Culture Reboot: Mapping Open Spaces and Collaborative Practices in the Emergent Network Economy

By Jenny Ryan at Farmhouse Conf 2

Jenny Ryan

We are entering an era that calls for an end to scarcity and individualism toward collaboration, communalism and a commons-based economy. Working together with hackers, makers, neotribalists, activists, technologists, and other edgy thinkers, Jenny seeks to create a new kind of ethnography founded in co-creation, mobility and multimodal documentation. Her current efforts are directed towards building the digital infrastructure for the project, as well as preparations for a 6-9 month multidisciplinary field study to initiate direct collaboration with primary partners and establish a network including all involved parties. (

An incorrigibly nomadic cyberanthropologist gone gonzo, Jenny Ryan recently dropped out of graduate school to more fully tune in to emerging movements rooted in the shared struggle to reclaim the commons, create public spheres through the cultivation of open spaces, and enable direct democracy through principles of federation and open source or Read/Write culture.

Her past research ranges from an extensive ethnography of online social networking (The Virtual Campfire), to digital literacy skills for the 21st century (with Howard Rheingold), to the legal and ethical dimensions of problematic online content (with danah boyd), to posthuman anthropological explorations of how the dead live on online.

In her spare time, she makes websites for her superhero friends, helps to organize an emerging Oakland hackerspace (Sudo Room), and acts as a connector of aligned humans, groups and projects.

Video by Coby Randquist. Higher resolutions available at Confreaks.