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[liberationtech] We want your opinion: What's Liberationtech's key differentiator?

Yosem Companys ycompanys at gmail.com
Tue Nov 20 10:29:00 PST 2018


Hey all,

As you might know, Stanford University is in the process of spinning off
the Program on Liberation Technology as an independent organization.

A while ago, someone on the list asked the following question:

   - What's Liberationtech's key differentiator vis-a-vis other
   organizations in the space?
      - In other words, why does the world need another Liberationtech-type
      organization?
      - Why not just have an existing organization subsume Liberationtech?

For perspective, when Liberationtech started in the mid-2000s, it was one
of the few academic programs that researched, designed, and used
technologies for social good. Over time, the program tilted more toward
becoming a community advocating what I'd call grassroots cybersecurity and
Internet privacy.

Since the mid-2000s, a myriad of new organizations have found their niche
in the Liberationtech space, some of which were borne out of discussions on
our mailing list.

As we approach 2020, the question becomes the following:

   - What niche would an independent Liberationtech serve that is not
   currently served by other organizations?

A different way of stating the question would be the following:

   - What needs are still not being met by organizations in the space that
   could be met by Liberationtech?

As I researched the answer to the above question, I may have stumbled upon
a potential answer:

   - Liberationtech could become the clearinghouse or information
   repository of all the people, organizations, call for papers, jobs, and so
   on in the tech-for-social-good space.

Or is there an organization that's already doing that?

Unprompted, others had proposed that Liberationtech serve as an incubator
of tech projects for social good.

We want to know, what do you think? Besides serving as a mailing list, what
else could an independent Liberationtech do to enhance the space as we
enter the 2020s?

We look forward to your feedback, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks,
Yosem (and Gonzalo)
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