Code of Conduct

  • 06 June, 2024


Our Privacy Policy, Methodology, and Code of Conduct provides clarity on how we operate New Design Congress and the standards we hold ourselves, our members and community to.

The New Design Congress community is a diverse cohort that asserts that another future is possible. Our Members come from a variety of cultural, ethnic and professional backgrounds; our work and the issues we grapple with together are often provocative, emotional and urgent. We are dedicated to building an inclusive and harassment-free environment for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion (or lack thereof), body size, physical appearance, social class or language ability (ability to speak English).

We aspire to live by our values and behave in ways that positively impact our communities, how we treat each other, how we interact with one another, and how we see the world. This Code of Conduct enshrines our expectations for everyday interactions with others within the New Design Congress community, whether online or in real life, and regardless of professional or social context.

This Code covers everybody, including but not limited to:

  • the core NDC team;
  • leadership, employees and associates of our fiscal sponsor, Superbloom Design, who choose to engage with us;
  • our Funding Members and Supporter Members;
  • our wider community who spend time in our spaces, such as our Discord server;
  • members of our Underscore project;
  • people or organisations who we invite to participate in livestreams, events, research or other collaborations, and;
  • members of the public who participate in our online and offline events.

Code of Conduct

We encourage a collaborative – not competitive – culture. When it comes to criticism, disagreement, and debate, we expect better and hope you do, too. It is not enough to feel tired or frustrated when engaging with others. We ask that you guide instead of punish and collectively give space for growth and personal evolution. At the same time, this is a space dedicated to inclusivity and sensitivity. We will not tolerate harassment, toxicity, predatory or discriminatory behaviour. We will address instances on a case by case basis.

When you interact or engage with the New Design Congress community, you agree to:

Practice tolerance and inclusion.
We will not tolerate homophobic, transphobic, racist, ableist and sexist slurs and content, even if intended as a joke, or as an ironic remark. That also includes demeaning, belittling or otherwise verbally intimidating communication. In short, any attitudes that may promote the oppression and/or exclusion of historically marginalized groups will not be accepted.

Engage honestly.
We talk to and with people rather than about people and/or groups. That means no sub-posting, unwelcome, or otherwise toxic comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, antagonising and incendiary generalisations, flaming or edgy remarks at the expense of someone or another community. While New Design Congress thrives on sarcasm, critique and the need to seek support and alliances while expressing defeating feelings, we ask that you avoid persistent trauma dumping. Our community should not stand in as your personal punching bag.

Be sensitive to others.
Different people perceive the world in different ways, and we expect our community to be sensitive to how their actions are interpreted. We have a zero tolerance policy to harassment. Our definition of harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to—including but not limited to—gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion (or lack thereof), body size, physical appearance, social class or language ability (ability to speak English), deliberate physical or written intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Be careful of people's privacy.
Whether working with Underscore data, research transcripts, or simply participating in online or offline New Design Congress spaces, think before you share. Do not access user data you're not entitled to or disclose unanonymised research. Do not post photos of others online without their consent. Do not share personally identifying information posted by community members to other places. Do not post the personal details of others, do not engage in doxing, and do not re-post or re-share links to sites or resources that share or weaponise personal details without first checking with the New Design Congress team.

De-escalate conflict.
Our community values fierce debate and is made up of members who hold opposing views. Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time, and we expect our community to resolve disagreements and de-escalate. Refusing to disengage, trolling maliciously or sealioning, will not be tolerated.

Keep the community safe.
Hate speech, such as, but not limited to: white supremacy, ethnostate advocacy, discussion of national socialism / Nazism will not be tolerated, and will be removed immediately. When engaging with such content in the wider world, use discretion and consider the potential effects of signal boosting this kind of content into our community.

Communicate thoughtfully.
We encourage our members to post their work, share their interests, share calls for projects/papers, new project announcements, upcoming events and tasteful reminders to your followers of things like Patreon or websites where they can purchase/support your work. At the same time, our community is not a Linkedin timeline / hustlespace. If you wish to advertise, please engage with the community beyond self interest.

Respect our work.
All of our output – whether published under Open Access or not – is licensed under a Creative Commons, Non-Derivative Share Alike license. We encourage our community to share our work, through links, citation and remix. Sometimes, we soft-paywall new work for Funding Members and other members who support us. Although our soft-paywall does not use DRM, we ask that you do not reshare early-access work until it is available to all. If you are filming or otherwise capturing large parts of an event, please check-in with us and those who appear in your recordings before publishing it.

Follow the law.
You are responsible for what you post in our online spaces, and how you act in our real world events, so please adhere to the laws in your country. Pirated software, malware, hyper-violent media, sexualised depictions of children (including cartoons), anti-social behaviour, vandalism and other illegal or highly regulated content or action is prohibited. Users who violate this rule will be unconditionally removed from our community.

Raising a breach of conduct

If you believe someone has breached the Code of Conduct we ask that you inform the New Design Congress team:

Signal: Send a secure message or voice memo to +1 413 679 0560
Discord: Send a message or voice memo to @shibco, @hecceite, @garigari_kun_, @prime_capybara_74131, @roseregina or @.lightli
via our Fiscal Sponsor, Superbloom Design, through their contact page.

The New Design Congress team operates on Central European Time.

Your correspondence will be kept confidential. We deal with all issues in private and in consultation with the affected party. If the breach is severe, or has implications for the community at large, we may be required to discuss it publicly. We will look to the affected party for guidance.

If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate authorities or emergency services first. If you are unsure who to contact, please share this uncertainty and we will offer assistance where possible.

Please share your concerns with us, especially since they may provide useful context and allow us to take earlier or more effective action. Knowing about incidents that are not direct violations or happen outside New Design Congress spaces can also help us to improve our Code of Conduct and the processes surrounding it.

When contacting us about a Code of Conduct breach, please include as much information as you can so that we can respond with care and attention:

  • Your preferred contact info.
  • Names or usernames of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. a Discord chat history or social media or direct message exchange) please include a link or screenshots.
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have to adequately respond.

If you are unsure whether your concern would be considered a breach, or whether the space where it happened is covered by this Code of Conduct, we encourage you to still raise it with us.

Responding to a conduct breach

We do not formalise our response to breaches. Instead, we work with the affected party or parties and consider our response on a case by case basis. Where possible, we look to conflict resolution, de-escalation or reconciliation rather than adopting a punitive stance to breaches.

However, this flexibility does not extend across all breaches: our zero tolerance towards hate speech, harassment and illegal content will result in immediate exclusion from our community. If an NDC Supporter or an event audience member is asked to leave as a result of a conduct breach, they are not entitled to a refund. In cases where we are obligated to, or where the breach is especially serious, we will notify external third parties that we identify as necessary.

In all cases, the decisions made by the New Design Congress team regarding conduct breaches are final.

Questions and updates

Questions about our Code of Conduct can be directed to us via the same channels above. When we update this document, we will notify our community via our Discord announcement channel and email.