Thank you both, for your kind words @patm, and @anon51879794!
Caution: This warrants a thorough, long response, so please bear with me…
The topic that Georges brings up - a valid one - has been discussed many times since the creation of this forum, and unfortunately there has been little feedback and help from the founders to have the community reach its potential. Besides Tristan’s response to my enquiry we have had @randy’s June Community Update, introducing @Mamie to the community (who has done great work helping to reorganize the forum), and @lydialaurenson announcing The Ledger of Harms and her careful agreement on crowdsourcing it in the future (but unfortunately feedback on current version has not yet been addressed).
So, sporadic involvement from the CHT, but too little in general, which has led to frustration (including with me) and led to many people leaving the community (well, becoming inactive - just like me, last summer).
But now for the good parts
At the end of August I had a really good conference call with @Mamie, where she explained the position of the CHT core team. Summarizing:
After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the interest by press, tech corporations and even world leaders for the CHT literally exploded! As a result all priorities and strategies of the core team have changed since.
The core team is really just very small, with little funding. They are truly swamped in work with hundreds upon hundreds of requests coming to them on a regular basis.
At the strategic, top-down level where they are operating since, they are tremendously successful, literally sitting at the table with world leaders, being heard and listened to!
Knowing this helps in understanding (and forgiving) why they haven’t given the community due attention. After all, how would you prioritize with having all of this on your plate?
Then Mamie continued making some important statements that led me to reorganize the community in its current form (repeating from my Roadmap post in the Campaigners group):
"The Center for Humane Technology created this forum as a place for people to connect and share ideas related to the impact of technology on society. The CHT staff doesn’t manage this forum: it is driven by and for volunteers
“CHT Team members participate from time to time to share news and projects relevant to this community.”
“This is a place for concerned consumers and technology-makers to self-organize, as we all build a movement for creating more humane technology.” (emphasis mine)
A very important remark, that has led me to revamp the forum to align to the same four strategic pillars as the CHT, and with the Humane Tech Community (HTC) positioned as a subsidiary of the CHT, working as a grassroots movement from the bottom-up, towards the CHT whose approach is top-down (see the forum header).
This new Community position statement frees our hands, allowing us to organize our own initiatives, while taking the following to heart:
- We are a subsidiary of the CHT
- We can operate independently from the CHT
- We are fully aligned with the mission, vision and strategies of the CHT
- Our community will be an exemplar of Humane Technology
So we are a separate entity: The Community for Humane Technology (HTC) and have our own logo (see github). And I’ll act as custodian of mission, vision and brand for both CHT and HTC from the community side.
Following from this:
- All the basic community structures and organization, should be built by the community itself!
This includes methods, tools, guidelines, knowledge, brand, influence, and more. You can see how this is a humongous job, and, of course, I cannot - and will not - do all that by myself. I need help from you, and many, many others. Actually, the more people who join, the better. This community is crowdsourced entirely.
- Contributing to the community, and its projects, should be fun and rewarding
You can strive to take on any role in this community you want. Your dedication, perseverance and understanding of mission and vision, will ensure that you reap the subsequent rewards. You want to fight for Humane Tech, but also develop new skills, create a portfolio, become an influencer? You can! Just state your rewards when working together, and we’ll help each other attain them.
This community has the philosophy (which we will further refine), of:
Trust-first: If you state an ambition, we allow you to go for it, and facilitate you
Dedication: If you commit yourself to your ambition you can attain any role you want
Recognition: And that leads automatically to the community’s trust and acceptance of that role
Free choice: You are always free to step down again, or take on a different community role
Self-organization: If you step down, or become inactive, eventually someone else will take over
My dream is to unleash the full potential of this community and I’ve made that my mission + vision. You can do that too, and you can strive for any role and position in the community that aligns to your ambition and capabilities. Note that there should also be people who are able to replace my role, in case I cannot fulfill it any longer. It is the community’s strength that matters most.
- Our mission is "To align technology to humanity’s best interests"
This whole repositioning and community direction has the approvement of the core team, and I’ll make the exception now, and share the private response that @randy gave me on my recent progress report (I’m sure that he consents with that):
“Thank you Arnold for this update! It looks fantastic – I love what you’ve done, and very much appreciate the leadership role you’ve continued to take in the community.”
“I agree that this bottom-up approach will end up meeting the other work we’re doing at CHT, and the combo will be very powerful!.”
Now - finally - back to what this all means for cooperation between HTC and CHT:
- We develop our own initiatives
- We determine on a case-by-case basis what help is needed from the CHT
- Before making a request we make it as actionable as possible, requiring little to no time to act on it
Where I see an important cooperation initially, is in our Awareness Campaigns program, and specifically the Aware Prepare dogfooding campaign. We need the influence of the founders to help us in community building, to attract new members and project cooperators.
An example of some very easy action that CHT can help us with, is in the occasional community promotion. If @tristanh - who is a frequent Tweeter - is e.g. waiting in an airport lounge, a quick Tweet of his can do wonders to us, and costs him no time, if we prepare the message and make it a simple
copy / paste / send action for Tristan.
With all of this, I hope I have put your worries to rest and convinced you that we are on a great path. A journey to become an influential grassroots movement, that has dragged itsefl from the clay, and will prove that there is power in numbers. That humanity can self-organize when the need is there!
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PS. I’ll create an improved pinned topic about our community plans, but in the meantime you could refer people with similar questions to this post.