Changes on the ThingsCon board of directors

Over at ThingsCon, I’m stepping down from my seat on the board of directors. Below, I’m including the official blog post announcement from ThingsCon. But first I’d like to share a few personal thoughts.

I’m not doing this lightly (I’m refocusing my energy by reducing many commitments) — but I’m an excited about it as it brings new energy to the board and opens up new opportunities for ThingsCon.

And I’m incredibly happy that Andrea Krajewski will be joining the board!

Andrea has been an active pillar of the ThingsCon community, and a core team member, for a long time. She’s been a driving force behind some key initiatives like the RIOT report and the ThingsCon Stories podcast.

More importantly than all of this, though, is that Andrea exemplifies to many things I love about this community: She’s values-driven, extremely capable and kind, humble and helpful. She’s an excellent human being focused on helping others doing great work — exactly what we all strive to do at ThingsCon.

The cherry on top, though, the thing that makes me maybe most hopeful, is that Andrea joins the ThingsCon e.V. board of directors as the first non-founder. To hear her tell it — and I’m sure she doesn’t mind me sharing this — she had initially hesitated to contact us before the first time she reached out to see if some of her students might join a ThingsCon event. If I remember correctly, she almost didn’t — and how much this community would have missed if she hadn’t. I’m glad she did, and now she’s on the board — that’s exactly as it should be!

To me, this also is an important reminder that we need to be extra mindful of how we can make sure to demonstrate that we encourage folks reaching out: How can we make sure that the next person won’t feel that moment of hesitation? We want to make sure that everyone knows that if they show up in good faith, they’re welcome at ThingsCon.

For now, though, all that remains to say is: A heartfelt thank you to Andrea for stepping up!

Here’s the original announcement re-posted from the ThingsCon blog:

Welcome to the Board, Andrea Krajewski!

Here at ThingsCon e.V. — ThingsCon’s legal entity in Germany — we’re happy to announce a change to the board: Prof. Andrea Krajewski will join the board.

Andrea has been an active part of the ThingsCon team for a long time and it feels like an organic next step to make her role more official. She’s been a driving force behind ThingsCon’s annual RIOT report, she’s been co-hosting the ThingsCon Stories podcast, and she’s been the person who more than anyone else has been holding the team to our own high standards for using trustworthy platforms: Without her persistence we might not have switched out regular video calls to privacy friendly open source platforms — or dared to run a full blown one-week festival on Big Blue Button.

Andrea will bring her experience as a design professor to ThingsCon to focus will be to address current topics around the future of the interplay between people, the environment and technology in a networked living environment.

At the same time, my co-founders Max Krüger and I (Peter Bihr) are stepping down from our roles at the board to focus on research initiatives, but will of course continue to be an active part of the ThingsCon family. Simon Höher will be staying on the board.

We’re grateful and excited for this new chapter, and couldn’t be happier.

Welcome, Andrea!

Learn more about Andrea at andreakrajewski.com.