Newspeak House is an independent residential college founded in 2015 to study, nurture and inspire emerging communities of practice across civil society and the public sector in the UK. find out more
We have survived the pandemic. It’s amazing to see you all again. However, we are not out of the woods yet. The last few years have been disastrous for independent spaces. Many have closed their doors forever, and times are still tough. If there was ever a time to become a member, it is now. The pandemic has wiped out our reserves, restricting our core activities and putting us at risk of closing. If you want to make sure your community can continue to benefit from the facilities at Newspeak House, please consider joining as a member.
There has been a lot of chaos. Please bear with us while we find our feet again. We might be a bit slow at replying to emails. Our event programme may be a little sparse, while communities that have been dormant wake themselves up. In the meantime, we have been making ambitious plans:
To increase our resilience as an institution and grow our impact, we are planning to open additional campuses under the umbrella brand of “The London College of Political Technology”. They will form a federated network of spaces, each hosting their own residential programme and sharing a common curriculum. Nothing is certain in a pandemic, but if all goes well, we intend to launch our first new campus in 2024.
As part of this initiative, we are delighted to welcome two new members of our faculty, both leading experts on founding experimental spaces:
Dr Zarinah Agnew
[email protected] • zarinahagnew.com • @zarinahagnew
Zarinah is a neuroscientist by training. After spending over a decade in academia, they left to study the science of groups of brains - that is, humans in collectivity.
Alongside their work with the college, Zarinah runs three nonprofits aimed at experimental aspects of society, collective transformation and para-institutions. The Social Science Observatory is dedicated to the study of social science in the wild, Alternative Justices works towards abolitionist community-based harm prevention and response, and District Commons engineers experimental spaces where humans can ‘be otherwise’. Together, these strands allow both the prefiguration of new social configurations, as well as the study of their transformational potential.
[email protected] • stephaniesherman.info • @detectiveyes
Stephanie is a design director, strategist, writer, and producer working across urbanism, technology, and culture.
She is director of the MA Narrative Environments program at Central Saint Martin’s, collaborates with The UC San Diego Center for Design and Geopolitics and Design Lab Automation Team, and the future of work thinktank Autonomy
She is co-founder of Elsewhere and Common Field , and has taught at Strelka Institute Moscow, Neon Foundation Athens, Sandberg Institute Amsterdam, Cambridge University, Bauhaus University Weimar, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Institut Hyperwerk Switzerland, and CCA San Francisco.
As we emerge from the pandemic, Newspeak House is looking to the future and how it can survive and thrive for many more years to come. A part of this is seeking constructive criticism from the communities it serves.
We understand that it can feel hard to give direct feedback, even anonymously, but we really hope that you will, as we genuinely wish to learn and improve, as well as adapt to a world that has changed significantly. We will do our best to take heed from any criticisms, wishes and visions that are shared with us.
Give us your feedback
2022 Residential Programme: Apply Now!
We are seeking candidates for the next cohort of our residential programme, starting in October. Please share this with your communities and encourage others to apply. Expressions of interest are now open, and applying is quick and easy. The deadline is end of July.
The course is designed to support mid-career technologists gain a deep understanding of the landscape of political, civic, non-profit and public sector organisations in the UK, in order to found groundbreaking new projects or seek strategic positions in key institutions. find out more
Students are now faced with higher living costs than ever before, and our bursary fund was obliterated by the pandemic. This prevents deserving candidates from applying to the course, or being able to focus on their studies. We’re absolutely awed that some community members have generously stepped forwards to offer scholarships, the first we’ve ever had.
Newspeak House is still a young, scrappy institution, and it’s a great honour for our work to be recognised in this way. We know that these scholarships will be life-changing to the recipients, and that they will go on to have great impact in their future work. Read on to find out who pledged these scholarships, and also for information on how you can join them. find out more
As part of our research we offer our spaces for civic communities of practice to convene. Since opening in 2015 we have hosted over a thousand events, including lectures, meetups, hackathons, conferences, unconferences, workshops, roundtables, screenings, fundraisers, launches, and exhibitions.
To keep up with the event programme you can subscribe to our event calendar. If you’d like to host an event in our space, you can hire it outright, or if you’re convening a civic community of practice do get in touch ([email protected]) to see if it could fit into our programme.
Come to meet EAs in tech in London, eat, chat about how to do the most good, and learn about current job openings.
There’ll be some short talks, speakers TBCRegister ↗
DisCO is a full support system for people to create radical democratic workplaces fit for the challenges of the future. It combines digital tools with methods for creating trust-based relationships, including governance for handling economic activities and decision making within the group. DisCO helps people reinforce the humanity at the heart of cooperative businesses, reexamine the value of all efforts, and rewires economic thought and practice.
DisCO is also designed to impart a sense of freedom to experiment and to have fun with economic alternatives. There’s more emphasis on enhancing the group’s interactions with each other and their chosen work than on revering the tech that supports that work, although the tech is an exceptionally important element. As part of its history of influences, DisCO combines the best of worker-owned coops, the Commons and P2P, Feminist Economics, and cutting edge DLT and 3.0 tech.
DisCO offers a critical feminist alternative to DAOs. DisCO is also a growing community of small, federated groups forging the economies of the future today.
Join DisCOnauts Sofia Bustamante, Irene Lopez de Vallejo and Stacco Troncoso to get an introduction to DisCO, an update on the project, and co-create scenarios on how to apply DisCOs and what a DisCO-fied future looks like.
- Short video with the fundamentals
- Short intro article
- If I Only Had a Heart: The DisCO Manifesto
- Groove is in the Heart: The DisCO Elements
- and more…
Join Campaign Lab for a hack day working on political data science challenges and designing, developing and testing election tech and campaigning innovations.
From data analysis to improve mobilisation to developing new election tools for activists on the ground, we’ll be working out how together we can create new election tech for the left.
You will need to bring a laptop to this event.
At the hack day we’ll be:
- Analysing the results of the May local elections
- Thinking about how to create a social media content aggregator
- Exploring how we can automate uploading the marked register
- Analysing some anonymised membership data
- Thinking about what tools we could build to better engage Labour members
- Thinking about what campaigning tools or apps we could build if we had a Labour Members Log In
- Analysing Labour broadcast data using ML techniques
- Explore whatsapp tooling for CLPs
All technologists, activists, organisers and campaigners, are welcome! We also welcome any new people who are interested in politics and technology and evidence based campaign innovation on the left.
Campaign Lab is a community of politically-minded progressive data scientists, researchers and activists who are working together to build new election tools and change the way we analyse and understand political election campaigning.Register ↗
We are often told that a cashless society is fast approaching, but in a world beset by surveillance and rising corporate power, physical cash is more important than ever. Who benefits from a cashless society and who gets left behind?
Join Brett Scott to celebrate the launch of his new book Cloudmoney: Cash, Cards, Crypto and the War for our Wallets. Brett will describe the key themes of the book, explain why crypto won’t save us, and argue for why the future of money might not actually be digital.
Brett is a campaigner, monetary anthropologist and former broker. He is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money, and has appeared in a wide range of TV shows, radio broadcasts and documentaries, including BBC World News and Sky News.
He has written extensively on financial reform, digital finance, alternative currency, blockchain technology and the cashless society for publications like the Guardian, New Scientist, Huffington Post, Wired Magazine and CNN.com, and also publishes the Altered States of Monetary Consciousness newsletter.Register ↗