Our Open Calls

Reset reviews and accepts a wide range of project ideas in an effort to help create a more open, inclusive, and equitable global society.

Our Open Calls support the individuals, organisations, and communities working around the world to address the damage inflicted by surveillance capitalism on human rights, democracy, and open societies. Through the Funds and Fellowships discussed below, we help enable new ideas to surface and flourish by providing funding to projects operating within our four core areas of work. Our hope is that the technology-focused interventions developed through these Open Calls will ultimately help change the way information spreads online and enable the internet to once again serve the public good over corporate/political interests.

Setting the stage

Across the globe, the rise of "Big Tech" platform companies has coincided with a general weakening of democracy. The business model these companies favor - prioritising profits over digital rights - has helped unleash unprecedented levels of hate speech, disinformation, and polarising narratives. Due to the advance of surveillance capitalism, through which the monitoring of online behaviour drives data profiling for content curation, profit, and power, every online user now gets their own customised experience. But these curated echo chambers needlessly - and artificially - drive us apart.

Different users receive not only a steady diet of opposing views (which shift gradually to the extremes to encourage further clicking), but also a profoundly different set of facts. As a result, the past decade has been defined by online political mis/disinformation campaigns that reinforce identity politics and incentivise outrage-driven modes of digital engagement. And with each erosion of democratic principles and participation comes increased profits for Big Tech.

We're working to change this.

Reset and our network of partners are committed to ensuring that technology works for democracy rather than against it. To make this happen, we must reset the rules for the products and services at the centre of these issues. We must also change public expectations about how the internet can support democracy by explaining what’s wrong, exposing why it’s happening, and demonstrating how it can get better. Together, we can help the internet retake its place as a force for good - not a marketplace for manipulation.

Why Open Calls?

Our Open Calls create opportunities for Reset to engage with the individuals and organisations working to tackle the challenges discussed above. They help us amplify and accelerate this critical work, while building a network of partners to facilitate and coordinate the transfer/redistribution of knowledge and resources.

Through our Open Calls we seek to support technology-focused interventions with clear human-centred benefits for those negatively affected by surveillance capitalism. Every project we support, or change we make, starts with this goal in mind. Accordingly, we strive to support efforts that:

  • Improve the integrity of democracy in our digital age - by intervening directly with governments, press, and other institutions responsible for the trust and health of current democracies.
  • Enhance digital protections available to individuals - by giving them the power to thwart surveillance capitalism’s ability to pervade and exploit.
  • Raise awareness on the state of surveillance capitalism - by illuminating threats and opportunities.
  • Stimulate the growth of virtuous alternatives - by exploring better policy creation and money-making models.

Our Introduction to Open Calls article is great resource for those interested in learning more about why Reset offers Open Calls and what they mean to us. In addition to providing all you need to know about when and how to apply, Our Guide to Open Calls also offers an excellent deep-dive on these topics.

Below, you can view our currently available Open Calls. Potential applicants should be sure to review the unique profile of each Fund and Fellowship before applying (each one seeks different types of applicants).

Current opportunities:

Reset Our Future Fund

Surveillance capitalism harms democracy, human rights online, and open societies. This open call is our primary way to support organisations and people using technology, research, and education that help tackle these challenges.
[ Deadline: 1st November 2020 ]

Information Control Fellowship

Information Control Fellows are individuals seeking to advance the understanding of surveillance capitalism enabled information controls through research and technology outputs that are creative collaborations from within partner organisations.
[ Deadline: 1st November 2020 ]

Resident Fellowship

Resident Fellows are individuals who seek to advance our understanding of surveillance capitalism and change the way Reset works and thinks from the inside.
[ Deadline: 1st November 2020 ]

Application deadlines

Applications for all Open Calls are accepted on a rolling basis. To be considered for this round, applications must be submitted no later than 23.59 (11.59PM) GMT on the 1st of November 2020. If a submission is received after that time, it will be reviewed in the next round. Reset reviews applications at the end of each round.

Immediately after submitting your application, you will receive an automatic email confirming that we have received it. After that, your next contact with Reset will be a determination notice, which you can expect to receive in a reasonable amount time after the closure of the round. Approval is not guaranteed at any stage of the application process. You can learn more about the application and decision processes here.

Note that before completing an application form, you are strongly advised to read our Guide to Open Calls, Terms of Use, and the specific criteria of the particular Fund or Fellowship to which you are applying. To stay up to date on any changes to Open Calls and other Reset funding opportunities, you should also consider signing up for Reset announcements.

Acknowledgement & appreciation

Our Open Calls are inspired by the successful models developed by the Open Technology Fund, Data & Society, Shuttleworth Foundation, Mozilla, New Media Ventures, and others committed to conducting Open Calls. Thank you all.

As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out and get in touch.