Flux #36 - Participate in This Co-Creative Process

A Movement For Authenticity

Hi friends,

Tomis here with a request to hear from you. 

If you’ve been with us for a while, hopefully it is clear by now that we are designing Junto to serve our collective needs, values, and desires. As we work towards sharing Junto Alpha, we are refining and prioritizing key patterns and features. Revisit this article by Yaz if you’re looking for a deeper dive into a bunch of the design concepts that we’re already putting in place. 

We intend to establish high levels of transparency and communication between the Junto collective and the core team to ensure the evolution of the application is in service to its community. 

We want you to be in on this co-creative process as soon as possible as we begin building our pattern language, so I’m jumping into your inbox to ask you to consider some of the higher-level questions that have guided us to this point.

Share your perspective with us in this short survey.

With love and gratitude,

-Tomis


#SupportJunto

Feel called to contribute to our fundraising efforts? Make a donation via PayPal or by sending an email to eric@junto.foundation for crypto and larger contributions!

#JuntoAlphaRelease

It’s nearly go time! Read into our alpha phases below.

#Telegram

Join us on Telegram! Our channel is https://t.me/juntofoundation


We want your feedback.

Like what you see? Share it! Think we can be doing things better? Let us know. We’re open to ideas so DM us at hi@junto.foundation or drop any of the team members a note at their individual emails listed on our website here.

Flux #35 - Junto Alpha Stages and Fundraising

A Movement For Authenticity

Hey Junto fam!

Eric here with some exciting news.

We officially moved into alpha and will be testing our mobile apps internally for the next six weeks. In mid-November, we’ll begin on-boarding the rest of the community. You can check out the phases of our alpha rollout below and share it by downloading this snazzy infographic Drea made here.

As we mentioned in a previous post, our initial release will run on a centralized Rust database. We’ll fully transition to Holochain and Holo once their technology is in beta. My personal estimation for this is early summer 2020, but don’t take my word for it :)

We’ll open source all of our code when we open up our alpha mid-November. We’re also working on spinning up a web application that will run on the early stages of Holochain/Holo, and this will be a separate test network that people can try.

This is the final stretch before Junto gains the momentum needed to take flight. These next six months are crucial and we’re raising $100,000 to make sure we’re on the right side of this inflection point. As a grassroots nonprofit, we’re fueled by the conviction of our early supporters and ask that you contribute what you can to make this happen. We won’t be relying on donations for long as we have plans for Junto to be financially self-sufficient in 2020. In the meantime, consider lending us a hand via PayPal or by sending me an email at eric@junto.foundation for crypto or larger contributions.

Thank you for your support throughout this process. I hope you’re as fired up as I am for what’s to come.

Eric


#SupportJunto

Feel called to contribute to our fundraising efforts? Make a donation via PayPal or by sending an email to eric@junto.foundation for crypto and larger contributions!

#Telegram

Join us on Telegram! Our channel is https://t.me/juntofoundation


We want your feedback.

Like what you see? Share it! Think we can be doing things better? Let us know. We’re open to ideas so DM us at hi@junto.foundation or drop any of the team members a note at their individual emails listed on our website here.

Flux #34 - Meet the newest member of the Junto Team!

Expression that flows

Hey everyone, Yaz here. I’ll be intro-ing the main intro for this flux edition, so make sure you get to the good stuff!

Super excited to introduce the newest member of our team - Tomis Parker! After a few months joining our calls, Tomis is now taking an official role as “People and Culture Lead” on the Junto team and is already making a positive impact. From the organic growth and community-building perspective, his mind and experience with the Agile Learning Centers network fills a needed space here. In addition to offering management and support to various projects, he is contributing greatly toward preparation for an efficient and scalable introduction of the Junto app in the coming months. We are so excited and grateful to have him onboard!

I’ll let Tomis introduce himself below.

- Yaz :)


Thanks, Yaz.

Greetings!

Yeah, I’m Tomis. I’ve been spelling my name this fun way for a little over a decade now -- it’s still pronounced like “Thomas.” But that’s a story for another time. I’m here, in my first issue of Flux, to share a little more about myself -- where I’m from, where my head is at, and why I’m stoked to be working with the Junto team. 

In the winter of 2008, just a few months away from graduating college with a BS in Psychology, I discovered a book called Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing. It blew my mind and my world wide open. My favorite Social Psychologist at the time, Eric Fromm, wrote the forward to the original edition published 1960. If you’re curious, the forward is almost as good as the book itself. Since then, I’ve dedicated much of my learning and creative work to the Self-Directed Education space.

In 2012-13, I contributed to the birth of a new model of intentional learning communities, called Agile Learning Centers. I served as Director of the first ALC in NYC for a few years while working to establish patterns to share the model and train others starting their own ALCs. If you’ve been following Flux for a while, you may remember Yaz’s trip to visit the ALC in NYC last November. 

