Did you ever read the book titled “The Starfish and the Spider”? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starfish_and_the_Spider It talks about decentralized organizations and the growth of movements. Many of the people who were the originators are lost in history as others came along and took the movement to next stages. Your friend and others like him, including myself, may be lost to history, but hopefully our ideas will be used by others to create a better future.
Many years ago one of my volunteers said to me “Dan, there will be a place in Heaven for you because of the work you do.” I replied, “That’s good to know, but I’d like a little more help while I’m still here.”
That has not changed.