Friday 28.9. 15:00-18:15

The conference will open with a fast paced symposium featuring 8 speakers. They will attempt in short presentations to highlight the most important issues of decentralized organizing. The presentations are buidling a common framework for the more hands-on workshops on the following days. 

Speakers include Nati Lombardo & Rich Bartlett (Enspiral/Loomio), Nick Mahony &  Sofie Hope (Red Pepper/Cultural Democracy), Oona Frilander (Demos Helsinki), Pedro Reis (Colab/Komuhn), Agnieszka Pokrywka (temporary/kuusipalaa), Maikki Siuko (SITRA/Time-Out) and Karoliina Luoto (Codento). 

Paasitorni – the venue for the symposium – is also called Helsinki Workers’ House and  has a colorful history related to the workers movement. It  was the site of the struggle between early attempts of selforganizing and decentralisation in form of the workers-councils vs. the super centralization forces of the party bureaucracy.

The conference will continue in an informal way at the Juttutupa bar located right in the conference venue at the Pasitorni building. Speakers will be available for questions and discussions.

The Symposium is free of charge but requires a sign-up.

IMPORTANT: If the event is fully booked please add your name to the waitinglist by clicking SIGN UP.. and adding your email to the waitinglist on Eventbrite page. There surely will be cancelations.


Friday 28.9. 18:00-21:00

Data Detox Kit, is an 8-day tutorial on turning your digitalself into healthier and more in-control. Data Detox Bar is a part of Tactical Tech‘s Glass Room Experience, an opportunity to pick up a free Data Detox Kit and learn more on what data is collected on any person with digital presence and why. It also functions as a social gathering point for the symposium attendants.  

The Data Detox Kit will only be available this time, and at the platform of the Kamppi Metro station during the opening of The Glass Room Experience on September 26th, from 17:00 to 19:00, and on September 27th, from 11:00 to 13:00. More info about the exhibition can be found at the bottom of this page.

The Data Detox Bar as a part of The Glass Room Experience is supported by the Goethe-Institut Finnland.


SATURDAY 29.9. 11:00-18:00

If you are trying to organise in a decentralised, collaborative, less-hierarchical team, you are probably asking yourself: How do we include people in decisions without spending so much time in meetings? How do we develop an open, collaborative culture? How do we encourage participation, engagement, and shared responsibility? And if nobody is in charge, where does accountability come from? 

You are not the only one. For the last decade, we have been immersed in these challenges, as we co-founded and built Loomio and Enspiral, two pioneering decentralised organisations.

Last year we travelled to 14 countries to share lessons with groups asking the same questions. From the Seoul City Government, to healthcare providers in Brighton, a Dublin food co-op, Berlin tech startups, community organisers from Indianapolis to Buenos Aires… and many more.

Everyone seems to face the same challenges when we try to work without a traditional command-and-control structure. The good news is: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Many of us have found solutions, and we are here to guide you along the way. 

In this workshop we will share with you 14 Patterns for Decentralised Organising. These patterns are like lenses for understanding the challenges of working with less hierarchy, and the practical responses that have proven to solve them.

Through this full day of participatory learning, you’ll not only gain new understandings, connections and fresh perspectives. You’ll leave the workshop with practical actions that you can start applying right away, to grow a purpose-driven team environment that feels nourishing, engaging, hugely productive and resilient.

The Workshop hosts are  Nati Lombardo and Richard D. Bartlett.

You can read a short report about a similar workshop on this blog.

IMPORTANT: If the event is fully booked please add your name to the waitinglist by clicking SIGN UP.. and adding your email to the waitinglist on Eventbrite page. There surely will be cancelations.


SATURDAY 29.9. 11:00-18:00

We cannot achieve political democracy without achieving cultural democracy at the same time. We have known this for almost fifty years and still the idea of over-turning long-standing cultural hierarchies and achieving democratic control of the means of cultural input seems like an impossible dream. It need not be.

Building on the 1986 Culture & Democracy manifesto, the collectively generated 2017 draft ‘manifesto for a cultural democracy’ begins to set out a contemporary agenda for cultural democracy in our time. This new draft manifesto emerged from participatory sessions organised at The World Transformed festival in September 2017 and the new Movement for Cultural Democracy is now developing to support the collective conversations, alliance building and public action needed to make cultural democracy a reality today.

Nick Mahony and Sophie Hope, researchers, authors, creatives, and activists, will encourage participants to express their own personal experiences, their hopes, and the frustrations they have felt in trying to create spaces for autonomous cultural activity. Beginning with the participants’ own creative lives we will look to what our circumstances have in common and begin the process of creating the tools and techniques we will need to achieve autonomous [or possibly ‘self-managed’] communities.

We will introduce exercises to assist us grow cultural democracy, starting from where we are today. We will also provide the means by which we can continue working together after the workshop ends.

This workshop is hosted by Sophie Hope and Nick Mahony together with Owen Kelly (Pixelache).


SUNDAY 30.9. 11:00-18:00

There are different ways we learned to make decisions in groups. There is the one with the boss who is forcing decisions because of his power. There is the consensus where everybody must agree and there is the democratic vote where the majority wins. All of these have their pros and cons and are suitable for different situations but when it comes to the challenges we face now they’re all not the best option.

There is a new way on the rise that embraces empowerment and non-violent communication. It is out there with a lot of different names but in its heart it is Consent Decision Making and the perspective that objections are gifts that should be taken care of, regardless who rose them.

One of the most promising and complete sets of patterns is Sociocracy 3.0. (S3 – ) Guided by S3 and enriched with principles and practices from other frameworks like Holacracy, Dragon Dreaming, Organic Organization and more, I want to invite you to host a new understanding of how you can facilitate and participate as an individual and as a group of people in decision making to follow your call and realize your dreams.

The Workshop is hosted by Sven Latzel.

IMPORTANT: If the event is fully booked please add your name to the waitinglist by clicking SIGN UP.. and adding your email to the waitinglist on Eventbrite page. There surely will be cancelations.


Opening: WEDNESDAY 26.9. 17:00-19:00

What is personal data in an age when our data is everything but personal? Our websites, apps, social media and ‘smart’ devices all thrive on the same thing that makes tech companies billions – data. Not just any data, but our data. In 2030 there will be an estimated 125 billion connected devices – 14 for each person. That’s a lot of smart toothbrushes. Will all these new technologies really make our lives more efficient, healthier and safer? The Glass Room Experience explores the companies and mechanisms that make our everyday technologies as well as connect the Internet of Things (IoT). 

The Glass Room Experience is an exhibition created by Tactical Tech in partnership with Mozilla. It is relevant for the Social Tools conference theme due to the ongoing interplay between decentralization and privacy. The Glass Room Helsinki rendition will take place at the Kamppi Metro station platform and will be available to all passengers. The opening will take place on Wednesday, September 26th from 17:00 to 19:00. During this time you will have a chance to meet Bec Slip, a Tactical Tech crew member, and grab a Data Detox Kit. Bec and the kits will be also available the day after on Thursday, September 27th from 11:00 to 13:00 at the Kamppi Metro station platform, and on Friday, September 28th from 18:00 to 21:00 at JuttutupaThe exhibition will last until the 14th of October.

The exhibition is supported by the Goethe-Institut Finnland.