The TPUK Dashboard provides a status report of the projects being undertaken by the Transhumanist Party (UK) (referred to as simply "the Party" on this page).
The Dashboard draws information from the Trello boards which officers of the Party use to keep track of specific tasks.
The Dashboard is current as of 13th March 2019.
The Party has relaunched its website transhumanistparty.org.uk using Webflow.
The website provides a "Join us" link that connects to a database backend provided by NationBuilder.
It also provides buttons to make a financial donation, and to commence a regular annual membership subscription.
Next steps with the website include some additional information pages.
The Party uses Mailchimp to create a newsletter and other email communications, currently at a rate of about one per week.
In addition to regular news updates, this mechanism can be used to issue press-release style comments by the Party.
Copies of newsletters are also available on the Party website.
Processes need to be developed for:
- Gathering input from members and supporters for inclusion in newsletters
- Quickly reviewing the material received
- Balancing a flow of interesting information with specific calls-to-action
The Party has asked for assistance from supporters to review and potentially update elements of the Party brand, including logos, images, colour schemes, and taglines.
Some revised brand elements have been proposed and may be rolled out shortly.
The Party also wishes to develop a team that can create memes containing messages supporting the Party.
Incoming press and media inquiries are received by a team that decides the best response.
From the formation of the Party, members have been invited to take part in a Google Group discussion forum.
From January 2019, members and active supporters have been invited to join a Slack application, transhumanistuk.slack.com. The stated purpose of the Slack is to enable supporters of the Party to exchange news and views, and to progress plans. An invitation link has been publicised for the Slack: Link expires on 20 Mar 2019.
Supporters of the Party are also able to share ideas on a public Facebook Group.
To facilitate discussion with greater structure, the Party is preparing to trial usage of the Discourse forum. An implementation has been prepared and initial material is being assembled ahead of the site being opened to wider access.
The Party has a number of social media channels:
Processes for managing these channels are currently adhoc. There is a large potential upside from making better use of these channels.
A supporter of the Party is developing plans to feature Party members and projects in a regular podcast series.
The next step is to build a team of around 3-4 people in total to support this project, ideally within travelling distance to Bournemouth and/or London.
The Party plans to organise online meetings using tools such as YouTube Live, Google Meet, and/or Zoom.
An initial Facebook Live video session took place between 6pm-7pm UK time on Sunday 3rd March, on the Party's Facebook page.
The Party intends to conduct regular surveys of opinions and ideas held by members and supporters.
Improving mental health
The first campaign announced by the Party, after the reboot, is to improve mental health:
A vital part of human flourishing is our mental health. Many factors contribute to mental well-being, including genetic and environmental factors.
Some writers suggest that psychedelics, used wisely, have the potential to significantly boost mental health. This applies both as a “cure” (helping people recover “normal” levels of psychological well-being) and as an “enhancement” (enabling people to reach levels of consciousness more profound than the ones normally encountered). However, the current legal framework puts many obstacles in the way of experimentation with psychedelics.
The renowned science and food writer Michael Pollan has recently called for a re-evaluation of legislation covering psychedelics, in his latest book “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence”.
Within the UK, key research into both the opportunities and risks of liberalising psychedelics has been carried out by Dr Robin Carhart-Harris of Imperial College and Professor David Nutt, also of Imperial.
What policies should the Party adopt in this area? That’s the mission for this team to work out.
Data and ideas to help craft this campaign are currently being assembled on the Party's Slack. More structured discussion will commence shortly on Discourse.
Improving democratic discussions
The Party wishes to "be the change we want to see in the world". This includes making wise use of technology to improve democratic discussions.
For this reason, the Party is seeking to understand what processes it should follow, in reaching decisions on policies and campaigns.
At the minimum, steps will include:
- Verify facts surrounding issue of interest and generate supporting documentation
- Propose a variety of initiatives, using ideas raised by Party members
- Verify the proposals are ethically/economically/technologically viable
- Check for alignment with the core principles of the Party
- Share with the membership via online tools for debate
- Verify facts surrounding the debate arguments
- Release as formal Party policy
A draft flowchart of the policy, along with explanatory text, was included in the Party's newsletter distributed on 26th Feb 2019.
In parallel with developing new policies and campaigns, there is a need to review the policies created by the Party in 2015, to assess whether any updates or revisions are needed. This discussion is taking place on the Party's Slack.
It has been suggested that members and supporters of the Party could receive some kind of quantitative "karma" reputation on account of active participation in Party activities. This could use the ideas of gamification to incentivise participation. The details need to be worked out.
Responding to Article 13
It has been suggested that the Party should offer a public response to Article 13 of the proposed EU Copyright Directive.
Party members are discussing this option on Slack.
Candidates for elections
From time to time, the Party receives approaches from people interested in standing for election at local levels under the banner of the Transhumanist Party.
The Party needs to agree a process for responding to these inquiries.
The Party's NEC (National Executive Committee) has regular video meetings (currently once per fortnight) and also keeps in regular contact on a private Slack channel.
Members of the NEC, with their current roles, are:
- David Wood: Co-leader; Chair of NEC; Party Treasurer
- Mathieu Gosselin: Co-leader; Campaigns/Publicity Director
- Julian Snape: Policy Director for Social Contract & Education
- Chris Monteiro: Information Technology Director
- Alexander Karran: Policy Director for AI & Human Enhancement
- Jean-Michel Carter: Academic Relations Director; Operations Director
- Ryan Brown: Publicity and campaigns
- Damian Brooks: Website and system development
- John Bargman: Forum and system development
Other officers of the Party who have agreed to make their name and role public are:
Links to other transhumanist parties
To take good advantage of the experience and insights gained by transhumanist parties around the world, a set of "ambassadors" should be put in place.
The Treasurer of the Party is legally required to submit a set of financial records each year, to the UK's Electoral Commission. The report for any year needs to be submitted before the end of March in the following year.
At least some communications channels or other Party services should be restricted to those supporters of the Party who make regular financial contributions (such as the £25 annual membership payment).
A document is being drawn up to give reasons why people with disposable wealth should consider providing extra financial support for the Party.
Options for supporting the Party via sites like Patreon ought to be investigated.
Database of supporters
Since 2015 the Party has made use of NationBuilder to maintain a database of people expressing various kinds of interest in the Party. The utility of NationBuilder has been questioned. The Party needs to take a decision whether to move away from NationBuilder, or instead to improve how it is being used.
The Party's constitution was created in 2015 and is overdue review. Ideally the constitution will be lean rather than heavyweight.
Key performance indicators
A draft set of KPIs for the Party has been created. At present, however, for many of these KPIs, there is no way to measure them quantitatively.