Decentralisation is a term that is currently en vogue. It is often mentioned in conjunction with block-chain technology and cryptocurrencies. We nevertheless want to focus our attention on the social implications of decentralisation processes. What happens to a group or community that moves from a hierachical to a more decentralised working model?

This event is for everyone trying to work in such a way: members of artistic collectives, co-ops, startups, NGOs, companies, museums, activist networks and so on. We have worked with Pixelache for many years to adapt a decentralized model. We came up with some of our own solutions that worked out, but struggled with some basic issues. We have realised that we are not alone with this struggles, and that those challenges are rather common to any group trying to move away from a traditional command-and-control structure.

We set up the Socials Tools conference in 2018 in order to invite speakers and workshop hosts that can help us and others with this transformation, to move “from disorganisation to decentralised organising” (Rich Bartlett)

While the 2018 Social Tools conference tried to give a broad overview of issues of decentralised organising, the 2019 conference will focus on 3 patterns that were discussed last year but that need a more extensive and thorough discussion: POWER. MONEY, CONFLICT

Power imbalances can be found in almost any organisation, so how can we talk about them and deal with them? How can we avoid “toxic” power but embrace “healthy” power?  How do we track and compensate contributions in  decentralised organisations? How do we balance paid, pro bono and volunteer work? How do we acknowledge invisible work and care work?

When trying to move towards a more decentralised way of working, conflict is almost inevitable. How can we deal with it? What patterns and tools are available for addressing conflict?

Those and many other similar questions will be addressed. Welcome to join us on this collective learning journey.

The Social Tools 2019 Team
Agnieszka, Ilpo, Oliver and Owen



Friday 27.9. 15:00-18:15

The conference will open with a fast paced symposium featuring 7 speakers. They will attempt in short presentations to highlight some relevant ideas around POWER, MONEY & CONFLICT within decentralised organisations. They expand on some of the patterns introduced during Social Tools 2018. The presentations are buidling furthermore a common framework for the more hands-on workshops on the following days. 

Speakers include Sophie Bustamante, Stacco Troncoso/Ann Marie  Utratel (Guerillia Translation / P2P Foundation), Minna Henriksson & Karolina Kucia (Kiila / Nightschoolers.org), Owen Kelly (Pixelache/Cultural Democracy), Cindy Kohtala (Aalto University / OSCE), Outi Kuittinen (Demos Helsinki),  and Markus Linnalampi of the Sociocracy 3.0 based company Codento.

The conference will continue in an informal way at a bar located near the conference venue. Speakers will be available for questions and discussions.


SATURDAY 28.9. 11:00-18:00

This workshop will fpcus on the DisCO – the distributed Cooperative Organization.Taking Guerillia Translation as a case study, Ann Marie and Stacco will talk about their ideas of an Open Cooperative model. The workshop will discuss different models of contribution tracking and compensation within such decentralised organisations. How to deal with paid, pro bono and volunteer work that usually occur in parallel in decentralised organisation? What about the “invisible” or care labour within such groups and organisations?

This workshop is hosted by Ann Marie Utratel and Stacco Troncoso.


SUNDAY 29.9. 11:00-18:00

This workshop expands on the Social Tools 2018 workshop “12 Patterns of Decentralised Organising” by Nat & Rich from Loomio / Enspiral. It will put special focus on pattern 5 and 6: Keep Talking about Power and Conflict is Inevitable – Learn How to Deal with it.

The workshop will introduce the Conflict Resolution Pattern Language. Participants will be shown how to apply these patterns to their own contexts at multiple levels in an ecosystem.

The workshop host is conflict researcher and facilitator Sofia Bustamante.

She will introduce an approach based on living systems, peacework, martial arts, neuroscience and therapeutic fields. Sofia will show:

– How to  proactively respond to greater and greater levels of conflict in groups
– Introduce means for a collective to design their own conflict response protocols
– Bust myths around conflict resolution preventing groups from engaging early in conflict
– Show participants how to apply these principles at different scales for distributed teams.

Participants will come away with:

– More confidence in the ability to address difficult conversations
– Less fear of conflict
– A better understanding of how to shift from blame oriented to a more generative culture
– An understanding of how to address stuck situations
– Tools and practices to embed this in teams


Ann Marie Utratel

Ann Marie is a native New Yorker now living in Spain, is part of the P2P Foundation global core team, focused on advocacy and infrastructure. Her work helps connect a widening network of people involved in forward-thinking communities including the P2P/Commons movement, activism, open licensing, environmentalism, alternative currencies, collaborative economy, cooperativism, and more. She is also a co-founder of Guerrilla Translation, a P2P translation collective.

