Report for Technology Committee - Sep 2023
2023 NAATW REPORT
23 September 2023
Thank you for this amazing opportunity to be of service and to participate in person at NAATW. I joined the Technology Committee in December of 2022 and soon after I stepped in as altTech.Chair. That has been an immense honor and privilege and I can honestly say I have really grown in the past year. Thank you all for being part of this journey. I am officially stepping down from that position and moving into the Web Services special worker position as of now. It would be a conflict of interest for me to hold both positions. This is another gift that AA and OIAA has brought to me and I am so very grateful. I will stay on in the Zoom Events Crew at least through the rest of the year. My new email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be monitoring the altTech email until someone steps up. The position is open and it’s immensely interesting.
Going to NAATW in person has rekindled an excitement I had about the growth and possibility of technology’s purpose and use in AA. I can lose this in my daily routines and it’s important that we all find ways to reconnect. This was a topic of conversation throughout the weekend. How we remain connected throughout the year. In NAATW I have found my ‘tribe within the tribe’ as one attendee said. A group of ‘think forward people’ as another attendee said. The weekend was full of visionary discussions, shared difficulties and practical solutions.
St. Louis was the only bid for next year, the steering committee will meet and vote on this and the decision should be announced soon. That and all the archives can be found at https://naatw.org/ as well as a volunteer sign-up sheet which I hope to inspire you to fill out.
I am still wrestling with the 12 Statements of Technology from NAATW – there is so much here to think about.
- We suggest implementing technology where it supports our primary purpose of carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- We are responsible and assess value when using self-support funds for technology initiatives.
- We are responsible where anonymity is more vulnerable to a wider audience with increased speed or new sensation.
- An informed group conscience is paramount to technology decision-making.
- We strive to understand where Individual versus Group values are different.
- We perform due diligence and rely on demonstrable A.A. experience.
- We record non-technical requirements before making technology choices.
- We take care to understand the property value and legal implications of technology used for A.A. purposes before making binding decisions.
- We are responsible for transparency in discovery, process, & implementation.
- We use technology to make information available, not to limit it.
- We communicate and support the intended service level.
- We consider how best to Pass it On.
These notes are still being written by attendees and will soon be locked and finalized.
Presentations – Once these have been scrubbed for anonymity they will be linked and can be found on the NAATW website. All slides will be presented in the videos. When this happens I will submit a version of this report with active links. All of these presentations were in depth and had great questions and conversations. There is too much information to go into detail but I’ve added a few highlights.
- Virtual and Hybrid Events: The Pressing Need for Pre-Production Main Room Laura S., St. Louis MO (In-Person)
- I’m happy to say our zoom events crew does many of these things already.
- Helping Online Intergroup Manage A Meeting Directory At Scale Main Room Josh R., Mountain View CA, Matt B., New Zealand (In-Person)
- Matt B and Josh R were amazing. The chair app and OIAA’s meeting guide would not exist if it wasn’t for NAATW and conversations that happened there in the early years. This presentation has some amazing insights on how fast growth can burn out our people and is something we need to pay attention to and help each other with. It also includes some possible new features and developments that are happening in our meeting guide.
- Virtual Meetings: Best Practices Main Room Royce E., Freehold Twnshp, NJ (In-Person)
- This presentation is amazingly full of practical solutions; a step by step guide to establishing a non-profit, hosting platform comparisons, vehicles for self-support, how to build a community online, and attracting members.
- What’s New: A 2023 Technology Update from AAWS Main Room Clorinda V., Communications Director, Lorna G., Technology Services, Tracey G., GSO Senior Digital Strategist
- Straight from the Crowdsource Workshop report: Presentations on the establishment and functions, policies and guiding principles of the technology department at the GSO.
- What’s New II: A 2023 Technology Update from The Grapevine Main Room Niurka M, Web Coordinator, Wendell O., Digital Coordinator (In-Person)
- The Grapevine app is live as of now!
