By Beth Kanter, Strategic Communications and Jessica Kiessel, Learning & Impact, Omidyar Network

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2020: The Year of Zoom (and the fatigue is real)

We began last year eager to put our freshly minted brand, approach, and teams into action to build more inclusive and equitable societies. AND THEN, 2020 HAPPENED. In the midst of the twin public health and economic crises, we witnessed a racial justice reckoning and watched as our US democracy came under attack. We found ourselves — like so many others — balancing multiple urgent priorities.

https://youtu.be/gOxh_COf2VY

We focused on supporting staff and grantees through these difficult times, pivoting our work where necessary to meet the moment…

By Jozette Allah-Mensah and Nicole Allred, Strategic Communications, Omidyar Network

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Illustration by Superside.

“When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it.”

These are the words of 22-year-old Amanda Gorman — the first National Youth Poet Laureate in American history. The opening lines from her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” were first heard at President Biden’s inauguration and inspired millions around the world. Amanda Gorman was one of several youth who participated in inaugural events that day. …

By Sarah Drinkwater, Director & Aniyia Williams, Principal, Omidyar Network

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Back in 2018, we started funding the rise of the responsible tech worker. This is our effort to help tech workers and founders step into their power, and build a world in which technology makes good on its promise of improving everyone’s lives for the better: fueling an ecosystem that is equitable, ethical, and inclusive in addition to innovative. 2020 marked a monumental shift for the movement as the techlash came of age. At Omidyar Network, we were proud to provide a roadmap for the US Department of Justice, Federal…

By Audrey Stienon, Analyst, Reimagining Capitalism

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Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP

Over the coming weeks, Omidyar Network will expand on our theory of change around ideas, rules, and power and connect it to the five pillars outlined in our recently released Point of View on Reimagining Capitalism, and the work being done by our grantees. This is the first contribution to that series.

Democracy & Capitalism This week, Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated as America’s 46th president, standing on the West Front of the US Capitol that was attacked earlier this month. With that picture still vivid in the minds of many, President Biden swore…

By Sarah Drinkwater, Director, Responsible Technology and Tracy Williams, Director, Reimagining Capitalism

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Photo by Jeenah Moon, Reuters

In less than three weeks, nearly 6,000 workers at a fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama will begin voting on whether or not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. If they vote yes, they will make history as the first American union in Amazon’s history.

The tech giant, which employs more than 1.1 million people around the world, has so far thwarted all attempts to unionize workers in the United States. The results? “The working conditions are horrible is all I’m willing to say,” said one…

By Simone Hill, Senior Manager, Omidyar Network

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Illustration by Tiffany Hughes.

In June, Omidyar Network committed $500,000 to organizations fighting on the frontlines for racial justice because we firmly believe that this work is core to our ability to create inclusive, equitable societies. While the funding is an essential step toward our vision, the way we invested was also critical to developing thoughtful partnerships with organizations already building or scaling innovations.

What does it mean to invest in justice? It begins with a clear-eyed recognition of the systemic racism that manifests within all of our systems to undermine the safety of Black and Brown…

How do we build a world we’ve never seen before? We must change who drives the future.

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Illustration by Superside

By Eshanthi Ranasinghe and David Hsu, Exploration & Future Sensing, Omidyar Network

Every day we take steps which carry our attitudes and assumptions about the future. Our steps can be fearful and cautious. They can also be bold leaps made out of clear-eyed hope and raw necessity.

In this year of concurrent crises and collapses, when many ways forward seem possible, the challenge is to critically discern between pathways which wind up leading back to a broken “normal” and pathways which lead us into a future we have never seen before — one that is more equitable, just, and beautiful…

By Subhashish Bhadra, Principal, Omidyar Network

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Regulators, governments, and courts have struggled to catch up with today’s rapid technological progress. That’s why Omidyar Network is exploring what it takes to reimagine our institutions.

Circa 2011, the internet was hailed as a bastion of freedom. A man in Egypt even named his newborn daughter “Facebook,” in honor of the pivotal role the social media company played in the Arab Spring.

Today, countries in the Global South have a litany of complaints against tech companies: privacy breaches, domestic tax evasion, inadequate content moderation, lack of free speech online, data extraction to outside…

By Wafa-Ben Hassine, Principal, Omidyar Network

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I believe it can. And it must. As a human rights attorney, I come at this issue thinking about people first.

Whether its messaging a family member asking them to bring home a loaf of bread, or discussing next year’s business strategy with a colleague, secure encryption ensures we can have private conversations and guarantees the integrity of our communication. Users’ quick adoption of encrypted, private messaging speaks volumes of its importance: billions of users worldwide use encrypted messaging on a daily basis as an indispensable tool in their livelihoods.

While the examples above…

By Mike Kubzansky, CEO, Omidyar Network

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2020 has challenged and consumed us — as individuals and as a society. From the pandemic to politics, to the severe economic downturn and the desperate cries for Black lives to matter; too many across the country and around the globe are struggling — financially, physically, and mentally.

We are at times scared, or angry, or resigned, and a pervasive sense of helplessness underpins so much of current daily life, across whole swathes of society. Yet so many people have remained remarkably resilient and resolute. We have donned our masks and taken to the…

Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a social change venture that reimagines critical systems, and the ideas that govern them, to build more inclusive and equitable societies.

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