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Learning in the open

This post is part of the Green Web Fellowship. Fellows are exploring the intersection of digital rights and climate justice; and are reflecting honestly on what they learn. More about the fellowship and the fellows.

New experience as a fellow

The other day I was having dinner with some friends, former biology classmates. 

And while I was telling them how happy I am to have been chosen for the Green Web Foundation fellowship, I noticed how they both were putting their smirks to tell me “you’re closing the circle”. 

I don’t quite remember who said it, but it fits pretty well the project I’m going to develop thanks to the fellowship.

Closing the circle 

The funny thing about the situation is that they had already heard years ago my numerous stories as a fellow while I was doing my doctoral thesis in neuroscience. Those were the days!

They also knew the story of my work reinvention, in which I went from working in a white coat in a lab to becoming a freelance WordPress developer and working from home in much more comfortable clothes. All motivated to live more in line with my life values.

And after telling them so many times how happy I was with the paradigm shift, there I was in front of them, eating a Pad Thai with a smile on my face celebrating that I had won a fellowship (again). 

At first glance it looked like I was back to square one, but nothing could be further from the truth. 

The fellowship

This fellowship is very different. To begin with, it has a duration of 10 months during which I have to dedicate 4 hours a week to the project, which allows me to keep the rest of my tasks as a freelancer and work remotely, as I have been doing so far.

In addition, it will allow me to carry out a project that I am really looking forward to. I’ll tell you more about it below. 

Another feature that I love about the fellowship is that the other 4 people chosen have a very different profile from mine and, besides being very nice (we had several meetings), they are going to develop very interesting projects. Being able to see up close how they develop them and having the opportunity to give and receive feedback is going to be a luxury, I’m sure. 

As if this were not enough, I also enjoy the accompaniment of 3 members of the foundation, which further enriches the experience.

Sustainability, WordPress and doughnut economics

Since I started to feel comfortable with my new profession (WordPress developer), I have been looking for ways to contribute to create a “better world”. Yes, I’m an idealist, I can’t help it. 

In particular, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to privacy and sustainability on the web. I love researching these topics and sharing everything I learn. In fact, I’ve been doing so for the past few years in my blog, newsletter and podcast. I’ve also given talks on web sustainability at WordPress events (such as WordCamps and Meetups).

In particular, there were a couple of workshops that opened my eyes and gave me an even more global and holistic view on the topic. One of them was The Digital Collage and the other was the workshop given by Hannah Smith, in which she applied the doughnut economics model to the digital world. In fact, that was the project she did with the Green Web Foundation fellowship last year and the one that inspired the idea for my project.

On the other hand, I’m quite active in the WordPress community. Specifically, I recently participated, along with other colleagues, in preparing a post to launch the WordPress sustainability initiative. Since then we have established regular meetings in which we work to make WordPress a more sustainable project.

The Project

With all of the above, you can already imagine the kind of project I’m going to develop with this fellowship, right?

Roughly speaking, it will focus on raising awareness of digital sustainability and climate justice among the WordPress community and its users.

As the idea is to tell you in this blog how the project is evolving, I don’t want to bore you in this first post. 

But to give you a bit more background, I’ll tell you that the starting point is to adapt the philosophy of the doughnut economics to the WordPress ecosystem (CMS, events, usage…), with the aim not only to raise awareness, but also to start a holistic debate about sustainability (i.e. decarbonization vs sustainability) and what actions we can take to improve the situation. 

The ultimate goal of the project is to create a workshop that would be held at WordPress events (WordCamps, Meetups and more).

And here the idea of “closing the circle” takes on a double meaning, because the project is going to be based on the doughnut economics model. I’ll tell you what implications this has in the next post. 

Speaking of circles, next Thursday March 23 I will be as a facilitator in a MozFest workshop in which we will talk about how to use the philosophy of the doughnut economics in the digital world

A new experience

20 years later, I start a new stage as fellow with the illusion of the first day and a clear goal: to contribute to create a better world. Will you join me on the way?

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