Redecentralize is an independent, volunteer-driven organisation promoting the decentralisation of our digital technology. By connecting technologists with media, policymakers and the wider public, we support projects that work on open, accountable technologies. We strive for freedom of choice and to reduce the power of, and our collective dependence on, big tech corporations.
We care about autonomy and privacy, diversity and inclusivity, sustainability and resilience. We strive for technology that respects these values, and brings power back to individuals and communities.
Redecentralize is registered as a not-for-profit organisation in the UK — while aiming for its scope and reach to be as international as the internet.
Despite its open design and democratic ideals, recent years have shown a creeping centralisation of the internet, leading to a handful of gigantic corporations directing its future. This unaccountable corporate capture of our social and digital infrastructure has already led to:
Less choice and diversity of products and services, as big tech companies keep users locked in through network effects and closed protocols.
An imbalance of power due to that lack of choice — leading people to accept unfair terms and conditions and exploitative business models, in order to avoid being left out.
Privacy breaches, unethical data use, addiction, discrimination and political subversion. Our most successful digital business models depend on behavioural data exploitation, with companies being incentivised to profile and manipulate users rather than serve them.
We believe technology can and should serve and empower people, not exploit them. We want and deserve better!
Luckily, we are not alone. Many people are pursuing benevolent ways to create, use and govern technology. Hundreds of projects are committed to standardise formats and protocols, develop open source software and hardware, explain the problems and promote solutions.
Redecentralize promotes, connects and facilitates these efforts — because tackling monopoly power and exploitative business models requires us to work together.
We do not side with one specific party, project or protocol, but support the open internet ecosystem as a whole. We bring together technologists, policymakers, journalists and the wider public to learn from each other and collaborate.
Redecentralize focusses on three core areas of complementary work:
Redecentralize.org started with a small band of volunteers (Francis Irving, Irina Bolychevsky and Ross Jones) in the wake of the Snowden revelations in June 2013. In the tumult about unaccountable mass surveillance and undermined security, we wanted to promote and connect the amazing projects that could contribute structural solutions, being quietly worked on by people who cared about privacy, resilience and user-control. For the curious, here is an interview with us from those early days.
We started with surveying the field, interviewing project founders, and hosting meet-ups to foster a movement of decentralisers. Since we started and in between jobs, lives and conferences, we have managed to:
We called our movement Redecentralize to remind people about the open and democratic ideals of the early internet and web, which helped it flourish.
There is still so much to do! From curating resources or writing guides for local-first, open-source, encrypted tech, to holding discussions and working groups around policy and better business models, to running meet-ups and events — there is more to do than we have time for.
If you want to volunteer, collaborate in some way, or have a project (idea) that could fit in, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org telling a bit about yourself and what you are interested in doing.
Ira, internet citizen rooted in London, is the co-founder and director of Redecentralize. Having studied mathematics and philosophy, she works as a digital strategist on open data, standards, privacy and decentralised technology. She works on standards & interoperability for the UK National Health Service, co-organises Citizen Beta and loves to interface between tech and people for the betterment of both.
Previously, Ira led the ckan open data platform to international adoption at Open Knowledge Foundation, and has worked for the World Wide Web Consortium, Open Data Institute and UK’s Government Digital Service.
A stickler for truth and a believer in better, Gerben dabbles in EU policy making to advocate for interoperable & decentralised technology, while working on data protection with noyb. He contributes to Redecentralize since 2019, launched the Redecentralize Digest and maintains the website.
Gerben is a full-stack technologist, swaying from soldering transistors to training neural networks, with a particular affection for creating memex-ish ‘tools for the mind’ and ambitions to improve the world (wide web). On a quiet day you can find him reading philosophy or walking in the forest.
We want to thank our amazing patrons: Arthur Brock, Bill Thompson, Borjan Tchakaloff, Fabian Fabian, Jacek Tomaszewski, Justin Emery, Kristian Glass, Peter Brownell, refset, Richard Pope, Rufus Pollock, and all unlisted/anonymous patrons.
And of course thanks to the many people who contributed in various ways to our events, publications, and general mission.