Poll: Which Humane Tech topics would you like to spend your time on?

Dear members of this fine community,

In two months time we have reached a membership count of 1300 users, and in total we have posted more than 1,600 contributions to this forum in 245 topics. Among these are many great discussions, ideas and people exchanging their experiences.

Not only has this forum been very active, but also a total of 23 (!) local meetup chapters have been announced, as well as a variety of cool events and conferences. Many chapters have already held one or more sessions, all around the world, and members have met and interacted face-to-face. So important, and it really makes us happy!

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Many thanks to all of you, and give yourself a big applause! :clap::clap:


As you are well aware - with all the Facebook scandals and media attention for the negative aspects of social media and abuse of personal data - the iron is hot now… Humane Technology is sorely needed!

If we want to have real impact, increase awareness and reach the masses, we have to bring this grassroots community to the next level, and help the CHT founders steer us onwards!

Therefore we would like to gauge your interest and find out which Humane Tech topics you would like to spend your time on, help elaborate further than what is possible in this discussion forum.

Please fill in the poll below, and - if you want to be an active contributor - add a post to this topic where you clearly state your interest in a short, bold-face summary text. This is required for readability if the thread becomes long, e.g. “I would like to work on…[humane tech topic XYZ]”.

You can of-course add optional descriptive texts (but avoid overly long descriptions). List multiple topics below each other.

Here’s the poll:

  • I am interested in Humane Tech in general, but I am mainly a reader.
  • I am interested to follow-up on forum topics, but I am still on the side-line, waiting…
  • Yes, I would like to spend more of my time to elaborate and take this further!

0 voters

(Note: the poll has the option “Show who voted” turned off)

Last but not least: Stating your commitment only reflects your intention, but obliges you to nothing. You are totally free! :blush:

Yours truly,

CHT staff

8 Likes

Let me bite off the head… I am interested in All-Things-Humane-Tech, but particularly:

I’d like to work on Privacy and Security related issues

Both from the perspective of the user - how can I protect myself, get my privacy back - as well as from the tech provider’s point of view - how can I protect my users better. Collecting/creating Privacy- and Security-first best-practices and guidelines.

I’d like to work on Ethics and Transparency of software products and engineering

I am not a lawyer, so I will focus mainly on technical and product management aspects. Once again work on guidelines, best-practices, but also checklists, compliance/certification, logo programs, human-readable privacy policies, etc.

I’d like to work on Decentralization of the internet, as it was originally intended

Research, contribute and implement technologies. Find and collect existing technologies and products that can be alternatives to existing tech, avoid further monopolization.

I’d like to work on Humane Product Design gudelines

As a Product Owner, I’d like to deepen my skillset, identify dark patterns and ways to avoid them, UX guidelines, etc.

I’d like to raise Awareness of what constitutes humane technology

Already doing this, primarily on LinkedIn and Hacker News, and in person to friends and family. But I’d like to work on thinking of strategies to make awareness campaigns more effective and wide-reaching

4 Likes

As a software engineer with experience on semantic web, big data, user profiling and recommendation from social media data, and recently a digital citizenship teacher, I would like to:

Raise awareness about how apps are designed and planned to work in order to suck our attention

Think about how to re-design existing apps in order to remove all attention hooks

Think about how to limit / regulate the amount and range of user data that are made available or sold by the apps or by intermediators to everyone interested

Think about some prototype of campaigns to spread our messages, reaching public opinion and therefore apps’ founders and CEOs

Organise some action towards and with younger generations about smartphone dependence and related behaviours

Link non-humane technology to non-human styles of life.

7 Likes

Personal/community public health and child development awareness related to tech use allowing people, tech industry leaders and policy makers to make informed choices.

4 Likes

@aschrijver Happy to help, but can you create a list of options for [humane tech topic xyz] to encourage focused contribution areas for the rest of us?

2 Likes

Hi Derek, thank you! I could give you a list of what I think what good Humane Tech topics are, but it would almost certainly not match that of other members.

See this topic thread as an exploration after which we can come to a sensible structure to build upon.

Note also that I am not in the loop of the founders plans. They are in the works. See: This community needs more involvement from its founders!

The bullet list there contains a link to Structure where I suggested (what I thought were proper) categories for forum topics.

3 Likes

Great! I answered the survey, and here’s what I am interested in:

  • Public health issues related to smartphones and the mobile internet, especially mental health, “text neck”, and distracted driving.

  • Promoting a more diverse “ecosystem” of operating systems on mobile devices, the less “smart” the better

  • Normalizing - or rather re-normalizing - the use of dumbphones

  • Fighting behavioral addiction to the mobile internet

6 Likes

Fair enough. Here’s my 2c.

