Social Contract for the POPREBEL project community

Latest version 28th June 2019. Open to comments.

POPREBEL is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework program for research (grant number 822682). Its community, which we warmly denominate ‘Wellbeing in Europe’, is the community we are building in symbiosis with the research project. It is a collective effort to understand the ways in which citizens in various European countries live, work, and participate in society during times of populism on the rise. It is a platform to share stories, ideas and insights, make new connections, coordinate the work. It is a diverse group of people of all ages, genders, income levels, political ideologies etc., mainly in Central and Eastern Europe but not limited to it. It is a process that brings people together, virtually or physically, to share, inspire, connect and collaborate effectively. Out of this will emerge new ideas, new solutions and new connections that benefit all.

To any and all participants:

  1. We have designed Wellbeing in Europe with you, the community, in mind, to work as a knowledge engine. The more you contribute, the better everyone’s understanding will be, and the more our collective understanding and ability to take action will grow.
  2. Wellbeing for Europe welcomes participation by anyone who wishes to engage in a serious discussion about life, work and participation in society in the context of different political changes, no matter their political values and orientations. We support a constructive discussion with those on different sides of the spectrum, rather than a motivated dismissal, of the populist arguments.
  3. To ensure constructive, respectful discussions, the team is trained in providing tight community management services and steering the debate in such a way that no abuse is tolerated, and that arguments stay level-headed and facts-backed.
  4. POPREBEL, the research project you are helping by your participation in the community, is designed to work as a catalyst. It will run until the end of 2021, though its materials will remain available long after that, and the community on this platform as well.
  5. The project team is committed to listening and engaging in an exchange with you, and provide you with access to the common resources on this platform, connect you with new information, knowledge, people, and opportunities. Specifically, what you stand to gain by participating: be guided to contribute as per their interests, be given constructive feedback or advice, be offered a financial reward for a high quality contribution, be recruited for a paid position, be offered learning and personal development opportunities i.e. trainings, receive invitations to project events, access other opportunities available in the community, either provided by the project partners or by other community members or organisations
  6. The project team will formally acknowledge most active contributors by recruiting them for roles compensated financially: storytellers, experts and or curators in events. We think of active contributors as those whose contributions are acknowledged and validated by other members of the community, as per the number of comments and reactions to their contributions, and their level of centrality in the network graph (example). This process is governed by the formal activities, resources and capacity available in the project. All opportunities for recruitment will be advertised in the community forum as open calls.
  7. We wish to help one another to improve our ability to analyze and interpret information. We analyse and structure the information shared in our conversations to support community members’ desire and ability to constructively engage in society through facts, statistics and other pieces of information. In a world of ubiquitous digital connectivity, improving access and use of information helps us navigate meaningfully current ecosystems and societies. Whether it is because you want to solve local problems, keep governments accountable, avoid expensive mistakes or learn new things about the world in which you live, knowledge is power.
  8. We cannot promise you it will solve any of the issues raised by contemporary European populists. It is meant for all of us, whether we resonate with the populist arguments or not, to raise awareness, share with one another information and experiences about how we, as a community, cope with those issues.
  9. Keep in mind that we are a diverse community. This is critical: almost anything we can achieve rests on that diversity. It is essential that we stay wide open to an influx of new people, insights and skills. This means we accept and take into account that individuals should be able to choose their own degree and style of participation, as long as it does not limit the autonomy of others.
  10. Who does the work, calls the shots. The focus of any interaction should be to empower and encourage each one of us to do things, instead of sitting on the sidelines and telling others not to do things. If you want to make something better, you can add thoughtful suggestions. The suggestions most likely to be implemented are ones which are backed with an offer of hands-on help from the persons making them.
  11. You are free to use materials from the discussion to draw your own conclusions about the issues we discuss. You are free to report those conclusions anywhere, on the web and in real life, subject only to the law and the terms of the license, as long as you attribute those materials to their authors. See here (links to: CC BY 3.0 Deed | Attribution 3.0 Unported | Creative Commons ) for an explanation of your rights and duties when using these materials. We, the POPREBEL research group, plan to do it too. We commit to publicly discussing our practices, to be transparent and to have the opportunity of discovering what could be done better, or differently.
  12. This conversation is hosted by Edgeryders, in partnership with University College London, University Karlova (the Czech Republic), University Jagiellonski (Poland), University of Belgrade (Serbia). We commit to procuring and managing resources adhering to the ethical standards we apply in all our activities.
  13. We commit to making every effort to maintain its space open for everyone of you to join us and use, or ethically misuse (for example by introducing topics that we did not think connect to the project, but you want to discuss with the community), so that the conversation space we maintain can evolve with the community itself. We are aware we cannot do it alone, and we try to facilitate your participation.
  14. We may enforce temporary restrictions to your access to the POPREBEL space, under those circumstances in which your behavior represents a risk for others (e.g.: violent or otherwise threatening behaviors).
  15. We commit to continuing independent evaluation of our activities, and to turning any breach or near miss consequently identified into the awareness of a changing landscape that would guide an evolution of our operations and governance.