Draft manifesto

At our launch event, we will discuss our draft manifesto for the values and endeavours we will work towards as an organisation.

Web Matters will work to these values and endeavours:

We will represent the interests of our members

  • Web Matters will give a voice to those who make the web regardless of age, experience, programming language, platform, national or racial origin, immigration status, religion (or lack of one), qualifications (or lack of them), gender (or lack of it), or sex life (or lack of one).
  • The nature of our industry, specifically freelancing, self-employment, short-term contracts, and frequent unemployment, means that many digital professionals are never represented by an employer. For that reason, our membership will be open to individuals, not to companies.
  • Web Matters’ daily work will be carried out by a committee which is wholly responsible to the membership. Governance will be carried out in a transparent and agile manner. All meetings and minutes be public. We will work to a Code of Conduct.

We will respect and honour our profession

  • Joining Web Matters is a declaration of commitment to our industry and to your fellow professionals, and members will be expected to contribute to the work at hand. The work will be done by those who show up.
  • Membership in Web Matters is an obligation, not a status symbol. For that reason, we will not engage in the divisive behaviors practiced by status-oriented bodies such as award ceremonies, golf tournaments, or tiered membership levels with higher dues. There will be no membership badges.
  • We will not seek to create artificial elitism or impose barriers to entry within our industry. For that reason, we will not advocate mandatory certifications within our profession, and we will not require formal qualifications as a prerequisite for membership.

We will aspire to consultative status with governments

  • Web Matters will follow the procedures required to register as a recognised industry body with the Scottish, UK, and European Parliaments, giving our members consultative status and a voice in the policies which impact our crafts.
  • We will proactively involve our members in consultations on matters affecting digital policies on the Scottish (Holyrood), UK (Westminster), and EU (Brussels) levels.
  • As situations arise, particularly through the imminent political disruptions of Indyref2 and Brexit, we will use our consultative status to introduce legislation to benefit our membership.

We will prepare and provide informed responses to digital policy issues

  • Once achieved, Web Matters will use our consultative status to be a respected source of information for governments seeking clarification on technical issues or digital policy matters throughout all stages of the legislative process.
  • When representatives of governments make inaccurate attacks on our industry and, by extension, its members – for example, by associating encryption with terrorism – we will defend our membership by providing rapid and accurate policy commentary.
  • Many policy issues stem from an inaccurate picture of our industry’s size, an issue caused by outdated economic taxonomies as well as headcounts which exclude those not in traditional employment. We will endeavour to create an accurate picture of the size of the Scottish digital sector.

We will be the informed and independent voice of the web community in media and politics

  • Web Matters will be proactive, provocative, and outspoken through our own channels and through the media. Unlike most industry bodies, we will not speak through PR agencies. Our words, and our policy commentary, will be authentic.
  • As an organisation, Web Matters will approach all political issues with an open mind, although we will always advocate the ways forward which best serve our industry and its members.
  • We believe it is important to be constructive and cooperative, but it is more important to be independent and adversarial. In a time when unprecedented political uncertainty threatens the stability of our industry, we are called to speak truth to power.