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This is a brilliant series, and very much needed.

Building Laterally 

The events in the Incubator's Building Laterally series are free and open to the public. These conversations are an invitation to imagine the work of building project governance and community engagement as intimately intertwined with different political horizons. Join us!

Current season

September 2023 will mark 40 years since the launch of the GNU Project and the Free Software Movement. In that time, a host of ideas once considered unfeasible or impractical have become increasingly foundational in tech, science, academe, and beyond. The benefits of open collaboration, freedom of use, and decentralized networks are now discussed across fields from citizen science to cryptocurrency.

What have we learned about the foundational premises and promises of open work over four decades? How have practices built around promises of openness, freedom, and decentralization affected how technologists imagine the future?

This season, the Building Laterally Series at CS&S collects critical perspectives that reflect on the promises and practices of 40 years of “open” work. The series returns to central themes explored in the previous season, including labor, power, access, social justice, community, and coloniality in open source, open science, and open infrastructure.

40 Years of Open

"Free as in Freedom?" - Trajectory of a Premise

Speakers explore the assumptions of “free” as used in open source and open infrastructure.

Open: From Subversion to Standard

This event explores assumptions behind the value of "openness." Open to whom? For whom? To do what?

The Limits of Decentralization

This panel discussion looks to trouble the enthusiasm about "decentralization" with other considerations of power.

Futures of Open

As we imagine futures for open work, what role for science fiction in our understandings of where we’ve come from and where we’re going?

Building Open Ecosystems

Presentations from 2022-2023 cohort members.

Past events

Labor across the Tech Ecosystem

Wednesday Oct 27, 2021

What can efforts to increase the sustainability of digital infrastructure learn from unionizing, whistleblowing, and other organizing among tech workers?

Anti-Oppression Frameworks in Open Source

Wednesday Dec 8, 2021

As open source digital public infrastructure embraces anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-colonial, and gender-affirming values and commitments, how can project leads critically assess this work and the tools relied on to do it?

Visions of Mutual Power

Wednesday Jan 19, 2022

What kinds of power can do-ocracies build and hold?

Coloniality of Digital Infrastructure

Wednesday Feb 23, 2022

How do efforts to sustain and maintain digital infrastructure cover for imperial domination, neocolonialism, and other forms of extractivism?

The Practice of Digital Infrastructure

Wednesday Apr 27, 2022

What does it look like to build digital infrastructure?

Cohort Events

The Incubator also hosts synchronous programming directed at cohort interests and needs. We don't announce these in advance or record them but we do share out resources from them.

Theory of Change Workshop with Alix Dunn and Tanya O'Carroll

Tuesday May 3, 2022

What is a “theory of change” specific to your project and how to go about articulating one?

The Tech Cultures that Come Next - Round table with Afua Bruce, Greg Bloom, and Amy Sample Ward

Monday May 23, 2022

How do we imagine the future of work in open data, open software, and public interest technology?