Rushkoff summarizes ideas from his book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus on how Silicon Valley, often operating like a sped up, supersized version of Wall Street, is destroying sustainable business. His solution is to look to small, local businesses that focus on providing something of actual value to actual customers.
Another source of venture funding is the government. Not just directly in contracts, subsidies, or employment; but indirectly in meeting the needs of a labor force to do the work they want to do. UBI or a job guarantee, along with other social services like universal health care, food assistance, public internet and utilities could allow for just that.
A List Apart founder Jeffrey Zeldman unpacks just how destructive VC funding has been for tech startups, particularly those with ambitions to improve the world.
Ben Werdmüller, former venture capitalist and Indieweb startup founder, responds to Zeldman's essay Nothing Fails Like Success, with an elaboration on the traps of VC funding and the potential that "zebras" and the Indieweb hold for ethical funding of tech projects.
The Exit to Community (E2C) project is a collaboration between MEDLab at the University of Colorado Boulder and Zebras Unite. They outline a healthier alternative for startups which often get acquired or go public. Instead, they argue for an "Exit to Community — a path for startups to become owned and controlled by users, workers, and stakeholders who value and depend on the startup."
The NYC-based cooperative that offers a driver-owned economically equitable alternative to Uber and Lyft has launched a crowd investment campaign on the WeFunder platform. Their goal is $1m and are over half way there.
OM is a great online newsletter about startups and funding for the solidarity economy. It's a Substack-style site of interviews, reviews and original features put out by Washington DC cooperative development group Community Cooperative.
OpenCollective is transforming the way that open source projects are funded by making it easy for project maintainers to set up a donation platform. On the Changelog Podcast, Pia Mancini explains what OpenCollective is, the journey it's on and ways to make open source projects sustainable.
This talk by Sumana Harihareswara is an expansive re-imagining of both open source development and the kind of society that could support it.
WikiHouse and Jumpsuit demonstrate new ways of working in the traditional design fields of architecture and fashion.
Members of tech services co-op Agaric share what open source software they use and why in their daily operation.
Coming out of a live event in Berlin, Germany called DWebDesign #3, this post is a great introduction and link collection for digital designers interested in learning more about open source.
Libre Graphics Club, Libre Graphics Meeting, and Libre Graphics Magazine are some resources, present and past, for designers looking to explore open source tools.
Open source was meant to be a commons, or a shared marketplace with resources that belong to — and benefit — its community as a whole. In a few important ways, it’s failed to achieve that. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late.
An incisive analysis of free software and open-source software's shortcomings and a nice summary of the post open-source tendencies emerging.
Ethical Source takes issue with Principle Zero of Free Software, "The freedom to run the program, for any purpose" and instead insists that ethics must be taken into account with the creation, design and use of technology.
Long time free software proponents Molly de Blanc and Karen M. Sandler pen a declaration outlining an updated set of principles for technology that is empowering, not oppressive.
The Cooperative Technology Movement believes the downfall of the free/open-source movement is its unwillingness to critique capitalism. As a result, open source has been coopted by tech giants.
Top labor organizing strategist, author and scholar Jane McAlevey weighs in on the failed effort by Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) to organize Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama.
A workplace democracy requires different mentalities, skillsets and practices than most of us are used to. For help in this challenging, unfamiliar terrain, check out these resources by Democracy at Work Institute and Greater Than.
Enspiral, best known for building Loomio, an open-source decision-making tool, is a network of initiatives trying to create utopia and prepare for collapse at the same time.
Though many democratic workplace movements logically start bottom up with the workers, there is an emerging group of consultants advising owners and management on this approach to be more efficient, innovative and to foster a healthier culture. Notable among them is former McKinsey partner Frederic Laloux who wrote Reinventing Organizations.
Platform cooperatives, platforms owned stakeholders, are gaining momentum as an alternative to predatory platforms like Uber and TaskRabbit.
Jack Aponte, a worker-owner and co-founder of Palante Technology Cooperative, breaks down what exactly a cooperative, how they live out the coop principles with their company and the benefits of this model.
Tech worker organizers from Google, Facebook, WeWork and Kickstarter produced a beautiful zine counterposing the most common anti-union talking points with counter quotes of advice, wisdom and inspiration.
Researchers studied the Israeli tech industry, which has the highest density of unionized workers in the world, to understand why organizing has taken hold there. Their findings show that workers are blurring the lines between traditional workplace issues like better pay and more creative issues like control over what kind of projects the company takes on.
Kickstarter organizer Clarissa Redwine discusses the unique structure of Google's union which is "what’s known as a non-contract union, an open union, a minority union, or a solidarity union."