It's great to see several big foundations recognizing that digital infrastructure is now fundamental to civil society. Check out the #NetGainChallenge for several ideas about what we need to ensure that independent private action for public benefit continues to thrive in the digital age. Here's how leaders of five major US Foundations describe the challenge we face:
"In the digital age, it’s essential that the principles that brought us here, of equal access to economic opportunity and civic life, be maintained and preserved."Ideas for public good software, independent online meeting spaces (not owned by business or surveilled by governments), new forms of philanthropy from the digital wealthy, universal access, new behaviors by existing foundations - you can find all these and more.
We've added ideas from the Digital Civil Society Lab - namely the need for Three Kinds of Code that protect the values and ethics of civil society - new software code, organizational code, and (likely) legal code (or regulations).
We need to engage civil society in internet/wireless/cybersecurity policy debates and connect those debates to the values and needs of civil society. This requires inviting new policy actors to the nonprofit and philanthropy policy tables and getting philanthropy and civil society to show up at the digital policy discussions.
A live gathering is happening today in New York City - livestream is here. Website to vote on ideas is here.