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Mindsets, Values, and Inclusive Practices

The TPDL playbook is designed through a human-centered design approach with a strong focus on addressing Global North-centrism. We do this by asking the following questions that have allowed us us to confront and address the power dynamic and bias in the process:  

  • Who are the participants involved? Where are they based? Where and how do they attain their expertise / domain knowledge? 
  • How can their time and contribution be valued and made open-access?
  • How might we mindfully practice and apply design to tech policy design while recognizing that design is inherently colonialist? 
  • How might we address the power imbalance between local voices and global civil society participants in traditional round table workshops/discussions? 

These questions have informed our approach to global outreach and the ways we would like to work with the Global Contributors, so that our project inputs are regionally decentralized. 

In upholding our commitment to democratizing knowledge and human-centered design, we reached out to over 14 potential Global Contributors from across the world. Among those we decided to work with four Global Contributors from South Asia, West Africa, Latin America, South Africa and eight Advisors from South East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia, and South Asia.

We believe that partnering with Global Contributors will allow us to turn the TPDL Playbook into a more holistic and regionally relevant set of resources. Ultimately, our goal is to build structured guidance and supporting resources that will allow a diverse group of audiences and stakeholders to work together and contribute to the improvement of tech policy design in the future. 

Inclusive Practices for Participatory Global Work 

‍1. Running multi-lingual meetings and events

Session Design 
  • Sessions should always be participatory, accessible, and inclusive. 
  • Plan for multiple sessions that are suitable for participants joining from a wide range of different timezones 
  • Design multiple ways for participants to contribute and participate (e.g. whole-group, small-group, out-loud, in-doc).
  • Participants should discuss, do, or make something together.
  • Participants should be able to find ways to engage meaningfully with the session. 
  • No one should be excluded or kept at the margins because of session design.
  • Participants should feel safe, welcome, and able to engage authentically from their own lived experiences.

Giving Talks

What are some good practices for multilingual and cultural facilitation?

  • Respect and value the diversity of the participants
  • Be aware of cultural differences and avoid making assumptions or generalizations
  • Incorporate cultural activities and traditions of the participants into the facilitation process
  • Have live translation and translate all materials for participants who are not fluent in the language of the session 
  • Give out scripts or materials beforehand 
  • Use a balanced combination of texts and visuals to explain what you’re saying on the screens
  • Check in with the audience at different stages of the session 
  • Include prompts and interaction with the audience 
  • Avoid using idioms, jargons, and slang that may not be familiar to the participants
  • Provide opportunities for participants to share their experiences and perspectives
  • Continuously seek feedback from participants to improve the facilitation process

Technical considerations 

  • Be mindful of people’s connectivity  and that they might be joining from areas with limited bandwidth, data costs, devices, digital rights, etc 
  • Use platforms that are more accessible to people, such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Jamboard, Riseup Pads, etc
  • Keep digital security protocols in mind, if we are using privative platforms for research
  • If the session is open to public, make sure to have the right setting for permission and control and have a digital safety protocol in place in case of threats or disruptive intrusion such as Zoom-bombing

2. Producing content more equitably

  • Set aside budget to include different languages, don’t just publish in English because it’s convenient  
  • Allow multiple ways for people to engage with and contribute to the content creation process

3. Inclusive and mindful communication practices 

What are some inclusive and mindful communication practices and methods? 

  • Be mindful of power dynamics and ensure equal participation in conversations
  • Avoid assumptions and stereotypes when communicating with others
  • Ask for people's preferred pronouns and use them appropriately
  • Ask people which language they feel most comfortable working with and be mindful of the challenges people might face due to language barriers in a multilingual environment (e.g. burnout, misunderstanding, etc)
  • Acknowledge the downsides and tough parts of functioning in another language other than their native tongue as the core working language
  • Accept proposals and responses to funding opportunity to be submitted in other languages other than English 
  • Use gender-neutral language and avoid discriminatory language
  • Provide clear and concise communication to avoid confusion and misunderstandings: e.g. minimize the use of abbreviations and technical terms
  • Provide languages support (live translation and sign languages) in public-facing conferences, events, workshops, talks, et cetera
  • Provide opportunities for feedback and input from all team members, e.g. a anonymous feedback form 
  • Normalise the use of emojis (skin tones) on digital communication platforms
  • Normalise voice messages and async collaboration within organizations (voting, check-in, feedback, and update sharing, etc)

4. Organizational Well-being Practices 

  • Meet people where they are by enabling flexible work arrangement
  • Plan for debriefing and reflection post-session 
  • Encourage people to take time off to process and rest 
  • Provide people with a safe platform to engage and discuss their individual needs 

5. Safety Protocol Resources

Additional Safety Resources
  1. Trauma-Informed Design Resources
  2. Safe Sisters