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Issue 8

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Open call for Branch Issue 8 (Spring 2024)

The next issue of Branch will be released at the end of April 2024 and sets out to explore the theme ‘Finding beauty in the imperfect‘.

Why ‘finding beauty in the imperfect’?

Right now, it might feel like we’re heading towards a world where digital tech aspires to makes everything seemingly perfect. An ordered, frictionless world that operates blazingly fast to conveniently meet our physical needs.

But what do we lose as we strive for this “perfect” state? Who and what gets left behind? Does this notion of perfection cost us a beautiful and connected life? And how does the quest for perfection impact our ability to navigate the envitable trade-offs associated with creating a more sustainable, beautiful world?

This issue sets out to explore these questions in the context of “a just and sustainable internet” and “humane web”.

We invite you to embrace the subjective answers that will arise with us. What is perfect to some, is imperfect to others. What is beautiful to one, is ugly to another. Where some find hope, others might feel dispair.

We have to accept there is no universal right or wrong answer – no perfect response. Instead we have to settle for finding peace in balancing sometimes conflicting things. Peace with finding our own notion of beauty in the imperfections around us, and accepting the right of others to do the same.

Read more about the inspiration behind this theme.

We invite you to get involved.

We aim for this issue of Branch to feel our most collaborative yet.

This call is an open invitation to explore your perspective through writing, audio, art and everything in between. Issue 8 aims to be a mosaic of narratives that captivate and inspire, and explore the subjectivity of finding beauty in imperfection in the digital world.

We’re looking for people who want to showcase their thoughts and ideas, big and small, in our next edition. You don’t have to be an experienced writer, nor work in tech, to have something to say about the theme finding beauty in the imperfect. We’re here to lift your voice up and we’ll support you in the process.

There are two ways you can contribute.

  1. Quick (2-5 minutes) – submit a reflection on what makes climate tech imperfectly beautiful to you. Jump to more info.
  2. More involved (10 – 15 minutes) – submit an idea for a full piece. Jump to more info.

Quick option: submit your reflections

We’d love to hear your reflections on what makes climate tech imperfectly beautiful to you. Our aim through collecting these reflections is to present a set of short, diverse perspectives and stimulate exploration. There are no right or wrong answers, and the phrase “climate tech” is deliberately open for you to freely interpret.

Here are some prompts to get you reflecting:

  • Give an example of a climate-friendly technology you’ve seen at work or in your daily life that you think could be better, but still helps make the world a nicer place?
  • Share how some technologies, despite their imperfections, help you connect with others and nature? Could you picture life without them?
  • Which eco-friendly technologies do you think are seen as flawed by others but are important to you? Why do they matter to you?

You can submit as many ideas as you like. We can’t wait to read your perspectives!

Submit using this Google form by Tues 27th Feb 2024.

More involved option: submit full piece ideas

We believe in the power of storytelling, the beauty of diverse perspectives and the magic that happens when creativity knows no bounds. Whether you’re an emerging writer, an established artist or a fresh voice with something to say, we invite you share a fuller response to the questions thrown up by our theme finding beauty in the imperfect.

What we’re looking for.

We want the final shape of the issue to appeal to a range of viewers and include something for everyone. We’re looking for a balance of pieces that cover a range of writing styles and content types, such as:

  • Format: Written – audio – visual
  • Writing style: Storytelling – factual – interviews – creative writing – instructional – opinion
  • Length: Long (max 2,000 words) – short (500 words)
  • Voices: Single vs collective
  • Other languages: Very welcome, but we’d like there to be an english translation for each piece – we can help with translation

You can submit your ideas for any larger pieces using this Google form by Tues 27th Feb 2024.

What we can offer.

  • For successful submissions
    • an optional stipend of €250 for any larger pieces
    • support with copywriting/proofreading and illustration
    • promoting your piece via various channels
  • For unsuccessful submissions:
    • A clear, timely decision within the timelines stated
    • Apologies but it may not be possible for us to provide feedback on each submission

Timelines

Tues 27 Feb – Call for contributions closes

Fri 8 Mar – All submitters notified about decisions

Fri 12 April – Successful articles completed

Tues 23 April – Issue 8 launch day

Guest issue editors

Issue 8 of Branch is led through collaboration between Marketa Benisek and Hannah Smith.

Marketa Benisek, Wholegrain Digital
Marketa Benisek, Digital Sustainability Lead, Wholegrain Digital
Hannah Smith, Green Web Foundation
Hannah Smith, Director of Operations, Green Web Foundation

Republishing content as launch partners

Like our previous issues, all the content will have the same permissive creative commons license, which means you’re free to use this commercially, as long as you keep the attribution.

We do this to increase the reach of the ideas contributed to each issue, but also because we want them to develop beyond this publication. If you’re interested in working with us on distribution, and we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at support@thegreenwebfoundation.org.