Tue 26 Jul 2022 3:03PM

The ‘crowd-fund the future’ project

OS Oli SB Public Seen by 160

This is an idea for a collective experiment: Could we crowd-fund and collectively invest in a regenerative future?

We could start small, with an initial target of say £5k, or £10k, and encourage people to chip in to a pot on Open Collective which, when we reach the target, we will collectively decide how to invest. The purpose being to help kick start a / some worthwhile project/s which need funds to help bring them to scale. The winning project, or organisation, would have to be aligned with / working towards The Open Co-op vision of a collaborative, regenerative economy in some way ... and anyone who chips in to the pot (which would be clearly detailed on Open Collective, as long as they don't contribute anonymously) could make a proposal for how to invest the funds. We could allow a certain time for proposals and debate, (say 1 or 2 months) and then decide here on Loomio with a vote. If it worked well we could iterate and run the whole experiment again, possibly crowd-funding a bigger fund which could have more impact... £10k first time, £50k next time, £100k next... and see what happens. At the very least it would be a fascinating experiment in crowd-funding and collective decision making! ;) If we don't try some new ideas to manifest change it seems like our children will be living in a much less hospitable world than we inherited... so, what have we got to lose by trying?

What do you think?


Ivana Sat 3 Sep 2022 12:22PM

The Enspiral solutions is called co-budget, I think. Maybe one of the things to do is to simply experiment. We can experiment with a few different platforms, organisations, voting systems, project proposal systems etc. Then we learn from those experiments, rinse and repeat. And maybe also we could collaborate/share knowledge/experience in writing good proposals that would attract sufficient attention and thus increase their chances of taking off?

Then - how to report back? I believe that Open Collective makes it easy to see where the money raised has been spent, but it would also be interesting to see what was produced? Thoughts?


Ivana Sat 3 Sep 2022 6:18PM

Ok, thank you.


Graham Sat 3 Sep 2022 1:26PM

Open Collective (OC) is simply a transaction platform. To use it effectively there needs to be what OC calls a fiscal host. Platform 6 is a fiscal host on OC, and in addition Platform 6 provides a democratic governance framework through which projects can be proposed considered and supported. It's not a case of either/or, more both/and.


Ivana Sat 3 Sep 2022 12:24PM

Hi Graham. What would be advantage of going through Platform 6 instead of directly through Open Collective?


Graham Fri 2 Sep 2022 2:38PM

Hi Wouter. As noted earlier, your currency is welcome by becoming a member of Platform 6 (https://platform6.coop/membership) where we alsrady have a fund (https://platform6.coop/cooperative-development-fund) building , to be used for cooperative projects where any one can apply (https://platform6.coop/submit-proposal). At present it's modest, but if everyone in this thread and their friends were to join and contribute at least the suggested £5 per month (roughly £1 per week) it would quickly grow and be able to support at least some of the suggested projects.


[email protected] Fri 2 Sep 2022 2:24PM

I think it's a great idea, Oli, and I love the comments made in this thread (on some of them I've added a litlle heart emoticon ❤️ :-))

Maybe it shows that I'm only replying now to this interesting thread, as it is hard to find time to contribute. I'm not sure yet whether I'd like the idea to support just one "winning" project, or whether we could find a methodology - and sufficient contributions - to spread the collective fund over various projects. I recall the Open budget tool (or what's its name again?) that Enspiral uses, where anyone can add to the collective fund and have then the possibility to assign their contribution over different projects. So to say a platform to run various little crowdfunding campaigns and each gets according to the supports they raise. Of course that might need some good criteria for who can set up a campaign inside the platform, but considering that's pretty much defined, like Openness, Cooperative Commons criteria we already share it seems, then it might be a more pleasant and fruitful endeavour. Just thinking out loud. In any case I'm happy to contribute some time and currency when this takes off.


Ivana Fri 5 Aug 2022 3:12PM

To try and get some creative juices flowing here again, here are the keywords that I was able to spot in various posts:

collaborative regenerative economy

Open Collective pot

contributors can propose projects



collective decision

building tools to make tools


energy cost

Platform 6 development coop

modest regular contribution by virtue of being a member

collective deciding

small projects - bounties? or larger ones?

projects already running, or help new projects start up from an idea onwards?

invest or spend (invest = expectation of monetary return, spend = donation)?

open project AND crowdfund? Only open project (perhaps that could be crowdfunded?) or only Crowdfund?

Needs + offers = Murmurations? (what would it take?)

Hardware and workshop spaces

Different people have different priorities as to what they would fund

Engaging people in meaningful thinking

Bringing people together to compare notes and support each other

Some people would contribute to the pot

Looking at the above list - what can be done with it? What jumps at you when you see this list? There could be questions that come out of each of the above key words or phrases, so ... ask away. My feeling is that the ideas that people wrote down reflect what they are egnaged in - which is normal and natural. For me, for example, I'd like to fund new projects that haven't started yet, because I have a project that I'd like funded, which could benefit many other projects along the line, and I suspect I'm not the only one. Other than that, I think there is no greater priority than to create food forests everywhere - so that is what I'd like to contribute to. Also needs + offers - as that could help many other projects. Billy is interested in Hardware. Yasu in coops. Oli may have children or might have them one day as his concerns are there, but probably not only there.. Those are the differences between us - but what do we have in common? And how can we materialise even a few of the above keywords and see them become reality?

Can we work on defining criteria for projects to fund? Fund the funders who will be able to fund more projects? Large or small? Environmental costs versus benefits? Any other thoughts?

Looking forward to some creative comments...

Take care.



Billy Smith Sat 30 Jul 2022 10:37AM

Excellent idea! :D

I'll happily chip in. :D

Another thing to consider:

  • Some problems seem intractable due to lack of the hardware and tooling that isn't available/affordable on the open market.

  • This is a fixable situation, as the cost-of-manufacturing is continuing to fall.

  • Building tools-to-make-tools is more of a techie thing. :D

  • I know this as i'm an engineer and i like making physical things, but most people don't enjoy the activity of making things in and of itself. People are more interested in the results that they can get from the use of the Force-Multiplying effects of machinery.

There are a large number of mid-range energy-niches that can be worked with profitably and sustainably, as long as you have the capacity to make-&-maintain the tooling from raw materials. :D

A large part of the problem is that the group who takes the largest part of the profit is the manufacturer of the hardware used.

By co-op's making their own hardware, the profit is still going to the manufacturers, but in this case the manufacturers are the members of the co-op. :D

This approach also expands the range of opportunities that can be looked at, as energy-niches that were previously unprofitable, now become accessible due to the change in costs. :D


Graham Fri 29 Jul 2022 12:06PM

The website says "any activity that supports co-operatives. This might be some research, an event, travel costs or paying for co-op business advice." The thinking was that we could complement the SolidFund, which is just for worker cooperation. I would probably interpret that statement as being 'any activity that supports cooperation'.


Oli SB Fri 29 Jul 2022 11:52AM

Yes - less wheel reinvention + more collaboration = more (chance of) success!

Are there any restrictions / stipulations about what can be funded from the P6 fund?

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