How to Use This Space: An Introduction and Guide

Welcome to the community platform for the Ecological Design Collective (EDC), a community for radical ecological imagination and collaborative practice. We’re trying to build a place for researchers, designers, activists, artists, and others to conceive and develop alternative ecological futures together. Here are some tips on how to use this space.

As we all know, so many of the social spaces and collaborative tools available online are extractive by design, intended to capture and monetize our interests and attention. We’re hoping this platform will work as a place to speculate and create together – to hang out with others who share a commitment to ecological transformation – without having to serve a corporate bottom line.

We draw inspiration from fungal networks, and organizer adrienne maree brown’s reflections on their nature and necessity: “Mycelia growing underground actually bind the soil, which is made from the detritus of all that exists… Similarly, by being mindful in our interdependence and communication, we can bind the chaotic content of our lives into a coherent and nourishing foundation for the world to grow.”

Keep in mind that everything that happens here relies on trust and mutual accountability. We are guided by an ethic of emergence and we invite you to participate in that spirit. The basic idea is that interactions should be low-stakes, free-flowing, and open-ended enough that community members develop a sense of trust with one another.

The etymology shows “trust to be true like a tree : firm, steadfast, and loyal; not impervious to the evidence of the senses, but founded on a willingness to endure risk and uncertainty.” In our experience, this means privileging being kind over being right, holding up lessons instead of failures, and reaching for critical connections over critical mass. Generosity and humor go a long way too.

There’s more on our VISION and background here.

The first page you’ll land on here is the TIMELINE – and this is where pretty much everything happening here can be found. The main feed is a place to share quick thoughts or riffs: interesting news, links, images, or documents. Other relevant updates, like activity in groups you’re involved with, will appear here as well.

SIGN UP to create an account, become a member of the community, participate in our conversations and events, and receive our newsletters each month. We recommend signing in whenever you use the platform, to make fullest use of its features. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge and become a member, you can still SUBSCRIBE to our newsletters to keep up with the EDC.

Your own PROFILE brings together and lets you manage everything you’ve shared on the site. Take a moment to say a little more about WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE. You can adjust the privacy of the details in your profile, which is accessible via your public posts or via the MEMBERS directory, where you can learn more about other members of the community.

We suggest that you take a minute to configure your NOTIFICATIONS from the EDC community, whether via email, web browser and mobile alerts, or solely through the platform alone.

The EDC community platform is accessible via any web browser, or through our custom mobile app — EDC Hub — available on both the iOS APP STORE and GOOGLE PLAY. We’ve spent a lot of time working on this app, which makes connecting and participating much easier. No need to fiddle with browser tabs, login information, and other such headaches. Please check it out!

Dive straight into the TIMELINE to follow what others are sharing and interacting with. Add your voice to the mix by creating your own post: sharing something you’ve seen or something you’re thinking about, even just introducing yourself. You can choose to make these public or private posts using the privacy settings. Comments or replies to posts are also encouraged.

EDC Curators are organizing EVENTS on a regular basis, stay tuned for these. But our community events calendar is also a collective resource, where anyone can post an event of their own. Please share happenings you think are relevant this community by clicking on SHARE AN EVENT. You can subscribe to the events feed and add events to your own calendar by following the prompts.

We’re guessing that there are countless interesting things that people in this community are working on. The PROJECTS FORUM is a space to share works in progress, ideas and questions, and opportunities for collaboration. These topics and exchanges are public, though only members can post and respond. Start a thread here to announce new projects and opportunities and find others with shared interests.

The STORIES blog is another space to showcase work and invite engagement. These longer posts are public, shareable beyond our site, and they can include whatever multimedia content you’d like to include. Click on SHARE A STORY to get started, and make sure to include a “featured image” with your post. Every post on the blog will need one.

We’re hoping to bring together people who share a commitment to building an ecologically just future. Our platform provides many ways to connect and work with others here.

Communicate with other members using MESSAGES as an alternative to email. You can use this feature to engage with other individuals, more than one person, or entire groups. You can also use the @ to tag anyone else on the platform when you post something.

Take a look at some of the many GROUPS that others have organized through our platform, and think about whether you might like to START A GROUP of your own. Groups are spaces to organize around topics and concerns of common interest. Some groups here are public, others are private. Each is set up with a timeline and resources of its own.

Take advantage of our video MEETING ROOM to meet with other members of the collective. You can access the video room without an access code as long as you’re signed in to the platform. Our video rooms rely on BigBlueButton, an open source alternative to Zoom. Many of our groups have video rooms of their own; if you’re starting a group and you’d like a dedicated video room, just let us know.

Our platform includes a collaborative editing interface members can use as an alternative to Google Docs, we call it our NOTEPAD. Give it a try! The notepad allows members to keep private notes for themselves, or collaborative notes to share and edit with other individuals and groups. Meanwhile, tldraw is a simple SKETCH BOARD interface that supports shared boards.

Our community platform relies on open source alternatives to corporate digital infrastructure. We’re grateful to our partners cloud68.co for web hosting and guidance on all things open source. The platform itself is built on BuddyBoss and WordPress, and a number of WordPress “plugins” developed by others committed to open source collaboration.

This platform is a constantly evolving space to organize, collaborate, and design. There are bound to be ways to make the most of this community that go beyond the basics on this page, or stretch the limits of this platform. We continue to explore new resources to add and adapt. Feel free to find your best way to engage, and do let us know if you have any ideas for how the space can grow.

The Ecological Design Collective is a fiscally sponsored project of Inquiring Systems Inc., 501(c)3. The opinions, statements and viewpoints expressed by community participants do not reflect the opinions or constitute an official position of the EDC or Inquiring Systems, Inc.

Community members on this platform are responsible for the content of their comments or posts, and ensuring that they meet the expectations of our code of conduct.

This community platform is also a space for members to share works in progress. In this spirit, please respect requests not to share, quote, or circulate unpublished work that is posted on this platform for the purpose of creating community and sharing feedback.

Please note that our platform is available to the public. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, no information you consider confidential should be posted to this site, including personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, full account numbers, phone numbers or e-mail addresses in any comment or post. Comments or posts including such information may be deleted.

Everyone here has the right to an experience free of harassment. This right applies to all EDC zones, including this online platform and all of our in-person events and meetings. The EDC reserves the right to monitor, restrict, suspend, or terminate access to the platform in the event of any harassment of others, which may include:

● Sustained disruption of discussion; derogatory jokes or comments; profane, obscene, inappropriate, or disruptive remarks unrelated to the topic and conversation; repeated or identical posts; spam, or content containing or linking to any kind of virus, malware, spyware, or similar program that could cause harm to a user’s computer; posting private communications without consent; harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes;

● Wounding comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neurotypicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, nationality, socio-economic status, religion, and a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment; deliberate misgendering or deadnaming;

● Threats; personal attacks; abusive, defamatory, derogatory, ad hominem attacks; inflammatory language; intimidation or stalking; deliberate “outing” or doxxing of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent (except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse); continued one-on-one communication pursuant to requests to cease;

● Indecent, sexually explicit or pornographic material of any kind, including masked profanity; sexual harassment; quid pro quo harassment; unwelcome sexual attention.

If you wish to report or flag a user post or comment as inappropriate, please use the Report Post option, or write directly to curators@ecodesigncollective.org. If the person who is harassing you is a moderator or Curator, they will be asked to recuse themselves from handling your situation.