Laura Kalbag

A belated introduction to Small Technology Foundation

About a month ago, Aral and I launched Small Technology Foundation. In the frenzied rush to get the site up, and general life chaos that has overwhelmed me since, I’d not managed to write about it until now.

A new name?

It’s important to say that, while Small Technology Foundation is a new name for our organisation, it’s a continuation of the work we were doing as What started as Irish restrictions preventing us from using the same name as our UK organisation, ended up being an opportunity to find a name that is more descriptive of the work we do, and more memorable. (Not to mention that is pronounced as “Industrial-dot-IE” by some screenreaders, which has always irritated me.)

What is small technology?

Small Technology are everyday tools for everyday people designed to increase human welfare, not corporate profits. The opposite of big tech. We’re on a mission to build tools that enable everyone of us to own and control our own place on the Internet.

What is the foundation?

Small Technology Foundation is just the two of us, Aral and me. (And Osky.) The foundation is a collection of our work. We do most of our work together, but also have our own ways of working towards Small Technology Foundation’s goals. (For example, I wrote a book and do a lot of reading which makes up my lens.)

For a long time, I resisted calling myself co-founder, as it brings up visions of startup hustlers and growth obsessives. I was much happier calling myself a designer, and pretending that one day soon I’d be spending 90% of my time designing and building websites again. But, as anyone who runs a not-for-profit organisation knows, keeping even the tiniest organisation running smoothly requires a lot of admin. And as anyone who is trying to make change in this forsaken tech community knows, it requires a lot of energy, communication, and saying the same things over and over again in the hope that someone might listen.

So while I still cherish the few hours I can dedicate to making websites, the grownup title of Co-Founder better fits the variety in my work. (And maybe men in suits will no longer dismiss me at conferences! …jk, of course they’ll still ignore me.)

Not. for. profit.

As with, Small Technology Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. We’re not in this for the cash. (If you want to make money in the tech industry, you don’t challenge the status quo…) We only pay ourselves what we need to pay our bills and feed the dog.

We’ve only existed to this point with the help of a few kind supporters, but we do have a plan for long-term sustainability If you’re a person with financial means, we’d appreciate your monetary support and we have other (not monetary) ways to support us listed on our “fund us” page. If you’re glad we exist (we hear this a lot! we appreciate it!) please help us continue to exist.