Narrative Futures is a series of different future scenarios created to spark inspiration on how we can shape the digital future in a collaborative, sustainable and equal way. We set out to break with current narratives that are introduced by Big Tech. Our goal is to reclaim digital infrastructure in the public interest – and start a conversation about how get there. Each starts with a potential future (🚀) and the current problem. (📌)

“10 million for a civil society infrastructure association”

May 1st, 2033 – After several philanthropic organizations suffered massive breaches of sensitive grantee data, a consortium of funders decided to start a digital infrastructure association. The association supports the development of FOSS infrastructure and solutions for the civil society sector. It is setting standards in usability, privacy and interoperability. Since the first year of its founding, the association has become an important player in policy and advocacy for public interest tech. Opposed to earlier initiatives the newly founded association follows the approach of a collective – partners from civil society, research institutions and businesses join forces and create a stable and sustainable network.
2022: Funders rely on digital infrastructure for their work. Even if they support social issues like access to information or actively fund open source technology, their infrastructures tend not to be FOSS. If funders practiced what they preach, they could benefit in several ways: Collaboration with other funders on crucial infrastructure for grant-making and grantee management could improve overall security, usability and interoperability of these tools. The publicly available tools can help smaller foundations as well as civil society organizations and spread the use of open-source technologies more widely.


  • Open digital infrastructure has a good reputation, actual usage remains low.
  • There is little effort by funders and others to collaboratively deploy open source technologies, share experiences and learn together.
  • The open-source ecosystem lacks success stories that are easy to communicate and widely relevant to non-technical audiences.

Starting points:

  • Funders from all fields lead by example: They use open digital infrastructures and talk about their experience to spread the word and raise awareness with other funders and civil society organizations.
  • To strengthen the sector of open digital infrastructure, funders start and support networks for knowledge exchange and collaboration that are open to open source communities and civil society organizations.
  • Funders do not only provide financial support, they start hosting and maintaining digital infrastructures for civil society and social movements, thus building the digital backbone for a healthy democracy and civic organizing.