Guiding Principles

Commotion Project Guiding Principles

  • The Commotion project is an open source, free software toolkit. The community welcomes all contributions and conversations that help the project grow and improve in accordance with its mission.
  • Commotion is guided by the active developers and community stakeholders who contribute to the project community. Active developers of Commotion projects will guide the development of their individual project.
  • The Commotion project team encourages communities to customize the software to better meet local needs. We request that all customizations be contributed or communicated back to the Commotion community so that improvements can be reused without undue duplication of effort.
  • Work on Commotion should do no harm to existing projects. Projects that implement new code that breaks the existing functionality of other Commotion projects should work with the community of the existing project in order to provide support for the existing functions.
  • New members may contribute to existing Commotion projects by collaborating with active developers. Each Commotion subproject will maintain an active version-controlled code repository. Guidelines for contribution will be managed by each project’s active developers, and will be posted on each project’s development page.

OTI's Mission and Goals

The Open Technology Institute supports free expression and open technologies at home and around the world, and is committed to supporting engaged, self-sufficient communities by promoting safe and affordable access to connectivity.1 We view technology not an end in and of itself, but a means.

Across our work, we are guided by these principles:


Our source code, processes, materials and reports are open and available. We encourage participation by individuals and communities adapting, improving and using our tools.


We support and defend the right to privacy and freedom from surveillance; our technologies are designed for safety and security; our research methods are respectful and sensitive to privacy concerns.


We believe in the equality of all individuals. We do not empowerthe communities we work with; they are already empowered, or they empower themselves. We support their work by providing trainings, tools, and resources.

Collective self-determination

Community partners decide how they want to engage and how they want to use our tools. We follow their lead.


We show respect and give back to the communities we engage with locally and virtually.


We are accountable to these principles in everything we do.

(1) As members of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, we believe that communication is a fundamental human right; we are securing that right for the digital age by promoting access, participation, common ownership, and healthy communities.