How It Happens – A Clarification
The General Activities Picture
Except for work done at Brights Central, activities of this movement are principally those of key Brights acting independently but in general alignment with the overall stated aims.
There are the Enthusiastic Brights (public Brights or celebrities) who self-identify and/or give mention and thereby spread the word within their activities. Authors such as Dennett (USA), Dawkins (UK), and Odifreddi (Italy) consistently bring potential Brights to the site. Others do so in their own fashion, through email signature lines, a huge bumper sign (for a car), wearing lapel pins, buttons, or T-shirts, emailing a Bulletin, giving a Brights' calendar as a gift, or otherwise drawing attention somehow to the website. Another Bright handles all merchandise sales.
Some Brights do work together in loose association, such as those who facilitate the Brights’ Forum. (The Forum is a semi-independent operation that involves a degree of online collaboration among the volunteers who keep it going.) The Morality Project involves a task team, and four Brights Action Special Initiative Groups (SIGs) have been set up to vouch for certain positions and/or to interact with other organizations. Brights community clusters operate at various geographical levels as loose online groups or via in-person meetings.
Almost all productive activity that takes place is by dedicated people who act without remuneration. Many pay out of pocket for activities in which they engage, so as to benefit the overall movement. [Five examples: the bumper sign fellow; a Bright who traveled out of his nation to be an observer at an interfaith conference and to be introduced as “a Bright” who is interested in the organizational endeavor to reduce religious violence; a Bright who set up a website hosting for BCCs, another who set up a website to enable more activism by individuals, and the co-founders who, while on a European trip in 2006, arranged to go to small gatherings of Brights in Iceland, Scotland, London, Brussels, Paris, and Rome.]
Brights Central - Operational Facts Behind the Scenes
The two co-founders craft content, respond to queries and requests, publish Bulletins, handle mishaps, and so on. They operate the website/database with help from a webmaster (previously a volunteer, but now a part-time employee working about 20 hours per month) and a backup emergency-volunteer. The Brights' Net's headquarters was - until just this year - their living room turned into an office (pictured below). The space was provideed at no charge.
Since their founding of The Brights' Net as a public benefit corporation (the corporate name is the same as the constituency name), the co-founders have worked with an unpaid board to manage legal aspects of the organization. The corporation is chartered as an educational nonprofit in the State of California. The board must meet and oversee certain functions in keeping with legal requirements.
The Brights' Net organization sustains more than just Internet operations. Educational endeavors, organizational contacts, merchandise development and licensing, and other activities are conducted on behalf of the movement or as services to the constituency. As the constituency had grown, these activities have grown more complex, and at its June 13, 2008 meeting, the TBN board of directors named Co-founder Mynga Futrell (pictured above) as Executive Director, beginning July 1.
Just previously, co-founders had moved The Brights' Net office to a 316 sq.ft. space in a commercial building. with furniture donated by the co-founders. Whereas before meeting space had to be arranged, legal board meetings henceforth will take place around the conference table in TBN's office. The new space has room for continuing existing operations, allows addition of a dedicated work station (the webmaster, volunteer bookkeeeper, and volunteer assistant or intern will share), permits visitors to stop by, and in several ways opens up and professionalizes the overall operations. New space is pictured below.