Appreciating growth, embracing change, and maximizing our future
When Nick Merrill founded The Calyx Institute 13 years ago in 2010, the privacy landscape was very different. The iPhone was still a relative novelty, most of the web was still not encrypted, Edward Snowden had not yet made his heroic disclosures, and the scale of government and corporate surveillance was just a fraction of today's ubiquitous information over-collection and exploitation.
From our shoestring budget beginnings, we've grown into a bustling non-profit organization, with an incredible and committed team, advisory panel, partner organizations, and a strong network of supporters. With our members' generous support, we've developed new technologies, improved access to online privacy tools, published and translated educational materials, trained journalists and activists, while inspiring and continuing ongoing litigation in the fight for privacy and against surveillance. In short, The Calyx Instituate has grown steadily, and now enjoys strong revenue and a very sustainable program model as our growth accelerates.
Our founding aim was to increase awareness about online privacy, surveillance and accessibility through software development, advocacy and outreach. Looking to the present day, it is striking to reflect on how that has manifested. Through our mobile internet hotspots, we offer many of our over 11 thousand active members a more privacy-respecting way to be online. CalyxOS provides usable security and privacy without sacrificing essential mobile phone functionality. Additionally, the sustainability these programs have enabled is allowing us to experiment with programs like our Fusion Center Microgrants Fund
As we move into the next phase of the organization's growth, we are reimagining how leadership can best support and enable Calyx's ultimate impact. As founding Executive Director, Nick Merrill has provided vision, leadership, sacrifice, and heavy lifting to put the organization, and our community, in such a strong position.
In reflecting on how we can continue to grow, both Nick and the Calyx board are in agreement that we need to expand and fortify our leadership structure. To enable that growth, we plan to take an iterative approach to evolving Calyx. Nick will be moving into a newly-created role of President, enabling him to focus primarily on external advocacy, community engagement, creative vision, technology and fundraising.
In parallel with this transition, The Calyx Institute will be seeking an experienced Interim Executive Director to facilitate our next chapter and to serve as a bridge to our future leadership structure. The Interim Executive Director will have an active role in that planning process, and will have the option of applying for the permanent Executive Director position.
To quote Nick, "My passion will always be focused on the community and the work, and I'm looking forward to partnering with new team members to increase our capacity and our impact."
At this critical juncture, we want to express our gratitude on a number of fronts. First, to the Calyx staff, who have led brilliantly in their respective roles while weathering complexity and stress that come with the kind of organizational growth their work has enabled. We also want to thank our community and our members, without whom none of this would be sustainable or even possible. We are also indebted to the funders and major donors who have provided us with dedicated resources at many steps in our journey. And finally a heartfelt thank you to Nick, for his vision, his leadership, and his commitment to evolving alongside the organization.
We are all excited to see what lies ahead, and we welcome anyone reading this to join in collaboration and solidarity with Calyx as we help chart a course toward a more private and surveillance-free future.- The Calyx Board