At Reset, we're conducting Open Calls because we want to help create an open, inclusive, and equitable global society in which knowledge is freely shared and limitless opportunities for innovation, replication, and growth exist.
In arriving at this vision of the future, we hope our Open Calls help ensure a world of:
Technology for good. In which the ability to address social challenges with technology-backed solutions is limited only by the bounds of societies' collective knowledge and expertise.
Unrestricted knowledge. In which knowledge is open because it is free for all to use, reuse, and redistribute - without burdensome legal, social, economic, or technological restrictions (removing longstanding barriers for those who have been historically excluded, underrepresented, or repressed).
Openness. In which open data, open content, open access, and open source are universal underlying structures supporting better policy, technology, markets, and social norms.
Free society. In which freedom of thought, expression, and speech (and without repressive surveillance capitalism) create limitless opportunities for innovation, replication, and growth.
Surveillance capitalism is the unilateral appropriation of society’s personal and behavioural information on a global scale, applied irresponsibly towards advancing machine intelligence products for profit. If you are new to the term, The Guardian's "The goal is to automate us: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism" (with founding Advisory Council member Shoshana Zuboff), is a terrific place to start.
We believe this practice, which is consistently being used to harm democracy across the globe, is the biggest threat to our vision of the future. The decision of "Big Tech" to rely on surveillance capitalism as its primary business model, coupled with an egregious lack of government oversight, has allowed the largest global information technology companies to serve as accessories to political misinformation campaigns that degrade democratic processes around the world.
Note: All successful Open Call applications will demonstrate how the proposed project is intended to address the perils posed by surveillance capitalism or one of the other interrelated obstacles discussed below.
In addition to the perils posed by surveillance capitalism, many other interrelated obstacles stand in the way of achieving our vision for a better future. The list below is representative of such of issues - and therefore the types of general project themes that would be relevant for Open Call applications. You should, however, feel free to apply even if your work addresses subjects that are not covered below (the list will necessarily evolve and be informed by what we learn in reviewing Open Calls applications).
The "Weaponised Digital Influence Machine" and rise of misinformation;
Government or corporate-sponsored manipulation of online discussions;
Increased technical attacks against government critics, journalists, and/or other public interest groups;
Flooding and suppression or outright censorship, and/or blocking of information;
Unaccountable repressive algorithmic bias and prediction markets;
Rising distrust of government and press;
The growing power of dark money;
Invisible data exploitation, extraction, and dark patterns;
Consolidation of critical technical infrastructure;
The lack of public education and awareness; and
Insufficient alternative viable virtuous business or sustainability models for competing technology companies.