NLNet are an Amsterdam-based grant agency who fund open source next generation internet technologies.

I work in that area (my nlnet project page). I think it's fairly important. Generally, free open source software can proliferate more widely, with fewer feature restrictions, and is far more applicable to infrastructural work due to its availability, its openness to contribution from all stakeholders, and higher security due to its transparency. Next-generation internet technologies have an outsized impact on what sorts of social technologies are feasible, and how soon they arrive. Generally, the sooner they arrive, the better. Technologies for communicating, organizing, and coordinating, improve cultures.

And I expect it to be increasingly impactful in the near future, as a result of the increasing government recognition of the importance of open source software and the growth of grant agencies like these, and due to what I'd estimate to be 5 orders of magnitude in near-term possible reductions in finance tech adoption and transaction costs, which could change the online information ecosystem and the public cultures of donation drastically.

Flexible social technologies will have defaults, conventions, and culture lockin, which will be set in place by early projects. An NLNet tech assessor gets to decide what those projects will be and how to advise them.

A core part of your work is to review and appraise incoming applications to our various grant programmes. You recognise interesting and important ideas that have strategic potential, and will make a real-world impact. You are able to rapidly understand complex technical propositions, and deduce their pitfalls and limitations. You can debunk unjustified claims and keep track of the state of the art in open technology. You can imagine alternative futures, and extrapolate ideas. You have a nose for talent, even if it doesn't present itself well — and where needed, you iterate with applicants to improve the scope and quality of proposals.


Our office is in Amsterdam. We can discuss financial support for relocation to The Netherlands.

(For those wondering about what living in amsterdam is like, as I did: [Quora] What is it like to live in Amsterdam?)




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