How many people do you know who would love to help somewhere but do not find where? How many small collectives but with amazing ideas are ignored by society? Move Commons is a simple webtool that allows social initiatives, collectives and NGOs to declare the principles they are based on.
Through these icons, the visitors of a web will be able to understand if the initiative is nonprofit, if it shares its work, or if the decision-making is horizontal.
Besides, by showing the icons of Move Commons, the initiatives allow special search-engines to find them easily, grouping them with similar ones and letting potential volunteers to find them easily.
Main features and goals of the crowdfunding campaign
Move Commons is a tool for initiatives, collectives, NGOs and social movements to declare the basic principles they are committed to. It follows the same mechanics that Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) uses when "labelling" the cultural works, but Move Commons "labels" social initiatives. Thus, it provides a user-friendly, bottom-up, self-labelling system for each collective/initiative, with four icons, together with some descriptive keywords.
Everything is supported by semantic code (that computers can read) to allow searches such as: «which initiatives exist in Beirut that are a grassroots organisation, non-profit, delivering Creative Commons contents, related to "alternative education" and "teen-agers"» (think of your favorite principles, keywords and places).
The four principles/icons that each initiative can show are: "Non-Profit" (otherwise: "For-Profit"); "Reproducible" (otherwise: "Exclusive"); "Grassroots" (otherwise: "Representative"); "Reinforcing the Commons" (otherwise "Other Aims"). You can see them in the demo http://movecommons.org/preview/
Why this is important
Here and there we see many social initiatives promoting the Commons in different fields. However, only a few have reached critical mass and are well-known by a large community, while the majority are still marginalized and ignored by the mainstream.
On the other hand, frequently we know about people that would love to help in a social initiative but don't know where. This is mainly because from outside it's very difficult to have a global view of the existing initiatives in a field. Usually, those volunteers just turn to the large NGOs that have budget for advertisements. It's much more difficult to find the small local initiatives without resources.
Move Commons aims at boosting the visibility and diffusion of such initiatives, "drawing" the network among related initiatives/collectives across the world, allowing mutual discovery and facilitating to reach critical mass. Besides, any volunteer could easily understand the collective approach, and discover other collectives in their location matching their interests.
More implications of this project in http://movecommons.org/implications
Move Commons is oriented towards the following communities: collectives, social movements, NGOs, cooperatives, organizations, activists, volunteers, alternatives to the mainstream models, social/cultural/political/creative/software projects.
Goals of the crowdfunding campaign
Nowadays there is a small prototype in http://movecommons.org/preview/ but the idea goes beyond that. Move Commons aims to:
Provide a simple tools that allows to organize the jungle of collectives, NGOs and social movements, while maximizing their visibility.
Facilitate a system of self-labelling, standardized, usable, bottom-up, for each initiative, using icons and descriptive keywords.
Promote that social collectives re-think themselves, asking questions about how to fulfill this or that category (icon), and helping them evolve with guidelines and resources for each of the categories.
Provide a semantic search-engine that allows to perform complex searches.
Build a series of widgets so the insertion of icons+code is really easy.
Provide a free/libre platform where multiple extensions can be implemented, such a geographical mapping of initiatives, a recommender of similar initiatives, stats and graphs on the open data, visualization of the collective networks, etc.
Team and experience
Since 2002, the Comunes collective has been working on different initiatives and digital projects related to the Commons, focusing on facilitating the work of the social collectives and activists through the construction of free/libre webtools and resources.
Some of our projects are: 1) http://ourproject.org: free/libre web services for social projects, nowadays with around 1,000 projects from multiple fields and 1,500,000 monthly visits; 2) Kune, collaborative social network for the creation of free projects, under development: http://kune.ourproject.org; 3) Move Commons, webtool described here; and others listed in the web of the collective http://comunes.org
For more information about Move Commons: