Hey, I’m Brian and like many others here I come from the tech world. Spent past 7 years designing and building software for startups and large corporations. Several things coincided that led me to “waking up”, one of which was seeing a close friend’s mental health deteriorate so publicly on social media. Unfortunately, we were all too late and it led to her psychotic break.
Still, I’m an optimist and believe, given the right incentives, technology can be more closely aligned with human values. Recently, I’ve been taking inspiration from Joe Edelman’s work w/ Human Systems: https://medium.com/what-to-build
At the moment, I’m interested in how we can leverage art and technology to cultivate greater states of mindfulness. One less confused person in the world, is one less confused person in the world.
Given the nascent stage of where we’re at with this movement, I think our highest impact opportunity lies in education to increase awareness of the harms in technology.
HI, everyone! My name is Becca and I live in Central California, far enough away from Silicon Valley not to be part of it, but as a state we are certainly influenced by the tech industry. I am interested in the varied responses and information from all the tech people here!
I worked in the medical field before I became a mom. My primary concern is the overwhelming tech in schools, especially the 1:1 programs aimed at younger and younger children and the overall well-being of our children at the expense of tech and academic progress. I find it disturbing and, frankly, repellent to go into a classroom and see kids with headphones on staring at a screen like zombies.
I am not alone, but it can feel that way. We just need to be a bit louder : )
My name is David Ryan Polgar. Scrolling through the long list of people, I see a bunch of familiar names and excited to be part of the community. I run an organization called All Tech Is Human that is based in NYC. We held an ethical tech summit last October, and have upcoming gatherings in Seattle (May 18), San Fran (Sept 21), and NYC (Nov 9). The aim to unite a broad and inclusive group of technologists, advocates, artists, academics, students, org leaders, and other interested parties to tackle the thorniest issues facing tech (attention economy, algorithmic bias, inclusive design, wellbeing).
I’ve been in the tech ethics space since about 2012 (background as an attorney + college prof), so it has been thrilling to see such a dramatic shift in thinking. I have experience that crossing into academia, industry, orgs, media, and general “thought leadership,” so I have a pretty broad 360 perspective. Over the years I have worked with the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction (with Dr. David Greenfield, who pioneered the field in the 90s), founded a conference called the Digital Citizenship Summit (held at Twitter HQ a few days before the US election & talking about media literacy…), writing, speaking, consulting. I am a board member for the CA non-profit #ICANHELP, which empowers teens to delete negativity online, along with a few other groups focused on social media and mental wellbeing.
Outside of All Tech Is Human, a podcast/live show I do called Funny as Tech (where we deal with tech ethics…inside a comedy theater), and consulting/speaking, I am always looking to connect and collaborate. Please reach out!
Hi All. I’m Gokulakrishna. You can call me Gokul to address in short form I’m from India. I’m @gkrishnaks on other online accounts. Glad to be here in this community and look forward to contributing!
Pronouns : he/him.
Hi. I’m Leslie and have been working as a librarian/information professional for nearly 26 years. I have been a witness to the “digital divide” which, I believe falls into the category of humane technology. I have seen children, teens and adults virtually addicted to their devices. I myself went through a period where I spent a lot of money on an online game (live and learn) and I do not have addictive tendencies. I believe modern technology preys on the loneliness of individuals who will do anything to stay connected–somehow. The breakdown of community and family has been documented in books such as “Bowling Alone”, which was written a while back but is more relevant today. I am not a “tech” person but need to advise and troubleshoot at work. I am concerned about the misuse of AI and find a Google-controlled home frightening. OK, so I do ask Alexa for the weather forecast and music once in a while. I want to hear what more technologically oriented folks think the solutions to these issues and how to make technology a tool only, not a terrible manufactured need.
Hi, I’m a late bloomer.
My name is Ryan. My wife and I own a modestly successful Interior Design business but you wouldn’t want me decorating your home. I’m responsible for the back-office stuff, like marketing (which I love) and accounting (which I hate.) She does all the pretty stuff.
I think a lot of late bloomers are idealists, skeptics, dreamers, and, basically, lazy. As a result, they’ve got serious trust issues, an area where I’ve earned a six-degree black belt. Got a picture of me, yet?
