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[liberationtech] Former Pirate Party Leader Rick Falkvinge's 2012 Plans
companys at stanford.edu
Mon Jan 16 08:39:24 PST 2012
[image: Two builders looking at building plans; building skeleton in
My Plans For 2012
In 2011, I managed to transition from leader of a local Pirate Party to an
international voice on information policy and civil liberties matters.
These are my plans for 2012.
At the turn of the year, I precisely reached my last goal for 2011 — to
attain one million readers in direct readership. These are my goals for
*1. First, turn 40.* One week from now, on January 21, I’m turning 40.
There will be a bit of media around that and I’ll celebrate with friends in
the evening. This isn’t really a delivery as such – even though failing to
turn 40 years old would have a dramatic impact on my other deliveries of
the year, I can’t honestly say that’s a risk I’m anticipating. This is
what’s currently the most on my radar, naturally.
*2. Then, release the book Swarmwise.* I’ve been writing a book that
summarizes my leadership experiences from the Swedish Pirate Party – what I
did well, what I learned from mistakes, and how I would redo it today. In
short, the costs of organizing hundreds of thousands of people to push
public opinion have fallen dramatically, and this will more or less be an
ops manual for activist organizations and business alike in cutting-edge
leadership that changes the world on shoestring budgets. The target date
for text completion is March 31; I don’t know how long it takes from text
completion to general availability, but I can tell you that it will be free
to copy and seed, of course.
*3. Then, open up Activizr.* Those who have heard me discuss organization
and administration more informally have frequently heard me mentioning the
admin system of the Swedish Pirate Party, *PirateWeb*. We would absolutely
not have been able to pull this off without PirateWeb as a background
This code is in the process of rebranding and replatforming to run on
GNU/Linux, in order to open it up to other organizations that want to use
the techniques described in the book*Swarmwise*. In the process of writing
PirateWeb version 5, it is being renamed *Activizr* as to not repel
non-pirate activists. Where this system really shines is in three areas:
joining online with offline activism, abstracting tasks that detract from
activism, and decentralizing control. A quick bullet list of what it does *
- Manages members, activists, volunteers, and officers of the
organization. Access is decentralized, so officers in a city can only see
and manage the roster of that city.
- Fully geography-aware down to the municipal level, sometimes more.
Notifies officers in a certain area when members/activists appear there,
and sends personalized welcome mails from each appropriate level of the
- Communication to members/activists/officers (per area) and to the
press (per area or topic). The ability for local officers to send SMSes to
anonymous activists in a general area to gather flashmobs quickly is
- WordPress integration: Write press releases directly in your WordPress
blog and have Activizr mail them to reporters, per area and topic as
specified in WordPress. This enables and encourages much more people to
write press releases, particularly at the local level.
- Auto-creates mail addresses in the proper domain for every new officer
taking responsibility in the organization.
- Handles financial work flows — expensing from activists, donations,
receiving and sending invoices, complete with automated background
bookkeeping. Last year, the Swedish Pirate Party had about 20,000 lines of
bookkeeping — over 99.8% of them done on automatic by Activizr.
- Financial auditing down to scans of the individual document that was
used as basis for every cent leaving the organization, complete with who
uploaded them, approved them, and validated them.
- Budgets are arranged in a tree where budget owners attest expenses
from activists/members, which are repaid swiftly. Cash advances can also be
paid out and covered by uploading receipts later.
- Virtual banking: use one physical bank account but subdivide the means
internally across geographical suborganizations in virtual bank accounts
that they control individually. Leads to less spoilage in the physical bank
account compared to having dozens of physical accounts, most with very
small amounts in them.
- Connections to major banks and PayPal for auto-notification of
donations/payments as well as electronic imports of bank statements.
- Handles inbound paper mail: sends the scan to the correct recipient
and archives it.
There’s more, of course, like conference management with self-signup and
automated summaries and invoices, but this list will do to give you an idea
of the general system as it looks today.
Currently, I’m working with removing all the things that are hardcoded for
the Swedish Pirate Party and making them customizable per organization, at
the same time as I move the entire codebase to a Debian package. Quite a
bit of work, really. I expect this to open up for sandbox testing some time
in late summer.
I know a lot of people haven’t gotten a good response from me about when
PirateWeb would be ready for outside use, and I apologize for having been
less than transparent with my plans before. Future plans for expansion
include handling inbound mail, too, and quite likely bitcoin integration.
*4. Kick off a new global activist organization.* There’s one component
missing today in the global pirate ecosystem, and that is the international
organized think tank that keeps everybody aware across cultures and
borders. I see that I can fill this void successfully, and plan to do so in
early Q4 of 2012. As the battle for civil liberties goes down in Europe, a
tentative name would be “European Pirate Academy”. This depends on Activizr
being ready for external use and will use Swarmwise as ops manual. I aim
for 30,000 activists 12 months after kick-off, which would be enough of a
swarm to mark a presence anywhere.
Note that this activist org will be independent of the Pirate Parties, and
must be so in order for the ecosystem to work.
*5. Speak at at least 20 conferences in 2012.* In 2011, I could have three
to five conferences per month, which was admittedly quite heavy. Some two
per month on average is more manageable and still a high bar to reach.
Currently, I’m notably booked at two TEDx conferences, which I’m quite
excited about. I expect this will increase with release of the book*
Swarmwise*, as my range of topics will broaden considerably towards
business and leadership.
*6. Increase readership along the way.* At the end of 2012, I aim to have
increased my direct readership another fivefold, from one million to five
million. This requires a lot of diligent work in keeping explaining,
explaining, explaining the issues of information policy – work that I’m
already doing and will keep doing throughout the year.
Also, in contrast to these goals, I’ll probably fail completely in my new
year’s ambition to get into shape.
Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political
evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about
ideas of a sensible information policy. He is also a net activist, building
tunnels and tools whenever and wherever.
Book Falkvinge as speaker? <http://falkvinge.net/keynotes/>
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