Wanted – freelance mentor for AI and community action lab

We are looking for a freelance mentor to support our upcoming lab on AI and community action.

Mary Stevens27 Nov 2023

Could you bring your enthusiasm, skills – and a healthy dose of critical thinking – to support our community-based experimenters in AI?

About you

Are you well-versed in and curious about the applications of generative AI technologies and have experience of applying them yourself (ideally in a tech-for-good context)?

Are you aware of and sensitive to both the practical and ethical issues that community-based activists or NGOs might face when applying these technologies? Would you be interested in supporting  them to navigate these effectively?  

If your creativity is ignited by people taking ownership of AI technologies to solve challenges in their communities, you could be supporting our participants to unlock the potential of AI.

About the lab

Our Experiments Team  exists to equip our communities with the tools and the mindset to unlock solutions to our most difficult and complex problems in an uncertain and ecologically fragile world.

Friends of the Earth recognises that AI has the potential to transform every part of our mission. Even at the local level, its potential to skew debates and derail progress on climate action through targeted personalised disinformation is huge. But AI technologies also have tremendous potential to unlock the creativity and capabilities of people taking action together for their local neighbourhoods. 

Our AI and community action Lab will focus on how communities might use AI to work better together to improve their local environment. We think that by getting hands-on with the technologies, and combining practical experimentation with ethical exploration, we will help foster a more informed conversation about AI and the environment. As Friends of the Earth aims to build the power of local communities to take action on the environmental issues that matter most to them, this lab takes AI to the heart of our mission.  You can read more about it here.

Key information

Location: Remote, with opportunities for in-person collaboration in London, Sheffield or Bristol.

Contract type:  Freelance – 30 hours between end of January and May 2024.

Important dates: You must be available in the afternoon on the following dates: 31 Jan, 7 Feb, 20 March. Ideally you will also be able to join (remotely) for some sessions in our team ‘immersion’ (13-14 Feb, timings flexible).

Deadline for applications: midnight, 3rd January 2024.

Compensation: (£1500, including VAT if applicable).

Your responsibilities

  • Content curation: provide accessible stimulus to the participants for the immersion (see important dates below), expanding their horizons about AI beyond the narrow mainstream debate. This will be co-designed with the team and could take the form of a short video presentation, a curated set of links or clips to provide inspiration or guided reading with discussion questions.
  • Collaborative design: work with participants to support participants to translate ideas into basic prototypes, including in workshop setting.
  • Mentoring: build relationships with each participant and mentor them within the lab journey to better understand AI technologies and how they might be applied in their context.
  • Rapid prototyping: work with the participants to develop rapid prototypes to showcase what’s possible.

Your skills

  • Communication: translation of complex knowledge into accessible information and content.
  • Content curation: ability to curate accessible and engaging content.
  • Mentoring: experience of building respectful and trusting relationships in a short period of time and ability to strike a balance between drawing on your skills and experience and supporting mentees to find their own solutions.
  • AI literacy and practice:  experience of building basic prototypes, using generative AI tools.
  • Data awareness: familiarity with the available datasets that might support local environmental action and how these can be accessed and applied.
  • Context: experience of applying your tech skills in a community or volunteer-led context, or in support of a campaigning organisation. You will be aware of the many ways in which people in our communities can experience discrimination and the role digital technologies can play in furthering their marginalisation.

Does this sound like you?

If you are strong in some of these areas but have less experience in others please do consider applying anyway - or get in touch for a chat.  We may be able to find ways to bring in complementary skills for someone who shares our vision and curiosity. If you would like to have an informal conversation with us about the opportunity, please book a slot using this link.

How to apply

Please complete this online form, and send either a CV or your LinkedIn profile to [email protected] by midnight on 3 January. You will need to be available for an informal interview in the week of 8 January.

A thank you

In developing this role and this brief we have drawn from the experience of Huddlecraft, working in partnership with Catalyst, on their web3.0 learning immersion. Thank you to Daniel Ford and Ellie Osborne for sharing their learnings with us.