Let’s kick this off by getting something out of the way. Contracts suck. They’re long, incomprehensible and haven’t been ‘designed’ to actually help you.
We want to change that. In fact, it’s the very reason we created Better Disclosure.
We believe that Better Disclosure is possible. We believe that Better Disclosure results in better relationships. We believe that Better Disclosure has the potential to positively impact society by eating away at systemic information asymmetry and the power imbalances that it creates and reinforces.
So, this is not a Terms and Conditions the way you’ve traditionally experienced it. This is our Relationship Agreement.
When we refer to “Us”, “Our” in this document we mean Fiducio Systems Pty Ltd trading as ‘Greater Than Learning’. This is the company that powers the Greater Than Learning Platform. When we refer to “You”, “Your” we mean you as a website visitor, customer and/or community member.
Why We Exist and What We Stand For
Greater Than Learning exists to help people designing products and services close the ethical intent to action gap. This is how we start #MakingBetterTogether
Although we have many, our four community values are what matter most right here and right now.
Connection is about connecting as people. It’s about meaningfully connecting with technology. It’s about sharing ideas and supporting one another through the challenges we might face as we seek to design a better world.
Collaboration is about designing for ethical change, together. It’s about learning together, supporting one another and finding ways to do more as a collective unit.
We often think we’re committed, but are we? We believe that true commitment is powerful, particularly when the commitment is shared by many. For all of us to leave the world in better shape than when we entered it, we need to commit to doing stuff that matters on a daily basis. And we need to stick at it, even when the going gets tough.
All too often people and institutions seem unwilling to own to the consequences of their actions. They play the blame game and rely on spin. That’s not what we value. Once we’re connected, we collaborate. Once we collaboratively define what we should be doing, we commit to the process. Once the process produces real life outcomes, we own the consequences – positive and negative – of our actions. We take it in our stride, we respond, we learn and we grow together.
For today, there’s only one principle that matters; Preference is >Acceptance.
What do we mean by this?
Well, if we assume that ethics is the process of making a decision that best aligns to our purpose, values and principles (as The Ethics Centre proposes), then ethics is process driven. It’s about optimising for the most socially preferable outcomes. It’s not about justifying social acceptance or what we can get away with.
This – an intense focus on social preferability – is our north star. It helps us define what we should and shouldn’t do. It’s the way we go about determining right from wrong.
It’s important to note that we don’t make these decisions in a silo. We execute social preferability testing. We involve you, our community, in the process.
Designing Our Relationship
What we’re doing right now is entering into a new relationship. There are lots of different things that might encourage you to join this community. Regardless of your motivation, what we are trying to achieve as a group of values aligned people cannot be achieved unless we connect, collaborate, commit and own consequences. This means we all have roles and responsibilities.
There are things the community overwhelmingly supports. This is the stuff we and/or you “can” do.
There are things the community does not support. These are the things we and/or you “can’t” do.
Now let’s break these down…
Roles and Responsibilities
As a Service Provider
Our responsibility is to design a service that meets the needs of our community members. It’s also our responsibility to own the consequences of our actions.
Collect and process personal data to help deliver this service to you. Full details of these activities are documented in our Data Protection Notice.
Alter our pricing for paid memberships and/or courses to meet market, community and business needs
Select a new technology vendor to support minor feature and functionally enhancement
Restructure our business to enable us to adapt to changing market conditions. This will be done in a highly participatory manner. You’ll learn about our intent to act – and have the opportunity to contribute – before the action takes place
Support community growth and diversity through external funding sources. These parties will be vetted by the community to ensure they are values aligned
Issue you a refund for a course you enrolled in (as part of the learning marketplace) but have not yet started.
Change major infrastructure including our Content Management System, Learning Management System, Product Analytics or Hosting Provider without doing a social preferability experiment with at least 10 randomly chosen community members
Change the pricing for membership and/or courses after you have paid and then charge you
Use a technology vendor that has been deemed as socially unacceptable (less than 4 on the social preferability scale we use)
Confirm and secure external investment without discussing this openly with our community members and doing social preferability testing
Refund a payment you’ve made for a course (as part of the learning marketplace) that you have already started
As a Community Facilitator
Our responsibility is to help to uphold our community values.
Provide feedback to community members when they share their progress
Suspend your membership in the community if:
you repeatedly contradict the community guidelines through your actions
you behave in an offensive manner to any community member or one of our staff
Issue you with a warning that you are breaking our community guidelines by:
Sending an explicit warning to your registered email within 36hrs of us observing, or being informed of your actions
Suspend your membership without warning
Give you immediate feedback on course progress. We have lives too
As a Course Creator
Our responsibility is to create course content and learning experiences that help community members expand their knowledge, improve their skills and make the world a little better as a result.
Work our butts off to produce high quality learning experiences
Reference external sources of empirical evidence in our work to demonstrate its relevance and validity. However, we will not provide links to this external content as we cannot control the data protection practices of the external party
Update our course content as new empirical research is becomes available
Knowingly publish course content that has been proven to be ineffective in achieving the outcomes proposed
If we have, and you make us aware of it for the first time, we will update course the course content
Be across every possible aspect of research that has been done in the subjects and fields we cover in our courses. We are flawed homo sapiens. But we are willing to learn, evolve and attempt to better ourselves
As a community member
Your responsibility is to commit to the learning journey and engage thoughtfully with the experience.
