Today, internet health issues are magnified as billions of new devices are connected and zettabytes of data are collected. Wearable technologies monitor our heartbeat, AI voice assistants cohabit our kitchens and our children’s bedrooms, smart cities know our every move, and facial recognition determines our access across country borders.

These technologies need to be built responsibly, which requires the cultivation of design, research, and advocacy. We see many areas requiring attention, including:

  • Democratic, open development of the Internet of Things (and the AI that drives it). With only a few companies in Silicon Valley dominating the market and the electronics manufactured almost exclusively in Shenzhen, we see a danger in too much centralization. …

My residency in motherhood

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Many months ago, I set out to understand what a “small utopia” meant to me. Prompted by the birth of my son, and against the backdrop of social and political upheaval the world over, I strove to reevaluate what matters to me and how I could better dedicate myself to improving the little sliver of the universe around me.

And then, as these things go, life happened. And life ceased. Or perhaps it’s better to say that life does what it always does. It changed and took on new forms.

My mother passed away in June. She died from cancer — a kind of excess of cellular life. Fortunately, I could spend over a month with her. She met her grandson. She was with close family members. And in the end, she left on her own terms and without pain. …

Residency report: March

I’m well into my activist-in-residency in motherhood, and it seems like a good moment to write up my thoughts so far as I read and talk to friends about utopias and “a better world”.

I began this project with a far-reaching syllabus, put together based on friends’ recommendations and my own wishlist. At the end of the post are my hot takes on the books so far: what’s worth reading and what’s not.

Before imagining what should be better about the world, I wanted to first more fully understand what’s wrong with it in the first place.

It didn’t take long to find a common culprit of much of what ails us. …


Michelle Thorne

Leading @Mozilla’s Open IoT program. Organized #mozfest. Creative Commoner. Curious about openness, user control and the #connectedhome.

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