Pursuance Project (task-management for crowdsourced activism)/or similar on the Safe Network

From the website:

"Our free, open source, and secure Pursuance System software enables participants to: create action-oriented groups called “pursuances”, discuss how best to achieve their mission, rapidly record exciting strategies and ideas in an actionable form (namely as tasks), divvy up those tasks among one other, share files and documents, get summoned when relevant events occur (e.g., when they are assigned a task, or when mentioned), request help from others, receive social recognition for their contributions, and to delegate tasks to other pursuances in this ecosystem in order to harness its collective intelligence, passion, and expertise.

Fundamentally, we aim to confront and correct, via an energetic, global network of forward-thinking individuals, the injustices imposed on society by criminalized institutions the world over."

To put it quite roughly, they’re trying to build a kind of hierarchical task management system specifically engineered to suit crowdsourced activism that is both private and secure, and that will provide anyone with an internet connection the ability to go to a website, browse a list of projects happening, and say ‘I could provide an hour of grunt work a week to this project and help it move forward, making phonecalls, poring through boring court documents, translating, whatever, instead of just liking comments on facebook that I agree with’. Hehe.

One thing I love about it is the idea that after someone starts a ‘pursuance’ to try bring about let’s say prison reform, they have the option of adding their specific pursuance structure (pursuances can have various voting structures, different ways of moving documents up the chain, different ways of making decisions, etc) into a pursuance library, leaving notes on what worked well and what didn’t work well, that can then be perused and used by others.

I could ramble on more about its huge potential to focus a group of people onto a very specific, small problem, and to just attack it in as creative and inventive a way as possible, but I’ll leave that to your imaginations.

Two things I don’t like about it: it isn’t being specifically designed for the Safe Network, so for the average user, even if the software itself is very secure and whatnot, the usual dangers of servers and being on the legacynet will be there. The more anonymous and secure the app is, the more people can get involved in projects without fear of being targeted by malicious actors, and the more projects can be started in places where internet access is usually monitored/restricted. Safe Network would really help make pursuances much more resilient. I mean, this is of course a failing of all legacynet apps and services, but in the case of the pursuance project it could really make a huge difference for someone in say China, or the U.S., to be able to start a pursuance without fear of persecution.

Second thing I worry about is the choice the pursuance team have made to roll out the app on an invitation basis, focusing first on specific issues they have chosen. They say this is just towards the start to get a good strong beating heart going for the whole thing before opening it up, and there is certainly a chance that this is a good practical decision and I’m being overly idealistic… But I can’t help feeling more like they should just throw the app out into the wild in a way that they have no idea who starts/joins/leaves a pursuance, and simply say: do what you will with this software, and may the best ideas win.

So yes, in summary, I am starting this topic basically in the hope that someone reads it and then says to themselves ‘Amazing! I’m going to make this for the Safe Network and have it ready to launch on day one!’, because unfortunately I have no programming knowledge. I had considered contacting the pursuance team to ask if they had heard of the Safe Network, and still think it could lead to good things to start a dialogue with them, but first wanted to get a conversation going here to see what the other lovely members of this forum think of the idea.

Thanks! First topic I’ve created too, so be gentle with me :slight_smile:


I really like this idea. I wish I had more to offer, my development plate is full for the next few months, but I really like this idea. If anyone technically gifted is interested in pursuing (heh) this I’m happy to provide lessons and support from what I’ve learned building Safe-CMS.


So cool to hear that you like the idea Shane, I’ve been following your fiery progress with Safe-CMS in awe. Extremely understandable that you’ve got enough on your plate too.

If anyone else is interested in the idea, I will eagerly provide as much of what I can offer, which amounts to reasonably tenacious researching abilities, functional English writing skills, and a whole lot of optimism and energy. Or I’ll just let you at it and cheer from the sidelines. :smile: Having something like this from very early on in the Safe Net’s existence would be great for drawing good people in early, I think.

I’m dreaming of articles three months post Safe Net launch, after a couple of successfull Pursuances, along the lines of “The Safe Network: Where Forgotten LegacyNet Dreams are being Reborn”.

https://twitter.com/elimisteve?lang=en this is the lead software guy for the Pursuance Project. I’ve watched a few talks, he seems like a good guy. If you don’t mind Shane I’m going to contact him, following your approval, and give him as brief a description of the Safe Net as I can manage, with a few links to things, and tell him if he’s interested or has technical questions or has any vague interest whatsoever in making it work on the network, that there’s a guy on the forum developing apps who would happily answer. Let me know what you think.

