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Runrig

Runrig is a communal farming platform, a libre software project and a method of socio-ecological design. It aims for collective sovereignty over not just our food, but also the labor that raises it, the land and living things that support it, and the data connecting connecting it all.

Locally. Regionally. Globally.

More than just a software commons

Free & open source software is a starting point, not the destination. Full computing autonomy requires control of the underlying infrastructure, something beyond the capacity of most individuals. Runrig redistributes control of the entire system back to all users, in collective ownership.

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Ecology over architecture

Runrig emphasizes ecology, dialogue and free play over any specific technology, because the evolution of a software system is only one factor in the evolution of the broader social and natural systems in which it is embedded. Rather than make an independent, greenfield alternative to existing software platforms, we seek out targeted interventions that can multiply the impact of already available tools. Runrig aims to be the mortar joining these technological building blocks together, while reinforcing and giving shape to the whole.

Autonomy by design

To achieve collective ownership and democratic control of the shared system, while preserving the data rights of individual users, Runrig comprises 3 functional layers:

  1. A single, collectively owned data storage provider.
  2. Many federated cooperative service platforms.
  3. Local-first and self-hosted applications.

What's Next?

In the Runrig Roadmap for 2024 we propose a 3-phase business model for a workers' cooperative, which can then steward the development of the platform cooperatives and eventually "One Big Data Co-op," à la Bill Haywood and the Wobblies. Right now as a volunteer-driven group, we're in Phase Zero. Before taking any contracts or pursuing grants for the following phases, we're building out one or two reference implementations to test the viability of the model at each phase of development. We're holding open workshops every other week, along with community chat rooms and discussion boards, so anyone can get involved. As we progress, we're actively seeking partnerships and collaborations with similarly aligned organizations, and eventually hope to recruit farmers, food & tech workers and activists as coop members, so sign up for our newsletter to receive occasional updates.

The Runrig Plan is a living document that describes the main design principles of the social and ecological technologies we are building now and in the near future. The Overview is intended for a general audience and is the best place to start for all interested. Two appendices are also presented now, though they are still in a very rough stage of draft. The Architecture page will go into more technical detail of the underlying software and networking systems involved in the implementation of Runrig, while the Ecology page will cover more of the social, environmental and economic aspects of the plan, as well as governance structures and legal considerations.