Full Stacks and Full Hearts for Full Plates
Hi all, I don’t see an introduction thread so here’s mine! 🤓
I live in the Ithaca New York area of the U.S. and have been involved with a variety of social and solidarity economy type orgs our community is blessed with for several decades. My background is in food and farming, and more recently at Cornell University Library where I provide a variety of resources and services to our on and off-campus communities as part of our public Land Grant mission.
Each of these experiences has included collaboratively developing and maintaining various digital tools and resources, some successful and some not so much. One thing I’ve learned is that there’s a big disconnect between the technical and subject-based expertise I see in places like Cornell, and the social capabilities and context-based expertise I see in and across communities. And that too often well-meaning groups try to reinvent wheels and/or build out the entire stack of resources and features they need or just want themselves, while competing for the same pool of limited resources. Even when they are far out of their element, or unable to maintain those infrastructural elements over the long term.
These nagging gaps have led me to explore ways we can bring “complementary configurations of capital” (like those shown below from the WWW Foundation) together. That includes looking at how socio-technical systems approaches (including platform cooperatives) centered around self-determination and cooperation can support inclusive, fair and sustainable community and economic development. On the social side I’m also keen on applying some of the “core design principles” identified by Ostrom (extended by others and applied through facilitation approaches like Prosocial) to this work.
I’m particularly interested in how we can bring these different elements together as a kind of federated socio-technical stack, with complementary functions in that full stack handled by different tools, platforms, groups, etc. Like how this group is pulling together Loomio, Mastodon, and BigBlueButton. One related side project of mine is working with the Cooperative Development Institute on surveying and mapping “netchain” relationships between food systems related orgs in New York State listed in their Data Commons Coop (DCC) managed find.coop directory (shown here), and the “infomediary” role (red circle below) orgs like DCC can play in facilitating those.
I come here by way of some interesting conversations I’ve been having with @Mica Fisher, @Matt Noyes, and others related to some of this and what I call solidarity food systems, and the role technology can play in supporting those. Our entrepreneurial group includes folks at the Food Rescue Alliance working on the Rootable platform cooperative, Open Food Network USA, FarmOS, and OpenTEAM (Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management). One suggestion has been to organize some social.coop Community Cafes around this topic to share what each of us is working on, while identifying areas of potential collaboration.
I’d love to connect and converse with folks here who share an interest in any of this!