The Sustainable Progress and Equality Collective (SPEC) is an open learning organization that empowers individuals to be catalysts for positive change. SPEC's mission is to empower individuals to become globally-minded change agents by helping them learn the essential skills required to build sustainable careers and make a positive impact in their communities. The collective aims to shape the next generation of leaders who will need to tackle the challenges facing their communities and the world at large. SPEC achieves this goal through research & development, mentorship, training, paid & unpaid research positions, and hosting events for people from underrepresented backgrounds, underserved communities, non-traditional backgrounds, and allies to the causes of environmental and social justice.

Background[edit | edit source]

SPEC was founded in June 2020 in response to the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic and social unrest facing communities across the United States. Its co-founders, Dr. Rhianna Rogers and Joe Torreggiani, connected online when Joe posted an offer to provide mentoring, technical training, and micro-loans to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, and Dr. Rogers reached out about collaborating. They immediately discovered a shared mission of wanting to make the world work for everyone and deep concern about environmental and social justice. They established SPEC to empower individuals in their communities to learn new skills, build careers, and make an impact during this time of crisis and uncertainty.

Vision[edit | edit source]

SPEC takes inspiration from the work of the renowned 20th century inventor and visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller. Fuller dedicated his life to creating systems that would enable people to live healthy and productive lives. He envisioned a "World Game", in which groups of experts collected and analyzed all the information and data available on the world's resources and industries. These teams would collaborate to develop sustainable solutions to global problems like poverty, homelessness, hunger, pandemics, and environmental destruction. Fuller's goal was, as he put it, to "make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone." Unfortunately, during his life time, Fuller didn't have the technology needed to make his World Game a reality. SPEC's team believes that today humanity has the collective knowledge and technology to realize Fuller's vision. Modern computers enable distributed collaboration, information processing, and data analysis capabilities Bucky only could have dreamed of. SPEC is working to leverage these technologies to build radically transparent, sustainable, and equal systems of living and working.

Organization[edit | edit source]

SPEC is organized as an open collective, a collaborative group that has a shared mission, which raises and spends funds transparently to achieve goals. SPEC is hosted on Open Collective, an online funding platform that provides groups with the tools for raising and sharing their finances in full transparency. The platform makes all contributions and expenses visible to the public. SPEC's budget and expenses can be found on its Open Collective page. The collective is fiscally sponsored by the Open Collective Foundation 501(c)(3) (OCF), which allows it to operate without legally incorporating, and accept tax deductible donations, and pay contributors. OCF's mission is to empower impact-focused groups working on increasing access to educational resources and training, creating a positive social impact, and fostering civic participation within cities and communities.

References[edit | edit source]

Discussion[View | Edit]

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