With our newsletter, we're testing the grand vision of a healthier nonprofit business model for the internet in the smallest possible way. The model we invented can be described as the paywall flipped on its head:
- instead of paying for access to content, you can see all content for free, 🔎
- or choose to pay to see less but better content, curated by the community. 💎
- Importantly, your money is redistributed to everyone who helped in sourcing and curating the content, 💵 💫
- which makes it a circular model, independent of third-parties like advertisers, and gives all stakeholders a financial incentive to help create a healthier information environment. 💚
- This should work to counter polarization, misinformation, and hate, by creating a free, open alternative to the advertisement/engagement model. 💡
👉 But before we can fully test this model, we have to focus on building a library of high-quality content sent in by the community. That's why we're asking you to please send us links that sparked new understanding for you:
New members (+12) 🎊
This week, we're welcoming Nick, Duy, Stella, Goitse, Yves, Deborah, Daniel, Julian, Serena, and other new members. 🙌
✨ Sparks from you, the Sparkable Community! ✨
👁️ Sparked awareness: "This study highlights Americans' data privacy concerns and the urgent need for enhanced information design, digital literacy, and data agency." —Lusine Petrosyan
🧠 Sparked new understanding: "The term 'sustainable' is being abused and used too loosely, which makes the meaning of the word less significant." —Duy (Teddy) Tran, Finland 🇫🇮
💡 Sparked new insight: "This is one of the most insightful articles I've read this year. It discusses Africa's youth boom and it's challenges, but also how it will lead to exciting and transformative changes in the future. Super interesting!" —Unknown
🧠 Sparked new understanding: "Simon Sinek tells an intriguing story that highlights how leadership and culture brings out the best or worst in people." —Janna Curtis, 35, USA 🇺🇸
🙇🏽 Sparked inspiration: "A little motivation for anyone who is struggling to pursue their goals. It was also a good reminder that life is all about doing and actively seeking out all the experiences we've ever wanted, starting one tiny step at a time." —Apurva
Community Spotlight 🌟
In each edition, we highlight a Sparkable member or friend.
Peacebuilder and research associate at the Technical University of Darmstadt.
Laura is a research associate at Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC) at the Technical University of Darmstadt. Her research interest includes peace, conflict studies (e.g. the transnational Costa Rican solidarity movement in Nicaragua), and the use of technology in protest movements and conflicts. Laura worked as a freelancer for several NGOs, focusing on sustainability and justice, and has completed a training as a peace specialist at the Forum for Civil Peace Service (ZFD). Currently, she is part of the working group "Ethics and Safety", initiated by the Leibnitz Institute. Laura has lived in Germany 🇩🇪, Canada 🇨🇦, Dominican Republic 🇩🇴, Costa Rica 🇨🇷, and Spain 🇪🇸.
What's your biggest question at the moment?
It is hard to say, since a multitude of interconnected questions trouble my mind… What might the world look like if a universal recognition of our shared humanity and our common needs were widespread?
Who inspires you, and why?
I find my inspiration in the dedication of numerous individuals and collectives that are committed to the ongoing pursuit of justice, rather than singling out a sole source of inspiration.
Generally, human right defenders inspire me profoundly because they embody unwavering determination in their relentless pursuit of justice, human rights, and the aspiration to make the world a better place.
Their tireless efforts, often in the face of adversity and resistance, reflect a commitment to positive change.
Can you share examples of successful digital peacebuilding initiatives or strategies that have had a significant impact?
Considering my research focus on Colombia, I can only draw from the impressions I've gathered over the past two years. In Colombia, I've observed numerous inspiring examples of how ICTs are harnessed for peacebuilding. Various NGOs have pioneered the development of:
- podcasts (e.g. FIPCAST by "Fundación Ideas para la Paz"),
- applications for violence monitoring (e.g. Movilizatorio's Activa Buenaventura),
- and tools to detect escalating violence against specific groups by analyzing social media content (e.g. GlobalGiving's Xenophobia Barometer in Colombia).
They've also organized online meetings to facilitate dialogues between people from diverse regions who wish to talk about their concerns. In regions of Colombia with limited connectivity, innovative applications have been designed to partly operate offline. In some cases, even larger projects, such as the Colombian Truth Commission's digital platform Transmedia, have been preserved on CDs and distributed to communities with limited internet access. It's worth noting that these initiatives have far-reaching impacts that transcend the digital realm, as the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds are increasingly blurred.
Generally, I emphasize the significance of simplifying technology and tailoring it to the unique requirements of every individual. It's impractical to employ technology that people cannot use due to various factors, including limited connectivity or insufficient memory capacity.
Do you have any podcast recommendations?
FIPCAST, the podcast of Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP). It analyzes the challenges of peacebuilding in Colombia, the dynamics of conflict and violence, and more (in Spanish):
Read the full interview
Discover Laura's career advice, lessons learned, and insights on work-life balance. Plus, don't miss her thoughts on the intersection of peacebuilding and social justice, sustainability, and data security! 📖
See more featured community members
Meet other fascinating folks in responsible tech, digital rights, and peacebuilding, and get their valuable insights:
Aha moment 💡
"My biggest aha moment in life is when I realized that we as humans all want to be happy! It sounds simple but at our very core we want that — by whatever definition that is to each of us. Then I understood people more and accepted them just [like] that."
Sign up for Sparkable
The first community-curated newsletter designed to increase empathy and understanding 🌍✨
No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.