BOC 47 wants to “put the human behind the computer”

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The Cooperative Toolbox, BOC 47, was launched at the Agen Digital Campus on Tuesday evening. An ambitious associative project and Lot-et-Garonne which aims at a better sharing of ethical digital tools.

“We put the human behind the computer,” sums up Robin Serr-Ardill. On Tuesday evening, on the occasion of the launch of BOC 47, the volunteer of the Court-circuit association returned to the objectives of this ambitious project. Launched in 2021 by four associations, ADEM Florida, AgeNux, Alternatiba and Courts-circuits, BOC 47 offers free and hosted digital tools in the Lot-et-Garonne. With this project, the collective wishes to offer an alternative to the software of the digital giants by offering users to regain control and understanding of the tools they use.

The server hosting BOC 47 is located at the Digital Campus of Agen and, although it was not initially foreseen, hosting the server allows it to be more in line with the objectives of the collective. It allows you to have full control of the toolbox, right down to the power supply of the server. The collective wishes to make it energetically self-sufficient thanks to solar panels.

If the server acts as a box, what tools does it contain? At present, there is one, Nextcloud file storage and sharing software. The next tool will be the Peertube video hosting and sharing service, which is in the process of being set up. As we are not reinventing the hammer, the software offered in this digital toolbox was not created by the project associations. This is open source or Open Source software. Ludovic Garoffé of the AgeNux association wants to be reassuring “Open source does not mean accessible. These are mature software, Peertube is almost 10 years old and some police officers use Nextcloud internally”.

Another important aspect of the project concerns the users of the BOC 47. The latter are called not to be mere consumers but rather collaborators in the toolbox. Through support sessions to familiarize themselves with the tools, the collective also wishes to raise awareness among users on their consumption patterns but also on issues of energy sobriety. Should the server eventually run on solar energy, Ludovic Garoffé warns that “it must be understood that the server is not always available”.

Consumed, local, better and different, this is basically the project that the collective defends with its cooperative project toolbox. BOC 47 thus wants to bring together the actors who animate the department by sharing skills that go beyond digital.

Towards self-financing of the BOC?

Like all projects, BOC 47 needs money to work. “To get the server up and running, ladle is €600 to €1000 a year, but most of the funding is for support.” Currently, BOC 47 works thanks to the aid paid by the department, Lot-et-Garonne has donated more than 20,000 euros to the project. Except that, as Robin Serr-Ardill explains, “the associative model is not sustainable and we won’t always be able to work with aid”. The project is to get out of this model to operate thanks to self-financing through the free participation of users.

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