Development Hackers

Antoine for Nebulae

Posted on

Nebulae: supporting people towards a more ethical digital world

Hey DHackers !

I want to present you the nonprofit I founded a few years ago.

I hope it can interest some people in the community, and I would love to have your thoughts on this project.

To give you some context: I'm a free & libre software hacktivist for over a decade. So I'm talking about free software, moving away from Google or Facebook to my friends and family very often. And I'm using self hosted services for some years (email, drive, calendar, ...).

Five years ago, I reached a breaking point with people around me: they started to say to me "Antoine, your stories are nice, but I am not a geek like you: I cannot self-host my services. So that cannot work".
With this in mind, I sent a message to 50 friends and family members to tell them: if I do the technical stuff (system administration, development, etc), would you share with me the infrastructure cost to have access to ethical services ?
Ten people responded, sent me some money and I started to rent a server and install some services on it. Nebulae was born.

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At this moment, I installed some essential web services: email, drive, contact & calendar sharing.
Once the technical part was running, we started to create a legal nonprofit structure to host the project and involve more people in it.

It has been five years, and now Nebulae has grown. We now provide more services (password manager, chat, mailing list, RSS reader, project manager, ...) to more people and other non-profits.
We also detected that providing services is not sufficient, we need to raise awareness about the ethical challenges of digital technology and support people in changing their digital habits.

That's why we put the technical aspect in the background and focus on creating educational and fun support formats to help people and organizations in their transition towards a digital use more in line with their values.

If you want to know more about that project, you can checkout our website (French only), or ask me questions in this thread !

I am very curious to know what do you think of that project:

  • Would you be interested in changing your digital habits ?
  • Would you be interested in knowing more about ethical challenges of digital technology in another post ?
  • Do you have any other initiatives that you think it could be cool I check out ?
  • Do you have inspiration to create fun workshops to help people raise awareness on that subject ?

Thanks for reading ! (:

Top comments (5)

rayan profile image
Rayan Nait Mazi

Nice work with Nebulae ! :)
I like how it started organically from your needs, then your friends and family, and now growing to others too. It's definitely a subject I'm interested in but don't know much about. Knowing and setting up more ethical alternatives to digital tools is not always easy so it's great if you facilitate this for others.
What kind of educational supports are you working on? Is it for non-technical people?

antoine profile image

Hey Rayan !
Thanks for your comment ! (:

We're working 100% for non-technical people. We really want to spread this subject to the mass and not only for technical people.
So we are working on educational supports that are fun and easy to understand. We want to help people become aware of the subject, no matter what they already know today.

louc profile image
Loïc Berthelot

I've just learned that Google could, using your localisation on your smartphone, detect your toilets spots in your house and toilets timeframes.
Detecting if you're sick or pushing you ads more often during "poop hours".

This is a no go. #KeepMyPoopPersonal

💯 agreeing with you on raising awarness of theses subjects, machine learning is not a myth. With more than 10k data entries points on you they can predict a lot of stuff you can't even imagine.

antoine profile image

Ahah it could be a fun hashtag to launch !

Thanks Loïc for your comment !
You seem to be well informed on the subject. What solutions have you implemented on your end?

rayan profile image
Rayan Nait Mazi

Good idea calling the people here "DHackers" hahaha, I'm definitely going to use that too