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Jenny Ryan
"Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories." - Laurie Anderson
"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it." -Hannah Arendt
"To define is to kill. To suggest is to create." -Stéphane Mallarmé

about me

I'm Jenny Ryan, an incorrigibly nomadic cyberanthropologist gone gonzo. I'm interested in and actively engaged with emerging movements rooted in the shared struggle to reclaim the commons, create public spheres through the cultivation of open spaces, and enable direct democracy through principles of federation and open source or Read/Write culture. Professionally, I'm an academia dropout working principally at the intersection of communication, technology, and grassroots social justice organizing through my work with Omni Commons, where I tend to whatever fires need tending to (with a hefty dose of autodidactic training in nonprofit law and accounting), the Peoples Open Network (a community-owned and -operated wireless network based in the East Bay), and Sudo Room, an activist hackerspace in Oakland, CA. In my spare time, I work on various collaborative projects (see below), write poetry, roll around in variably fertile and toxic soil, and serve as a connector of aligned humans, groups and projects.

my projects

Omni logo bw.png

Omni Commons - A community-owned and collectively-operated space for radical art, tech, and social justice organizing in Oakland, CA.


sudo mesh - Building a decentralized, libre wireless network in the East Bay!


Sudo Room - Radical, inclusive hackerspace in the East Bay. Hacking the planet since 2011!


The Pyre - A collaborative, open source project to COLLATe utf8mb4_unicode_ci DIY toolkit for building resilient communities.

Contact me

  • Homepage:
  • Twitter /
  • IRC: tunabananas on Freenode IRC
  • Git (and SVN) committer name: jnny
  • Email: jenny [at] jennyryan [dot] net
  • Public Keys: See bottom of userpage.

Projects On Hold

  • Mycelia - Mycelia is a decentralized documentation and inventory tool, enabling individuals and communities to self-organize their own projects and associated data while also networking their object and skill inventories with other creative spaces, communities and individuals. Mycelia provides object, project and skill matchmaking for collaborative and grassroots endeavors.
  • Cryptoparty - Every third Sunday of the month, we gather at Sudo Room to learn about and teach each other how to use digital security tools (encrypted email, calls, texts, chat, etc;).
  • Hackpacks - A hackpack is a backpack with a set of "always carry" tools for hacking the world around us. The aim is to distribute hackpacks to local youth who attend a class on hacking at sudo ^_^
  • BACH - The Bay Area Consortium of Hackerspaces is a loosely-structured organization for promoting collaboration, mentorship and camaraderie across the various Bay Area hackerspaces.




  • "The Digital Graveyard: Online Social Networking Sites as Vehicles of Remembrance," in Mike Wesch and Neil Whitehead (eds.), Human No More: Digital Subjectivities, Unhuman Subjects, and the End of Anthropology. University of Colorado Press. August 2012. PDF Buy on Amazon
  • "Pro-Self-Harm and the Visibility of Youth-Generated Problematic Content," with danah boyd and Alex Leavitt. Journal of Information Law & Society, Winter 2011.
  • "Weaving the Underground Web: Neotribalism and Psytrance on," in Graham St. John (ed.), The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance. Routledge: New York & London. June 2010. PDF Buy on Amazon
  • The Virtual Campfire: An Ethnography of Online Social Networking. Master's Thesis, May 2008. PDF Website

Talks & Presentations

  • 2 August 2018. ​ " How do we create sustainable funding for Open Source Projects? "​ at Decentralized Web Summit​ in San Francisco, CA. [Video​]
    • Moderator: ​ Jenny Ryan (Sudo Mesh)
    • Panel: ​ Nico Pace (AlterMundi), Dominic Tarr (Secure Scuttlebutt Consortium), Andrew Lee (Handshake Foundation), and Mehan Jayasuriya (Mozilla Foundation).
  • 14 July 2018. ​ "Our _stable_ networks​" with Grant Gallo at ​Our Networks​ in Toronto, Canada. Video​ | [​Slides​]
  • 19 September 2015.​ "Hacker Q&A​" at​ Symbiosis Festival. | Slides​.
    • Panel Presenters: ​ Marc Juul & Jenny Ryan (Sudo Mesh), Electronic Frontier Foundation and Open Whisper Systems.
  • 30 April 2015.​ "​The Future of the Internet After Net Neutrality: A Learning Session," w/ Marc Juul at SF City Hall. Slides​.
  • October 2-3, 2014​ . Panel (​ Women and Community Wireless: Addressing Challenges, Sharing Successes ​ ) & Workshop (​ Coalition-Building for Community Wireless Networks ) ​ at the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks at c-base in Berlin, Germany. [​Agenda​]
  • 26 June 2014​ . "​From the Bottom Up: Building Community-Owned and -Operated Mesh Networks​," with Sudo Mesh, wlan-slovenia, Personal Telco Project, and Kansas City Freedom Network at Open Source Bridge, Portland.
    • Presenters: ​ Jenny Ryan, Marc Juul, Mitar (wlan-slovenia), Russell (Personal Telco), and Isaac Wilder (KC Freedom Network). [​Slides​] | Notes​
  • 12 December 2013.​ Sudo Mesh presentation with Matt Senate for Professor Sameer Verda's Wireless Networking class at San Francisco State University. Video​ | Slides​
  • 31 August 2013​ . "Mesh the Planet! - A Presentation on the Oakland Community Mesh Network Project," with Marc Juul at Information Day, hosted by The Public School and Sudo Room, Oakland, CA. Wiki Documentation​
  • 15 November 2012​ . "Free the Means: Co-Creating Ethnographies of the Future," at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California. [Crib Notes​]
  • 16 November 2011​ . "Reimagining the 'Global Village' in an Age of Networked Materiality: Designing Online Spaces for Group Coordination, Participation and Collaboration," at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.
    • Panel Title : ​ No Matter Where: Tracking New Media Materialities and Ideologies.
  • November 21, 2010​ . "Weaving the Underground Web: Neotribalism and Psytrance on Tribe.Net," at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
    • Panel Title: ​ Embodiment, Trance, and Gender: Papers on the Anthropology of Consciousness.
  • December 8, 2009​ . "The Digital Graveyard: Online Social Networking Sites as Vehicles of Remembrance," at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
    • Panel Title: ​Human No More: Digital Subjectivities, Unhuman Subjects, and the End/s of Anthropology.
  • April 24, 2008.​ New Media & the Internet Panel, Wesleyan University. ​
    • Speakers: ​ Jenny Ryan and Sam Han.

Public Keys

  • PGP Fingerprint: 8AA3 7DFF 2190 ADA3 7C08 05F2 E76E BE2F D25B 0F57
  • SSH Key:
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQC55UicrL58j7WJGOz64xMw9aArMh9hEn2S6aqs8MU1M3/r0X1BkpD9KbFjA9ovw2dylv21HEwagJLjZA7nn2kLfzpCXCEFno5kfkOlpBa6Lttspljw46nW+HKYNEGYJaKpCdMYi0hs4U+jFkP49r3hswfP3QgUtVPsnF4bSD2Vf5DF3h15DGkfaQAioa2EpQw0ktyZdRNATF17K4glFbmg+3GQqCp54goaopCFBMXyiAl/5i4o6khanDQxVXVjIzN1p/7QXmmYgJzAzzvSzBwyhiTtMplnUGalEVHE2wwRTpUPRsPWQqiLhpLZDOMndwkJKyoKVM1XlCKENWys909f