- AI for AA: The Potential for Generative AI to Enhance and Support AA Main Room Lois L., St. Louis MO (In-Person)
- This was one of many times AI and Chat GPT were brought into the conversation. I highly recommend this talk if you are an AI skeptic like I was going in.
- DIY Usability Testing for Better AA Websites Main Room Melissa E., Durham NC (In-Person)
- This taught me that we must get non-tech people to test our website and meeting guide. It is incredibly helpful if we can see them do this as we often have no understanding how others use our technology. The talk has very clear suggestions for this process.
- AI for AA: Bringing New Depth to the Meeting List Main Room Matthew L., Long Beach, CA (Online)
- This was a deep dive into the technical process of possibly using AI voice technology in the meeting list.
- How Australia is Dancing the Digital 12 Steps Main Room Lachlan B., Sydney AU (Online)
- An overview of Australia’s online Area amongst other things.
- How to Most Effectively Use AA Literature in a Virtual Setting Small Room Lisa R., Albany CA (Online)
- Full of great practical solutions for online and hybrid groups.
- Mostly Off the Shelf Solutions From a Small Intergroup Main Room Doug G., Winchester, VA (In-Person)
- An overview of how technological solutions can really assist. Told in AA fashion: Where we were, what happened and where we are now.
- Solving Our Common Problems: A Technology Update from TIAA Main Room Joel G., Houston, TX, Scott F., Bethlehem, PA (In-Person)
- How and why TIAA is relevant and how we can participate. tiaa-forum.org
- Annual Members Meeting Main Room Eddy M., NAATW Steering Committee Chair, Seattle WA (In-Person)
- 2 people rotated out – elections for new steering committee members.
- Overview of St. Louis bid
- Discussion of finances
- 2023: 197 attendees online + 69 attendees in person = 266 attendees total
- Pre-covid 125 in person was the largest group
- 2020 Pandemic 400 on zoom
- 2021 300 all online
- 2022 75 in person 264 online
- 2023: 197 attendees online + 69 attendees in person = 266 attendees total
- The workshop broke even, this happened just in the week before it began. The tickets OIAA purchased were part of that and we can know that our ticket purchases were seen as a great solution to our desire to support NAATW – a real understating of the spirit of the workshop. That its about one on one conversations and communication just as all our 12 step work.
Blasts from the past. These were shown on Friday and Saturday evening – they are from last year.
- Key Elements Of A Spiritual Website NAATW 2022 Kerri K. YouTube Replay
- Communication Channels in A.A. Jim F YouTube Replay
Takeaways / future conversations:
How can we build a stronger relationship between OIAA – TIAA – NAATW where our purposes overlap?
- We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
- Vision / growth
- Workshops with presenters / presentations?
- Link to resources?
- Call for volunteers
- TechSteppers was mentioned many times throughout the weekend!
- Many conversations about what exactly is OIAA and how we use our website as our assembly hall / centeral office.
Possible ways to share this information to OIAA, to our fellowship
- Communication/ Ideas
- Ask presenters to do workshops
- NAATW archives are a huge resource, how can we use them
- EX: I reference the translation talk from 2022 about once a month.
- OIAA’s forum didn’t work but TIAA is an active and well used forum.tiaa-forum.org This is a place OIAA members could really have a presence and find like minded people and share resources and solutions. Encourage OIAA committees / members to participate and share and learn.
- EX: Matt B has decided to take an active role on TIAA and spend time there in a tech 12 step kind of way. TechSteppers could potentially do this also.
- I will advocate that all of us have skills and knowledge we can share particularly about online service.
- There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. If we are trying to solve something it’s very possible it’s been discussed already on TIAA.
Bringing back some specific ideas – to name a few
- Tech Soup – resource for non-profits
- FAQs on aa.org – can we use some of these?
- Sound Cloud for our audio files
- Mobile friendly pdfs
- Add NAATW and TIAA to the service opportunities conversations of tech committee participants
In love and service,