Open Collective
Open Collective

PDX Commons Technology Project

Promoting economic solidarity technologies for an ethical transition. Neighborhood Manufacturing, Community-Oriented Finance, Commons Based Peer Production, Mutual Credit/MTCS, Data Commons, Alternative Supply Chains and more.

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Prusa Mk3S Plus 3D Printer


PDX Commons Technology is building a local coalition of makers to scale bioregion-appropriate technologies for a safe & sane future.

As the regenerative design movement expands, with iterations in community finance, blockchain and post-blockchain, agriculture, and material & organizational design, practical local implementation is the logical next step. But the task of scaling these technologies to the level of viable local infrastructure faces major logistical and cultural barriers. Extractive financial mechanisms and institutions that serve their interests still carry mainstream narrative power, holding the mantle of realism and utility with perverse ideologies that are, at their core, irreal and anti-life. We can only respond with reality: as the wealth chase is pushed aside, it's the urgent mandate of an escalating climate crisis that will make resilient and autonomous regional infrastructure a matter of life and death. (It already has.) 

The Portland Commons Technology Project is doubling down on realism, strategically reframing the language around technology to embrace, as it always should have, the wide range of innovations and strategies that apply systems thinking and emergent properties to the mutual benefit of living systems. For us, any technology that implements these principles is avant garde, whether hi or lo, soil or silicon. Similarly, no matter how apparently sophisticated, we see that the technologies of extraction, surveillance and capture are lo-tech, obsolete, and irreal in their goals. When we demystify internet and distributed ledger technology, or currency and governance models, as design systems that succeed or fail in integrating harmoniously with a variety of life systems, we place them on a flat plane with technologies of soil management and food production. Those that have already made this conceptual move have found rich resonance across design systems, sparking a small renaissance of open source, decentralized and regenerative innovations.

Portland in particular stands out as a hub for this renaissance - for decades we’ve been a stronghold for experiments in open source, adequate technology, mutual aid, alternative food security and permaculture (backyard chicken coops have reached the level of cliche in this town). We’ve been home to visionaries of decentralization and regenerative thinking like Paul Stamets, Linus Torvalds, Ursula Le Guin and Toby Hemenway, and community projects like Kailash Ecovillage and Intersection Repair. We've expanded our network in the course of a few months to include local organizations like Depave, Oregon Just Transition Alliance, City Repair, Past Lives PDX, alongside some of the broader existing permaculture, community organizing, and mutual aid communities around the city. As a city, we have the space, resources, and established community organizations to do tech-enhanced bioregionalism the right way.

Portland Technology Commons is the name for our growing urban network. We are currently housed at Bridgespace Commons, where we have hosted a series of meetings and plan talks with an emphasis on regenerative and community-oriented finance (including #ReFi, LETS, cooperative and mutual credit models), open design/open hardware, distributed ledger and DAO tech, Ostromian commons management, alternative food supply and urban permaculture. We see these as the core technologies that will be needed to build a decentralized, resilient urban infrastructure that can ensure our community’s safety in the face of crisis and breakdown, while providing another strategic example in localism for the global experiment in degrowth, economic democracy and community power.


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Today’s balance

$9.58 USD

Total raised

$549.97 USD

Total disbursed

$540.39 USD

Estimated annual budget

$179.73 USD


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News from PDX Commons Technology Project

Updates on our activities and progress.

Winter Solstice Update

Happy Winter Solstice, friends! We have a major update forthcoming in our Bulletin #3 (please check out our...
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Published on December 21, 2022 by Exeunt