Welcome to NATM

The Non Aligned Technologies Movement (NATM) is a coalition for the purposeful implementation of digital technologies in a way that affirms each community’s power of self determination and governance. We aim to become a worldwide alliance of civil society organizations (in collaboration with allied players from the public and private sector) that seek to define and claim technosocial spaces beyond the profit-motivated model of Silicon Valley and the control-motivated model of the Chinese Communist Party, the two centers of power of a new colonial extractivist order. NATM does not presume to offer a single solution to the problem of data colonialism [1] [2]; instead it seeks to promote a collection of models and platforms that allow communities to articulate their own approaches to decolonization.

For a quick introduction, please read “The case for a digital non-aligned movement” and “To fight data colonialism, we need a Non-Aligned Tech Movement.” Other suggested readings are listed here. See also the work of Tierra ComĂșn.

Why this movement is necessary

First, it has become patently clear that the development of technologies in China and the US is exempt, on purpose, from any social accountability. How has this happened? It is universally accepted (one hopes) that a scientific experiment can only go forward if the researchers can demonstrate it will not negatively affect human subjects. And yet, in the world of technological development, no such expectation exists.

If technology is the application of science, its implementation needs to be held to the same scientific standards, especially when it is evident that technology affects society in profound and long-lasting ways, well beyond the “development” phase.

Traditionally, capitalism has told us that this cannot happen because it would delay and interfere with innovation. NATM is the a step towards rejecting that narrative, and saying that we no longer believe there is a sharp distinction between scientific research and technological implementation.

The two have become practically indistinguishable because modern digital technologies are constantly changing, and thus their impact needs to be constantly assessed and held to stringent ethical standards.

Second, it has also become evident that most governments and world organizations are incapable or unwilling to stand up to the Big Tech axis, even if it means imposing minimal taxes or protections for users. A Non-Aligned Technologies movement would empower civil societies across the globe to act in consort to meet their shared objectives while putting pressure on their respective governments to change the way they deal with Big Tech.