We promote CommonsCloud, the technoethical alternative to Google’s teleworking tools

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 CommonsCloud, a project where people and organisations become cooperative members, has received the support of the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya).

CommonsCloud offers shared digital cloud tools for teleworking, communicating, and networking with free software and under techno-ethical principles. No data from users is collected or marketed, nor are they used to create surveillance profiles, unlike the services of GAFAM corporations (Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft) which, with the  COVID-19 pandemic, have further strengthened its profit and capacity of control. That’s why it’s important that CommonsCloud can’t be sold to a multinational, because people and organisations are co-owners of the project.

The parent entity of the project is the integral non-profit cooperative and social initiative femProcomuns, with working members and consumer members. The service is produced in intercooperation with bTactic and Colectic work cooperatives, as well as with LliureTIC collective. They join forces and capacities to offer a quality and scalable service. The project aims to be the equivalent, in digital cloud tools, to what SomEnergia is for energy supply, SomConnexió for telecommunications and SomMobilitat to sustainable mobility.

Currently, the service includes different tools. The most used is the office online, with storage and sharing documents and images, text editing, spreadsheets, presentations, calendar and basic surveys. The Basic Office includes a free email account. CommonsCloud also offers video conferencing services, an agora, advanced forms, ERP and mail service with multiple accounts. All of these services share the same user account management system, so you don’t need to have a different password for each of them, and with advanced services, entities can manage permissions for their users. 

The project has received support from the “Singulars” grant line for the social economy and cooperativism from the Labor Department at the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya), which was convened following the COVID-19 pandemic to reactivate the economy through intercooperation. This support has allowed a greater communication of the project as well as the incorporation of new services like email and the business manager ERP or videoconference (so much necessary when telework and online training became an imperative). It has also subsidized part of the specific “TakeTheLeap” service for diagnosis, training, implementation and support in the migration to free and techno-ethical software for organisations using privative cloud tools. This service, which has already been contracted by several organisations in Catalunya, such as L’Escola Lliure El Sol, SomMobilitat, Xarxa de Conservació de la Naura, or Grup Cooperatiu Ecos, also allows a deeper understanding of organisational needs and translates into an overall improvement in the service.

CommonsCloud.coop is designed so that people who use it doesn’t have to worry about technical aspects of installation, configuration or maintenance and can focus on using the tools effectively. People and entities become consumer members of femProcomuns and contract the services they need through fees. They don’t depend on having to use tools like GoogleDrive, Microsoft OneCloud , AmazonDrive, Apple iCloud or Zoom, corporations with bad practices for tracking and using data, and which continue to generate profit for the richest 1% in the planet. Together, by sharing tools and values, they help build a real alternative.

Project website: https://www.commonscloud.coop

Contact the team: hola@commonscloud.coop

femProcomuns.coop multistakeholder cooperative of work and consumption, non-profit and social initiative created in Catalonia in 2017, with the aim of consolidating a commons ecosystem, based on the principles of open cooperativism, community self-management, ecological, economic and human sustainability, shared knowledge and replicability.

bTactic Working cooperative. Experts in free software solutions, open source and cloud computing.

Colectic Work Cooperative. They work for social transformation through the participation, learning and socialization of ICT

LliureTIC Freelancers group. They analyse and look for customised ICT solutions with free technologies.