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Public RFCs Review, Partnerships, Jay Graber Town Hall

The SoP 2024 Public Review Period is now open!

Things are starting to cook in earnest now, for SoP 2024. Today, we're kicking off the public review period for the RFCs; scroll below for details on how to participate as a reviewer. We also have a bunch of developments on the partnerships front, with events lining up in Singapore in May and California in June.

There's a video of last week's Town Hall with Trent Van Epps for you to catch up on. And for our next Town Hall, on Wednesday, April 3rd (livestream link here), 10 AM Pacific, we'll have Jay Graber, founder, and Daniel Holmgren, protocol lead, from Bluesky joining us. And speaking of videos, we now have our archive of town hall videos organized into themed playlists.

Special update: We now have 10 extra PILL grants to hand out, sponsored by the Global Chinese Community (GCC), specifically ear-marked for PILL applications for/from/by Chinese-speaking regions. So if you have ideas for Chinese-themed short stories, memes, etc. you should apply for these (the application process is the same as for regular PILL grants -- just make a note that you'll be working on a Chinese-themed idea). Details in this twitter thread and on the CFA page.

Public RFCs Review Period Open

We are less than 2 weeks away from the application deadline for SoP 2024 -- Friday, April 12th! A bunch of applications (28 PIG applications and 10 PILL applications at last check) are already in, with RFCs posted on the forum.

For the next 10 days (April 2-11), we're opening up a public review period. We are soliciting feedback on the publicly posted RFCs. Whether you've been following this program since the beginning, or only started following it recently, we think there's a very good chance you'll have some interesting feedback and suggestions to share that can help improve one or more applications.

So dive in, and start commenting on the RFCs that catch your eye! We recommend subscribing to forum updates so you can go look at new RFCs as they come in. For those of you who choose to become actively involved as reviewers, we'll have more opportunities for participation in the future. Our goal is to foster an active scene of opinionated and knowledgeable individuals helping shape this young discipline as it emerges, and participating in ongoing conversations about protocols rather than just passively consuming program output.

Besides comments and suggestions, you can also post actual ideas for applications on this suggestions thread.

During this public review period, we (the program admins and awards jury) will also be seeking private feedback on the applications from people in our networks.

If you've already applied, or thinking of applying, what this means for you is -- the sooner you get your RFCs posted, the better, because there will be more eyeballs on it, with more chances of feedback that can strengthen it. Don't worry if your idea isn't perfectly fleshed out yet. Get a draft up there and you can keep editing till the deadline based on feedback. While your application will still be eligible and given a fair review if you get it in at the last minute, you'll have an leg up if you take advantage of this public review period. From last year's program, we know that project goals evolve and morph through the summer, and we expect the same to happen this year. This means evidence of your ability to listen and incorporate feedback gracefully is an important signal and predictor of success.

The non-public application forms you're also submitting will be reviewed by a small jury that will make the actual award decisions, and the jury members will take the public review reactions into consideration.

Posting a draft RFC also entitles you to request office hours coaching from Tim Beiko or Venkatesh Rao. We'll reach out and offer coaching where we have specific feedback we think can improve the application. Due to limited bandwidth, we may not be able to offer this to all applicants.

We want to do all we can to make strong applications stronger, and help high-potential applications with gaps address those gaps before we begin reviewing. Here is a post with some early general feedback for all applicants.

Partnerships Preview

Two partner events are staged and ready to go.

First, during the week of May 27, in Singapore, we'll be hosting the Datus and Nusas workshop, with help from researchers from the Center of Strategic Futures. This is invite-only small workshop, but we may have a couple of spots open, and if you'd like to be considered, send an email to with a note on why you'd make for a good participant, and we may extend an invite.

Second, we are hosting a Protocol Week, June 23-28th, as part of Edge Esmeralda in Healdsburg, CA. This is part of the Edge City project (formerly Zuzalu), a month-long immersive pop-up city experience. You should apply to Edge Esmeralda if you're interested in attending Protocol Week. Our track will have participation from SoP 2023 alumni, and some SoP 2024 grantees, as well as some guests. It will be open to all other attendees of Edge Esmeralda as well.

More partnerships are booting up, and we'll announce them as they take shape.

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