We have a dream here at the NetHui organising team - to transform the NetHui experience into a journey that goes beyond the event dates.
In fact, we already took the first step in this direction when we fundraised $570 for the KidsCan charity during the early bird tickets sale. We donated it on behalf of the NetHui whānau. Thanks a lot for supporting us with this idea!
We thought about the ‘journey, not a destination’ for a few months now, and we feel like it is time to share our ideas with you.
NetHui is and always was about great discussions. However, every year we got ‘what happens next, what shall we do with all this information’ feedback. So you said, and we listened, and this year we decided to have a traditional NetHui with a major twist - we are taking action.
Also, NetHui is and always was about choice and freedom to participate as much or as little you are comfortable with. So we suggest all sorts of possible NetHui Actions - from small steps you can take on your own in less than an hour, to bigger steps like joining a working group and keep solving a problem after NetHui and possibly having support from InternetNZ in doing that.
What’s the main goal? It is… surprise … to ensure safety, inclusion and wellbeing on the open Internet - for you, your friends and whānau, your workmates and all New Zealanders.
NetHui Action Plan
If you have a look at the NetHui programme, you will see Action Plan sessions each day. What are they about?
We will write down potential actions steps after each discussion. We’ll meet together during Action Plan sessions to discuss it further, to sum up the ideas we came up with. Our hope is that by the end of Day two, we will have a list of specific goals to work on as groups of like-minded people, passionate about the Internet.
It can be, for example, ‘work with NZ universities to make sure they teach the right technology that can help to solve current challenges’. It can be anything else, as big or as modest as we all agreed on.
Just imagine - what if we host a series of quarterly meetings after the NetHui - to work on Action Plan steps? All it takes is a meeting room with a whiteboard and maybe some pizza or cookies. Together, we can take real action to protect the Internet and face the challenges as a community, and work on the solutions.
This is a meetup format, and in fact, it can be a NetHui between-events meetup group. People outside of Wellington can do the same - meet regularly and work on a problem together. Often all is needed is to ask your employer for permission to use a meeting room after hours. If people meet and talk about encryption for example, or develop a safety policy on using work phones and laptops on travels and conferences, their employers would probably be happy to offer a room and maybe drinks and nibbles.
We hope these working groups all over New Zealand can become real guardians of the Aotearoa Internet’s integrity, openness and safety.
What if you don’t want to join the working group, but still want to take action? We invite you to participate in our NetHui Commits challenge. Commits are tiny, small or medium actions you can work on in between sessions, or after the NetHui.
Commits are best practice things to do, relatively easy to achieve, and they will improve the situation quickly.
For example, I commit myself to use secure passwords app and to have a better password than Kanye West’s 000000.
Physically, Commits are cards, similar to business cards - with links to the step-by-step tutorials and recommendations. You can finish one, two or more NetHui Commits, can grab spare cards and share them with friends, family and colleagues, leave them in your library, co-working space or office.
And you can share them on Twitter, and challenge your followers to do the same. It’s like the Ice Bucket Challenge, only Commits Challenge. And with every commit done, someone’s Internet experience will be more secure, safer and more pleasant.
Our Action Plan dream won’t become a reality without you. We are so looking forward to meeting you at the NetHui 2019 in Wellington on 3-4 October, and we can not wait to transform our discussions into actions!
Grab your ticket now, book your accommodation ASAP if you need the room in Welly, come to Te Papa, and let’s change the world together!
A blog post by Maria Skatova, Communications Advisor at InternetNZ