A People’s History of Tech is a collective storytelling project.

Popular histories of technology often focus on lone inventors or technical innovations. Here we want to capture the full spectrum of the lived experience of technology. What’s missing is the story of you.

You are the storytellers. This is a record of your experience. We’re building in public. Submissions we receive are informing how and what we build together. Together, we are building a living artifact to share and witness the human impacts of technology and harness our power as citizens of the future of tech.

We believe that if we collaborate on building a more just and representative history of technology, then we can architect a more just, shared future.

Perhaps no technology has changed our lives more than the mobile phone. And while movies and television show us how the mobile phone has developed, even imagined how it might evolve in the future, we don’t get the full story of the true political, social, and economic impacts of carrying a supercomputer in our pockets.

A crowd of participants gathers around a timeline banner covered in post-it notes of handwritten personal contributions to the timeline.


Which people?

We are hoping this becomes a global collective history and storytelling project. But we are early in our own history, and we are iterating and building in public. So we start in the English language. For now…

Why mobile phones?

Picking one technology to start with was tough. The computers we carry in our pockets are arguably the most intimate and impactful devices we use everyday. Mobile phones seemed like the most accessible and relatable technology to inspire folks to share their direct, personal stories.

Will there be people’s histories of other technologies?

Yes! We want to explore other inclusive histories of technology. As we grow a community around this project, these will become collective decisions.

Why histories?

We believe rewriting for a more inclusive history of tech that focuses on people instead of lone founders can help us imagine more equitable and just shared futures.

How will my submission be used?

By submitting you agree for your contributions to fall under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. Submissions are moderated by a small group of volunteers before they appear publicly on the site. This to ensure no hate speech, spam, or breaches of anonymity are added to the site.

Where is my post?

Submissions are moderated by a small group of volunteers before they appear publicly on the site. This to ensure no hate speech, spam, or breaches of anonymity are added to the site. We are doing our best to publish posts as quickly as we can!

How do I make a correction or suggestion?

If you see anything you feel should be corrected, or removed, or would like something you posted to be deleted, please contact us at hello@peoplestech.com.


This is an Open Culture Project and is licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0) International License. This license enables reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

CC BY-NC-SA includes the following elements:

BY: You must give appropriate credit , provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made . You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

NC: You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

SA: ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

Software is licensed under The Hippocratic License (HL3-FULL); created by the Organization for Ethical Source in partnership with Corporate Accountability Lab.

Hippocratic License HL3-FULL


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