Community Progress Update 006

By MATHEW MYTKA

Hi folks,

I want to touch on a few areas of progress from the past month but also be open and vulnerable as to where my head and heart is at.

First up some areas of progress…

Redesigning the current site
I’ve been rethinking the current site, and what’s communicated and presented. I’ve been looking to simplify the pages and information and have started on a new site map and set of wireframes. Redesigning the Data Protection Notice and Relationship Agreement, and the signup process is all part of this. This is a slow process but it is moving. I’ll aim to have something tangible for community member input in the next update.

Intro course on trust
This wonderful intro course from Hilary has been live for several weeks and the general feedback has been positive. Hilary and I are now figuring out how we create a more actionable and usable toolkit. We’ll aim to make this creative commons licensed for people to use, learn from and build upon. If you want to get involved join this group and share a message in the group feed.

Formalising a strategy
I have been doing more thinking on what this next version of the platform should be and how to get there. So I’ve started formally documenting a strategy for the transition to a platform cooperative. I want it to be reasonably comprehensive but also want to incorporate your perspectives in this as well. Given this I’ve to extended the exploratory phase of the proposal until September. This gives us ample time to work through the detail and give all community members an opportunity to contribute. I’ll circulate the first draft when it is done.

Crowdsourcing a curriculum
I’ll also be kicking off a workstream to crowdsource a curriculum for a more extensive course on ethics of digital technologies. If you want to join in on this please just reply to this email with a simple message. Something like “I’m up for crowdsourcing a curriculum” is ok.

Twitter spaces session
I have a twitter spaces session taking place this Friday with the focal theme on the challenges of teaching tech ethics. I’m co-hosting this with the wonderful Katina Michael, a powerhouse in this field and professor at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society. You can check out more about that here on linkedin.

Now a more personal message…

Head and Heart
As many of you would know by now I am working on this solo. Devoting about 1 day a week while working to keep the bills paid. So where is my heart and head at here? Well, I have been struggling. I feel alone. Many days I wake feeling demoralised and want to give up. I feel overwhelmed with the changes that need to be made and the effort required. There’s a confluence of factors influencing this, not least the state of the world but also a sense of doubt that I can maintain momentum. I feel afraid I will fail you. That I will fail all the community members that have joined in on this journey. I also feel responsible to continue what we started and evolve it. Albeit, much slower than I would like. I also realise I am not on this journey alone. There are people like you that support me. That have provided messages of encouragement, time and energy. People that have offered help and input. People that care.

I think there is an opportunity to create something positively impactful. I see the signals in the market. The topics of trustworthiness, designing ethical technology and creating purpose driven businesses have increased in frequency. While at the same time I acknowledge the approach that has been taken with the platform so far has been less than ideal. Partnerships at the outset that never materialised, anticipation of which influenced the direction. Overly ambitious approaches that are now impossible to realise with the time I can currently devote. A complicated proposition and experience that is proving challenging to redesign. So I am faced regularly with these feelings and thoughts, but I continue on.

I can see a path in my minds eye. I feel the joy when I spend time working on this. Why? Because I feel there are community members that support this direction. Because I know the market is ready and the platform can evolve to serve it. Because I know the mission matters.

Thanks for all your support!

With ❤️

Mat

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