Yep, I’m more than happy to help - though I would point him to the forum in general. I have some level of experience building for the SafeNet platform, but there are plenty of people around here (chiefly @JPL, @neo, @jlpell) who have a deeper understanding of the underlying technology. :slight_smile:

Ok great, thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I’ll get onto him asap. :slight_smile:

Any updates on this? It’s a similar concept to something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. Only much more systematic and awesome. Still I guess what holds me back from committing to doing something like that on SAFE (and I imagine will hold the Pursuance team from doing so) is that SAFE is going to have a huge barrier to entry for a very long time. Which would kill off crowd-sourced activism.

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Hey Nat - nice to see some interest in the idea. I was busy there for a few days, but wrote to the lead developer Steve Philips earlier today. Will update here when/if he gets back to me. The project is all open source, as far as I’m aware, so if you tried to make a SafeNetwork version maybe you wouldn’t be coding from scratch? No idea though really how easily code can be remajiggered to work on Safe.

I’m not sure I follow the last thing you say there though, what is this huge barrier for entry which lasts a very long time?


What I meant by that is there are a lot of things in the way of acquiring a new user for SAFE software: they either have to know about SAFE through some other source, or find your software and be passionate enough to invest a lot of work into getting set up on the network. Getting on the network involves at least 1 hour of forum activity, and from there, various technical barriers. Then they finally access your software, and it still has to prove its value, not to mention justify all that extra work. And this will all be the case for potentially several more years until if/when SAFE gets wide adoption by the public.

So at the moment it would seem more prudent to put more time into SAFE projects that avoid at least some of those major obstacles, I.e. things that don’t require wide accessibility and adoption, and that will be immediately useful to existing community members. That’s my line of reasoning, anyway.

That’s only during the test network phase to prevent spam attacks.

I don’t think the technical barriers are so bad - and of course they will diminish in time. A lot of alpha-phase projects are CLI only, whereas here the authenticator and browser package has a GUI - you just need to install it or unzip an archive. Could it be simpler? Sure - but don’t forget this is all at a very early stage and the APIs have only recently become stable enough for more complex applications to be built on them. Can’t run before you can walk.


@NatQuayle Ah I understand what you’re saying now, sorry, I maybe hadn’t been clear. I fully agree that launching something like Pursuance now would be silly, for anything other than testing purposes. I am excited however about the idea of having it ready to go very early/immediately when the network is launched, as you say, up to several years from now.

And yeah, as @JPL is saying, I think that the ease of a user signing up to the eventual beta+ network is something the team takes very seriously from what I’ve read around the place, and won’t remotely resemble what one must go through now to get onto Safe.


Yeah. As a game developer I’ve been primed on the importance of pragmatism to the point of cynicism when dealing with project decisions. But with something like SAFE, I don’t want to let pragmatism get in the way of the faith/idealism that’s necessary for something so ambitious and lofty. Balance is good, and if there is a way to get something like that up and running without a huge dedication of time/resources it would probably be great to have.


I think it’s important to consider that as you develop and roll out, it will take time, and considering we have an alpha 2 Network to present on and soon an alpha 3, that it won’t be much longer till an alpha 4 when developers will be at the point of polishing their apps, especially the larger projects. I think starting now or in the short term, an apps official release will likely sync up with a release candidate version of the network. There is always room to improve or even get a head start on another app if not. I’m a huge sucker for SAFE so understand I’m heavily biased.


Bumping my own topic here to see if any of the new (or old) eyes on the forum get excited and inspired to action, especially given the recent increased focus on magical sounding things like MVPs from the team! I am very serious about this idea here and have lots of free time until early September to help with any aspect of it I can.

If I don’t get any excited messages over the next week or so from some coder types I am even considering hitting the library to look for some Rusty books myself - please save me from my own naivety and get in touch, even if you’re only mildly curious I’m available to chat about what I’m envisioning and why I think it could be wonderful and necessary. Thanks :slight_smile:

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Looks like the project is pretty much dead. Nothing seems to have happened on GitHub for 10 months. I like the idea but I wonder if it lacks incentive mechanisms for people to get involved and stay involved? Very often with these voluntary contribution efforts you get 5% of really motivated people doing 95% of the work. If you could add a reward system above and beyond feeling good about contributing that could make all the difference.


Very belated update on this one - I had created a Reddit account with the sole purpose of writing to Steve Philips who was head developer of Pursuance at the time. He responded to me months later, and I didn’t notice it then until recently, because I never log in to that account.

The pursuance project was stopped for some personal reasons, Barrett Brown couldn’t continue it and it fell apart somehow. Steve had continued after a rename which is here in case anyone is interested GitHub - EffectiveAF/effective: Effective: end-to-end encrypted project management for activists and human rights organizations. Making activists 10x more powerful via ultra effective communities of action and autonomous software. [deprecated]

I had asked if he would consider making it work on the upcoming safe network, and he said he had heard of Safe, thought it sounded amazing, but because so many projects were making similar claims, he thought it made no sense to build something for Safe until there was proof that it works and does what it says it will be able to do.