Sign-up commons.hour session#7

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commons.hour session#7 - Digital infrastructure for resilient subcultures

Cade Diehm & Benjamin Royer (New Design Congress)

  • 1 Society as user - A handy term that references collective and socially-oriented mobilising of digital means, as distinct from individual .
  • 2 Resilient subcultures
  • Communities mobilising digital infrastructure to configure modes of power and capability they wouldn’t otherwise have. They are not just (actual and potential) victims of attack and harm (ie the focus of the ‘safety’ or ‘privacy’ concern).
  • 'Community’ and ‘localness’ - how might be engaging in practical terms, with multiple situations of localness across its diverse, plural community-of-communities, and facilitating resilience in subcultures?
  • Specifically, how might’s platform spaces, media spaces and venue spaces be commoned in ways that facilitate resilient capability in our members’s communities?

For more texture: see the post below Sign-up commons.hour session#7 - #4 by mikemh

Screenshot from 2021-09-06 13-20-43 25 April 2022 (Fourth Monday). Gathering starts 17:00 UTC, closes at 18:00. (i.e. 18h BST, 19h CEST, 13h EDT)
Extra time runs from 18:00 for half an hour, for offers & wants, informal check-in and organiser-chat.

Note: Changed timeslot - used to be an hour later

registration_form Please register for this event - knowing how many people intend to participate helps us decide our facilitation approach.
Click the ‘GOING’ icon at the top of this page: Going-icon Thanks.

Screenshot from 2021-09-06 13-20-58 The gathering is in the commons.hour room at meet. coop. For best performance, please use Firefox or Chrome browser, and a PC or laptop. The meeting will be recorded. If you wish to be anonymous you should join with an altered name, and leave your camera off.

Screenshot from 2021-09-06 13-55-18 Essential links

@shibco writes:
Hi everyone! We’re looking forward to the session next Monday! Here’s some more detail about what Benjamin and I (Cade) will speak about:

As we move into a new, uncertain decade, the digitisation of collective spaces has historically been seen as a means to build solidarity. But why do these spaces continue to struggle? How do the pre-conceived first principles we hold for identity, ownership, connectivity and scale both shape and limit our thinking? How do we start picturing a process by which we inherit and dismantle the structures that late-stage capitalism has created? How do we face the dual challenge of dismantling systems of thought and systems of production which we still vitally rely on? When do we foreclose, when do we create alternative forks?

Cade Diehm and Benjamin Royer share the work of the New Design Congress, tracing lines between the limits of digital consent, the re-imagining of digital identity and the role systems play in shaping our communal ability to sense and think.


Founded on 1 January 2020, The New Design Congress is an independent research and strategy organisation based in Berlin, Germany. We see all infrastructure as power and technologies as societal accelerants. We develop unique understandings of the relationships between societies and their technologies.

Amid increasing global inequities, instabilities, and uncertainties, the New Design Congress confronts our unsettled future by using alternative forking to expose the gap between society’s flawed understanding of what appears to be happening in today’s digital systems and what is actually happening. Our central theory of change - alternative forking - takes problems of the present, finds underexplored historical and contemporary alternatives, and develops real-world, applicable forks. To achieve this, we combine a decade of institutional understanding of digital security, systems theory, and strategic thinking with a participatory and international congress of collaborators drawn from diverse regions, cultures, and subcultures.

Technology’s past must be reevaluated in order for better futures to become reality. Despite the promise inherent in digital systems, these tools now work as accelerants – exacerbating social, political, and environmental disasters around the globe. Far too many present and well-intentioned interventions fail because they are developed from systems of privilege and rely on the flawed building blocks of digital societies – identity, connectivity, ownership, and scale. Yet these constructs are fundamentally at odds with most people’s everyday experiences and needs. The opportunities for intervention are similarly disassociated and exclusive, reserved only for members of academia, industry, and media. As a result, those who are in a position to intervene do so with flawed fundamentals, and those who could effect true change are excluded from mobilisation. Until these underlying principles are recognised and addressed, society risks an endless cycle of faulty interventions incapable of altering trajectories in which a digitally driven dystopian future becomes fait accompli. Only through alternative forking can this wheel be broken.

The New Design Congress works with universities, internet subcultures, at-risk communities, companies, non-profits, environmentalists, policymakers, and technologies to produce ambitious alternative forks: new paradigms for digital integrity, identity, intervention, and economic self-sovereignty. Together, we will platform underrepresented critical ideals, develop prototypes and products, find the future in unexpected places, and publish open research to forge applicable, practical, and realistic alternatives. All results will provide tangible answers to complex technologically-driven problems and be made available so that others can adapt them to their own localised manifestations of problem solving.

Was just foiled by timezones! About to join the meeting when I see that it’s now at 1pm ET (I think it used to be at 2pm ET?) If there are shared notes from the session, let me know. I’ll put it in my calendar for the correct time next month…

Sorry that the zones caused a glitch @andia Recording should be posted very soon, hopefully tomorrow. Here: Commons.hour session#7 - discussion Watch that space.