Vesna Manojlovic

RIPE Community Resilience: The Web, The Self, The Privilege and The Pandemic

Vesna Manojlovic
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Social media, apps, web... are only the tip of the iceberg that is the Internet. This article - on Layer 7 of both the networking stack and Maslow's motivational pyramid - explains how the personal need towards self-actualisation can contribute to the resilience of the communities and societies.

"In A Web of Privilege" by Jason Novak (2017) (

Layer 7 - the application layer - is the last official layer of both the OSI networking model and TCP/IP stack. The seventh layer of the basic Maslow’s pyramid is the need for self-actualisation. Advanced versions of motivational theory modify the triangular shape by removing the whole concept of linear hierarchy, or replacing the top with concentric circles - for example, in the “Internal Family Systems” theory (IFS). The personal (self) is inside the spheres of local community and global systems - two extra layers that I will cover in the follow-up articles.

Integrating personal, interpersonal and systemic transformation (IFS)

The Web

Most ordinary people equate “the web” and “the Internet”.

It is only the “techies” that consider “the whole stack”, and give specific names to the various usages of the application layer: web (HTTP), content, email (SMTP), apps, social networking, social media…

“The Internet” has become a powerful force in our societies, inspiring strong feelings. People either love it or hate it, and even anthropomorphise the content providers, assigning them the ethical values of good/evil, lawful or chaotic.

The fiction and art about “The Internet” is immense. Here are some recent critical representations:

Alignment Chart of Content Providers

How to self-actualise your own web/social media:

The connection between self-actualisation and Internet applications (social media) is highlighted inthis article by Pamela Rutledge, professor of media psychology:

Needs are, like most other things in nature, an interactive, dynamic system, but they are anchored in our ability to make social connections.
Types of Self Care

The Self

Self-actualisation is both the pinnacle of individual self-development — fulfilling one’s greater purpose — and a basis for being able to contribute to the resilience of communities and societies. In extreme, these two aspects can lead to either self-indulgence or self-sacrifice: the challenge is to find the balance between the two.

Here are some unusual tips on how to actualise your “self" in a multitude of ways - radical and/or gentle, intersectional and/or revolutionary:

Activist Self and Burdened Self (IFS)
Levels of Privilege

The Privilege

In computer science and network security, the concept of “privilege” is used to describe the level of access that a person (user, administrator, engineer….) or a function has to the digital processes and physical or computational resources. In social sciences, the concept of privilege is used to describe person’s agency, determined by external circumstances, systems of power, group dynamics, personal abilities and preferences.

These articles cover the intersection of privilege in web, software, pandemic, sustanability and justice:

This Is Fine (

The Pandemic

Since this series - and this pandemic - is lasting much longer than expected or planned, and since everything is interconnected, I will link to more resources for each of the other eight layers, as they relate self, web, and/or pandemic:

  1. Physical (and mental health) Layer
    Re-entry Anxiety, as the Pandemic Recedes (WSJ, May 2021)
  2. Data (and security / safety) Layer
    "We keep us safe: the transformative justice movement" (May 2021)
  3. Network (and needs for connection, belonging, love, and empathy) Layer
    "Empathy as a Service to Create a Culture of Security" (2020, video)
  4. Transport (and need for acknowledgement) Layer
    “The cure for burnout is not self-care. It is all of us caring for each other" (TED talk, 2021)
  5. Session (Cognitive needs and neurodiversity) Layer
    Pandemic Brain (May 2021)
  6. Presentation (and aesthetics, art, nature) Layer
    Ecological Self-Realization: The Power of “I Am Nature” (December 2020)
  7. Application Layer
    Self-Tracking, Embodied Differences, and the Politics and Ethics of Health | Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience; 2021
  8. Financial Layer
    "Tech Work Under the Pandemic: Cleaner and App Co-owner" (March 2021)
  9. Political Layer
    Understanding the long-term societal impacts of COVID-19 (May 2021)
Long-term Societal Impact of Covid

Calls for Actions

Nurturing Your Self
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About the author

Vesna Manojlovic is Community Builder at RIPE NCC. Vesna joined the RIPE NCC as a Trainer in 1999. In 2003, she took responsibility for developing and delivering advanced courses, such as RPSL, Routing Registry, DNSSEC and IPv6. In 2008, she lead efforts to establish IPv6 RIPEness as a measure of IPv6 deployment among LIRs. In 2011, she joined the Science Division as Manager of the Measurements Community Building team; in 2015 she moved to Communications Department as Senior Community Builder, with a focus on organising hackathons. Vesna gives presentations at many technical conferences and workshops, and enjoys visiting hackerspaces. Vesna received a Batchelor of Sciences Degree in Computer Science and Informatics from the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade. She has three children.

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