Welcome reader, to the Humane Tech Community. We are involved in Humane Technology and we have a challenging, but exciting road ahead of us on our mission to “Promote Solutions that Improve Wellbeing, Freedom and Society”.
What we do and why
We live in a fast-paced world, where technological innovations are rolled out with ever increasing speed, leading us to a future where science fiction becomes reality. Science and technology have huge improvements in store for us, to how we may lead our daily lives. But not all promises becomes reality, and with this rapid technological change many unforeseen problems arise. Disruption - traditionally seen as something negative - has become the norm and quick success dictates that we should ‘move fast and break things’.
And things have been broken. All this rapid change has had great impact on our society. Look around you. What do you see? People absorbed in their smartphones.. Everywhere. Perusing their social networks - where their friends are. Having user profiles that are not really them, but fake reflections on how they want to be seen, and behind which they can hide their true identities, their vulnerabilities and real feelings. Social erosion is spreading as the digital world eats away our actual reality.
We all know this to a certain extent, yet we let it happen. We let ourselves get driven further into this digital dreamscape that is evolving. Have it absorb more of our lives. We can’t help ourselves. We cannot resist the temptation, the lure. The reason behind this is, that our minds - having evolved slowly over aeons - are truly hacked by new technologies that hijack your attention. They are tuned on purpose by clever scientists and experts who were tasked to keep us online for as long as possible.
Surveillance capitalism - as this phenomenon is now known - is gaining strength, stripping us of privacy and freedoms. If not actively resisted and replaced with something better - offering a brighter blueprint of our future - it will inevitable give rise to things more dangerous and lasting: Technological dystopia ensues.
Our community helps fight these and many other Harms of Technology. We strive for technology that serves humanity, in ways that are beneficial to us all: We are on the quest for Humane Technology. Our vision is to have “Ubiquitous Humane Technology that Allows Humans to Flourish and Humanity to Thrive”.
We focus on solutions
Humane Technology is a vast, largely undiscovered field of knowledge. While we acknowledge the harms that come with new technology, and which define the need for technology to become more ‘humane’, our community takes the unique position of solely focusing on the solutions - most of whom already exist - to these harms. Where so many other communities and institutions - involved with improving technology - are focused on the problems, we take an optimistic approach to the future, and go ahead with positivity to investigate how technology can be changed to improve people’s lives.
We have defined a model for that, called The Pyramids of Humane Technology and we envision that Humane Technology - once it become ubiquitous - leads to Human Flourishing. The pyramids model divides in three different focus areas: Wellbeing, Freedom and Society. And a fourth focus area - that of Technology Alignment - binds these three together. Each focus area is represented by a pyramid that - when taken together - forms a fifth pyramid: The Pyramid of Human Flourishing.
The levels of the pyramids as shown above are very similar to a Maslow Pyramid of Needs, where each next level is reinforced by the ones below. The sweet spots - that what we strive to attain - can be found in the top of each pyramid.
Do you want to help fill in this model, to refine the pyramids framework? Or in more prozaic terms: Do you want to fill the hidden pyramid chambers with treasures of Humane Technology? Then become a member and join our forum. Be a Builder Help Improve Wellbeing, Freedom and Society!
How we started
We were founded by the non-profit Center for Humane Technology (or CHT). The CHT was erected in February 2018 by a team of deeply concerned former tech insiders led by Tristan Harris - former Design Ethicist at Google. At that same time our Community Forum was created as a place to discuss the many harms of technology that ail people and society. Many interesting discussions were held since that day, involving a broad spectrum of problems and their solutions.
We existed, however, merely as a discussion forum at first. But that changed in the course of 2018 when we repositioned ourselves as the independently operating Humane Tech Community, abbreviated HTC. The Humane Tech Community is still closely affiliated to CHT, but whereas CHT works from the top down, we are going from the bottom-up, as a true grassroots movement. Our community is inclusive and open to everyone and we work entirely in the public domain: “We work open, and lead open”.