How To

Welcome to the community platform for the Ecological Design Collective, a community for radical ecological imagination and collaborative practice. With roots in Baltimore and relations around the world, we’re building a place for researchers, designers, activists, artists, and others to conceive and develop alternative ecological futures.

As you likely know, so many of the social spaces and collaborative tools available online are extractive by design, meant 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.

Here are some tips on how to use this space, whether you engage via a web browser, or through the custom mobile app — EDC Hub — that we are developing for public release soon. Keep in mind that everything that happens here depends on trust and mutual accountability. Please review our Code of Conduct before using this platform, which we expect everyone to abide by.

Your Profile brings together and lets you manage everything you’ve shared on the site. We invite you to 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.

Communicate with other members using Messages, an alternative to email. You can use this feature to engage with other individuals, more than one person, or entire groups. Configure your Notifications for messages and other platform activity via your account Settings.

The Timeline is a place to share quick thoughts or riffs — interesting news, links, images, or documents, ordered by time instead of algorithm. You can choose to make these public or private posts using the privacy settings. You can also use the @ to tag anyone else on the platform.

There are many Groups that members can join; you are welcome to create a group of your own, and invite others to join you here. Groups are set up to share their own discussions and resources. Think of this as a platform for organizing around topics and concerns of common interest. We’ll gladly equip your group with a Video Room and collaborative file sharing, just let us know.

Each group has a forum space for its own Discussions: threaded conversations about specific topics. The EDC Collective Forum is a discussion space shared by the entire community. These topics and exchanges are public, though only members can post and respond. Starting a discussion thread is a great way to connect with others here who have similar interests.

We’re guessing that there are countless interesting things that people in this community are working on. The Stories blog is a space to showcase such work and invite engagement. These posts are public, and they can include whatever multimedia content you’d like to share. Click on Share a Story to get started; once you do, just make sure to click on the square writing icon on the right, which will allow you to set a “featured image” before submitting your post. Every post on the blog will need one.

EDC Curators are organizing Events on a monthly basis. But our 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.

Our community platform relies on open source alternatives to corporate digital infrastructure. The platform itself is built on BuddyBoss and WordPress, and a number of WordPress “plugins” developed by others committed to open source collaboration. Try out the Notepad feature, for example, which allows members to keep private notes for themselves, or collaborative notes to share and edit with other individuals and groups.

We’ve also included a few other open source tools you may find useful. TL Draw is a simple sketch board interface that supports shared boards. Our video rooms rely on BigBlueButton, an open source alternative to Zoom. Tell us if you’d like access to our file sharing and collaborative editing system, which relies on Nextcloud and Collabora instead of Google or Microsoft. We’re grateful to cloud68 for web hosting and guidance on all things open source.

Welcome!