Manhattan Hydraulics

How we work

Work

Manhattan Hydraulics
Black Socialists in America
Dual Power App
Black Socialists in America
Dual Power App

Ask

A self-sustaining cooperative organization platform for grassroots organizations dedicated to building a directly democratic, ecologically sustainable, post-scarcity community and economy through mutual aid.

Outcome

The BSA Open Tech Development community is building the app as an open-source project. You can stay tuned here.

Role

Product Strategy, Product Design, Organizational Design

Black Socialists in America (BSA) is “a coalition of anti-capitalist, internationalist Black Americans / New Afrikans“. They came to us with a vision of a socialist platform for cooperative organizations that helps individuals create self-sustaining systems of economic democracy.

We worked with them to clarify their product strategy, define an overall vision, and define processes for designing with their community. The result is a platform that empowers individuals to organize, and accomplish change together.

Dual Power App user dashboard

Tools for collective change

The Dual Power App allows people to connect with other individuals, initiatives, and organizations in their community, creating decentralized groups centered around a particular value or goal.

These working groups provide structure to propose and execute projects. The app gives users access to essential infrastructures, making organizing, voting, and action easier.

Design components in the Dual Power App project
Dots symbolizing codify, revise, and reject process

A transparent design process

BSA wasn’t looking for a typical agency, and didn’t like the traditional model of work where one group dictates what another might need.

We proposed an open design and build initiative, to document the process publicly and gather feedback, involving BSA’s community every step of the way.

You can find the recordings of all of our workshops online, and the Figma files here.

Circles page of the Dual Power App

A long-term partnership

With BSA, we’re designing the next generation of open and accessible organizing tools to mobilize progressives around the globe.

Since our first engagement, we’ve continued embedding with their team to build a new digital design system, sharing every step along the way here.