Building stronger societes
View this email in a browser December 2019
Reflecting on our first year as Luminate

It’s been an exciting first year for Luminate as we’ve worked to establish our organisation, map out our future direction, and partner with inspiring groups around the world. CEO Stephen King shares reflections on our first year as Luminate.

Launch of Baraza Media Lab
Alongside Mettā, Luminate launched Baraza Media Lab, a collaborative work space dedicated to providing support and resources to help increase the capacity, quality, and financial sustainability of independent journalism and media organisations in Kenya, and across the region.
Congratulations to the Velocidad winners!
We believe in the role of a free press to give people the information they need to participate in the issues shaping their lives. Felipe Estefan and Gabriela Hadid wrote about the first 10 winners of Velocidad, an accelerator designed to support independent news media in Latin America. 
Meet Luminate's Advisory Group
We were pleased to welcome 11 members to our Advisory Group this year. We believe their independent expertise is critical to challenging, sharpening, and advancing our thinking on the core strategic questions and assumptions driving our work.
Data isn't the oil, it's the new CO2
Managing Director Martin Tisné wrote about how we are more impacted by other people’s data (with whom we are grouped) than we are by data about us. He has spoken on the topic at a number of events recently, including the Thomson Reuters Foundation's Trust Conference
Tackling corruption and increasing accountability:  Stories from Nigeria 
Managing Director Ory Okolloh introduced video interviews with five Nigeria-based investees who speak about their work to increase accountability, reduce corruption, and ensure public funds are spent delivering the services the public really needs.
Just Mercy: Changing the conversation about criminal justice
Director Alissa Black announced our support for an impact campaign around Just Mercy which tells a powerful story of grace, redemption, and forgiveness and provides an opportunity to change the conversation about criminal justice. The movie is out in select US cities this month. 
Reshaping America's immigration narrative
Senior Advisor Jackie Mahendra shared how Define American uses media and the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in the US.
Listen to Ory Okolloh on Chatham House's Undercurrents podcast
Following the Chatham House Illicit Financial Flows event in October, Ory Okolloh, Managing Director, Africa, joined the Undercurrents podcast to discuss dark money and democracy.
Natural Resource Governance Institute: Helping governments and people make the most of their natural resources
Principal Andrew Clarke wrote about Natural Resource Governance Institute’s work to help resource-rich countries reap the benefits of natural resources to support sustainable development through domestic resource mobilization and accountable policy-making.
Accountability Lab: Driving positive narratives about change and accountability
There is a pressing need for tools that counter the perception of futility, open channels of engagement, and celebrate positive elements in government and civil service. Principal Stan Getui shared how Accountability Lab is doing just that.
Investing in Pop Culture Collaborative and the promise of American pluralism
Media has a clear influence on society, yet rarely represents it fully. Senior Advisor Jackie Mahendra highlighted how Pop Culture Collaborative is working to change the narrative around historically marginalised groups.
Accountability Counsel: Helping communities defend their rights
Principal Andrew Clarke wrote about how Accountability Counsel supports people harmed by development projects with community-driven and policy-level strategies to ensure that financial flows do no harm, support local development, and do not undermine human rights.
Ranking Digital Rights and European Digital Rights: Protecting our rights in a digital environment
The rights and freedoms of individuals and communities in the digital age are increasingly under threat. Associate Salmana Ahmed highlighted how Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) and European Digital Rights (EDRi) are using complementary strategies to safeguard the rights of people and to hold power to account.
IWMF: Tackling harassment and empowering female journalists
Associate Deepa Iyer shared how the International Women’s Media Foundation is seeking to elevate the voices and status of female journalists globally in news media. It hosts a range of programmes targeted at helping women journalists develop practical solutions to the obstacles faced in their careers and lives.
Right2Know: Fighting for the right to know in South Africa
Associate Wendy Trott spoke with Right2Know’s Ghalib Galant about the organisation’s upcoming priorities and what it has learned since the Secrecy Bill in 2010.
PPDC: The future of public contracting in Nigeria
Nkem Ilo, CEO of PPDC, talked with Associate Wendy Trott about how Nigeria is using open contracting to fight corruption and mismanagement, and the future of PPDC’s work.
Listen, understand, reflect: How Avalanche helps causes win
Avalanche's innovative AI-enabled listening tool helps organizers capture insights with the depth of a focus group and the breadth of polling.  Principal McKenzie Smith shared more about our recent investment in the organisation.
Namati: Pursuing equal, full citizenship rights for all Kenyans
Millions of Kenyans face discrimination when trying to acquire basic legal identity documents allowing them to vote, secure a job, or apply for a loan. Principal Stan Getui wrote about how our new investee Namati is empowering communities to work together to end this discrimination.
News from Investees and Partners

