Announcing 3 Years of Sloan Foundation Support

We’re delighted to share news that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has approved three years of funding for The Maintainers, to support and extend a movement that promotes the importance of maintenance in technology and society. This award, which covers the period from April 2020 to March 2023, allows us to continue with the work we started thanks to support from the Sloan Foundation in 2019.

The new award provides additional support for several facets of our work. It will enable is to host virtual and in-person meetings; to continue our existing Maintenance Communities (Information Maintainers and Maintainers in the Workforce) and build two new Maintenance Communities; to develop the Maintainers research agenda around topics such as measurement and healthy communities; and to build capacity in the core Maintainers staff. We see these as different elements that, together, advance our mission of maintaining self and society through reflection, research, and outreach in the hopes of achieving a more caring and well-maintained world.

As part of this work, we’ll be reaching out to the Maintainers network for suggestions and feedback. There are a few elements of our agenda that we want to highlight here:

  • We are now seeking applications for a project manager, a two-year, full-time position (with benefits!) employed through the Educopia Institute.

  • We’ll organize virtual roundtables, such as the recent event on the Gig Economy co-hosted by our friends at the Festival of Maintenance. We believe that smaller, more frequent events are essential for nourishing community ties.

  • We’ll be rolling out outreach initiatives to diversify community engagement, create community leadership roles, and continue to build bridges between researchers and practitioners.

The lead institution for the award is SUNY Polytechnic Institute, where Maintainers co-director Andy Russell is Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Partner institutions are the Educopia Institute, where Maintainers co-director Jessica Meyerson is Director of Research and Strategy; and Virginia Tech, where Maintainers co-director Lee Vinsel is assistant professor of Science, Technology & Society. None of this would be possible without the steadfast backing of Dr. Josh Greenberg, director of the technology program at the Sloan Foundation. Thank you Josh!

Finally: we’re eager to hear suggestions from community members for where our efforts and support would make an impact. For example, are there subject areas or groups of people where we could organize a virtual event, Maintenance Community, or research proposal? Or are there maintainers who would benefit from some fellowship or support? Please get in touch!

Yours in maintenance,

Andy, Jessica & Lee

Preferred citation: The Maintainers. (2020, June 10). Announcing 3 Years of Sloan Foundation Support. The Maintainers.