As if that weren’t enough, I’m a patriot. I don’t carry a gun in every pocket or have a flag and six bumper stickers on my car but my greatest heroes are the founding fathers, whom I admire warts and all. I think they were radical social entrepreneurs who risked their lives for principles that occupy the position in our society next to “Urban Myths.” Like the FFs, I believe the greatest threat to democracy is ignorance, and there is a whole lot of that going around right now. (queue Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime)
My current extracurricular projects include: an essay, “Everyone is a Victim,” on why the public lynching of Harvey Weinstein on social media stripped him of the right of the presumption of innocence and the moral implications for our society; a strategy for combating the obesity epidemic that features a movie script and the Department of Health and Human Services rolling out a new mascot, the Grim Reaper (It could work–look what Smokey the Bear did for forest fires!); and working on my marriage–did I mention my wife and I work together!
At digi.me we are pleased to share our full vision as per link below. Digi.me is not a plan - we exist today and people are building apps on 100% private, fully secure and consent based architecture where teh individual owns their data and digi.me is their tool (and we don;t see, touch or hold user data - ever).
I am a senior charity executive based in the UK, and I have recently set up a social enterprise which I describe as an ethical community exclusively dedicated to celebrating and enhancing our experience of the world as it really is, as captured and shared by people from all over the world.
I see the internet as a watershed in history, but one that today has the potential to cause great harm to our societies and the values which underpin them, as well as to do a lot of good for humanity. We want to help it do the latter.
Ultimately I believe that we’re heading towards a situation where the internet must be seen not as a commodity but as part of our human patrimony, and it must be protected (NB I didn’t say “regulated”) as such. And we can start building that future, now.
I’m looking forward to the London chapter meeting tomorrow.
Feel free to get in touch! …And share some videos!
Hello! My name is Sophie and I joined this community recently I was so stoked to find you all!
I was born into a generation and an area of London that didn’t really have their first PC until the ages of 14-16 and even then, it was an activity usually only enjoyed on a rainy day.
I did not have my first smart phone until I was 21 years old. I am now 27 and finding it extremely hard to watch everyone around me allow it to completely consume them. I am getting tired of having to be constantly available and questioned as if there is a problem if I do not respond within the hour. I am getting tired of talking to people whilst they scroll through their phones. It is becoming a very lonely world.
My sister is 13 and is amongst the first generation to be a digital native. She is currently being treated for anxiety and depression as she struggles to socialise without her smartphone. This is something I am hearing about more and more so I am very appreciative to organisations such as this one that are striving for a healthier future with tech.
I do not work in tech nor am I a very tech savvy person. I have just graduated in music management but have started to rethink my career choices. I guess I haven’t worked that out yet, but I know I would like advocate a healthier approach with tech and help educate society on the detrimental impact it can have.
I now live in Southampton and was hoping to set up maybe some sort of group for people in the Hampshire area who would like to meet others and have discussions who also feel this way.
I will be attending the London meet up tomorrow, hope to meet some of you there
Hi everyone, very nice to meet you and find you all, truly.
My name is Rome Viharo. I’ve been deeply involved with media and technology since 2003, an early pioneer in viral media and social media marketing amongst other things.
As a designer and developer, I focus on the problems of digital advertising, content distribution, online harassment, misinformation, and consensus building.
I became deeply aware of the ad tech problem in 2011/2012. I had a small startup then that was acquired by a growing media company, and post-acquisition discovered they engaged in fraud. I became a whistleblower and helped expose a few bad actors back then. I was so traumatized by the discovery so since then have designed, coded and piloted Native Smart, an alternative to the current third-party eco-system. I look forward to sharing it when the time is right. Our website is just moving servers so will share in a few days.
Following Native Smart is aiki wiki, an emerging digital platform designed for trusted large-scale online consensus building between dozens, hundreds, or thousands of online users with different viewpoints on any topic, proposal, article, or study.
Through the process of negotiating an ‘aiki.wiki’, users collaborate to build a shared narrative which is then published as a perfectly vetted and trusted article, comprised in the true collaborative voice of the rational consensus.
I’m very eager to learn from you all and share ideas, very happy to be here! I’m located in Los Angeles.
Hi all! I’m Eve. I’m a student at NYU in an applied data science master’s program and previously worked in digital analytics. Since starting school I’ve been learning data science and machine learning. At the same time, I’m experiencing and learning about the negative impacts of social media on mental health, the deterioration of relationships at the hands of technology, privacy and ethics issues, etc… the list goes on.
