Social Computer Room(s) (Budget Participatif de Paris 14e)

Following a meeting of wishes organized by the city hall and the MVAC of the 14th district, we launched with the Ressourcerie Créative a project of participative budget of Paris "The creative digital". We solicit the support of the City Hall of the 14th and other associations and potential partners.

Put a "like" on the BudgetParticipatif.Paris.Fr: The creative digital of the Great Neighbors!

Following a meeting of wishes organized by the city hall and the MVAC of the 14th arrondissement, we launched with the Ressourcerie Créative a project of participatory budget of Paris "The creative digital" . We solicit the support of the City Hall of the 14th and other associations and potential partners.

The creative digital project is a proposal for digital gardening in two parts: a server part and a room equipment part that can be transformed into a social computer place. The goal is to encourage local digital flourishing based on the missions and and

The server side is a locked cabinet with resources that are available via the internet to users from free software.

The construction of the room consists of a number of laptops and computer equipment in a room that can be taken out and used punctually for varying needs from bridging the digital divide to video development, design, programming, 3D, administration, etc.

The project had been submitted with a partnership with La Ressourcerie Créative, a digital access point in the 14th. Today, I also wish to solicit the interest of other associations such as &aprilorg, &lespetitsdebrouillardsorg and &antanakcom.

Digital creative of the 14th (Project submitted)

Digital creative of the 14th district

Description of the proposal

The creative digital of in the Ressourcerie Créative (14th district) proposes a project promoting the social link and the sharing of experience between volunteers and their neighbors who would like to develop their computer skills.

It is about fitting out the already multipurpose public workshop of the Ressourcerie with everything needed for digital socialization in confidence for people of all levels to come with your own laptops, to borrow one at disposal in the presence also of a mini cabinet of garden servers accessible on the web installed in secure cabinets and a friendly place. Without a fixed computer to the digital pro, you can come for the accompaniment to the office automation, the support to the administrative follow-up, the video editing, the web development, the programming, the individual or collective projects, to make its web site, to make its web server, to free itself from the services of the big international groups, to recondition its own data processing, to better manage its passwords, to put these documents in a sure place...

La Ressourcerie Créative (, a digital public space, brings its mission of employment and reuse in support of all. Chris Mann ( brings his voluntary work after having equipped several rooms and workshops of this kind. The Association for Research in Free Computing ( whose headquarters are in the 14th district of Paris brings its moral support and potential volunteers.


Populations that may be interested in this approach

The Great Neighbors creative digital can interest a wide range of populations:

  • people without a fixed computer
  • people who want to learn about digital technology in a socially friendly environment
  • students wanting to consolidate their knowledge in web development
  • shopkeepers wanting to develop their digital presence
  • computer scientists doing advanced projects
  • people who want to learn about specialized subjects such as video editing, 3D printing, development, etc.
  • volunteer trainers wanting to teach
  • unemployed people who want to practice a computer support job for others
  • IT professionals who want to strengthen their skills
  • social workers to refer people to their follow-up

The quality of the project has had an appeal to different populations promoting an interesting mix. The presence of experts next to neophytes allows both a place of quality and a place of relevance.

The access room(s)

Each access room is a place of sociability where everyone can bring their own laptop or use the laptops made available. We prefer laptops because some people like to bring their own computers and the room used is often for other uses at other times. There may be a few workstations, especially for specialized uses such as video editing, but we favor respecting the room that punctually becomes the digital sociability room.

Participants find in each digital sociability room equipment properly configured for different needs, people who address similar topics, and volunteers who are, at pre-programmed times, available to accompany participants.

Multiple uses

Computers will be installed by default with a Linux operating system, but some may be by override Windows if access to certain software is absolutely required. The accounts on most computers will be divided into office, web development, design, video. By providing computers that are applicable to different types of uses, we can maintain state of the art tools for different uses.

There may be specialized computers where specific hardware is required:

  • in video editing or 3D modeling and printing;
  • for video and light acquisition as well as for video creation destination;
  • to have hybrid physical and digital meetings and in the room, and can be borrowed (against deposit) by users;
  • etc.

We try our best to secure the material and to borrow it with appropriate methods and tools. Laptops on loan, for example, can be tied to the furniture. Access workshop times are supervised times when borrowing materials is in question.

The proximity of the server closet also allows for efficient use of disk and network space, which is important for certain uses.

The room can also be used as a training room from time to time. The main spirit is to ask each participant "what do you want to do today" and help the person to do it or let the person move on his subject alone.

We can also use the room to repair/resurrect together given material and the users' material. The point of vigilance here is in the organization of the spare parts. It is important to maintain an order that respects multiple uses of the room. The spare parts, if present, are in store if the place allows it (which is the case in a ressourcerie). The recovery of existing material allows an interesting and desirable conservation and sharing.

The server cabinet(s)

We all use an e-mail. Some of us have a website. We use social media and video conferencing software. We often also have drives synchronized between our individual computers and an ubiquity called the cloud. Did you know that you can manage all of this yourself from a computer that can give you a shock of static electricity? Yes!

This project proposes servers in the spirit of public gardens. Each participant can take his own piece of server for the uses he is interested in among those listed above:

  1. Public mail server with antivirus
  2. Mailing list server if needed
  3. Cloud folder server
  4. Server hosting a web site
  5. Jitsi or Big Blue Button video conferencing server
  6. Content management servers (apostrophe CMS, wordpress, etc.)
  7. Application server (NodeJS)
  8. Fossil-SCM or GitLab source code server
  9. Password manager servers
  10. etc. etc. etc.

But, do we want to become web hosts? That's a job that can't be improvised. Isn't that crazy? No, it's not crazy, it's powerful and, above all, it's possible!

The maintenance of public servers on the Internet with a DMZ, monitoring and control of the activity (no porn or virus propagation) is indeed a task for experienced professionals. It is with this ambition that we hope to attract also big names. already maintains all these devices on computers hosted on other networks. An important part of the know-how is already acquired, including the administration of the network locally.

Server cabinets can be replicated in different locations and can be duplicated. Storage and access can be encrypted at the account level. Over time, disk space, network and machine resources can be effectively leveraged. These resources can eventually be used even without fixed computers.

Project owners

The project is initially conceived by Chris Mann of in partnership with the Ressourcerie Créative. We also want to open the movement to other associations and appropriate actors. We met at the historical Grands Voisins.

Chris Mann has a Master's degree in computer networks and telecommunications from the Ecole Supérieure d'Electiricté, has a long experience in the computer field and addresses the digital divide. is the incubation of that Chris proposes.


Detailed budget

digital social room(s) €19,000 server cabinet(s) €6,000--Estimated total €25,000

Budget for the digital social room(s)

10 multipurpose laptops7.000 €Furnishings of the room4.000 €Spare parts for Frankensteins computers1.500 €Budget per possible software waiver1.000 €Dedicated video station1.500 €Video and light equipment2.000 €Station and 3D printer and shiny stuff2.000 €--TOTAL ESTIMATED19.000 €

Budget for the server cabinet(s)

A dystopian cage to enclose the servers€500Furnishings of the room€500DMZ and network equipment€1,0003 physical servers without disks€2,000Lots of disks€1,000Network equipment and UPS(s)€1,000--TOTAL ESTIMATED€6,000

Proposed schedule

The project will have an implementation phase of three months and then it's on, baby. The follow-up will be by weekly workshops.