Thu 27 May 2021 5:20PM

Full Stacks and Full Hearts for Full Plates

JP Jeff Piestrak Public Seen by 39

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 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!

Cheers, Jeff


Matt Noyes Thu 27 May 2021 5:33PM

Hey Jeff, great intro. It's true, we don't have an intros thread here on Loomio -- usually people just do that on Mastodon, but this is more helpful, I think.


Jeff Piestrak Thu 27 May 2021 5:40PM

Thanks Matt! Yep, I don't think Mastodon or its evil twinter are very good for stories and conversations, so glad y'all worked this platform into the cooperative stack :)


Matt Noyes Thu 27 May 2021 6:05PM

You will find, though, that most interaction takes place on Mastodon, with some on Matrix, too.