From economic recession to devastating climate change, humans are facing complex challenges on a global scale. We believe human rights and environmental challenges are inextricably linked, and that new collaborations are necessary to resolve these seemingly intractable problems. We envision a future where all people can participate in the decisions that affect their lives. We work to push the edge of innovation to include marginalized voices, because we believe people from the most-affected communities are integral to designing lasting solutions to protect the planet.
In 2014, Dd partnered with local communities in Mexico, Guyana, Ecuador and Peru. Our projects included testing offline mapping to support indigenous territory claims and supporting oil-affected communities in their successful campaign to get the Peruvian government to recognize oil contamination and better regulate the oil company who caused it. From launching an innovative narrative map to pioneering offline mapping tools, we're pushing the edges of what's possible using often low-tech tools to empower marginalized groups.
We're doing important work, but we want to do more, and better. In 2015, we plan to expand our team so that we can increase the number of communities we serve, and turn the technology we've been prototyping into robust tools that can be used by communities all over the world to defend their rights, protecting both people and the planet. To expand, we need support. We're applying for grants, and have contracts lined up with key partners. But we also need support from individual donors, which will help ensure that we can focus on our core efforts to collaborate with local partners and build the most effective tech tools possible. We're a small, lean and incredibly efficient organization, with very little overhead; contributions to our work go a long way.
But our vision for a better world is not just focused on getting financial support for our projects. Digital Democracy is about more than that - it's the promise of what is possible when we band together to make things better. So, this holiday season, we're less interested in raising donations than in building a network of people passionate about leveraging technology to empower civic engagement around the world. We're launching something we're calling the Mesh Network, which is our community of allies and supporters who help make our work possible, and who we believe will help ensure our work, projects and area of focus are robust and effective for many years to come.
What is a mesh network?
In the world of hardware & internet technology, a mesh network is a local area network of many different nodes that allow devices to share information in a decentralized fashion. In a mesh network, each node relays data for the entire network. Its strength is derived from its non-hierarchical nature. We think this is a good metaphor for Digital Democracy's work. Alone, each one of us can only accomplish so much. Together, we can accomplish much more.
What does it mean to join the Mesh Network? Four things. Are you willing to:
- Support our work by giving a generous contribution. For those who can afford it, we're requesting support at the $1000 level or higher. We're a small lean organization, so a donation at this level goes a far way. If this is out of your ability, please consider giving what you can this year, and making a recurring monthly donation in 2015 to support Dd's work.
- Connect us to others who might be excited to join the Mesh Network.
- Open doors. Do you have institutional connections that might be interested in supporting Dd's work?
- Most importantly, keep in touch with us and learn about our work so that you can be an ambassador for Digital Democracy in the future! In 2015 the Mesh Network will be on the front lines of hearing about our work as it evolves in real time.
Ready to join? Make a donation, and [send me an email](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Tell me more about the Mesh Network) to join the network.