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Working directly with grassroots organisers, we design digital tools that make radical change possible.

Category
Project
Organisation
Planetary Praxis
Date
2021–2022

Smart Forests

We worked with the Smart Forests researchers from the University of Cambridge to create a living archive and virtual field site exploring how digital technologies are transforming forests.

The Atlas consists of four wayfinding devices: Logbooks, Map, Radio and Stories. This layered interface is designed to weave together a broad range of content from interviews to sensor data, soundscapes, and images. The Atlas platform provides tools for researchers, stakeholders and publics to gather, explore, analyse, annotate, reflect on and reimagine smart forest knowledges and technologies.

Launching in October 2022.

Category
Project
Organisation
London Renters Union
Date
2022–2021
Link
www.londonrentersunion.org/side-with-renters

Side With Renters

We supported the London Renters Union in their campaign for renters' rights during the 2022 local election campaigns. The campaign was highly successful, winning pledges from multiple boroughs to implement demands from LRU's Housing Justice Charter.

Technical assistance helped LRU's organisers to set up, configure, redesign and extend a stack of tools that made the petitioning campaign possible, and operate as efficiently as possible.

We translated organisers' campaign needs into technical feature and data requests with the developers of the petition tool. We also configured an automations suite, across n8n.io and Airtable, to match petition signatures to members. This introduced a feedback loop that allowed LRU to monitor the campaign throughout London and adjust their phone-banking to be more effective and strategic.

Category
Project
Organisation
Zetkin Foundation
Date
02.2021

Supporter App

We worked with Zetkin Foundation to design their white-label Supporter app. This project began as a joint venture between three Scandinavian left parties: Enhedslisten, Sosialistisk Venstreparti and Vänsterpartiet.  The app provides people with simple ways to get involved with each party in the lead up to their respective elections.

The goal of the project is to make getting involved in activism fun and accessible. Each person is given a few tasks to complete every day. As they complete tasks and demonstrate their commitment, they are given more complex and important tasks to do. We added fun illustrations and features like streaks, celebrations and satisfying user interface interactions, to make engaging with the app feel like playing a game.

Category
Project
Organisation
GoodGym
Date
2021–Ongoing

GoodGym

GoodGym is a network of people across the UK who get fit by doing good. They are an accessible and welcoming community that helps people get involved with volunteering in their local area.

We worked with them to reflect upon and deepen their membership offering. This included user research, stakeholder interviews, usability testing and strategic consultancy. We continue to work as an embedded product team within their organisation, helping them improve the user experience and interface design of their app.

Category
Project
Organisation
Left Book Club
Date
2021–Ongoing

Left Book Club digital membership systems

The Left Book Club is a non-profit membership organisation founded in 1936 to oppose war, inequality and fascism. Today they support political education, by publishing radical writing and encouraging its members to organise reading groups.

We worked with LBC to replatform them to a modern website, membership and payments stack that fit their subscription model (Wagtail and Stripe) including ongoing technical support.

We also supported them to design and iterate on a community strategy and trained them on meetup facilitation, through weekly coaching calls. As part of these experiments we set up a Circle.so community forum and set up single sign-on for members to their website.

Category
Project
Organisation
Zetkin Foundation
Date
2021–Ongoing

Zetkin Gen 3

Over the past few years, we’ve worked in collaboration with Zetkin Foundation on their platform for organising activism. Building upon the research we did in 2020 with United Voices of the World, we helped them with the user experience and interface design of a new feature called Journeys.

This feature enables organisers to track their members through different pathways, such as casework or onboarding. Once an organiser starts a member on a Journey, they can collaborate with the rest of their organisation to add notes, emails and other attachments, complete milestones and add tags.

The new generation app is currently being tested with a select group of users. Get in touch with Zetkin if you're interested in a demo.

Category
Project
Organisation
Novara Media
Date
2020–Ongoing

Novara Media organisational coaching

Since 2020, we have consulted with members of Novara Media on technical and organisational issues, drawing on our experience in software, start-ups and self-organisation in the radical left and cooperative movements.

In their own words: "We've worked with Common Knowledge on technical roadmapping, organisational consultation and much in between. For us, their unique value is in their attentiveness and respect towards our organisation's ethos, ambitions, idiosyncracies and limitations. Whatever conundrum you're trying to work through: they get you. At every level throughout our work together, we really felt that Common Knowledge were invested in helping us succeed in our aims, and they've become our go-to collaborators on a range of operational projects."

Category
Project
Organisation
350.org
Date
2022–Ongoing

350.org Discovery

In early 2022 we conducted a Research and Discovery project for the international climate justice organisation 350.org.

We investigated how they might migrate their complex digital estate to WordPress’ Gutenberg editor. This involved embedding ourselves within their product team, facilitating stakeholder interviews, reviewing their past progress towards migration, conducting a thorough audit of their sites and trialling our proposed migration approach locally.

At the end of this process, we prepared a report with our recommended approach, breakdown of our proposed phases (including how to approach the internal communications, research, training and development) and an assessment of potential risks and how to mitigate them.

Category
Writing
Date
30.07.2022
Length
4 minute read

Notes from July

Exploring the ecologies of commoning, documenting crimes of solidarity and researching how to use digital platforms to amplify community stories.
Category
Writing
Date
27.07.2022
Length
3 minute read

My experience as an apprentice at Common Knowledge

A report of my apprenticeship so far
Category
Writing
Date
29.06.2022
Length
4 minute read

Notes from June

This month we kicked off two exciting new projects, launched a new website for the Left Book Club, continued building distributed, resilient archive software in collaboration with The New Design Congress and spoke at the Weizenbaum Conference in Berlin.
Category
Writing
Date
22.12.2021
Length
8 minute read

2021 in review

Reflecting on the past year
Category
Writing
Date
21.12.2021
Length
2 minute read

Introducing: Groundwork

An integrated and opinionated collection of Django applications and Javascript components that helps you build software for organising and campaigning.
Category
Writing
Date
24.11.2021
Length
4 minute read

What tools should I use?

Why we're establishing a new guide to digital tools for organising.

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