Institutions are complacent, but human beings are not. Governments respond to election cycles, but people adapt to the moment. When crisis strikes, it is often too late for a coordinated response. We need a way of placing power directly in people’s hands.
MutualAid.world does exactly that. Our team of software developers responds to community organizers by building software tools that makes their life easy.
Our first piece of software is an app that connects those who can help with those who need it. The app allows people to make requests, map them geographically, and rate each other’s trustworthiness and skilfulness in responding to tasks. A volunteer can jump from one project to another and take the credibility that they have accumulated previously. This is all done while preserving the data privacy of participants and can be connected to Facebook in order to allow people to share requests there.
Our code is open source, and features are being added every day. Once a developer creates a feature, it is built into the app. This is an opportunity to build an incredible amount of functionality that directly responds to what organizers and local authorities need: doctors sourcing ventilators; at risk people who need to buy groceries; matching healthcare workers with patients; building hot-lines for non-app users.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, we need to remind people that they aren’t powerless. Social Distance does not mean social alienation. We need systems that do not require trauma as the condition of transformation—decentralized, experimental, and capable of innovative thinking.
We also have Cambridge University’s permission to use their FluPhone technology. This will allow us to track exactly how the virus is spreading and notify our volunteers when they have come in contact with someone who later experiences symptoms of the virus (all while protecting their data from third parties.)
It’d be a pleasure to have you on board. Join us!
Simon is an alternative economies lawyer who engages issues of justice deeply as they appear in ourselves, our workplaces, and our communities. He has facilitated gatherings about race, identity, and difference for more than a decade. Simon is a co-founder of the Nonprofit Democracy Network and principal at Harmonize.