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modelling for mutual aid

toolkit for building supportive networks

How can we build communities in support of mutual aid networks that begin to model the better societies we all deserve to live in?

• 20. February - 20. March 2021
• Online!
• Five-weeks, Saturdays, 12-2PM EST / 6-8PM CET
• Small class of participants


Pricing (For tickets click here)
Artist / Student (Full Time)*
€175

Freelancer*
€195

Professional*
€215

Generous Supporter Ticket*
€255

Solidarity ticket*
Donation (Limited)


course
description

The origins of mutual aid models are rooted in the common survival of all living things.

Even before people existed, plants and animals developed and thrived through impressively complex cooperative systems that continue to provide resources among their peers. As we humans have evolved organizationally over time, so have our methods of ensuring that our people survive.

Mutual aid is practiced widely in marginalized communities as a necessity for protecting members from the resource scarcity caused by capitalistic patterns of power and distribution. In these mutual aid systems, everyone works together to ensure each other's needs are met by providing equitable access to survival items like: food, clothing, information technology, tools, shelter, and more basic needs items.

This 5-week class is for people who are inspired to build their own mutual aid model or get involved with an existing community project in an impactful way.

During the first two classes, you'll be provided background context for how mutual aid models have evolved over time and research methods for examining existing mutual aid projects that are relevant to you or your interests.

In the third and fourth classes, you will start to develop your own personal action plan that outlines the capacity of resources necessary to operate your mutual aid project of choice. This action plan is meant to serve as a guide and inspiration for your future role development as a community (or even project) organizer. You'll also have the chance to learn some basic project visualization tools, such as SketchUp and the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, and how these tools can help you communicate your ideas more effectively to others.

In the fifth class, everyone shares their mutual aid project & plans for future action. This class is merely the beginning of your journey as a mutual aid organizer. It will set the groundwork for helping you and others understand and fight against systems of oppressive power through collective action and the equitable share of resources while (mostly) avoiding inevitable burnout.

As an option, the instructor will be hosting informal weekly group discussions on Discourse that cover optional assigned readings relating to topics of mutual aid from Pyotr Kropotkin, Douglas Rushkoff, Angela Y. Davis, and more. This discussion space is for anyone who wants to nerd out on the philosophy behind mutual aid models.


in this course you will be introduced to

· The basics of building and managing a mutual aid model · Roleplay dynamics in cooperative systems
· Math behind the methodical magic of mutual aid
· Successful mutual aid projects that exist globally on macro and micro scales
· Project management skills and effective communication tools for building and managing a mutual aid model
· Real life perspectives from mutual aid organizers
· How digital design tools are used to quickly and efficiently communicate a project's mission or needs to its audience.
· Tool overviews include SketchUp Pro - CAD, Adobe Creative Cloud - Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro, Canva - social media content and more!
· Reading excerpts from Pyotr Kropotkin, Douglas Rushkoff, Angela Y. Davis, and other prominent mutual aid / media theorists followed by informal weekly critical discussions of these readings outside of class


course outline

Week 1: Introductions

Class will begin with informal introductions where everyone will have the chance to share a bit about themselves, including who they are and why they are interested in mutual aid models. After we get to know each other a bit, we'll dive into the organizational makeup of mutual aid models and how they kinda relate to both RPG games and network theory.

Week 2: Modelling magic

This class explores various methods for researching community issues and identifying existing solutions that meaningfully combat any issues your community may face. We'll have the chance to listen to some community organizers who've experienced success and failure in building and managing various mutual aid models, which will be enlightening (and perhaps a disheartening reality check) for anyone interested in becoming a more active community organizer.

Weeks 3 & 4: Developing your model

In weeks 3 and 4, everyone will examine their potential roles in building and/or managing a mutual aid project. This is an essential step in the process of establishing what you really have to offer in terms of time, talents, tools, and other resources to people in your community. If you find yourself getting stuck in figuring out how you can make a difference - this process will ease you into creating your own personal action plan that carefully considers all your resources that you're willing to share with others.

Week 5: Show-and-tell feedback

In our last class, everyone will share their mutual aid action plan to the class and receive constructive feedback on how to improve their plan's efficiency or identify and correct any glaring problems that could potentially arise.

Everyone will have the opportunity to ask final questions about theoretical concepts, tools, systems, or anything covered in class. There is an opportunity to stay connected with one another if a group of people would like to collaborate on modelling a mutual aid network and bring it to life in one or more communities in the future.


who is this
class for?

The class is designed for artists, hackers, and anyone looking to reprogram and redistribute their creative output for collective good. Come join us. Enthusiastic like-minded community included. No experience necessary.


about live classes

Classes are 'live' meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback in case you are unable to attend for any reason. That said, we kindly ask that you please only purchase a ticket if you plan to attend regularly. For specific questions, please email us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.


about fees

We realise we're living in uncertain times. During this time, we are offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can solidarity tickets for this online class. Preference is given to women, POC, LGBTQ+ and persons from underrepresented communities in tech who would otherwise be unable to attend. We are a small organisation with no outside funding and like many, we are also in survival mode and we ask you to consider this when making your donation. We are greatly appreciative of your understanding and support.


about tickets

Tickets for this class are currently available via Eventbrite. If you would like to avoid Eventbrite fees, please email us for direct payment options. We kindly ask that all “pay-what-you-can” students register through Eventbrite. Due to reduced staffing, we’re unable to handle specific payment requests for these registrations.


meet the
instructor