I hope to pursue a career where I can study and educate others about the implications of technology and artificial intelligence on society. It’s comforting to discover there are many others who share my concerns and who are proactively working to address the challenges ahead.
Looking forward to learning from you all and potentially meeting some New Yorkers in person!
Hi all, I’m George—delighted this community exists.
The bio I just added to my profile does a pretty good job introducing me, I think. It reads:
Whoever you are, reading this, George loves you and is glad you’re here. George sees how easy it is for people to talk past each other (often without even recognizing it) as one of the most pressing issues currently facing humanity. Improving the media we use to communicate—online social networks, email, etc., and even books, in-person conversation, and so on—is one of the key levers George thinks we can use to address this issue. George also thinks children make particularly good theorists, and have a key role in helping us craft a better medium.
To support this work, George created Intentions for Mac, an app that asks what you intend to do when you open your Mac, then checks in randomly to see if you’re doing what you meant: https://intentionsapp.com
More concretely, I’m a recent graduate of Swarthmore College, with a special major in Cognitive Science and Educational Studies. My senior thesis was titled “A Medium for Collaborative Thought”.
There’s much more I could say, and I’ll leave it at that for now as I sense into how I want to orient towards this space and how it makes sense for me to engage here.
Hi, I am Konstantin, I live in Vienna, Austria and non-techy day job, but like to code and create stuff in my spare time. I was first made aware of the problem of tech influencing my life in various negative ways by Cal Newport’s book “Deep Work” and then just fell down the rabbit hole and improving my life by sparing unhealthy technology ever since. I think this issue is one of the most pressing ones of our time so I am eager to devote time and effort to it.
Hello, my name is Marleen Spierings, I am a teacher of English in The Netherlands. Currently I am creating lessons and collaborative tasks for 17-18 year olds on digital information literacy within the Dutch curriculum K-11-K12, connecting it to persuasive essay writing and debate, among others. This forum, and the topics HumaneTech addresses seem like good lesson material to me. Any people out there willing to work with me on creating lessons? All in the public space, and open source, of course, in a good sharing tradition:)
Right on… The techno-comfortable seem too often to think that more of what they like is good medicine for all. I’d want people living with dementia and all cognitve impairments to all be our canaries, as we will all age, and change, and have good odds of needing not yet present consideration.
I’m a senior Product Designer at Even, working on improving the financial wellbeing of all Americans. We design our app to impart both short-term usefulness and long-term transformational value. Now that my design decisions are affecting 100,000s of people’s financial lives, I’m feeling the weighty, ethical responsibility to design in a way that’s as human-centred, effective, and inclusive as can be.
I believe human attention is sacred, and I am delighted to have found the CHT’s thoughtful, action-oriented community by way of Joe Edelman’s Human Systems design class. I’m particularly interested in CHT’s exchange with industry and contributing to a two-way design critique.
I used to seriously produce music and DJ, gearing up for a career in music. But at the events I threw, I found more meaning in seeing others enjoy the experience than being on stage myself. So while studying at Stanford University, I changed my focus from music to product design. I believe anyone who intentionally shapes human experiences over time is a designer.
I serve as the chaplain at a large residential addiction recovery program in Baltimore… I’ve long been wrestling with the promises and perils of screen tech in my own life, and I’m wanting to incorporate humane tech principles and practices into the classes and groups I lead.
If you or someone you know is working in the recovery field, hit me up!
Hello! My name is Bob Williams, I am a long time developer of web based content, games and apps. I love building things and have mostly been someone who follows and enjoys technology a great deal. I wound up here largely the same reasons as many of you. I felt like like our actual lives were slipping through our fingers while we spent more and more time trying to master our digital lives.
I’m concerned about many aspects of our technological lives, but really concerned on the quality of life and the value of what we spend our time on. I believe technology can powerfully connect us, but it’s not doing it in a healthy way right now. Technology should be additive to the human experience, and currently it distracts or hijacks the experience rather than adding to it.
I’m interested in technology that adds true benefit, meaningful interaction, and balance into our lives. Our daily driver tech need re-invention – that’s a task too big for any of us individually, but maybe as a collective we can steer it, or be a part of building it.
I look forward to getting to know you and learning more from you all.