In 2019, we will run a project to develop open source software tools and methods for participatory and decentralised organisations. Our focus will especially be on organisations and projects related to arts and culture. This project is funded by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee fund Kulturbryggan and marks the first year of development for the Edgeryders Particip.io development lab.
Goals of Particip.io in 2019
- Continue development on existing projects, document their use cases and tie them together when possible.
- Identify existing open source tools, define cases for their use, outline what’s needed to deploy them and if possible develop ways to tie them together with tools developed as part of Particip.io.
- Research which needs are not being met and what opportunities exist for developing new tools for participatory organisations and projects working with art and culture.
- Build a community of software developers, deployment experts, organisational consultants and otherwise savvy people that people and organisations can engage with to get software and methods deployed for their project. This community will live here on the Ederyders platform.
- Present the tools and community on a front-facing site, similar to the OpenVillage project, where outcomes are made available.
Existing projects that will be part of Particip.io
Some ongoing projects will be included in Particip.io and the goal is to develop these to a state where they can be readily deployed with ease. Dreams, a platform to plan and distribute funds to projects at co-created events, will be developed to a state where it will be possible to use it for events without having access to a developer for setup and maintenance, and hosted as a service. It’s currently at a reasonably mature stage of development and has been used in production at multiple events over the last few years. Much of the development has been done by @Forestblessing , who is a founding partner of the Particip.io project who will also work on Dreams and coordinate development with the existing community tied to that platform. Realities, a platform to manage and visualise needs and responsibilities in a decentralised organisation, will be developed to state where it can be deployed in production for the Borderland, a participatory event and collaborative community in Scandinavia. Two developers who have worked on Realities before will join the Particip.io project – Erik Frisk and @lowlandjuju
Identify existing tools and find new use cases
Many tools exist that could fit into the frame, and other tools that have not traditionally been used for organisations in culture and arts could be used in new ways. One example is to see how the Edgeryders SSNA software could be used in a creative process or as a dynamic project management tool for very open ended projects. Other software that can be explored are projects like Autopo, Loomio and Discourse.
Research new frontiers
In addition to working on existing projects, the Particip.io community will dream up, prototype and perhaps develop and deploy other platforms and tools for participatory art and culture. Our primary goal with these explorations is to push the boundaries of how we collaborate and dream together, and a secondary goal is to bring ideas to life that could spinn off into projects that could secure additional funding for the Particip.io community. @nadia will be involved in this part of the project, focusing on exploring what directions it could take.
Building a community
Once we’re up and running, and have a community of people with experience and intelligence about what exists and how it can be implemented, organisations can post in this workspace to get in touch with people who could help them implement these solutions for their projects.
Presenting the results
A deliverable for the funders is that we need to present the results on a website, which will outline our findings and direct people to the workspace to learn more.
How to get involved
Work on Particip.io will be done in four different forms:
- Open freelance development
- Exploratory hackathons
- Focused development weeks
- Distributed team development cycle
- Independent paid freelance development
Open freelance development
You are more than welcome to contribute to the codebase and start working on an issue whenever you want to. You’ll be joining the Particip.io community, and developers who make consistent contributions may be invited to join for a hackathon or a focused development week or allotted paid hours to do more focused long term work.
A total of three hackathons will be held in 2019. These will be 4 days long, with 8-12 participants. Travel, food and accommodation will be paid for by the project. Each of these hackathons will focus on exploring and prototyping solutions to specific problems collected from participants on the ER platform. Participants in the hackathons are developers, designers, artists and visionaries. Hackathon participants do not need to be professionals, and it’s preferable to have a mix of people from different background. One hackathon will be hosted by Matt Parsons outside of Malmö, another will be held at Tivedstorp outside of Laxå and the location of the third hackathon is yet to be decided.
Focused development sprint week
Much of the hands on development of the projects will happen during focused work weeks, where 2-4 developers and designers meet somewhere to design and code functional prototypes or new releases of some Particip.io project. Travel and accommodation is provided by the project, and each participant is also payed 1000 EUR for the week. In 2019, we will host at least 5 of these development weeks in locations decided on by the participants. Participants in these development weeks should be skilled developers or designers.
Distributed team development cycle
In cases where clear specifications and deliverables have already been decided upon for a project, work can be done in team sprints, where 2-4 developers work together remotely for a few weeks while working on the project for some of their available time. These are different from focused development weeks in that they happen remotely and can be mixed with other work. Payment model can vary based on scope, but a rule of thumb is that the scope and pay is similar to a sprint week on site, but done over a month. Participants should be skilled developers or designer with experience of the code base being worked on.
Paid freelance development
We have a total of 240 hours of freelance developer hours available. These hours will only be used by developers have participated in active development, have already contributed quality controlled additions to the code base of a project and want to spend freelance time on developing features or fixing bugs and issues.
When does work start?
We start gearing up in October, and most of the work will be done in 2019. However, one project is already rolling, which is to get the Realities project to a place where it’s understandable and stable enough to be able to bring a new community of developers in to work on the project. Erik Frisk, who has worked on that project before, has been given two initial weeks of remote work to do this.