Fringe Digital: Unpacking Our Model, Framework, and Six Core Competencies

Later this year (2021), my consulting operation (Fringe Digital) will be delivering awareness-raising and educational trainings to individuals and communities on how to begin implementing better personal/corporate controls over data privacy and how to get involved with movements to decolonize and regain sovereignty over data and the digital in our daily lives.

The idea is to impart some basic good practices, orient people to the larger efforts underway to advance personal digital rights, and get them connected in with groups and movements who are pushing for new protective politics and policies at national, state, and local levels. We aim to help people tease apart the differences between technology sovereignty and data sovereignty, and how to practically engage these concepts appropriately between tribal nations and non-indigenous citizens and communities.

Whether you are just a concerned individual who wants to get better at avoiding being tracked by nefarious online advertisements; someone recognizing for the first time that you might be prone to social media or internet addiction; a citizen concerned about illegal surveillance practices or cyber intrusions; or even a tribal community seeking to understand how to better protect your relatives and lands from unethical research and exploitation–we’ll make good connection points for these and many other constituencies.

Photo credit: Matt Schultz

What sets our trainings apart from all others is our organic, holistic, situational, and place-based model that Fringe Digital centralizes for all of its outreach and advocacy. We aim to bring people back to square one. We want to bring the problem of our out-of-control and out-of-balance digital lives back to the individual, to the organization, to the community. The road to better technology and data sovereignty begins with us, in our homes, in our backyards, in our businesses, in our elected government offices.

More than anything, we believe that the road to better technology and data sovereignty means putting our devices down and getting out from behind our computers. At Fringe Digital we believe that our personal health, the health of our social relationships, and our engagement with the living, natural world are all suffering from the outsized role we allow for digital technologies and technological solutionism. To course correct our digital lives we make every effort to embed our trainings in a framework that promotes group-dynamics, experiential-learning, and outdoor immersion.

Photo credit: Matt Schultz

As Fringe Digital’s Founder and Principal Consultant, there are six core attributes that have helped me regain some balance and control over technology and data sovereignty in my digital life. Fringe Digital positions these six core attributes as goals, objectives, and competencies for measuring the success and impact of all of our outreach, training, and services to our audience and clients.

Decolonization: This means actively deconstructing and untangling our relationship to settler politics, technology, and society and indigenizing our lifeways;

Entrepreneurship: This means leveraging our sovereign resources to innovate, grow, and invest wealth in sustainable and responsible ways for the impact and improvement of future generations;

Exploration: This means pursuing a passionate engagement with our changing natural world and modeling a healthier relationship to the earth and its indigenous communities;

Activism: This means fighting for a future of freedom from political and corporate influence and control over our daily lives, our self-determination and our destinies;

Curation: This means exercising agency and ownership over our creativity and our content. Through story-making and storytelling we can breathe personal life into words, images, sound, and motion; and

Contemplation: This means deeply and actively considering the natural and built world around us and cultivating consciousness, connection, and compassion for and with all living things.

At Fringe Digital we believe in active learning and lifelong development. In the next few posts I’ll be providing some updates on our skills development program. 2021 is going to be an exciting year. We’re just returning from Colorado for some avalanche risk management and ice climbing safety, and are now about to embark to New England to take advantage of the fresh snowfall to engage some Winter skills. This Spring will see us in the Northwest for some wilderness medical training.

You will be able to keep up with all of our adventures right here at The Fringeologist. Thanks for dropping by!

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