Connect with other community members, build relationships with those members and collaborate on projects together
Share your thoughts and ideas openly about how to improve our service, courses, learning experiences, and overall platform
Take what you’ve learned and put it to the test in your own business or personal projects. In fact, this is what we really want people to do
Expect us to refund your membership payment after you 14 day trial. You are, however, able to downgrade or cancel your membership at any time
Use the community as a way to market and sell your services unless people explicitly ask you to
Be abusive to other community members
Invite people via built-in platform features that you believe might knowingly try to undermine our community values
Take models, methods and tools you learn from content creators and claim them as your own for commercial purposes. There’s a bit more on this in the Intellectual Property and Copyrights section below
As a Website Visitor
Your responsibility when browsing our publicly available website content is to learn more about our services and community, and decide if you want to join us on this journey.
Choose to not be tracked by analytics technologies. This is achieved by doing nothing or saying “no” to our cookie consent notice (tracking is off by default)
Browse our website and learn about what our platform offers
Share links to our website with your peers via a method of your choosing. In fact, we’d love you to
Duplicate our website content and claim it as your own
Try to engage in malicious behaviour to compromise the security of our website with the intent to harm our business, customers or community members
Let’s put it bluntly, if you’re acting like a [email protected]#!wit, you’ll get kicked out. The rule of thumb here is simple, do what is preferable and follow our community guidelines. On the flip-side, if you think we are acting in misalignment to our purpose, values and principles, call us on it.
Let’s keep going and discuss a few specific areas.
Our Value Model
This is something we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. It’s a journey and we’ve only just begun. We’re effectively seeding a model we believe is preferable. Our community governance and participatory design will help evolve it. We’re opting for a early value model that has two key components: 1. Trust based pricing for membership: Call this Pay What You Want or Pay For What You Value. It means we share information about how the platform operates and what it costs to help guide your decision. But the actual decision is completely up to you. Pay $1 per month or $100. Your choice. A little clarification on this before the second component. Everything up to about $5 per month, per member helps fund for platform costs (not wages etc. just core platform costs). From there, the ‘margin’ goes into a community fund. We report on this fund monthly. The fund is used to help make community directed investments into key areas of innovation or optimisation. This is one of many ways we’re trying to make community governance more than a feel good statement. 2. One off or ‘bundled’ course fees: Within our learning marketplace you can pay for courses, individually or in a bundle (future, right now it’s just individual courses). You pay for the course once and you get access to the learning experience for the entire duration that your membership is active. The credentials you earn completing the course, supporting other community members and genuinely contributing value stay with you forever (well, for a bloody long time anyway). 2(a). Revenue sharing with course creators: We unbundled this (pun intended) because it’s sort of related and sort of seperate. All we mean here is that when a course creator creates, publishes and makes money from people buying their course, we share a portion of the revenue they generate. As with all of this, we expect things will change and evolve for the better. We’re excited to go on that journey with you and the rest of the community. That’s it for now.
We hope this goes without saying, but we will never sell your data. Your individual agency and right to privacy is not just important to us, it is critical to everything we believe. For the sake of brevity, see our Data Protection Notice.
Intellectual Property and Copyrights
Here’s the simplest way to explain it. We have content we created for the specific purpose of helping people learn. This content is owned by us and/or our partners. Basically, don’t try to copy it and claim it as your own.
As part of engaging in learning experiences you will also create content. This is in the form of community discussion and community challenges.
This Platform is designed to get you to share your ideas, thoughts, experiences and concepts with your peers in the community. This is your content, you own it, simple. As part of being a community member, you are also granting us the right to use the content you publish on our platform for the benefit of other members.
We will never use your content outside of the Platform without your written permission.
When you sign up and become a member, your rights are protected under whatever Consumer Protection Law is relevant to your jurisdiction.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of regulators that can help you if you feel we can’t.
Right now we operate as a Proprietary Limited company governed by the laws of the state of Queensland, Australia. The thing is, for this type of ‘entity’, we’re doing this differently. We’re operating more like a B-Corp or Social Enterprise. It’s actually our intent to transition away from this traditional corporate structure towards a more modern structure that’s better aligned to our values and fit for our shared purposes as a community. This is referenced in our public roadmap.
Once we kick start this transition, our community will be asked to participate in Social Preferability testing. This will help us work together to define a governance structure that really works for all stakeholders.
Watch this space. Or don’t. You can always get back to learning 😜
Due to the current state of our world, we need to put something in here about this. It’s shitty and we hope it will change over time. But for now, here it is:
1. This is a learning platform
It’s designed to help you acquire new knowledge and practise new skills, all within a welcoming and vibrant social environment. If you take what you’ve learned, apply it, and something bad happens (like your customers leave because of it), we aren’t liable. You have to own the consequence of your actions and the resulting outcome.
2. Our platform will evolve
This is ‘normal’. It is also going to evolve in a participatory way with our community members’ involvement. It’s deliberate and it’s the only way we will keep learning and growing together. So, if you wake up one day and notice a change you didn’t expect or participate in, check out our Key Decision Log. This will help you understand what we did, why and how we did it.
3. We’re mere mortals
As above, this platform and our business will change. We cannot possibly anticipate every scenario. We are not celestial beings. We are homo sapiens who are unable to predict the future. This Relationship Agreement covers what we think is most important right now. If we’ve missed something, let us know.
If you got this far, thank you. It means a lot 🙂. We trust it helps you understand where we are now, where we’re going and why.