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Africa Check expanded its services to provide fact checking in more local languages, including Yoruba, Afrikaans, Swahili, and Wolof.

Code for America announced a partnership in Illinois to clear tens of thousands of eligible criminal records. This was the first time the Clear My Record tool was used outside of California.

The Correspondent launched its English publication, which covers a range of global topics: Climate, Othering, The First 1,000 Days, Sanity, Better Politics, Numeracy, and Everyday Colonialism.

The team at the International Budget Partnership responded to our Financial Transparency strategy, highlighting how focusing only on corruption as the primary cause of government performance problems can cover up other issues.

Brazilian digital journalism outlet Nexo entered into a new subscription partnership with The New York Times.

RSA released "About Data, About Us", a report in partnership with the Open Data Institute and Luminate, exploring how members of the UK public feel about data about them. It found that people want transparency, control, and rights over how data about them is used.

Rappler’s Maria Ressa was profiled by the FT and The New York Times Magazine, and she was featured on the BBC's The Documentary.

Transparency International UK released a new publication, At Your Service, which shines a light on the role of UK businesses, institutions, and individuals in facilitating corruption.

Inspired by its procurement tool ProZorro, Transparency International Ukraine’s centralised digital auction system, ProZorro.Sale, allows Ukrainian government agencies to sell or lease assets like used office equipment or old railcars efficiently and transparently. 

The founders of Unite US were on the A Healthy Dose podcast to discuss how the company is enabling the future of integrated health and social care. Fast Company also featured their work matching US veterans to the critical support services they need when reentering civilian life. 

Where you can find us
SXSW (13-22 March)
Martin Tisné will lead a conversation on group data rights, and Nishant Lalwani will moderate a panel on independent mediaThe US team will also be at the Civic I/O Mayors Summit at SXSW.
Sundance Film Festival (23 January-2 February)
Earlier this year, Luminate partnered with the Sundance Institute to create a fund for media projects using storytelling for social good across our impact areas. Three films that Luminate supported through the fund, Softie, Influence, and A Thousand Cuts, will premiere at the film festival, and Stephen King, Nishant Lalwani, Alissa Black, and Felipe Estefan will be in attendance. While there, Stephen will also moderate a panel exploring how storytelling can unite societies amidst the use of tech tools that amplify dangerous narratives. 
ACM FAT* Conference (27-30 January)
Martin Tisné and Salmana Ahmed will attend the ACM FAT* Conference in Barcelona, which brings together researchers and practitioners interested in fairness, accountability, and transparency. We're looking forward to seeing many partners there, including Nani Jansen Reventlow, Director of the Digital Freedom Fund, who will be giving a keynote.
Splice Beta 2020 (18 February)
Nishant Lalwani, Melanie Hui, and Myo Zin will participate in Splice Beta, a celebration of media startups in Asia. 
TICTeC (24-25 March)
Luminate is supporting TICTeC 2020 and will be at the event in Reykjavik to meet with other leaders from around the world working across civic tech issues.
Luminate Jobs
Financial Controller | Washington, DC or London
Responsible for an array of finance activity for day-to-day operations as well as investment portfolio management
Principal, US | San Francisco or Washington, DC
Support and build the US grants portfolio, primarily focused on civic empowerment, storytelling, and data & digital rights issues
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