intro to rhizome

4 key points about rhizome that i mentioned in the video:

  1. it’s intentionally basic so it can serve as a place for discussion for what networks need to support self-organizing. rather than being over-crowded, it is a starting point for creative conversations.
  2. it’s is relatively cheap and quick to develop. because it’s based on wordpress, free, open-source, and community-supported platform, it’s much quicker to implement new functionality rather than write it from scratch.
  3. rhizome is being tested across a few networks right now. what we learn in one network may be useful to implement in another network. though the platform is not the same in each network, there are common functions and use cases that can inform other networks.
  4. i’m currently understanding the development in 3 phases: 1) learning about how we want to find each other in networks (like: are there very specific ways of searching for someone, or would we rather peruse, or both?), 2) the most minimal set of social networking tools (ex. yes to a shared calendar, maybe “no” to another chat platform) , and finally, a way to start learning about how we 3) support self-organizing in systems-shifting networks.

why “rhizome?”

check out this podcast from radiolab on the interconnectedness of trees and fungus.

rhizomes are the connective tissue between species. they facilitate communication, resource distribution – in other words, the health of their community. it is an apt metaphor for a space to do similar things in our human communities.

what is the rhizome platform?

  • re-balancing the investment from technology to network engagement – investing in our relationships
  • based on open-source, community supported software (wordpress, buddypress, d3)
  • co-designed in networks that are moving toward self-organizing

to request a demo or talk about how it might support your network, contact me.

what does it do?

right now, it operates as a customized directory for networks. however, this is phase one of a three phase project plan:

phase 1 features:


  • directory
  • custom member profiles
  • search
  • geographical map
  • network maps

phase 2 features:


  • shared calendar and events
  • shared storytelling and blog
  • co-design around: communications tools and/or integrations and a classified-like interface for transactions within the network

phase 3 co-design:


  • features based on co-design within a network to understand how to support self-organizing

to request a demo or talk about how it might support your network, contact me.