Drutopia is an initiative within the Drupal project that prioritizes putting the best online tools into the hands of grassroots groups. By embracing the liberatory possibilities of free software and supporting people-centred economic models, Drutopia aims to revolutionize the way we work and cooperate.
Drutopia is at once an ethos of Drupal development and a fresh take on Drupal distributions for users to build upon, all based in a governance model that gives users a large role in the direction of the project.
Core values of the Drutopia initiative include:
- Be inclusive regarding gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability, age, religion, geography and class.
- Commit to protection of personal information and privacy and freedom from surveillance.
- Value collaboration and cooperation above competition.
- Prioritize human needs over private profit.
- Foster non-hierarchical structures and collective decision-making.
Drutopia focuses on shared solutions. Drupal excels at providing the tools to develop and distribute specialized website platforms that can be freely shared, reused, and adapted. Of the three most-used free software content management systems (CMSs) – WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal – only Drupal has the built-in ability to package and share highly developed distributions.
A Drupal distribution is an “out-of-the-box” install of Drupal designed to meet the specific needs of your website. Distributions are essential in attracting and meeting the needs of groups that want to support the free software movement but don't have the technical know-how or resources to create a site from scratch. For developers, too, distributions hold a lot of potential because they do the heavy lifting of initial setup, allowing developers and site builders to bypass many hours of unnecessary effort. Drupal distributions so far have been held back by a series of factors that Drutopia aims to address.
Drutopia is about returning to Drupal’s roots in free software and progressive social change. Since its founding years, the Drupal project has both reflected and contributed to the democratic potential of the internet: to empower citizens to freely collaborate and organize outside the control of governments and corporate media. Long before it powered Fortune 500 sites and whitehouse.gov, Drupal was a tool of choice for small, grassroots, change-oriented groups. In fact, Drupal’s first rise to prominence was not as a tool for customized “enterprise” sites but as the basis for a popular organizing platform—Deanspace and its later incarnation, CivicSpace.
This initiative aims to reclaim Drupal for the communities and groups that have always been its core users and adopters and have contributed to much of its best innovation.
Chocolate Lily partners Nedjo Rogers and Rosemary Mann are founding members of Drutopia, active both on the leadership team since its inception and spearheading the development of both the features that comprise the Drutopia base distribution and the complex back end tools to manage shared configuration between sites.