Introducing a New Website for Greenpeace

by Nicole Sands

July 13, 2015

In building this new website, I took a cue from the "Commons." It's a sustainable model that promotes collaboration and embraces change.

© Umut Vedat / Greenpeace

What Is the Commons?

It starts with the knowledge that everything is connected. And not in a trite way. But really. This is how biology, people, ecosystems and the world works. Things such as  our air, water, culture, soil, knowledge, the internet, human genome, mathematical formulas and seeds are what we all have in common. None of us as individuals, or corporations, has the right to destroy or privatize these things. It’s everything that we inherit, contribute to and pass on. We all have a part in it — and we all have responsibility to it.

“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.” Pope Francis

When you patent a seed, you stop evolution. You interfere with the process that has brought about life for thousands and thousands of years. There’s a downside to this! You lose resiliency, you hamper natural intelligence. Seeds must be kept “open source.” It’s a model to learn from. Parallel this with “open source” software. Open collaboration leads to expedited development. Things move freely and quickly. Things change — and that’s the nature of, well, nature.

A New Website That Reflects Our Values

Greenpeace is ever-changing and we are now shifting into a decentralized model. We are tackling issues more systematically—targeting the power systems that are behind all of the issues we work on. We are moving people and power to the frontlines of our issues. We are recognizing more allies and inviting more people to join us.

“We need many hands co-creating, constantly improving, to build truly people-powered campaigns that help us to collectively win at the scale of our challenges.” Michael Silberman, Director of the Greenpeace Mobilization Lab

This Website Is Built With These Principles:

From the set up that you don’t see to the webpages you do see, I wanted to build a website guided by the model of the Commons which puts into practice our organizational values. A website that is:

Accessible. A site that looks great on desktops and mobile phones, for people with high and low bandwidth. An admin that works for contributors of all skill levels and budgets.

Scalable. A site we will continue to build, translate into different languages and evolve with technology.

Open source. A site that benefits from a global community of developers sharing their work.

Accessible means inclusive. Scalable means always thinking about the future. Open source means we all take part — we all benefit and we all give back.

The website is an open framework, not an end product. A site built for its users: the people who visit and contribute.

“Building a movement really does require all kinds of people, so it is our job to make this work accessible and relevant to all kinds of people.” Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA Executive Director

I want you to see yourself in this website. To know where you connect and how to get involved. This website is for you. It’s for all of us working together to create a green and peaceful future.

Nicole Sands

By Nicole Sands

Nicole Sands is the Digital Platforms Manager for Greenpeace USA. She believes that organizational values should be reflected in everything Greenpeace does, including our technology.

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