Agaric-led and Agaric-supported projects and causes.
What are Agaric's initiatives, you ask?
We do much more than build websites. We build tools that work for the social change we want to see. We teach and empower others to use digital technology safely, responsibly, and effectively. We participate in building and supporting communities that are founded on democratic-ownership and knowledge-sharing. We engage in a plethora of movements, and we look for ways to bridge the gaps between them. Akin to the mushrooms after which we are named, we work across vast nutritive networks so that we can bring nourishment to our human ecosystems. This page is our feeble attempt to showcase the meaning behind Agaric Tech Cooperative.
I. Platforms and Hosted Services
The Find It program locator and event discovery platform for cities, towns, counties, and most any geographical community. Use granular search to locate resources that otherwise may be hard to find!
The Drutopia Cooperative Platform by Agaric combines the ease of use you find from software as a service website builders (like Wix and Squarespace) with the freedom and control of free (libre) software. It is LibreSaaS like Ghost(Pro) or WordPress.com, but it is built for and with grassroots groups. Importantly, the platform is collectively controlled by the people who rely on it.
Host your school online. Stay safely at home while learning and interacting with others. We will host your online courses and video chat without connections to Google or Facebook and free from spyware or malware that can go undetected in proprietary software. We are using free and open source solutions that are currently used by colleges and schools around the world. Agaric can build upon these solutions to customize your experience and suit your needs.
CommunityBridge is an online video conferencing service that we provide freely to trusted friends and activists in our network. It is also where we host our community events. The video conferencing software behind it is BigBlueButton, a free and open source software built for educational communities to learn together safely in a digital space without fear of being passively tracked and surveilled.
II. Open Community Events
Show & Tell
Agaric hosts a weekly online gathering for people to meet and share what they have learned. Sometimes we talk about the logistics of worker owned Cooperatives and sometimes we have technical talks and we look at code. Every week we also get to know each other better and this leads to sharing work on projects. Learn more about Show and Tell. One of our most popular meetings was a presentation and discussion on a real life condition that affects quite a few developers. This condition is called imposter syndrome.
Agaric hosts Movie Nights, where we support organizations in sponsoring facilitated movie-watching events and engage in deep discussions that sometimes reveal actionable steps that community members can take together to overcome social and political issues. Currently we are only able to watch movies that are hosted on Vimeo, Youtube, or DailyMotion. If you would like to suggest a movie, we will facilitate the event. Make some popcorn, grab your favorite beverage, and invite your friends!
III. Contributions to Drupal
Drupal is a free software content management system powered by one of the largest communities in the software world— very much including Agaric.
Contributed Drupal Modules
We contribute to Drupal core and more than 100 modules that extend its functionality. All of these useful projects are free for anyone to download, use or modify for their own needs.
We teach development teams and solo coders in-person or online, with the program tailored to the problems you are trying to solve. We have practical experience in developing a multitude of web sites, migrating content, and running technology projects - we love to learn and to teach. We will impart the knowledge and skills you need to get work done, and done right.
31 Days of Migrations
Mauricio's epic month of migration tutorials is an expansive resource to teach you how to perform Drupal migrations. At some point, almost every website will need to be migrated to a newer or more secure platform, or to a platform with new and different features. Migrating to a new and different platform or server happens for many reasons during the life of a project. Be prepared!
Drutopia is a flexible content management system with many features built specially for grassroots organizations. It already helps groups share goals, call for action, collect donations, and report progress. Most important, Drutopia's developers seek to design ongoing improvements and capabilities with groups organizing for a better world.
IV. Movements and Networks
Free Software Movement
Free/Libre software is software that asserts the 4 fundamental software freedoms to every user. From Drupal modules to entire platforms, everything we build is Free Software because we believe that individuals and communities alike should have as much ownership as possible over the software they use. We even advise our clients in our blog on how to perform daily business operations using Free Software. Agaric's are members and supporters of the Free Software Foundation.
Design Justice Network
We design sites according to the principles of Design Justice. This means that the user experience of marginalized individuals is central to our design considerations. As a part of this network we share ideas and learn techniques to provide equitable online experiences for all. You may not know what it is like to be left out, until you are.
MayFirst Movement Technology
MayFirst Movement Technology (MFMT) is a cooperative, of movement organizations and activists, that provides web hosting, email services and other free software tools to its members. MFMT has a bold and progressive mission and agrees not turn over your data to third parties under any circumstances.
As members of MFMT, we support the organization by raising awareness on ethical hosting and free software community standards. We encourage people and organizations to join and host their websites through MFMT and gain access to a suite of free software tools and services. Micky is an active board member, involved in discussions of governance as well as the free software tools and platforms that MayFirst offers. Your web hosting does matter, and so does your voice!
