In 2022 we set out to create a new kind of company—one that radically rethinks ownership, participation and collaboration, with a utopian vision and strong values.
Why we’re here: Democratizing work for economic justice
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. We practice radical transparency so that others can learn from our experiences, regardless of 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.
Our approach: Upgrading work for the knowledge age
We are thinkers and tinkerers: We question established practices and put new ideas to the test. We are a fully distributed team, embracing asynchronous communication and running on a 4-day work week. We are 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.
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!
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).
Dive deeper: Articles from our newsletter and digital garden
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.
Projects wishlist / blocklist
Village One is a studio with strong values and our goal is to win over clients and projects we feel genuinely excited about—that leads to the best work, after all. Below are our wishlist, red lines and a few personal statements from members.
What’s in the name Village One?
When looking for a name for our cooperative endeavour, we wanted something democratic + non-hierarchical, where people meet as equals and form a community. In this article, we share how we found our company name, and the idea behind it.
Stronger together: Come along for the ride!
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