Technological development in the recent past has redefined social relations and transformed society. Today, control over technology and knowledge determines the way society is organised. Re-appropriating the knowledge of technology and developing alternative technical solutions can enable us to re-think and transform our social relations.
But this implies that we look at technology as a part of social and political process rather than a just a tool or service that dwells in the realm of “experts”. This is why the actors of Nomad, an international network of people are committed to putting essential technologies into the public domain. We want communities to be practitioners of technology rather than consumers of it.
The aim of Nomad is to extend the GNU perspective to the technology in general. The task includes the re-appropriation of knowledge and the control by users of technologies in their digital, electronic and analogical forms. At present, Nomad's sphere of activities ranges from communication to renewable energy.
The issue of re-appropriation of knowledge is closely linked to the political perspective of developing local production in an economy based on solidarity. The Nomad network is not a technical service provider but a political network run on a voluntary basis. We do not sell technologies... we transfer them.
Nomad was created in September 2003 through the development and setting up of the NIFT (Nomad Interpretation Free Tool) for the 4th World Social Forum in India (Mumbai). The NIFT is a translation- transmission tool developed in collaboration with the international interpretation network: Babels.
Nomad defends the position that technological development involves not only a production of finalised tools but also the participatory process of production. The ecological, economic and social consequences of our work is as important to us as our tools. Hence we emphasis on linking technological development to specific practices of a community in a given context. Each context is to be considered as a new situation in which to experiment and invent.