While most startups are focused on finding ever new "whats" and "for whos" (i.e. staking out as-yet unexploited niches), social innovation can involve rebuilding alternative versions of existing things from the ground up while rethinking their "ifs", "hows" and "whys" (eg. the fediverse).

So while "move fast and break things" may be the most "efficient" approach for capitalist projects to find what they call "product/market fit", what would be the most "effective" approach for those who put humans above profit?
> what would be the most "effective" approach for those who put humans above profit?

Don't create products for markets.

Create assistants for and with living communities. Community-oriented design and development. Better yet, design for justice with living communities.
Better yet (and I don't know how to do this yet) community-participatory design and development.

@bhaugen @mayel This sounds pretty similar to what I'd like to see happen in my area regarding ISPs. Could an ISP be community assistance?

I began writing a proposal about it a while ago. it's not very strong; I'd love to get some feedback on it. Obviously I'd change terminology, but I'd like to improve the core argument.


The RONJA project makes the technology part pretty accessible. Most FSO technology is extremely expensive and industrial.

@kdsch @mayel

I liked the article. Did your proposal ever get implemented?

We use and belong to an old-school telecom cooperative, started in 1951: vernoncom.coop/about-us/

Like a lot of old co-ops, they have become a lot more like a regular business, but they still provided fiber-to-the-house to all their subscribers with no increase in rates.


@bhaugen @mayel It hasn't been implemented. I've been sitting on the idea for almost a year. I suspect it would be hard to do it in my area, which is not exactly a hotbed of cooperativism or DIY technology. But even before that, I want to get a working prototype, and I'm struggling to find good fabrication methods.

@bhaugen @mayel Although part of the idea is that the ISP is also a means of educating the community about telecom, so that they are in a position to manage it and make critical decisions. It's a chicken-and-egg problem. I'm guessing I have to convince the community that they need an ISP that they control.

@kdsch @mayel

Given one of the lightweight technologies you mentioned, if you have willing and available collaborators, you could just setting up something and showing it to people.

Vernon Telecom was started by a bunch of farmers meeting in a very small town. I bet in a bar, since thats about all there is to that town....

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!