I love that Junto is being described as “a movement for authenticity.” ALCs and the larger Self-Directed Education movement could be described similarly, wherein the focus lies in developing spaces for children and youth to be [and to create] themselves. It didn’t take long for me to realize that, as adults, we cannot trust children until we are willing to trust ourselves; we can’t raise free people until we understand what we need for our own liberation; we can’t nurture authenticity until we are willing to be honest with each other (yes, children are people!).

So much of my work over the years has been about creating authentic community -- designing patterns and holding space in ways that allow each individual to write their own story, while also being a part of everyone else’s. How can we have autonomy and alignment? 

It’s about partnership. It’s about having power with each other, instead of power over another. It’s about figuring out how we can get It (insert your favorite term for self-actualization here), together. It’s about acknowledging the false dichotomy of the individual vs the collective and exploring the territory beyond that contradiction. 

It is much easier to embrace these concepts in a small, close-knit group like a circle of friends or family. When we know and care about each other deeply, we don’t see another's needs or desires as a threat to our own. It’s harder to create together when the collective is larger. Partially, because there are more perspectives to consider, but mostly because we don’t [yet] have effective tools or the cultural practices to navigate these greater levels of complexity. 

I’m excited to help Junto design for the health of the individual and the collective, and for the reality that they are inseparable. We want to evoke the most authentic expressions of our individual perspectives, while also developing a culture that recognizes we expand who we are by understanding the perspective of another. 

More and more my experience with social media is like navigating a minefield of distraction and toxicity to pluck out a piece of information or make a brief connection. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and months as we prepare to start playing in a new container -- a social organism designed to support deeper levels of expression, collaboration, and understanding. One that we’ll be evolving together.


#AppUpdates

We’ve just begun phase one of internal alpha testing (amongst the core team). We’ll be testing for the next four to six weeks; an exciting new era!

#WebsiteTranslations

We are currently in the process of translating www.junto.foundation into many languages. Hungarian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Slovenian, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, Thai and Chinese. Thank you to all of our translators! If you are fluent in one of these languages and would like to volunteer to review completed translations or have any leads for an Arabic translator (other languages are welcome too), please email yasmin@junto.foundation (we will pay you for your time).

#Telegram

Join us on Telegram! Our channel is https://t.me/juntofoundation


We want your feedback.

Like what you see? Share it! Think we can be doing things better? Let us know. We’re open to ideas so DM us at hi@junto.foundation or drop any of the team members a note at their individual emails listed on our website here.

Flux #33 - Outreach Updates & Podcast!

Expression that flows

Hi guys - Yaz here for a quick update regarding Junto outreach.

Firstly, thanks for everyone’s awesome support and response. Things are getting very exciting around here (although I can say excitement is rarely scarce in these parts).

The main point of this email is to share our latest podcast episode! We've recently reviewed our idea for this podcast and have chosen a new name to reflect the more macroscopic goal for its impact: "Getting It Together." The aim is to hold space to illuminate ideas in a casual setting - by inviting two individuals (who may or may not know one another) to record a fifteen to twenty minute long unedited conversation surrounding one specific topic.

Enjoy this episode, surrounding the ins and outs of reflective writing, featuring Kyle Hornick and Drea Bennett, great friends and artists with many thoughts to offer.

You can also listen on Spotify here or Apple here!

Kyle Hornick - https://www.shrubbycomics.com/, Drea Bennett - https://bydrea.space/


#EventsYES

We just hosted our first event at the Assemblage Nomad. It was truly a beautiful and eye-opening (no pun intended) experience. A wonderful member of the Junto community here in NYC, Narina, facilitated a series of connective activities, the punchline of which was an eye-gazing exercise. I had never participated in something like this before. Imagine staring into the eyes of a stranger for about seven or so minutes! Narina’s facilitation incorporated spoken word prompts triggering various reflections and a sense of openness while not breaking eye-contact. This was certainly an exit from my comfort zone and a very unique experience in seeing our sameness.

Our intention is to continue hosting a wide variety of events and we’re inviting community members to continue facilitating them. Thank you to Narina for putting together our most recent one. It was truly a success!

If you're interested in proposing an event or facilitating one, please reach out. Future ideas include group drawing, wellness related events, music/art sharing, open mics, poetry readings, performance art initiatives and many more... We're looking to collaborate and diversify :)

#WebsiteTranslations

We are currently in the process of translating www.junto.foundation into Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin, French, Arabic, German, and Hungarian. If you or a friend would like to translate the site into other languages, please email yasmin@junto.foundation (we will pay you for your time).

#ABook?AVideo?

With Junto’s launch coming up, we’re working on some new exciting visual initiatives to share the energy and spread the word. Keep a lookout!

