In the Fall of 2020, more than 2,500 people came together around the #GoodID Awards, casting votes for figures and organizations in the digital identity community.
The awards set out to recognize those working to improve digital identity for all. And they achieved that goal - highlighting the wealth of dedicated, progressive and impactful work taking place in ID.
But the #GoodID Awards also touched on something deeper: the importance of community.
The process highlighted the diversity of individuals, groups, and perspectives across the digital identity space, underscoring the importance of including different voices when talking about Good ID.
Fundamentally, the #GoodID Awards served to demonstrate this:
A Global Community
The #GoodID Awards featured nominees from all over the world - each bringing their own insights into the ID question. And engagement from voters was also strikingly global - which makes sense. After all, digital identity is an inherently global field.
In recent years, we’ve seen digital identity issues come to the fore in different countries around the world - Kenya, Uganda, Estonia, India - the challenges and opportunities around ID are not limited to any specific region.
And so when we’re talking about identity issues, it’s important to keep a global perspective.
The diversity of the identity community is also its strength. By bringing together diverse voices, we can share our various case studies, concerns, and perspectives and ultimately learn from one another.
The Subjectivity of ‘Good’
Sometimes, it’s only when we truly listen to the viewpoints of others that we realize the extent of our own subjectivity.
When we talk about Good ID, we invite the question: can ID ever be objectively ‘good’? Because what ‘good’ ID looks like varies depending on the context and the user.
That’s why it’s so vital that discussions around identity include everybody.
To borrow Women in Identity’s phrase: ‘Digital identity solutions built for everyone are built by everyone.’
In the future, creating better digital identity will depend on our ability to put users - along with their divergent desires and needs - at the centre of technologies.
And all of that starts with recognizing our own subjectivity and ensuring that diverse perspectives are included in conversations around ID right from the start.
Collaboration is Crucial
Good digital identity is founded on diversity and inclusion, but we need to do more than just ensure everyone has a seat at the table; we also need to work together.
By their nature, awards are inherently competitive - focused on the singular contributions of individual people and organizations. But what we saw in the #GoodID Awards was far from the rivalry and individualism that one might expect.
What emerged instead was a spirit of community, collaboration, and dialogue - echoing the very principles that underlie the Good ID movement as a whole.
There are a great many incredible individuals and organizations working in this space - and they often don’t get the recognition that they deserve. It has been a joy and privilege to help shed light on the contributions of these figures.
Though - as many of our nominees and award-winners are quick to point out - individual achievements are part of a much wider tapestry of work taking place around ID.
Ultimately, long-lasting progress rests on the sustained effort of countless individuals and groups coming together around a shared purpose. The #GoodID Awards gave us the opportunity to give faces and names to the identity community, and to highlight that we are a community united around a shared purpose.
We may differ on the particulars, but we all have the same goal: good digital identity.
We will get there eventually. And we will get there together.