We have been the proud producers of technology at Dojo4 for over 10 years now. We are also committed to thriving natural environments and genuine human connection built on compassion toward ourselves and others. We love our work and supporting all of the positive impacts the technology we build offers to people and society, but we also recognize the negative and dehumanizing effects this industry can have, largely in part to capitalism-driven demands on technology for value extraction. To combat feelings of isolation and emptiness that can arise in our industry, we are introducing an Antidote to Tech — a way of stating our intentions to lend our creative and intellectual skills to products and systems we find meaningful, and a community where we can connect with others who share our commitment and values.
Our Antidote to Tech initiative commits us to produce technology with a sense of responsibility, care and awareness of its impact while reminding us to prioritize our well-being — by nurturing strong personal relationships and networks, and restorative activities such as being in nature. Being in nature and connecting with each other, are just two ways that we've found effective for inbuing our work with meaning.
We are not separate from nature and the natural world, even though it is hard to remember that in a mechanized, digital world in which we may rarely be outside in the fresh air. Being in nature, even for short periods of time, reduces anxiety and depression, lowers blood pressure, fosters cancer-fighting cells and increases a sense of awe (which makes us more compassionate). We reinforce a false dichotomy when we remove ourselves from natural environments, allowing us to make choices to damage those environments and dishonor our inherent interconnectedness with the wild. Being in relationship with nature helps us acknowledge our place in ecosystems and is an antidote to the disembodiment and removed conceptuality of technology without real world application. The practical application of interconnectedness with nature means spending time outside in the elements as an integral part of our day, even if it means just opening the window. It means including nature as a stakeholder in the management of any project.
We cannot do our best (or really any real) work from an isolated or dehumanized space. Who we are and where we come from must be included in our work. Genuine human connection, with ourselves and others, is an antidote to digitally mediated isolation. That connection allows us to tap into our unique insights and thereby address the most important problems. As such a project or workplace will benefit from making space for and cultivating a diversity of capacities: emotional and social intelligence, intuition, creativity, embodiment, sensuality, and collaborative analysis. The practical application of genuine human connection in our work means focusing on the quality of our interactions and relationships rather than the output of individuals.
What kinds of experiences or tools do you use to counter-balance the dehumanization and commodification so rampant in the production of technology? Please preview the beta Antidote to Tech site: www.antidoteto.tech. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.