I’d like to work on Privacy-related issues and privacy-focused design

Specifically, how can people regain control of their personal information? I’d like to promote and create tech which takes data privacy seriously and makes data collection opt-in.

I’d like to work on internet decentralization

Build and promote products that people can host themselves. Make it easier for people to host common internet services (social, email, etc.) themselves. Ultimate goal is to eliminate walled gardens.

I’d like to work on Humane Product Design standards and practices

I’m very interested in becoming a competent designer, but there aren’t many resources out there for learning Humane Product Design. Therefore, one of my main goals in the community is to help establish a “source of truth” for Humane Design. This could be a book, a video series, or even a curriculum. I have limited experience but I’m willing to learn.

6 Likes

to @derek’s last point: A curriculum and body of work around Humane Design would be wonderful.
Starting with gathering what currently exists in related fields – in architecture, product design, and user experience.

Most of what I’ve seen so far have been mass-market publications by individual design gurus, rarely something that was expanded on and improved by a field.

5 Likes

I am specifically interested in cultivating and improving human interpersonal skills such as empathy, listening, awareness, and communication. These skillsets are being thrown to the waste side in an age where technology is consuming our attention.

My goal is to give people control and responsibility over their own lives by having control over their technology and not letting the technology control them.

8 Likes

I’d like to help organize, write, simplify and speak about the goals and definition of “humane tech,” so that they may be actionable and well understood by a broad populace of society.

4 Likes

As a writer and editor who helps to produce an international literary journal, I would like to work on some kind of publication of CHT, be it a newsletter or ezine, that presents issues of concern in layperson’s language.

6 Likes

If you are interested in “dumbphones,” read The Low Tech Trek, a blog started by @PatMc . He and I have both written on this subject.

4 Likes

As a graphic designer and aspiring Phd candidate, I’d like to contribute bodies of research to the concept of ethical design integration in foundational platform design.

From a more philosophical approach, I wish to unveil the long term effects of greed and mass manipulation on society. Further, understanding the limitless desire to focus on the self and its importance via social outlets also motivates my research.

Looking forward to joining this community of thinkers and activists!
-Jillian

8 Likes

I’d like to look at how schools are currently influencing the digital culture of our kids/teens, and how this can be redesigned so that schools are contributing to the positive use of digital technology as a tool, while supporting parents and communities to achieve a positive tech culture. I think the message parents are getting from schools is simply that their kids must have the current level of tech use to compete in the workforce later on. The level of supervision required and family conflict created when children first get their own school device to take home is the point where many parents let it go, and leave kids to unrestricted unsupervised internet use (around 8 years), and parents may feel that any technology use is letting their kids get ahead for future prospects. With 1:1 policies from 5 years old, gamification, class social media platforms, and the majority of the school day on devices in many schools from elementary age, I think there is room for improvement and the need for clear guidelines. Until this happens many parents will just be struggling against the tide to teach responsible tech use to their kids. My background is in health.

8 Likes

That’s excellent Jillian! The root of the problem is greed and manipulation. If you want to use the lingo of the tech industry, “hustling” and “growth hacking”.

Unless we somehow make people less able to be manipulated (through education campaigns or through less manipulable platforms) we need to focus on greed which is the root of the problem.

Tech companies are motivated by earnings, to manipulate and scam as much as their users will tolerate without leaving. A decrease in manipulation will usually cause a direct and immediate decrease in earnings.

The answer must be there in the focus of the self. If people can change their motivations to focus on helping society and on doing good, in theory they themselves will actually feel better than if they focus on themselves and on greed.

The only other answer I have is to shame compaies when they scam. There have been successful petitions on change.org uring major tech companies to stop some specific scams and a few of these have worked in the past. Would anyone have any interest in a petition against Google to stop running ads that install toolbars which hijack people’s browsers?

1 Like

At the University of Hawaii and Iolani School, one of the state’s best private schools, tech people are at the top of the administration. I imagine this is true of many places in the U.S.

Where the humanities once guided the development of young people, technology now does. We will see if it does a better job of preparing students for what I would call The New Future. I use that term after seeing Chris Paine’s Do You Trust This Computer? (which can be viewed on YouTube).

1 Like

I would like to work on promoting design that leads to genuine happiness and well being.

6 Likes

Safety is the issue I’d like to work on first. (1) Smartphones & driving (except for emergency calls/texts, why not disable phones in moving vehicles?) (2) Help spread the word about recent NIH studies: "Little is known about potential health effects of long-term exposure to cell phone radiofrequency radiation."

2 Likes