Building stronger societies
View this email in a browser May 2022
Since launching Luminate in 2018, we’ve seen information being degraded and weaponised, technology being used to oppress and surveil, and social media platforms fueling polarisation and divisions. The pandemic has placed a massive burden on already fragile systems, exacerbating many of these harms.

We’ve examined our role in addressing these issues and how to maximize our impact, and in response, Luminate has evolved our strategy to set a more focused long-term direction. In a new blog, CEO Stephen King previews how we’re working to ensure that everyone – especially those who are underrepresented – has the information, rights, and power to influence the decisions that affect us all.
Stories of impact from our US portfolio

After a decade of actively investing in civic tech, movement building, immigrant justice, data & digital rights, and more recently narrative change in the US, we're winding down our domestic work there by the end of 2023.

To honor the impactful work of our US partners we asked them to share work, plans for the future, and how funders can support their continued progress fighting for social justice and equity.

Read stories from America's Voice, Code for America, The Four Freedoms Fund, FUSE Corps, Joy Olson, Just Futures Law, Pop Culture Collaborative, Race Forward, Represent Justice, and Storyline Partners.
Insights from our Western Europe partners

Since we started building our Western Europe portfolio in 2017, we've partnered with and funded some extraordinary people and organisations in the UK, Germany, and France.

Before we wind down our domestic work there by the end of 2023, we wanted to also give space to these partners to share their perspectives on their work, what they have learnt, and what’s needed in the future.

Leaders from Brand New Bundestag, Demsoc, Disclose, Foxglove, JoinPolitics, Liberty, medConfidential, and openDemocracy wrote about their work.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa on how to stand up to a dictator

At this year's SXSW, Stephen King spoke with Nobel Peace Prize winner & journalist Maria Ressa and writer & Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Agora Institute Peter Pomerantsev about disinformation, ‘fake news’, and the fight for truth.
Op-ed: Big Tech needs to pull the plug on Russia's propaganda campaign

The Z campaign quickly became a serious information weapon on social media to justify a horrific war. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Ben Scott argued why Big Tech should pull the plug on the dangerous digital propaganda campaign.

What we've learned from our wellness stipend programme

We launched our Wellness Stipend programme to give select partners the ability to take steps toward support, healing, and resilience. Laura Bacon shared her reflections and learnings from the first year of the initiative with the hope of inspiring more funders to prioritise and promote wellbeing for their partners.
Report on Youth & Democracy in Latin America

With elections across Latin America this year, the behaviours of young people are a critical factor in deciding whether countries will renounce authoritarianism or move towards more democratic forms of government. We partnered with researchers Esther Solano and Camila Rocha on this study to better understand how this group perceives democracy.

How have political attitudes changed during the pandemic?
The Great Reset: Public Opinion, Populism, and the Pandemic, a new report from Cambridge’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy, provides the first global overview of how the pandemic has changed political attitudes and beliefs.

It found strong evidence that the pandemic has blunted the rise of populism, but also found a disturbing erosion of support for core democratic principles.
New film: People You May Know
Luminate was pleased to support the making of People You May Know, an FT Film written by James Graham on the challenges presented by big data and algorithms during the pandemic.

The film demonstrates that due to the collective nature of data, people are more impacted by other people’s data than by data about themselves.

The film received a Webby award and was nominated for a BAFTA.
News from our partners

Many of these inspiring organisations are hiring. Check out open positions with our partners here.

Big Cabal Media raised a $2.3M seed round to grow its digital products. The outlet received funding from existing and new funders, including Luminate.

The Center for Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law has published a new report on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) broad surveillance infrastructure.

There were 23 people elected to office in Colombia after participating in Extituto’s 'Ocupar La Política' programme, which provides political candidates with training and support on political innovation, participatory leadership, and accountability. The group of newly elected officials includes many people who are underrepresented in politics such as young people, women, Indigenous people, and members of the LGBTI community.

The International Fund for Public Interest Media has launched an inaugural round of funding through an open call in 17 countries. The deadline for submission of concept notes is 13 June.

The Open Development Initiative is partnering with the Asian Indigenous Peoples’ Pact and local Indigenous organisations to leverage the use of Indigenous Data Sovereignty principles, contextualised to an Asian context, to increase Indigenous Peoples’ rights. The organisation is looking at how new technology could help to centre the needs of Indigenous Peoples and ethnic minorities (IEM) communities while protecting their rights, connection to the natural environment, and use of data for effective public health responses to COVID-19. Read more here and here

Tifa Foundation and CIPG published research on the state of data governance in Indonesia’s health and education sectors which found the availability of electronic-based and digital public services has not been adequately reliable during the pandemic. Tifa held a discussion with the representatives and policymakers from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education and recommended steps to improve the existing data governance system.

Too Much Information with Ty Ngachira, an innovative political satire TV show, premiered on 10 April on NTV Kenya. Episodes are available on YouTube

Many of our partners have recently been recognised for their impact:

Where you can find us
Media Impact Forum (1 June)
Join Luminate and other media funders for a day of conversation in Washington, DC on how funders can support storytelling as a powerful lever in the fight for equal justice. Felipe Estefan will moderate a panel at the event about The Territory.
Chatham House's Second Century London Conference (23-24 June)
The London Conference focus on the state of global order and pathways to manage multiple parallel crises. It will take place in a hybrid format, with virtual attendees able to engage in the event’s plenary sessions, including a panel with Stephen King on reinvigorating and renewing democracy.
Athens Democracy Forum (28-30 September)
Stephen King will attend the Athens Democracy Forum, which brings together people from academia, politics, business, and civil society to discuss the challenges facing democracy. We're pleased to sponsor the event for a second year.
Luminate is hiring
Policy Lead | Berlin
Lead our political and policy advocacy strategies in the European Union, oversee and support EU-based grantees and contractors
Funding Operations Contractor (Fixed Term) | London
Manage and support a variety of funding operations processes including grants management, reporting, risk management, and due diligence for a fixed six-month period 
Associate, Latin America | Mexico City
Support the team in building and managing a portfolio of grants with a primary focus on Mexico and additional work in Argentina and Colombia, monitor performance, and support research and advocacy related to Luminate's issues in Latin America
Principal, Programmes | London, Jakarta, Nairobi, São Paulo, Singapore, or DC
Lead Luminate’s global work on information ecosystems, exploring how Luminate can fund global and transregional organisations and initiatives to build healthier media ecosystems and support constructive public debate.  
Associate, Programmes | London, Jakarta, Nairobi, São Paulo, Singapore, or DC
Support Luminate’s global work on information ecosystems, exploring how Luminate can fund global and transregional organisations and initiatives to build healthier media ecosystems and support constructive public debate. 

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