#IfYouMissedIt

Check out our previous detailed Junto Update from Eric!

#NewWebsite

Have you seen the new landing page? Feel free to visit https://junto.foundation/ and let us know what you think.

#Telegram

Join us on Telegram! Our channel is https://t.me/juntofoundation


#WeeklyResonations

Here’s what our team found valuable this week:

From Drea:


We want your feedback.

Like what you see? Share it! Think we can be doing things better? Let us know. We’re open to ideas so DM us at hi@junto.foundation or drop any of the team members a note at their individual emails listed on our website here.

Flux #32 - Next Steps Approaching Release

A Movement For Authenticity

Hey everyone - Eric here.

The more I work on Junto, the more deeply I feel the importance of this mission. The current paradigm of social media thrives on extractive revenue models fueled by our attention. This has created generational issues of addiction, mental health, and privacy while our data is being aggregated at scale to predict and manipulate our behavior.

The good news? This is all a matter of intention and design. Crafted properly, social technologies can activate higher manifestations of our expressive capacities. Imagine how freely we can express ourselves in an environment without design patterns that harm our psychology. Picture the collective intelligence we can create when our attention shifts from a competition for superficial social currencies towards things we actually care about. Envision the transformation of our relationships and well being through a global community designed to empower and support each other.

This is not far out of reach. Many of you have been patiently waiting for the release of Junto and it’s almost time for this next chapter to unfold. Here are some important changes you should be aware of and how you can get involved to make this happen.

1) We are going to give Holochain and Holo some more time to mature. Good things take time to build and while they’ve made great progress, there are still several core features and challenging networking issues that need to be resolved. We want to have something up and running as soon as possible and we can make significant strides in product development and community building in the meantime. As a result, our initial release (alpha) will run on a centralized API. Junto’s beta will be fully decentralized and will open when both Holochain and Holo move into beta.

Some things to note:

  • Our teammate Josh is writing our centralized API in Rust. Rust is a low-level programming language, which means our application will be extremely fast and cost-efficient. I’m personally excited to see this in action.

  • Just like our Holochain API, the centralized API we use for alpha will be open source. Anyone can review our code and we will be as transparent as possible.

  • We will still be actively building our Holochain API (which you can track on Github) and will even open up a test network shortly after we release our alpha. This will be a separate, experimental version of Junto running on the early stages of Holochain/Holo that people can try out.

  • Using mature, production-ready technologies while Holochain/Holo develop means we can focus on creating a one of a kind product and grow our community to 100,000+ people before beta. That’s 100,000+ people ready to shift towards a decentralized web powered by Holo.

  • We will never sell your data, have no incentive to do so as a nonprofit, and will ensure you have full ownership of your data once Holo is ready.

I’ve also enlisted another mobile developer to prepare for launch these next few weeks. We are very close and will circle back with an official release date in our next update. I’ll also introduce him the next time you hear from us here :)

2) Junto will grow from its initial community members - you. To start, only those that have waitlisted or contributed to our crowdfunding campaign will have access to our alpha. From there, it’s up to you to invite people into this community. Start thinking about people to bring into Junto! This movement is as much yours as it is mine.

3) I will be joining Douglas Rushkoff on his podcast Team Human to talk about Junto early October. Those of you that are journalists, bloggers, or podcasters, we’d love to collaborate with you in sharing this vision with the rest of the world.

4) We ran the numbers and have a clear path to financial sustainability. When we move into beta, we will offer an optional subscription service people can purchase to access premium features. Until then, we are raising another $200,000 to ramp things up. With this capital, we will hire key team members, focus on building, and move far more quickly. If you feel called, you can email me or make a contribution here.

I’m grateful to have you as the core community of this initiative. I have no doubt we will bring about a more regenerative social paradigm together.

Get ready.

- Eric

// email: eric@junto.foundation


Can you make a contribution today?

Everything we do is open source and not for profit. This is because we want to maintain the integrity of Junto long term. Help keep this initiative going by contributing at our PayPal below!

Donate $25 or More


#InterconnectedDive

NYC - we’re co-hosting an event at the Assemblage Nomad with one of our community members Nariná Danielean! Come play, share, and connect as we explore our shared sense of interconnectedness. RSVP here: https://events.theassemblage.com/interconnecteddivetickets

#NewWebsite

Have you checked out the new landing page? Feel free to visit https://junto.foundation/ and let us know what you think.

#Telegram

Join us on Telegram! Our channel is https://t.me/juntofoundation

#JuntoOuttakes


We want your feedback.

Like what you see? Share it! Think we can be doing things better? Let us know. We’re open to ideas so DM us at hi@junto.foundation or drop any of the team members a note at their individual emails listed on our website here.

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