As you all know, SudoRoom is not a typical hackerspace… we go the extra mile to reach out to the community, and our interests cover not just tech but also social and community issues. We interact with dozens of other alternative economy worker’s cooperatives, hackerspaces, and non-profits in the East Bay and beyond (the world!). How does SudoRoom pool its energy with likeminded organizations? Join forces as one? The answer was found in the first January meeting of MASS EFFECT. As in “lots of energized, idealistic cooperatives get together and get down and party at SudoRoom… then hug, fall in love and eventually move in together and form even more amazing fruitful collaborations and do bigger, better things!
Basically: a rave for collectives! Harness the talent, innovation and history of the O.G. organizations, both young and old, to gather resources as one. And in the future possibly buying a building for all of us to work, play and live in! So many cooperatives in one space!
We’re also hacking economics: We can share our resources, buy from each other, and then sell to the outside world of capitalism to bring cash flow in. It’s as if the collectives all decided to run away on a Grateful Dead tour and form their own little Rainbow Gathering while sign-painting and selling tie-dye t-shirts to the tourists along the way.
- Ricardo Nunez from the Sustainable Economies Law Center – lawyers on the forces of good supporting sharing economies, cooperatives, community currencies, community enterprises, cohousing, urban agriculture… community! community! community! I heard that lawyers have some of the highest rates of depression of any profession, but I bet these lawyers are beating the odds since they are out to save the world!
- Marina Kukso, our very own SudoRoom champion, talked about the Oakland Wiki : – a community driven Wiki where locals gather weekly to scribe history of Oakland’s tour guides, history, and community issues. Truly a “bottoms-up” tooling of the media if I ever saw one! It’s amazing.
- Jenny Ryan from SudoRoom spoke about the People’s Open Network (partnered with SudoMesh), building free, decentralized wifi networks. Instead of internet access being owned by whichever big internet corporation offered to you, we can work together to build our own.. and in turn control our media. Heard about Net Neutrality? This is one of the ways to sidestep that!
- Chris Roncal from the Rock Paper Scissors Collective, a place completely volunteer run and completely responsible for cofounding the Oakland Art Murmur. And this place is run by a ragtag team of volunteers–can you believe that they surveyed the empty streets and helped create environments bursting with creativity… and zine libraries! and craft nights! They’ve been around for ten years and we draw a lot of wisdom from them.
- The Community Democracy Project meets at SudoRoom regularly and is working to control the Oakland budget through direct democracy. More grass roots stuff… and totally bottoms-up!
- Food Not Bombs – East Bay has its own branch of Food Not Bombs. Activists share food, and have six different food kitchens set up in the Bay Area. Their bottleneck isn’t food, it’s just passionate volunteers!
- The Neighborhood Village (formerly the Neighborhood Vegetables) is a garden improvement collective expanding into other areas (just like SudoRoom!) They’re going through each neighborhood at a time and advocating working through a gift economy instead of relying on currency.
- East Bay Co-Housing - Berkeley and Oakland have been participating in the “Sharing economy” for decades, before they became shiny web 2.0 dot com start-ups. They come from a place of real passion and adventure… finding new ways to raise families, share real estate… they’re the future, or they’ve been the future for twenty years now that the future is here!
- The lightning talks involved more innovative folks: Oakland Drops Beats – which will feature music crawls downtown and small parties; Sun Syncrhony, a tech company project working to improve solar panels in Laney College…
- and (drum roll) the Omni Group Proposal. Stay tuned, because there just might be a gigantic building of cooperatives living, playing and working together in Oakland sometime soon. It’s going to be amazing!
Gosh I’m just so inspired! This is the first Mass Effect meeting but definitely not the last–the next event will be in April! For more details see the SudoRoom Wiki Entry: Mass Effect