Wed 19 Apr 2017 4:32PM

From Platform to Open Cooperativism

ST Stacco Troncoso Public Seen by 99

Hello! We always get a ton of questions about this: "What are Open Coops? Are they the same as Platform Coops? Is Open Cooperativism Utopian?" etc. So we thought hard about it and wrote this in-depth analysis of both approaches and why the matter.

From Platform to Open Cooperativism

Here is an extract:

> Rather than assuming a digital backbone, Open Cooperativism explores how open data, ecological stewardship, and the active production of Commons might expand and revive established cooperative traditions, even reclaim the idea of a Cooperative Commonwealth. Open Cooperativism argues that it’s not enough to have a better Uber or a more democratic AirBnB: we must tackle issues like housing and transportation head on. The root causes of our dysfunctional, destructive economies can’t be danced around.


Richard D. Bartlett Wed 19 Apr 2017 5:40PM

Beautiful article folks, love your work. Have passed it on to the Democracy at Work Institute, as some of their broadcasts reach 45M people (I'm not sure if they're involved in either PC or OC yet).


Stacco Troncoso Thu 20 Apr 2017 6:53AM

Re: Democracy at work. That's great. We really love their work and they'd do well to consider Platform and Open Coops. Richard Wolff is the uni teacher I've always wish I had. No one does genius level about-to-go-postal outrage like him.


Greg Cassel Wed 19 Apr 2017 8:40PM

I've shared this important work already in my small twitter and fb networks. Thanks guys!


Lynn Foster Wed 19 Apr 2017 8:46PM

Very useful, thanks you two!


Paul B. Hartzog Sun 23 Apr 2017 10:57PM

Yep, digested and shared. Hrm, that sounds bad. ;-)


miguel novik Sat 6 May 2017 10:09PM


This article presents a ¨New Ecosystem of Value creation ¨. (and a not scarcity approach)
Could us considered it as our goal or target???

Let us find the right ratios and variables that we can measure it. We have to measure the issues that show if we are achieving or not this ¨New Ecosystem of Value Creation¨.
If we have the variables and ratios, the companies that want to become part of this Ecosystem have to prove it...

I never understood why we can not work together in a weekly base... ( I am going to Portugal in September and we may meet us personally in Spain or Belgium...)

....I am trying to develop these ratios and variables with a group of supermarket coops. The most interesting issue is that we have registered our consumption in our POS system, so we can easily verify if we are being consistent and choosing to buy to those companies that are focus to develop commons.

One important concrete prove:
The companies should have open accounting with public Maximum Wage and Maximum profit.. Each company (or person) has his own definition, but have to publish it.

@paulbhartzog In the Thread ¨How to drive the commons into the mainstream¨.

You mentioned
I agree that we need to bring awareness to p2p as a "third way" but I am still surprised daily by the number of people who insist that collective organization has to go through government or business. 1) We are conditioned to think that those are the only routes to success, and 2) we are still facing off against powerful systems that want it to stay that way.

I would ask you to clarify it.. Again....we want to I to achieve ¨this new Ecosystem of value creation....¨. and for me this is a mainstream of commons......

( Please before you clarify this, let us be sure that we are talking about the same.... I want to achieve ¨this New Ecosystem...¨. Do you??????).

For me, even if you are a teacher in a school or in a University you are selling your time... you are doing a commercial transaction and because of this, there is a business involved.

No matter if in the future we will not need to work, (R based E of the Venus Project), today all of us make a contribution and get products and service to satisfy their need.... (One of the problems that faced the Kibutzim was that many people thought that his/her contribution was hight and what he/she got was low....).

So in my opinion, today I assume that we all make tens of transactions everyday day, so we just have to be able to choose to trade to those organizations/ or persons that prove to be ¨commons oriented or Generatives¨. And each of us (or the company we work for), has also to prove so.

If I have a company that produce any product, or if I live in a Kibutz that produce any product, I want to be connected to the customers (Peer to Peer) (I hate the marketing manipulation and I wish the customers say to us what they need), and I (we) would be focus in develop the common knowledge of the product we manufacture, to have open accounting, maximum wage and profits accepted by my customers...

This is a business approach, but I would thanks If you give an other approach... to achieve our common target. (I could talk about spiritual issues, happiness and to share in harmony with other people and nature as a most important target, but this would be even more abstract, and this article that Stacco published gives us a very concrete starting point).


Danyl Strype Sun 7 May 2017 2:00PM

I've been thinking a lot recently about how market pricing was the best available way for businesses to generate and gather information about supply and demand in the era of broadcast (pre-network) media. In that era, for similar reasons, advertising was actually a useful way for people to find out about new products and services that might want to buy or use. During the industrial transition, these were the systems that superseded the last best information generating and gathering mechanism, the theocratic state (the Church and the Crown).

But in the networked era, we are awash with far more nuanced forms of information than pricing. If businesses want to know what people want and need and will pay for, its cheap and easy now to ask us directly, or just listen to the requests we make and the criteria we specify in our online discourse. Similarly, people don't need to have product information jammed down their throats in broadcast style when they can just use a web search and find it for themselves. Informational advertising has been overtaken over by methods of political PR, based on manipulating people's aspirations and emotions (as described in Naomi Klein's brilliant 'No Logo'), precisely because new media have rendered the traditional forms of advertising obsolete.

To sum up; real markets are obsolete, and have been replaced by "the free market", the state enforced marketization of everything that was traditionally a commons, especially the flow of information. So, it seems only logical that the traditional company has been replaced by the corporation, an undead creature that prospers by hijacking the state, and generating unceasing PR to drown out the natural sounds of truth and reality. These three are the political, economic, and media aspects of the global state-corporate system.

If Open Cooperativism is to supersede corporatism it must discover, through experimental practice and collective reflection on that practice:
* What mechanisms will open cooperatives depend on to generate and gather information about what people want and need?
* What mechanisms will open cooperatives use to coordinate production and distribution, according to this information?
* What mechanisms will open cooperatives use to supply people with information about what is available, which products and services best fit their wants and needs, and why?


Simon Grant Mon 8 May 2017 5:01AM

Thanks Bob @bobhaugen for flagging your very rich article which I missed first time round. I've linked it up better from the P2PF Wiki.


miguel novik Tue 9 May 2017 11:11PM

good article. I could understood it in a fast reading because I worked in a big department store for 13 years... as a buyer an then in charge of the commercial planning area. We worked with JDA softwares for replenishment and planning... Also at the end we got more tools to review data and take decisions...

I believe that the end customers will have to learn to ¨use data ¨, in order to choose to whom we are giving our money every time that we buy any product..

You said in the article
..¨Let us propose that demand signals for a Mutual Coordination Economy will be driven by human and ecological needs, based on use-value, and not on needs for profit, based on exchange-value. ¨

I am totally agree...
don`t you see that the project that we are implementing would encourage this criteria???? (regarding the answers I gave to Strypey).

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