At Aspiration, we strive to apply community organizing principles to all the work we do. In practice, this means the principles that guide our greater mission should be embedded into internal organizational processes. For example: how does one approach website design or event facilitation with a frame of inclusion and collaboration? In the case of online communications: how can the principles that guide face-to-face organizing be applied to the digital realm?
At the Allied Media Conference in June, we were given space to host a workshop that explored these ideas. Titled "How to do Online Communications as an Organizer", this session asked participants to think about how their on-the-ground experiences could be applied to communications tactics. We shared some planning templates (Publishing Matrix!) in the process, but ultimately, participants led the exploration and found their own ways to apply their knowledge.
For a long time, it wasn't possible to include everyone's voice in planning or decision-making without impossibly large amounts of time. There was no way to listen, at scale. So aggregation and centralization became common, especially in times of urgency, even with the troubles these tend to cause.
But now, with the technologies we have, we can *listen*, in high resolution and in high fidelity. But technology isn't a silver bullet. We also need the political will and the personal values to make that happen. With Aspiration's new Digital Humanitarian Response program, we get to support some of the rad people willing and able to make these movements happen. In May, we hosted the Humanitarian Technology Festival at MIT. The Digital Response Wiki provides resources and notes, and here are some top-level highlights from the event:
We are excited to introduce Beatrice Martini, our new team member and Human Rights Technology Lead. Originally from Italy, Beatrice now lives in Berlin, Germany and will work from overseas to drive capacity building efforts with human rights-oriented NGOs from around the world.
We are looking forward to having her at the helm of this multi-dimensional program, which will involve articulating technology practices, facilitating digital security literacy, and the pursuit of a shared language among stakeholders in the human rights technology ecosystem.