Solarpunk Portland
Implementation Internship Program

Implementation Internship Program

The idea of the Implementation Internship Program is to take people who want to have an effect on the world and don’t know how, and help them learn “how” by picking a specific and concrete project that has a material effect on the world and then providing them with the materials and assistance they need to succeed at it.

SPP already has a file of about two dozen projects that would be useful in achieving our goal of creating “a rosy, positive, optimistic scientific and technological future for all of Portland”, and we’re under no illusion that we’ve had all of the good ideas in the world. If one of our people wants to pursue a new project we hadn’t thought of, we see that as the best possible outcome. We just add the new project to our Idea File. The originator still *owns* the project; SPP acts mostly as a kind of contract program-management office. A PMO exists to help project managers in whatever way the managers need, and by accepting a project our hypothetical candidate has just assumed the role of project manager.

A lot of people have been trained in the idea that all mistakes are fatal. Ooops, you misplaced a comma in your report, you’re fired, without your paycheck you’re out on the street, and no one will care when you die. This is of course obvious bullshit, once one takes it out and looks at it, and that’s why most of those same people have been inculcated with the further idea that introspection is *also* an admission of wrongdoing. Which is *also* bullshit, but the two ideas between them are *self-referential* bullshit, and thus much more difficult to pry one’s self out of.

Typically more than 90% of any given professional career is watching something go wrong, and then figuring out *why* it went wrong and what we have to do to fix it. If all the solutions were obvious, the only thing we’d need humans for at all is to program the robots doing the actual work. (And pretty soon we’ll have other robots, AI’s, doing the programming, as well.) So, given the fatal mistakes problem mentioned above, we end up with people who would otherwise be completely capable of doing the work, but are terrified of taking any action at all. Most of these people we call “graduating high-school seniors”.

SPP wants to approach the problem by letting these people take on projects, and help them accomplish those projects. If somebody freezes up and can’t continue, okay, give the project back. We can find you a new one when you’re ready. We want to demonstrate in action the value of “project focus”; we’re not *interested* in making people fail, or in failure at all in any way, shape, or form. We want to *succeed*, to get the work done, finish the project, and enjoy the result. And then move on to another project, as succeeding is *fun*. But we only have to tackle one at a time.