Community Progress Update 004


A slightly shorter community update this time round. We’ve been continuing on with various workstreams but here are the highlights (TLDR;)

  • We created the first iteration of a submission form for community member to submit tools to the ethics tools and techniques directory. It is pretty basic but enables community submission to take place and for the tool directory to begin growing more organically.
  • We’ve created the format and basic infrastructure for community proposals. This enables big decisions that impact the direction of the organisation, its governance and technology to go through a community consultation process.
  • The first use of the community proposal format is out there. This is a proposal to transition Greater Than Learning to a platform co-op and was published late last week which you can check out here.
  • We’ve continued work on the Intro to the trust toolkit course with Hilary Sutcliffe which will go live in a few weeks. This free course distills insights from years of research done in the area of trust and trustworthiness.

Tools submission
This is the first iteration and has lots of room for improvement. It is only available to people in the community that have an account which is limiting. There’s some work to smooth out the process so data submitted easily maps to the data structure and automagically adds it to the directory. Baby steps. If anyone wants to help out on this please reach out. It’s a valuable resource for the whole ecosystem that we’d love to see stewarded. You can access the tools submission form here. Early discussions with the wonderful humans at Consequential means it also coincides with research they are doing with the Open Data Institute on this area. You can learn more about this research being done here.

Community proposals
We’ve created the format and basic infrastructure for community proposals. This enables big decisions that impact the direction of the organisation and technology to go through a community consultation process. These can be used to engage in more open, inclusive and democratic ways of shaping the direction of the platform. Proposals might be based on ideas that surface from forum discussions or community events. It could relate to proposals for major technology and platform architecture changes. Or for community projects that wish to use the community fund, which at this stage is nothing more than intention and concepts to govern it’s management. Wanna help out on this one, reach out 🙂

Transition to a platform co-op
This was a long time in the making. We had always intended to transition to a legal entity structure that was more aligned to our purpose, value and principles. I’ve spent 15+ years interested in community based governance and decentralised organisations, which has helped a lot. After a several weeks of exploring concrete options and the relative merits of them it was decided a platform cooperative would best align to what we’re trying to do. You can read more details in the proposal here. We’ve shortlisted some potential founding members and have kicked off preliminary discussions. This is exciting but also has come at a challenging time for us as founders. Our services business was enabling us to fund this platform. Due to some unfortunate events we decided to shut that business down. You can read more about that here in this medium article. While we are committed to giving what we’ve all started together our best shot we also need to keep our families fed and bills paid. Rest assured we’ll be fully engaged in the process of the coming month to see this through. Your help, input and support in shaping it all is really crucial. If you know people that believe we can make better, together…please share it with them.

Trust toolkit course
The final elements of this have been coming together and we’ll be doing some internal testing later next week. This course distills findings from almost three years’ work to understand the foundational concepts of trust and distrust. Led by Hilary Sutcliffe from SocietyInside and supported by the Greater Than Learning team we’ve got some practical ways to make this toolkit useful in your own context. It covers a way of exploring the scope of emotions and actions inherent in trust decisions. Approaches for reflection on the contributing factors to a trust decision and the starting point for those seeking to earn trust. Ways to help map your actions and reactions against those values and competencies which are important to trust. Plus a way to explore, ideally with your stakeholders, how you stack up in delivering on the 7 Signals of Trustworthiness.

What’s next?
The next month is focused on working through the current (and first community proposal). Along with this getting the Trust Toolkit course live. Yes some little bits and bobs in between but this is going to demand most of our time. Our time is also a little more constrained right now. Nathan and I decided to shut down our services business which was enabling us to continue to fund this platform. You can read more about that in this medium article. So as we begin looking for work as independent contractors to keep our families supported we’ll likely be juggling more plant based protein balls than usual.

Got questions, ideas or suggestions or messages of support. Maybe a funny joke…Reply here 🙂

If you have joined the community yet, now’s a good time. Sign up here.