Note — Nov 24, 2019

Imagine a Future of Distributed Cooperatives, or DisCOs

On reading this, my initial reaction was “I love this idea!” The article is an introductory post by David Bollier, presenting the new report and manifesto for DisCOs: ”A P2P/Commons, cooperative and Feminist Economic alternative to Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (or DAOs).” After browsing through the report, my reaction is rather “this is so intriguing!” Part of the futures (and presents) of work will be this kind of distributed collaboration, and I definitely see coops as a resurgent way of organizing groups. Are they trying to tie together too many ideas here? Perhaps. Do they really need a blockchainy stack? Unsure. So I’m sharing it here because I love what they are saying, even though I’m unsure it will pan out, and it’s certainly one example of potential structures / groupings we’ll be seing more of.

DisCOs, by contrast, start from a different set of premises about humanity. They regard we humans as a cooperative species whose members need and want to engage with others, personally. Earned trust among people and open collaboration can then achieve some remarkable things. That’s the essential goal of DisCOs, which consist of a set of organizational tools and practices for people who want to work together in a cooperative, commons-oriented, and feminist economics form. […]

1. Geared toward positive outcomes in key areas (such as social and environmental priorities) 2. Multi-constituent 3. Active creators of commons 4. Transnational 5. Centered on care work 6. Re-imagining the origin and flow of value 7. Primed for federation.

Also → Worker-Owned Apps to Fix the Gig Economy’s Exploitation.