The Platform Cooperativism Movement was started at the New School in NYC by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider a professor at the University of Colorado. While Free Software spreads ownership of a software via licensing, Platform Cooperativism does so by founding platforms built by communities with democratic decision-making and shared ownership.
Micky has spoken at many Platform Cooperative events on Free Software, digital privacy and security, and the importance of collaborative development. She is also the author of a chapter in the book Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet.
US Federation of Worker-Owned Cooperatives
USFWC is a non-profit 501c3 that is active in supporting worker-owned cooperatives while building the solidarity economy together. Currently we are building deeper ties with other tech coops within the USFWC to help advance economic justice in the tech industry as we build technology and support social justice movements, enhance trust and work with them. The federation works closely with DAWI - Democracy at Work Institute to educate and support members having a voice in their workplace.
U.S. Solidarity Economy Network
The USSEN is dedicated to exploring equitable and ethical economies that benefit community members and can interact on a larger scale to define methods and processes for promoting the growth and sustainability of each community as it relates to the world around it. As an organization, we are a member of the North American chapter of RIPESS which is part of an international organization that is an umbrella for groups like USSEN, worldwide. We also create Resist and Build workshops that support the Solidarity movement.
Tech Coop Network
The Tech Coop Network was formed at a USFWC conference in Los Angeles in 2017 by members of several worker-owned tech and web development cooperatives. We are currently discussing bylaws and governance to prepare for inviting other cooperatives to join us. We meet monthly and are establishing our communications infrastructure.
International Workers of the World
Some Agaric members have joined the Boston Chapter of the IWW. This chapter has a horrible and ignoble past that the current members are determined to overcome. Current members are committed to rebuilding this branch to exemplify the very causes it was based upon before it was destroyed from within. We stand with marginalized people and communities. We represent the disenfranchised worker and support non-conforming individuals rights. An injury to one is an injury to all!
The Digital Fourth
As members of the Boston Chapter, we stay informed on new laws and changes to current laws that could effect our online presence as well as our real life freedoms. Agaric enjoys keeping up with the digital legal strategies and will voice our opinion on whether digital citizens will be affected negatively or positively by pending legislation in our state and sometimes nationally. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two complex areas of technology and they need to be addressed by groups like us, with diverse knowledge. Surveillance by the Government is also a priority and we publish our findings and recommendations. We cannot change the things that we do not know about. D4th is a part of the nationwide coalition Restore The Fourth.
Science for the People
Scientists and citizens convene to discuss and create ways for the general population to get involved in all things scientific. We believe that you should not need a degree to have access to people in fields of scientific study. We work to remove barriers and make connections between scientists and average citizens people with good ideas and questions that could benefit scientific understanding. Agaric is very interested in connecting people, projects and promoting discussions in this group. Science for the People has online meetings and is open to all.
V. Auxiliary Tech Projects
Working together on projects is one of the most important goals of our tech coop. It is also the 6th Cooperative Principle, Cooperation among Cooperatives. CoopGuide is a work in progress being built to facilitate team members in locating each other and getting familiar with each other's skills. The idea for this site came from discussions at Agaric's weekly Show and Tell gatherings.
A crowdmatching platform that is a fund raising source for public goods. The first project will be to fund the building of Snowdrift itself. Micky is on the board and is working with the team to guide the formation of this cooperative effort.
IEEE.org SA Open
The SA Open is a platform, by the IEEE and managed by LeadingBit, that
aims to create a set of agreed upon standards to help people, both technical and organic, co-work more effectively to build Free Software with proper documentation and support materials on using and changing it. Agaric volunteers as a member of the Community Advisory Group, where we offer our expertise on this very subject. You can get involved with SA Open and help make it happen.
Meet.coop is an online meeting co-operative dedicated to hosting BigBlueButton video chat servers in multiple locations around the world. Agaric is a member. We meet weekly in different teams to work out the governance and member issues. There is an operational team that builds and maintains the hardware and software for providing an excellent video conference network structured in Sociocracy, also called dynamic governance. Meet.coop has forums where you can mingle with members and get up to date information on the development and learn more about the project.
Mastodon is a federated social network made up of affinity groups. The functionality is much like Twitter, where you can message other members and share information or "Toots" as they are called, in a group or one-on-one. You can join a sub-community or create your own. Agarics are members of the social.coop sub-community. Members can contact members of other sub-communities and there is a directory where you can browse the groups in the whole federation.
Mass Mesh is a high-tech social club building community-owned mesh networks throughout Boston. These networks enable home Internet access that is fairer, more secure, and more locally resilient than traditional cable. The purpose of this wiki is to provide you with all of the information you need to join the mesh by setting up your own mesh node. All of the information on their site and all of the code in their software is free to use share and edit.