Introducing the Green Web Fellowship

I’ve been advising the Green Web Foundation on a new fellowship program. Below is a cross-post of what the program sets out to achieve. You can read more about the amazing fellows: Hannah Smith , Emilio Velis, Fieke Jansen, Melissa Hsiung , and Slammer Musuta on the project’s blog as well.

The Green Web Foundation is convening a new fellowship program to explore how to advance climate justice among internet practitioners. 

The fellows and the program are aligned in the beliefs that:

  • The internet is a global, public resource that should serve our collective liberation and ecological sustainability. 
  • We must go beyond tech solutionism and towards intersectional climate justice work. 
  • There is no “right way” to learn about and address these issues. Instead, we embrace vulnerability and care while committing to transforming ourselves and our field. 
  • Openness is a strategy to shift power. 
  • We will learn better by learning together and from a wide, diverse set of voices. 

We are embarking on this program so that we and other Internet practitioners can better connect sustainability to root causes and inequities experienced at different intersections—gender, race, class, ability, and so on. We acknowledge that these issues require many voices, and that our work will inevitably be incomplete, yet we believe it is an essential first step.   

With this transformation in our practice, we hope to take more effective and collective action towards climate justice and a more sustainable and just internet.

Goals: Year 1

A. Explore the narratives. We want to explore compelling narratives that link responsible Internet practice with climate justice. This narrative is an important step to better defining the issues, identifying the most impactful interventions and galvanizing partners. The narrative could include ideas such as: 

  • transparency and accountability
  • openness as a method and practice
  • intersectional approaches to climate justice as a core competency for practitioners
  • climate responsibility and climate response
  • shifting aesthetics and technical ideals

B. Understand the skills and characteristics. Building on our own experience and learning arcs, as well as in conversation with our communities and each other, we will map the skills and characteristics that might describe climate justice as a core competency. This may include: 

  • self-assessment tools for internet practitioners to understand their climate journeys 
  • learning activities that transform internet practitioners’ understanding and behavior
  • reflecting on our own transformations 

C. Teach it forward. We will begin by transforming our own practices and behaviors with the aspiration to connect with others who also dream of a sustainable & just internet. We may pursue this by:

  • cultivating networks of trainers and learners who are building, teaching and testing these activities along with us 
  • establishing shared vocabulary and concepts that resonate beyond our circles 
  • creating & openly publishing resources or syllabi so others can build on and use these approaches.

We, the fellows and the program team, set out to work in good faith and in the spirit of open partnership as equal stakeholders. Supports for the program include: stipends and project budget, peer support, and collaborative communications about what we’re learning and doing.

Thank you to the Internet Society Foundation and their support for this work through their research program.

Learning More

Over the coming weeks, fellows will post updates on their projects and reflections as we develop these narratives and resources together.

You can subscribe to the web feed with a feed reader, join the newsletter, or follow the work on Twitter at @greenwebfound.

Image credit: WOCinTech Chat, CC BY 2.0

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