Rise of the Sixth Estate


What has Sloane Joie Trugman been up to for the last year and a half? What is #SOTIS and what is #TheSixthEstate? What is this #TriangleofConvergence or the #SeeSawEffect that she keeps talking about?

Well first, I need to reintroduce myself. I’m the interim Secretary of the Information State (SOTIS for short). Just know: YOUR SECRETARY IS HERE

I see a world, a brave one, but not one that is new, I see a world that is UPDATATD.

By liaising intelligence we can pave the road to accountability. In my idea of what the sixth estate is, that is. This vision is what global social impact could look like in a fairly represented data economy — or as I call it, an Information State; one that is invested in, spoken for, and has/disseminates access to the information that it needs in order to truly build and relay new ways of engaging with our planet and it’s many populations, to solve great and tacklable goals, such as the 17 that the UN has presents (SDGs) or that Singularity University has presented (GGCs).

Here’s the skinny on the work that I’ve been doing and the structure that I’ve been researching to now set up for the world!

It’s about changing our thinking: Out with whistle blowing, in with accountability. Data matters, take action.

A year a half ago, I chose uncertainty and passion. Unemployed and virtually broke, I conscientiously decided to go back toward my degree’s intent and into a world that I had been peripherally close even when in very commercial or cultural jobs. The intelligence community and high technologies.

So in February 2014 I decided that Safety & Security was my mission so, at first, I tired to reverse engineer my recruitment into a triple letter agency by showing up in front of the community to demonstrate my skill sets, which turned into an awakening to democratize information. I was seeing a huge economic shift in the world before my eyes beginning — one that we’re currently living in and one that an future could build together if we just became more open.

That reverse engineering process translated, at first, to grinding away, hustling, and sneaking into some of the most sought after national security conferences, intelligence community symposiums, new tech reviews, academic white paper proposals, and a year on the road fighting, learning, sourcing, learning, prospecting, and connecting tirelessly, with what amounts in total, building a constituency of just under 40,000 people, places, products, leaders, infrastructuralists, and (but not limited to) users of our generation’s biggest influencer, the Information State. I managed to finagle press passes at all of them in order to get entry and access to leaders and briefings so that I could ask questions and touch more one on one opportunities.

At first I simply didn’t get how out of touch this intelligence realm was to the outside market. Then I started gathering from this closed off world something ripe and unique happening in the state of the world, staring with what my friend Will Marshall was building with his mission at Planet. They left NASA, giving up tenure, fed budgets, access, security, and much more to test out an idea that was not in line with the agency’s agenda or of the interest of (but not limited to) the NGA: launching a fleet/constellation of imaging Microsatellites this opening up satellite imagery to the world in as close to real time with greatest resolution, federally permissible, as possible so collectively and with the access to their microsatellites’ data, people like you and I, NOT just geospatial analysts, could sift though heaps of info and start bridging some technological and information gaps/enlightenmentx into action and therefore inspire an existing and new class of people to work on preserving our communities and planet. Whoa.

And as I got closer and closer and prospected harder, more vast, more one on one (independent of of company and totally bootstrapped) with new start ups and dove deeper and deeper into the tech that served the IC and national security community, I saw that more and more tenured scientists, thinkers, PMs, analysts, and beyond were like Will; they were leaving agency to start companies with mission that did not serve the military industrial complex or national security concern, they served a global citizen and decentralized — but unified- community. And they were not alone.

There were three big issues (among later that I discovered in my research): 1. Policy (space, sharing, and privacy) and culture in and out of government and the national sec world wasn’t serving the missions and access/permissions of these new ventures fully and 2. The role of the analyst was shifting greatly where that outside demand was super high and talent was locked in silos or in academic labs/projects/settings (where grant money around project as well as accountability with their finds were low). Societally we didn’t have enough analysts outside of the fed system at the moment to start sifting through these new collections and sources of data that were paving the road to global accountability around some big issues and 3. No one, anywhere in the world was standing up for these companies missions to a more understood and less covert world in the face of a unified voice and global citizen to talk about information technologies, legacy techniques, and ways in which sharing and exchange of data, diplomatically could and would be a viable option to start tackling some of th worlds most complex and simple problems (Singularity University’s GGCs or the United Nations 17 Sustainability Goals or SDGs)

There is new workforce and creative class needed to keep up with the rate of innovation in the open world to dig into the data and start addressing some global goals.

Enter the Sixth Estate. An accountability class of social impactors that will be harnessing the power of analytics and access to data for an informed and data based way of looking at industry, issues, and etc, around the globe. More on that later. A global class that moved away from whistle blowing and into accountability for our planet, at least before we leave it!

I saw that at first the pace and rate of innovation was like a see-saw, where civilians/consumers were on one side, and the warfighter on the other — and in between them (the purse string and demand power) was enterprise and government. The most important thing, and the catalyst to the Sixth Estate was the fulcrum keeping the see saw moving up and down. It was the data or information that theses systems and technologies/innovations produced that gave insight and therefore shift and movement around the world to create and innovate.

This is the triangle of convergence. As intelligence systems enter the public-private space, more people, or ngos, academia, companies, etc. needed also, just like the more protected intelligence agencies and order of national security to have that data to start making global changes.

There are many people to thank for their minds and that have heard my story over the course of its maturation. A few are: Allison Storr Derek Mead Armen Orujyan Todd Huffman Dylan Morris Yasmine El Baggari David Brown Ron D Ford Manny Stockman Ari Eisenstat Daniel Karpantschof Jonathan Farber Alexander Lloyd Jeni Mayorskaya Maya Lockwood Nathana Sharma Daniel Pincus Dan Horwitz Joe Meyerowitz Alexx Sloan Yaniv Rivlin Ian Schuler Adam Newcomb-Weiland Dana Chasin Justin Dangel Rand Fitzpatrick Pratap Ranade Desiree Matel-Anderson Jim Yellion Alessandra Henderson Brett Schnittlich