Technology and Social Change: Building New Economic Networks

Presented by Dr. Ron Suarez

Dr. Ron Suarez did the original installation and configuration of a WordPress, Multisite - BuddyPress installation for the official website of the New York City General Assembly of OccupyWallStreet and did the initial hosting until volunteers from Australia to Maine became part of the team. See: He is now focusing on working with social entrepreneurship clients plus other "social change" organizations and non-profits, primarily using the same WordPress and BuddyPress technologies. The initial build of was launched in about 10 days. Organizing what was an enterprise level project in a "leaderless" movement was both a bit like herding cats and an amazing example of how quickly something real that actually works can come together with participants who did not previously know each other and many who still have never met in person.

Resources We Need To Tap

  • The philosophy of Occupy forms a philosophical basis for people to come together
  • Open Source technologies are free
  • Many highly skilled people are unemployed or underemployed
  • Highly skilled people, who are employed full time, are willing spend spend smaller amounts of time participating regularly
  • Servers are cheap
  • Many web services offer freemium features (start at zero dollars and only charge for premium usage)

Turning Thought Into Action

  • Identify areas where we can act now.
  • Make it easier for people to work together in projects.
  • Increase social exchanges of knowledge, goods and services whether or not money, alternative currencies, or social capital reputation systems are involved.

Planning Next Steps

The goal of this presentation is to identify groups of people who would like to create projects in order to live life now and conduct business now the way we want the world to be.