Community Progress Update 001

By MATHEW MYTKA

It’s been a productive few weeks. So here’s another progress update for the community.

Some of the highlights (TLDR;)

  • We launched a new primer course on operationalising data ethics. This course is based on the work we’ve done globally in this area and helps people to get started in moving beyond principles based approaches.
  • We’ve been working with community course creators to help them prepare to launch some new courses. This has helped to lay down the foundations for the course creation and publishing experience.
  • We begun creating back-end infrastructure for dynamic member generated content. This work will support everything from member curated directories to some of the experiences needed for community based governance.
  • Over the past few months we’ve been talking to lots of people about what we’re building. The why, what and how. This has led to some changes in how we will communicate the value proposition. Plus a pivot to our business model to focus more on bootstrapping community based governance.
  • Plus preparing for the launch of native mobile apps for iOS and Android. Bringing the community interactions and learning experiences more seamlessly into the palm of your hand. Launch of this is sometime in late April or early May. If you want to help out with testing, please reach out.

New primer course
We launched version 0 of this new primer course a few weeks ago and have been getting some great feedback. This course is based on the work we’ve done globally in the services business on this distinct area. The course is designed to be thought provoking and practical. To get people to think about moving beyond principles based approaches to data ethics and into the behaviour change required to operationalise common principles. If you haven’t checked it out and got started on it you can do so here.

Course creators
We’ve been collaborating with a few community members to help them get new courses up and running. These will be announced in next months update. These are not just any courses. They all align to the core focus designing for the qualities of trustworthiness. Covering areas like privacy and data protection, understanding trustworthiness and skills for compassionate and courageous leadership.

A bit of an insight into the courses we’ve been creating. For every hour of learning experience there is about 90-120hrs of work. From early analysis of learner needs, designing the curriculum and lesson activities, through to creating and editing the videos and implementing the learning experiences in the platform. This process is being refined and documented as we go. Working through course creation with other collaborators at the moment will lay the foundations for other community members to have loads of direction and support to create courses of their own.

Infrastructure for dynamic content
This is not exciting work at the back end. But what it enables is pretty powerful. Bringing the concepts of collaborate community challenges to life. Member curated directories of ethics tools. And much of the functionality to support community based governance. Things like transparent financial reporting on a community fund, social preferability testing, proposal submission and community voting and decision making. This is something we’ve been thinking about and planning for in various ways for a while. One upcoming example is a directory of tools to support ethical decision making. Everything from toolkits, card based games and canvases to data science tools and checklists. This initial list is being curated by the wonderful community member Gems and a PoC for this directory will be presented in a few weeks.

Value proposition and business model
We’ve been synthesising and reflecting on much of the feedback we’ve got on our platform propositions recently. How we communicate the vision, strategy and what is available right now. Much of the shift in this is about the unique differences of what we are doing, why and how. From the intention to have the platform governed by the community, where you all are stewards of the data generated and are co-creators of the way the technology will evolve. We’ve also decided to pivot to a “Pay What You Want” (PWYW) membership model. Along with paid and free courses. This change means that everyone that signed up for the initial beta will still get 12months free access to the platform and all courses we create over this period. The PWYW model of membership also means that membership can be accessed for very little cost (or nothing). In this model we’ve established some baseline monthly costs that need to be covered. Factoring in hosting infrastructure and maintenance and the average amount of time devoted to creating free learning experiences for the community. Member contributions that exceed this threshold (currently set at $5 per member per month) goes into a community fund. This fund will go towards initiatives proposed and voted on by the community. It lays the foundations to help realise the vision.

A community governed social learning platform and collective of ethical change makers redesigning organisations for positive social impact.

We’ll be unpacking this in an upcoming blog post in a few weeks. Alternatively you can join in on the Ask Us Anything session next week on the 11th of March. 

It also means that from the 15th of March onwards. Membership will be changed to the PWYW model and our primer courses will be paid courses. We’ll have some scheduled downtime on the 15th to implement the switch to this that has lots of moving parts. You’ll get an email letting you know when it’s all ready to roll.

Native mobile apps
We took up the offer from the WordPress Theme developer BuddyBoss to leverage their mobile app service. This is currently in the works but will mean that the mobile experience will be much better than the current web app. Courses can be done on run and features for interacting with the community more easily accessed seamlessly from your mobile. There is lots happening in the background in this and launch is likely in late April to early May. So there’ll be another update on this next month.

What’s next
The seed phase of the beta is almost done. We’re continually learning and are really excited to go on this journey with you.

We’ve got more courses in the core streams coming up. They are in the analysis stage and we’ll be aiming to collaborate more with you all in this whole course design process.

New course from course creators amongst the community, partnerships with education providers, a taxonomy for ecosystem micro-credentials for Trustworthiness by Design and a whole lot more.

The ethics tools directory PoC will be launched and open sourcing this work is a high priority. The mechanisms in which this is done may take some time.

There is a heap more we’ll cover in some blog articles over the next few weeks. As always, all your support and feedback has been really appreciated 🙏

Got any questions, ideas or suggestions. Reply here 🙂

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