a somewhat utopian design + tech cooperative
Greetings, we are Village One!
What we do: Purposeful digital products and infrastructure, created with joy and integrity
It takes a village: We are a multidisciplinary team of designers, developers and strategists, combining our skills to create excellent digital products and infrastructure. We marry delight with function, for ourselves and for hire! Let’s team up!
Building better online spaces: We amplify humanity through design and technology, adhering to ethical design and calm tech principles. At the same time we’re no solutionists—human problems can rarely be solved by technology alone.
Hell yeah or nope: We value people and planet over profit, so we only accept projects and clients we believe in—genuine enthusiasm leads to the best work after all (consequently we also maintain a blocklist of industries we consider harmful and exploitative).
Actions speak louder than words! Some of our projects:
Need help with a website, webapp or digital infrastructure? Drop us an email and we’ll take it from there!
How we do it: Upgrading work for the knowledge age
We are thinkers and tinkerers: We question established practices and put new ideas to the test. Being a fully distributed team, embracing asynchronous communication, running on a 4-day work week, continuously adapting our practices towards a more equitable work environment.
An island of sanity: Creative work needs focus and time to blossom, not fake urgency or hustle culture—therefore we enable deep work through calm workflows, combined with flexibility regarding work times and location, real autonomy and self-organization.
Keeping it non-professional: Exploratory attitude with a beginner’s mindset, humble yet daring, surprising, curious and joyful. We show up with our whole selves, forming one team across organisational boundaries.
Digital Garden: Our wiki, manual and organizational brain
008: Oof, what a year!
If 2020 and '21 felt like a single year, because we were all stuck at home and every day was the same… then 2022 felt like two years packed into one, because WE STARTED A COMPANY! Let’s recap what happened each month!
Clients wishlist / blocklist
In the past we’ve worked on projects and with clients of all shapes and sizes—big and small, German and international, for-profit and non-profit. Whatever it is: These are the projects where you grow and deliver your best work. With Village One we want to do more of those projects, as well as being very up-front about our red lines.
What the heck is a cooperative?
A cooperative is a type of company that is collectively owned and democratically governed. There are many ways this can look in practice, but the simplest form is a worker co-op where all the employees of a company own their organization together and apply some form of workplace democracy to make decisions.
Why is Village One a cooperative?
When we got serious about founding Village One we didn’t yet know that it would become a cooperative. Rather we conceptualized what our ideal company would look like, based on the tensions we had felt in previous employments and what inspired us in other organizations.
Resources about cooperatives
Curious about co-ops, worker ownership and the solidarity economy? Good news, you’ve come to the right place! On this page we collect all the links, books and videos we find noteworthy, along with a list of other co-ops in the design/tech field!
We use our digital garden to document processes, values, organizational knowledge, newsletters and everything in between. You can delve into the ever-growing patch right here:
Want to talk to the owner? Sure, which one?
Over time we’re aiming to build a team of roughly 12 people, allowing us to tackle multiple projects while preserving the personal connection between members. We’re not actively hiring for all these positions right now, but it’s always good to meet new people.
Why we’re here: Transcending capitalism by democratizing work
Cooperatively owned, democratically governed: Village One is an open-ended experiment on how to run a sustainable business for the common good—we aim to explore new economic paradigms and to empower our members, partners and network.
Everything we do is community-driven: Recognizing that we stand on the shoulders of giants, we value cooperation over competition, give back and practice radical transparency—so that others can learn from our experiences, regardless if success or mishap. We’re stronger together!
Many villages instead of a big city: We are a deliberately small and nimble organization, operating with minimal overhead and maximum character. Instead of perpetual growth our vision is to scale by replication, forming a network of aligned co-ops over time.