The CHT follows a top-down approach to Humane Technology.

The community, on the other hand, goes from the bottom up. We are a grassroots movement. As such we have the freedom to operate independently. To organize ourselves and grow our base of active members, start initiatives on our own accord. We should not constrain ourselves by a lack of steering from the CHT core team, but instead ‘prepare the base’, preparing a strong foundation for when the CHT is ready to adopt us in their strategies, at which time we’ll merge and become one again.

  • We can operate independently from the CHT

What is important, is that both the center and community will follow the same strategic path, modeled around four pillars (see below), thereby ensuring we will stay aligned to each other. We are on the same Mission and have a shared Vision!

  • We are fully aligned with the mission, vision and strategies of the CHT

Community building & branding

The different approaches of the CHT and its community as outlined in the position statement means that there is a need to re-brand the community with regards to the center organization. Much of the work conducted by the CHT core team is highly confidential and cannot be shared publicly.

Our community does not have that restriction. On the contrary, we operate entirely in public. The work that we do is for everyone. We are part of the public domain. Our works will be licensed accordingly and our software will be free & open-source (FOSS). Our projects will be crowdsourced and crowdfunded and provide full transparency and openness.

  • Our community will be an exemplar of Humane Technology

The re-branding entails adopting a different name: The Community for Humane Technology and a corresponding logo that is similar in style to the CHT logo. In the coming weeks and months we will elaborate on this much more. This community will become much more than the forum you are on right now.

I’ll conclude by depicting the Humane Tech organizational structure as follows:

    The Center for Humane Technology
       |---->The Community for Humane Technology

Layout changes

The following changes to the layout were made:

  • The categories column is smaller by 20%, allowing more space for (long) topic titles
  • Subcategories are displayed as a list of items, rather than in a single row
  • New posts + topic count statistics were removed (new posts were already in the ‘Latest’ column)
  • Tags on topics are shown next to the sub-category, rather than below, to save space
  • Categories and subcategories are now appropriately colored
  • Categories have an image that highlights the strategic pillars of CHT and the community

Categorization changes

Categories and subcategories have been shuffled and moved, and some were removed:

  • The first four main categories reflect the strategic pillars of the CHT:

    1. Create a Cultural Awakening (Awareness)
    2. Apply Political Pressure (Advocacy)
    3. Engage Employees (Engagement)
    4. Apply Humane Technology (Humane Design)
  • Community Commons is now solely dedicated to community building

  • Time Well Spent now has 3 subcategories (from Community Commons)

Contribution Guidelines

If you open the hamburger menu (the menu in the top-right corner of the page), you’ll find a new entry, ‘Contributing,’ where Contribution Guidelines can be found. They detail what you should take to heart when creating topics and posts, and also provide general help and tips on working with the forum software.

Here is the menu showing the new entry (don’t mind the top section, that is only for moderators):



If you have more ideas for improvement, or questions, then do not hesitate to ask them in this topic.


Additional profile fields

I added 2 fields to your user profile. Setting these will make cooperation easier. They are:

  • Timezone
  • Github

Timezone field

Because we are are community with members from all around the world, I have added a custom field to the user profile, called Timezone where you can fill in in what time zone you are living in. This makes it easier for people know the time diference, when cooperating.

The field can be reached by:

  1. clicking on your profile icon in the right corner of the window
  2. then clicking your username at the top of the menu that appears
  3. selecting ‘Preferences’ from the top bar
  4. and finally selecting ‘Profile’ from the side bar

The field looks as follows:


You can check your timezone with regards to another user on:

Github field

This field - which is set in the same way as the Timezone fields (see above) - allows you to set your Github username, with which you are collaborating in community projects on Github. This is handy to know, especially if your forum username differs from that on Github.

You can find the user profile on Github by typing[username] in the title bar of your browser.

Viewing profile of other users

You can view your own profile, as described above. If you want to see the custom fields of other users (if they have been set), then you can click the user’s icon, and then on the user popup card click either the user photo, or their name.

You’ll be directed to the user summary page that shows the fields, if they were set:

The forum now has a (limited) ability to automatically highlight and explain glossary terms and abbreviations in the posts you create.

See for example these abbreviations: CHT and HTC

For more information check out Glossary of Common Terminology

I don’t know fully understand why there is a separation of Tristan & Co “CHT” from “HTC”? Did the HTC always start from outside the sphere of CHT and we are kind of tagging along? Or did Tristan actually start this community and decided he doesn’t want to be involved?

“requires The Center to spend most, if not all, of their time at the highest levels of government and corporations, where their influence and connections are most effective. In other words: The CHT follows a top-down approach to Humane Technology.”

I appreciate complexity and it’s not black and white, however I honestly feel like there needs to be more disclosure and transparency about what the CHT is doing, sharing it’s objectives and key results, ie OKR style would be a helpful start to understand.

I’m sure there are many passionate about this, but if we are all not in the same canoe sharing the same OKR’s then how can the ‘top-down’ and the ‘bottom-up’ collaborate effectively?

Very good points you bring to the table, @kingi!

No, the HTC did not start outside the sphere of CHT. I guess there were some real plans to build the community under the direction of the core team. But these were blown away after the Cambridge Analytica scandal led to a flood of attention of press and high-profile officials on the CHT. Priorities changed as a result and the community was left to its own devices.

Note, that I am a ‘beast of the community’, in that I am just a volunteering member, who also suffered from the same lack of transparency you mention. I have to go from the occasional communications I’ve had with core team members and other volunteers (like Mamie and Max). I adopted the wait-and-see position at first, like many others, waiting for plans to be unrolled. Which didn’t happen.

I have tried many things to get the proper, well-deserved attention of founders (early on this started with asking for more involvement in open letter).

Later I found out that the core team is truly overwhelmed in work, very small, and underfunded. You can read more on that in We need the CHT core team to actively get involved. Now! and also in our Campaigners group chat, in this comment.

Could the communications to the community have been handled better? Yes, IMHO, they certainly could. But the things went the way they went. We need to look to the future now.

The repositioning of HTC as a separate entity was my initiative entirely, because this community was in flux and slowly going into complete inactivity. We needed to come out of the waiting mode, and have freedom to act, unroll our own initiatives. And that is where we are now.

HTC is an independent entity, working with transparency and in the public domain. The CHT is not that transparent, and they cannot be, because of the nature of cooperations and consultancy they do at e.g. high government levels. How transparent they are to the outside world is up to them; their decision.

How can we cooperate effectively? Well, we have the same mission, and the same strategic pillars. We will place different emphasis on them, because of our grassroots nature and a different primary audience. In the Campaigners team we are currently discussing, brainstorimg and elaborating on this. See this group topic.

If you want to be in the loop you can become a campaigner yourself, or regularly check the messages we create in the Campaigners group inbox.

As part of the community activities we will determine what help we would like to receive from the CHT, and place well-formulated requests on a case-by-case basis, so they do not strain their workload too much and thus are most likely to be honored.

I realize, thanks to you Kingi, that the wording in the forum header statement “we will eventually merge in our quest” is wrongly chosen, as it implies the merger of the 2 entities to one. This cannot happen unless the CHT adopts the same transparency and public domain / open-source approach. I’ll think about a different formulation. Full alignment is a better term in this regard.

Hope this makes things clearer to you, but don’t hesitate to discuss further.


Awesome! thanks for the detailed response. I really appreciate it. I’m 100% behind you @aschrijver. I subscribe to the ‘power to the people’ - thanks for keeping it going. Im going to check out the campaigners inbox.

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