The Bento has a Bento (The Bento Society #32)

In this week’s issue:

  • 💡A new data paradigm

  • 🔮 The Bento has a Bento

  • 🎇 Special event: the Annual Bento

  • + links and more


A new data paradigm

In my recent “Data Is Fire” post, I referred to research by Salome Viljoen that argues for a new concept called “democratic data.” This week her full paper was published, and it is excellent. Here’s Salome describing the core idea on Twitter:

Viljoen is arguing for a new way to think about how we track our interactions and relations to each other and a new governance system to guide it, controlling for our worst impulses with data and creating opportunities for new ways it can help. This is a very well considered idea that we’ll dig into more in the future. You can read the full paper here.


The Bento Society’s Bento

Did you know that the Bento Society has a Bento to guide its decisions? Here it is:

This Bento reveals the duality of the Bento Society’s work. Our goal is to be a practical everyday tool while also working to redefine how the world sees itself. There’s a tension there, but also an opportunity to do something extraordinary. The Bento helps keep the importance of bridging these goals top of mind. (Next week I’ll share our plans for the coming year.)

When I make decisions about the Bento Society, this is how I process my thoughts. I made this using the “Bento for organizations” tool on the Bentoism website. If you don’t have a Bento for your project yet, I highly recommend making one.


Special event: The Yearly Bento

On December 13, I (Yancey) will host a 90 minute event called the Yearly Bento. During those ninety minutes we’ll retrace what happened in 2020, set our intentions for 2021, and learn tools to help us get there. RSVP to join:

The Yearly Bento
Sunday December 13
1pm EST

RSVP for the Yearly Bento


The Weekly Bento

This week’s Community Weekly Bento will be hosted by Erika Batista. Erika is a longtime member of the Bento Society, a proud member of the Early Birds Bento Group, and the On Deck Head for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Please join her as she leads us through setting our weekly priorities this Sunday!

The Community Weekly Bento (with Erika Batista)
Sunday Nov 29 2020
12pm EST

RSVP for the Community Weekly Bento

Thanks to Evan Adams for hosting the last week’s Community Bento (go Evan!). Are you interested in hosting a Community Bento? We offer tools, coaching, and even scripts to help you create a meaningful space. Fill out this form if you’re interested.


  • Downsides of data: tracking data means tracking people. Another downside of data: anything you track can be made to sound terrifying.

  • In December I’m hosting a special roundtable with people who work in the data field and have direct experience dealing with the question of what to measure and what not to measure. If you have experience on that subject, I’d love for you to join us. Share your info in this form here.

Peace and love,

The Bento Society