Sofia Bustamante

Sofia Bustamante, MEng, FRSA is a social process designer with nearly 3 decades of work in conflict mediation, facilitation and community building.  Her current focus is on applying the design patterns of nature in distributed contexts to develop a pattern language for conflict resolution. She draws on diverse influences from biomimicry to The Art of Hosting practices to the martial art of Aikido. Sofia was given London Leader Status by the Mayors office in 2010 for her participative community design work, for which she also won the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Award People’s vote in 2013. Her social innovations seek to bridge divides,  enable individuals and communities to better work together, increase their sense of agency and unleash their inner and collective creativity. She is a fellow of the RSA and an associate of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

Stacco Troncoso

Stacco Troncoso is a co-founder of the P2P translation collective “Guerrilla Translation“, as well as a core team member for the P2P Foundation and the project lead for Commons Transition – an organization dedicated to spreading and strengthening the Commons worldwide.

A professional translator since 1998, Stacco grew up in London, England, and returned to Madrid, Spain to study Fine Arts in 1992. For Guerrilla Translation, Stacco has translated texts by Naomi Klein, David Graeber, Charles Eisenstein, Douglas Rushkoff, among others. Stacco has also translated films directed by Ken Loach, Stephen Frears, Kim Ki-duk, Ian Mackenzie and Bong Joon-ho.

Minna Henriksson

Minna Henriksson is a visual artist currently living in Helsinki. Her work is often collaborative and aims to relate to discussions arising from anti-racist, leftist and feminist struggles. Henriksson co-edited the book “Art Workers – Material Conditions and Labour Struggles in Contemporary Art Practice” focusing on art workers’ labour conditions in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. Henriksson is active in the collective study group Night Schoolers and leftist artists’ association Kiila.

Cindy Kohtala

Cindy Kohtala is a writer, teacher and researcher in the field of Design-for-Sustainability. She is currently a post-doc researcher in the Department of Design, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, examining collaborative design in material peer production communities and sustainable innovation processes. Her doctoral research explored the maker movement (Fab Labs and maker communities and spaces) She has long been interested and involved in design activism, urban activism and the grassroots, DIY approach in how people design their own sustainable lifestyles in self-organizing communities. She helped to organise events such OSCE (Open Source Circular Economy) Days Helsinki.

Outi Kuittinen

Outi Kuittinen’s mission is to change how people and organizations collaborate and co-create in the 21st century. She is a senior expert at Demos Helsinki. Her speciality is building communities and partnerships of action to give change momentum. She motivates both internal and external stakeholders around shared visions for real collaboration. For over 10 years, Outi has been building Demos from a newcomer of four people to an international thought leader of 50 employees.

Markus Linnalampi

“Markus Linnalampi is a software developer with an interest for finding better ways to organize the world. He has also been facilitating the culture circle at Codento. Codento is a consulting company that has been practicing Sociocracy 3.0 since 2016 and has been actively promoting it in Finland.

Pixelache / The Team

Pixelache is the main organizer of the event. It is a transdisciplinary platform for emerging art, design, research and activism.

The organizing team are Pixelache members Aga, Ilpo, Oliver and Owen:

Agnieszka Pokrywka is working in the spirit of decentralization, collective participation, and fermentation. These themes emerge in her work as a cultural organiser, where she re-rethinks standardised structures of creative production. She also applies these interests in multimedia and non-linear documentary storytelling. Occasionally she might also appear as a graphic and motion graphic designer.

Ilpo Heikkinen is a multitool of cultural work. He works with performing arts, cultural activism, music and tech with ethos of commons, participation and open source. To put it broadly.

Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen is a visual artist based in Helsinki working with video and performance often using a participatory approach. He directed several movies from short-film to documentary. Oliver is the co- founder of complaintschoir.org, YKON and speechkaraoke.org. He gained experience in dynamic facilitation techniques in order to design and host workshops, un-conferences or group meetings. He is a supporter of the Open Knowledge movement.

Owen Kelly is a writer, lecturer and digital artist. He is the author of four books including Community, Art & the State and a former member of Negrava, a tape band who were big on American college radio for almost six weeks in the summer of 1987. He is a former board member of Pixelache and lectures in online media at Arcada, a university of applied science. You can find writing and photographs at owenkelly.net and digital versions of his published books at dibdibdob.com.