Our next Tech Solidarity event will be Tuesday, May 1, 2018, from 7-9 PM, at 88 Colin P Kelly JR St, San Francisco.
Our special guests will be Kristen Barker and Ellen Vera, co-founders of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative. It's a Tech Solidarity meetup that's not about the midterm elections! And they have a bona-fide tech project for us to work on!
And there will be donuts!
CUCI is a non-profit that creates worker-owned businesses in the Cincinnati region. It has its roots in Mondragon, the world's most successful network of worker-cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain.
I've invited Kristen and Ellen in hopes of starting a conversation about what viable worker co-ops might look like in the tech industry. For all our talk about innovation and disruption, there has been very little of either when it comes to the standard startup business model, which is still built around venture capital, often at the expense of labor.
Imagine what an Etsy or Twitter might look like if it had been owned and run by its employees from the beginning, and how many indie startups that will never deliver massive growth to investors might be perfectly pleasant places to work and thrive in the long term.
CUCI has had a lot of experience setting up worker-run businesses in a challenging labor context in southern Ohio, but haven't yet encountered the insanity of the tech industry. I think we can learn a lot from one another!
We also have a specific tech project that needs volunteers.
CareShare is a CUCI pilot project to let groups of three or four Cincinnati families pool their resources to hire a full-time shared nanny at a living wage.
Its goal is to expand access to child care in underserved communities in the city, while helping make care work a viable career path that includes access to education and training for providers. It's part of a broader effort happening in southern Ohio to organize care workers and provide parents with better options.
On the tech side, CareShare needs a matchmaking website (for parents to find each other), a billing system, Salesforce integration, and a whole bunch of internal plumbing. There's potential work for UX designers, map nerds, backend and frontend developers. People can volunteer remotely, or fly in at Tech Solidarity dime and volunteer for a week on-site.
It is a worthy project with terrific people! And Cincinnati has one of the best bookstores on the planet.
We'll be talking about CareShare at this event, but if you'd like to hear about it in more detail in a smaller group setting, I invite you to join me and Ellen for tacos on Monday, April 30, at Taqueria Vallarta at 24th St. and Balmy in the Mission. We'll figure out a time based on what works best for everyone!
For both the Tech Solidarity meetup on Tuesday May 1, and the smaller planning session on CareShare on Monday, April 30, please RSVP to [email protected], or +1 415 610 0231 on Signal.
Everyone is welcome!