Cooperativism 4.0 , article about latest trends of cooperative innovation

Hi peers, I just wrote an article analysing the current situation of cooperative innovation and the potential social implications of that. I hope you find it informative:

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ENGLISH: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cooperativism-40-what-we-could-co-create-something-beyond-gerpe/

SPANISH: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cooperativismo-tecnol%C3%B3gico-y-si-podr%C3%ADamos-co-crear-algo-gerpe

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For-profit businesses are wide open to being ‘out competed’ by cooperatives, but they must be as you suggest ‘post-capitalist’. Coops are yet to have their golden age, but they must be radical. they cannot be capitalist with a veneer of something fundamentally different. Most coops simply are not. There will never be a better time, again as you point out because of the whole climate crisis, which focuses the mind & necessitates massive re-localisation.
The opportunity is cooperatives structured to take back the commons, for the benefit of all. I have a fledgling cooperative business structured with this in mind. I call it a ‘commons equity cooperative’. The USP is a flat ‘enough’ wage, with all surplus shared back within the community through a unique community engagement mechanism.
I would very much appreciate your thoughts on it some time,

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I absolutely do agree with your point. Interesting concept the “common equity coop”. Do you have a document about that? I’m personally working on the concept of a ‘regenerative’, a type of post-capitalist coop that merges commons-production, cooperativism, participatory planning, feminist economics and regenerative economy all in one, which is on the line of a new socio-economic alternative I’m building on called Regenerativism. But it’s still a work in progress.

Here, below, are drafts in Spanish where I explain the concept

Regeneratives:

Regenerativism:

Let’s #unite co-operators ;).

Hopefully my website (still early days) does a good job of explaining.

www.just.coop

Just Cooperate is a mantra, a call to action, even a plea.

Core to the idea is multiple channels to generate a local currency through commerce, starting with the Just Shop Local mechanism, underwritten by sterling, or indeed any national currency (maybe Just Cooperate has international potential). If this grows & grows, why not invest at least some of the currency on deposit into ‘commons’ assets, such that the local currency is backed by real community-owned assets?.

If central banks can think of no valid reason to undermine this, the potential exists to build a genuine alternative commons centric economy. I’m basically proposing buying back decades if not centuries of enclosure for private profit.

Simon Carter
simon@just.coop

www.just.coop

Commons Sense

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I just took a look to the project Just. Seems really interesting! Congrats!

Congratulate me in a years time, or not as the case may be. 2020 is make or break. Meanwhile, take any element of Just Cooperate & apply it as you wish. If I could find kindred spirits to work with I’d be thrilled. The most freeing thing for me has been letting go of ego driven personal ambition, especially monetarily. I simply wish to be a part of something worthwhile.

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(Patrick, I believe we met at an agent modelling meetup a while back hope that’s all going well)

Hmmm … actually I think some ‘capitalist’ incentives are important to retain and are in fact impossible to get away from when operating a coop within current society.

In our coop (as I’m sure many) you get paid more the more productive you are. This is surely a capitalist element? Without this incentive and reward for what you put in why would someone invest so much of their time? When you operate in such a way to keep overheads low or entirely eliminate them this leads on to a even greater focus on ones skill level and efficiency not less. I agree there are other incentives including a feeling of social responsibility and the opportunity to give back but in order to attract talent from Main Street you need to give people the opportunity to earn a decent enough wage in the first place. A good test is trying to persuade ones life partner that this approach to work is better! :wink:

However aspects of these new working patterns which I definitely feel are important are:

  1. Open source.
  2. Minimal capital base (partly relies on 1.)
  3. Cloud collaboration

These are game changers.

  1. Allows you to leverage and contribute to shared ‘infrastructure’ beyond your immediate organisation. There are zero proprietary licences to be held hostage to.
  2. Cloud computing keeps costs extremely low and none of that kit has to sit on a balance sheet and there is zero depreciation to fund.
  3. Avoid maintaining costly premises with ancillary staff like receptionists, security, maintenance.
  4. Zero commuting

Now of course a ‘normal’ company can take advantage of those too but imho these have to be at the heart of many a successful coop in order to maximise the benefit of participation. A coop will only thrive if you attract and retain the talent. If we can give 98% of earnings to our members instead of having to take a 30% cut to pay Oracle licences (imho a classic ‘hegemony’) then we stand a much better chance of attracting top talent from the big corps?

We can get quite philosophical and political about all this but there are some immediate gains and immediate practicalities you need to pay attention to when operating radically different to corporations of old.