Introducing our new board member: Steve Ediger
Please join us in welcoming Steve Ediger to the Data Commons Cooperative. Steve has a long history of working with cooperatives and has enjoyed a professional career in Information Technology, making him an ideal resource for the Board. He is excited to join the Board and looking forward to the upcoming year as a significant time in the history of the cooperative.
While Steve’s relationship with cooperatives began in 1978, when he joined Venice-Ocean Park Food cooperative (Venice, CA) in its final stages of formation. He helped get the store ready for opening and served on the first Board of Directors. Concurrently, he found employment at Co-Opportunity, a food cooperative in Santa Monica, CA. Since then, Steve has been aligned with credit unions, cooperatives, and intentional communities whenever life permitted.
Within the last several years, Steve has worked in the Civic Technology arena in Chicago, helping to form Chi Hack Night and serving on its initial Board of Directors. Chi Hack Night is Chicago’s premiere civic technology weekly meet-up. In his work with Chi Hack Night, Steve facilitated multiple breakout groups. One group began building a map of Chicago cooperatives and solidarity entities in conjuction with Shareable’s Sharing Cities project.
When the FCC was abandoning net neutrality, he worked with key civic tech leaders at Chi Hack Night to look at the lack of adequate Internet connectivity in under-served Chicago Community Areas. In addition to researching reasons for this (and the patchy state of Internet connectivity across the country), the breakout group explored developing local Internet services provision.
The two Chi Hack Night projects led to the creation of ChiCommons LWCA (Limited Worker Cooperative Association) in 2020. ChiCommons is a worker-owned, multi-stakeholder cooperative that maps the Chicago region cooperative/solidarity ecosystems and provides Internet service in Chicago’s South Shore area. The directory/map feeds high quality Chicago region information to Data Commons find.coop website. Commons owners subsidize these projects by offering a broad variety of consulting services to small and medium enterprises and the cooperative sector via its consulting agency.
Steve joined Data Commons Cooperative as an individual member in February (which was updated to a ChiCommons LWCA in late 2020) and immediately started working with the Data Sharing Group. He joined the Board of Directors at the 2020 General Meeting. He helped develop this new take on our website, and via ChiCommons is hosting it. Late in 2020, Steve and another board member, Colombene Gorton, have being taking a Platform Cooperatives course offered by New School and Mondragon University. He looks forward to a substantial year for Data Commons Coop as we re-iterate our services in Data Commons, the next version!