DiscoTechs

On May 1st 2016, the MIT Co-Design Studio team is 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

 

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