On May 1, Join or Organize a Co-op DiscoTech Near You

This May Day, there will be an exciting new opportunity to build an Internet of ownership. MIT’s Co-Design Studio is calling for people to organize Co-op DiscoTechs—simultaneous events around the world designed to connect people into the intersection of cooperative enterprise and technology. This is a totally participatory effort, so don’t wait for someone to organize a Co-op DiscoTech near you, if they aren’t already—create one yourself!

These events are also an excellent opportunity to build out the Internet of Ownership site itself. We especially need regional groups or individuals to take responsibility for maintaining the Locations pages. To learn more about getting involved, see the website development page.

Here’s the run-down from the folks at MIT:

On May 1st 2016, the MIT Co-Design Studio team, Research Action Design, Intelligent Mischief, and the Detroit Community Technology Project are calling on YOU to attend (and/or organize!) a Co-op DiscoTech near you. A Co-op DiscoTech (shorthand for a Cooperative Economy Discovering Technology fair) is an event designed for people of all backgrounds and skill levels to learn about how technology can be used to support the growth of the cooperative economy – worker-owned cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, housing cooperatives, and more!

Cool! Tell me more about DiscoTechs.

Our DiscoTechs follow the model developed by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition:


DiscoTech Zine, by Detroit Digital Justice Coalition

A DiscoTech is a community-based, community-organized, multimedia workshop and fair. At a DiscoTech, participants learn more about the impacts and possibilities of technology, and take part in fun, interactive and media-based workshops. Discotech workshops are designed to demystify technology and create a space where we can inform and engage our community […] A Discotech utilizes the unique skills and expertise within each community, and morphs to adapt to changing needs. [Source: “How To Discotech” Zine, by the DDJC.]

The Co-op DiscoTechs are free, open, multi-site events. This page is for sharing information about these events, as well as for resources to help you organize your own DiscoTech!

I think I understand “DiscoTech,” but what is the “Co-op” about?

At the Co-op DiscoTechs, we’ll focus on creating welcoming spaces where a wide range of people (not just techies!) will feel welcome sharing and learning about each other’s experiences with cooperatives: worker-owned co-ops, consumer co-ops, housing co-ops, hybrid cooperatives, co-op support organizations … pretty much anything that has to do with the cooperative economy! We’re also inviting cooperative organizations, technologists, developers, and designers to come to the DiscoTech to learn, teach, sprint, hack, meet up, explore projects, and build community together.

We’ll dive in deep to understand worker cooperative tools, systems, and histories, through speakers, skillshares, workshops, and activities open to all. We’ll also get hands-on with tools and approaches that can strengthen worker, consumer, housing, and hybrid cooperatives. We’ll link existing co-ops, technologists, designers, and community organizers to strengthen our strategies and tools for a cooperative future!

Sounds awesome! How can I participate?

Come to a Co-op DiscoTech near you on May 1st, or organize your own! We’ll be happy to share our approach, link to your event, and otherwise support you.

Where will these Co-op DiscoTechs be happening?

All over the place! So far (as of early February) we have interest from organizers in the following locations:

  • Cambridge, MA (@MIT Media Lab)
  • Boston, MA (Location TBC)
  • Berlin (TBC)
  • Philly (TBC)
  • Detroit (TBC)
  • More soon!

How to organize your own Co-op DiscoTech:

  1. For general background on DiscoTechs, check out this DiscoTech Zine, by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition: http://detroitprojectarchive.com/client/DDJC_amc2012.pdf.zip

  2. For more Co-op DiscoTech organizing resources, check out this folder: http://bit.ly/coop-discotechs-resources.

  3. Please get in touch by emailing Katie: klarthur AT mit.edu

There’s also a sign-up for an email list on the page, which couldn’t be reproduced here.

Let’s do it!

2 thoughts on “On May 1, Join or Organize a Co-op DiscoTech Near You”

  • would be happy to do a 12am-4am MAY 1 discoTech at the soon to be launched Bowery Silvershed in downtown Manhattan on behalf of CollectiveShow.org which is publishing an open-source manual of this collective-organized art show project

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