Trust and safety professionals often find their best career development and professional growth opportunities in community with each other; even before TSPA was founded, there were pockets of trust and safety professionals all over the world working to foster these connections. One early example of this community-building was the Safety, Trust & Policy Meetup: a handful of San Francisco-based trust and safety professionals who casually met a few times a quarter to share how we were thinking through various emerging issues, to talk about what worked and what didn’t, and to support each other in this difficult and, at times, ambiguous work. We established a rotation for who would host at which office, and anyone could propose a topic for that month’s discussion. No one person was “in charge” — each participant took a turn coordinating the invites, leading the discussion, and running downstairs to let latecomers in.
You didn’t have to have a fancy title to attend, either; you just had to be willing to engage earnestly, ask good questions, and listen well. Perhaps most importantly, the group was welcoming and generous with newcomers; whether someone had been in the field eight years or only eight months, everyone felt a responsibility to help pave the way with insight or advice that would make the next generation’s path a little easier. There’s rarely one “right” answer for most T&S problems, because the field has grown so fast, and the threat landscape is always changing. That means there’s room for many ideas and many voices at the table — everyone can learn, everyone can teach, and everyone can take a turn leading the way.
TSPA was founded to formally institutionalize this model: a welcoming place, where it doesn’t matter what your title or tenure are as long as you come with curiosity and a desire to engage; a community where we teach each other the lessons we’ve learned; a supportive environment, where we can share our accomplishments and “wins”; all with the fundamental understanding that not only is there room for many voices, we need to intentionally seek out voices that may not usually be invited or heard.
When we started the process of designing our new logo, we wanted a visual representation of this collaborative dynamic. How can we show that we are a collective community, yet individual and unique? How do we visually show the supportive nature that is central to our community? We chose a stylized depiction of birds flying together in an echelon, or V-formation. By flying together in this formation, birds are able to travel further and tire less quickly than they would on their own. There’s no one leader bird, either; the birds take turns at the front, alternating between leading the way and taking their rest. Each individual is able to draft off the flock member ahead of them, simultaneously making it easier for the flock member behind them, too.
This is the vision that drives TSPA: an organization where every trust and safety professional can be in meaningful community with each other, no matter their title or tenure. We are all on this journey, we draw strength from each other, and we are at our best when we’re together.