The Progressive Technology Project (PTP) emerged from a year-long visioning and strategy discussion among representatives of social justice grassroots organizing groups and key funders around the U.S. focusing on the role of technology in the social justice movement. The year was 1998, a time when access to hardware and tools – computers, phones,cameras, etc. – were limited due to high costs, databases were hardly used (and mostly unheard of) in the sector, Internet research was in its infancy, GIS mapping was relative unknown, and training to use technology strategically for the sector was rarely on offer. At the time, the sector was skeptical of the role of technology, but through deeper exploration during the convenings of this discussion group, the founders of PTP understood that the future and role of technology would be central to both society and for movement work especially for groups with limited resources and capacity.
Today, technology has transformed and disrupted society in ways we never expected. While still struggling with basic issues of technology access, many movement groups are starting to integrate a far more complex and often hostile digital world into their organizing and advocacy work, communications, and grassroots fundraising efforts, while trying to manage their data securely. PTP turns the tables by re-imagining and transforming technology from an extension of capitalism to a collaborative and shared resource, collectively designed to help groups and the constituencies they serve do their work better — more effectively and securely — so they win the changes they’re fighting for. We combine software development, training, coaching, technical assistance, and long term visioning for the sector. We also bring decades of staff experience as political organizers, allowing for an integrated approach that aligns our mission with the goals and visions of the groups with which we work.
PTP is a social justice movement partner with a mission to strengthen grassroots organizing groups to achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently through the strategic use of technology. PTP designs programs and provides coaching, training, and technical assistance that serve both the immediate needs and strengthen the on-going capacity of grassroots organizing groups – specifically those working to build collective power in people of color, low-income, and other communities experiencing structural racism to achieve racial, economic, social, and environmental justice – through the effective and strategic use of technology for their organizing, advocacy, communications, civic engagement, and grassroots fundraising work.
Our Commitment to Social Change Work
PTP is committed to social justice work because we believe that real political change can only be achieved when people of color, indigenous people, immigrants, women, low-income, LGBTQ, and people whose lives intersect these communities collectively build power in their communities to drive systemic change that dismantles oppressive structures, inequalities, and conditions. We believe that political change is achieved and culture and society are transformed when communities are liberated from oppression — are able to exercise all their human rights without fear, discrimination, and retaliation — in ways that empower people, elevate voices, and allow people to have access and resources to live self-determined lives with dignity.