Special Projects

Join the SPECIAL PROJECTS membership to support my writing, newsletter, advocacy, research & explorations. Also, experiments with other formats which might include podcasts, videos, interviews and other shenanigans.

You can join SPECIAL PROJECTS as a MONTHLY (€10 net)* or YEARLY (€100 net)* member. 

Together with you and your help, I can focus more time on the aspects of my work that matter maybe most: Advocating for responsible technology, exploring the impact of emerging tech, helping others — like policy makers — understand the issues at hand.

I do these things through tons of research and writing, the occasional conference and other formats. I’m trying to be as explicit about my agenda as possible, so you know what you’ll get (in substance, if maybe not in format). Often, these special projects are meaningful in their own right; every now and then, they might be purely for delight and entertainment.

Members get early access to my projects, a members-only newsletter (3-4 times a year, most likely), discounts where there’s something to discount; and of course the great feeling to support independent production of relevant work.

And while I cannot promise that all of these formats will work well, I can promise that it will be interesting.

Current projects

Currently, the main focus of my SPECIAL PROJECTS is the Getting Tech Right research project that aims to offer accessible, pragmatic guidelines for how to approach decisions that involve technology, and to approach them with a focus on public interest, citizen empowerment and civil rights in mind. It’s aimed primarily at funders and policy makers in that space but is relevant to a much broader audience.

Getting Tech Right has two concrete outputs:

  1. A book(ish) project on responsible tech.
  2. And a podcast series of interviews exploring issues around how technology shapes our society and how to think about these issues better. You can find Getting Tech Right on Apple Podcasts, Transistor.fm, or wherever you listen to podcasts. (Here’s the RSS feed.)

What you get when you join

By joining as a SPECIAL PROJECTS member, you will…

  • receive the Special Projects newsletter (3-4 times per year, most likely)
  • get early access to any early access projects I might have to offer down the road, like sneak peeks to early-stage drafts, or a chance to snap up tickets to stuff before anyone else
  • receive discounts if ever there is anything to discount

I’m being vague here by necessity, because we won’t know before we get there.

I’ll also be offering office hours for members, in a frequency yet to be determined. It really depends on how much demand there is. Let’s figure it out together.

But you and I both know that the benefits are not why you’re joining. You’re supporting my work because you’re great and you think this is relevant — as well as to enable the creation of new independent work. And I thank you for it. I’ll make sure to make it count.

Examples of projects so far

To give you an idea about the types of projects I’ve started in the past, here are a few:

  • ThingsCon is a conference-turned-non-profit that I co-founded in 2013/14 that explores responsible IoT.
  • Zephyr Berlin was the name of pants that travel extremely well and were built to last. (The pants are still going strong, we just don’t produce them anymore.) Successfully kickstarted and shipped.
  • The Good Home was a series of exhibitions exploring ideas for 21st century homes (with Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino).
  • Two (short, self-published) books include View Source: Shenzhen an exploration of the Shenzhen hardware ecosystem, and Understanding the Connected Home (with Michelle Thorne).
  • The Trustable Technology Mark is a ThingsCon initiative I led to create a consumer trust mark for connected products.

More projects than I can fit here are listed over on the Output page, and especially The Lab. But a lot of this also influences my work with partners and clients, so the ripple effects go beyond these artifacts. Concretely, many of these projects have significantly contributed to my work with foundations and policy makers around issues regarding tech policy, and civil/digital rights.

So that gives you an idea of the range and types of projects. Please keep in mind that old financial advice disclaimer: Past performance is no indication of future performance. But suffice it to say that your membership makes a direct and meaningful contribution towards more projects like the ones above.

Thank you for supporting this.

(*All prices are in EUR, net. VAT might apply depending on where you are in the world.)


Answers to some of the questions you might have:

Do you know what projects you’ll be tackling next?
Not 100%. But I have a hunch a short book might be next in line, followed by a collaboration that I’m quite excited about. But we won’t know until we know for sure.

Is this going to be your main income?
No. As lovely as that sounds, I’ll still be mainly live off of the work I do through my company The Waving Cat. But this allows me to justify spending more time on All The Good Stuff like research, advocacy, writing, launching prototypes. Everything that doesn’t feel right to sell to clients, basically. The stuff that should exist, but wouldn’t within a commercial context.

Didn’t you have a membership program before?
Yes, kind of. A while ago, I was experimenting with a paid newsletter. This right here is even less transactional, but also just as experimental. No idea if it’ll work out — only one way to find out.

Will I receive a receipt with tax info so that I can put this on my company card?
Sure thing. Since the only way for me to collect any payment is through my company, you’ll get an automatic receipt via Memberful/Stripe. Please note that the prices are in EUR, net. Depending on where you are in the world, VAT might apply. If something doesn’t work or you have any questions, ping me.

Can I cancel anytime?
Yup, any time. No questions asked, no awkwardness. Walk away whenever you feel like it — no pressure.