Request for Comments: Digital coops cooperating globally

Hi!

my name is Xan and I work for Igalia, a digital cooperative born in Galicia, Spain, 20 years ago. We are now a over a hundred people all over the world, and most of our work happens around the web commons. We contribute to several web engines, touching most of its parts: web standards, javascript engines, graphics, networking, …

I’m also part of a smaller group in the company that organizes efforts related to what we call “social responsibility” (maybe not the greatest name). We spend some of the money we make in environmental and social projects. We are rewilding local forests, giving money to local projects, things like that:

In a few days I’ll host an internal event called “Digital cooperatives cooperating globally”. The idea is to brainstorm ways to link up with other like minded people, pool resources to do greater things in technology, social initiatives, etc. So obviously I thought it would be great to introduce myself here (my colleague Ujjwal told me about you!) and ask if anybody here has any interesting idea or suggestion for a talk like that. Things that could be useful: specific examples of multiple coops working together (how do they coordinate? how do they pool resources? achievements? troubles?); legal challenges, especially for worldwide cooperation; existing networks we could join, either focused on technology or other things…

That’s about it! Thank you in advance if you have something to share, and otherwise just happy to hang around and read you all.

Xan

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If I remember correctly, I may have seen your company when I was searching for information related to Racket programming language. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Are you a worker-owned cooperative?

There is an event coming up that might be of your interest: Civic Tech Lab: The Two Money Problems | Civic Tech Sweden

Recently, I have been thinking with my friends about “mixed fuel” worker coop that engages with both coop and capitalist customers - with the hope they are complimentary - I would be curious to find what your customers are like :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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We are indeed worker-owned! Most of our customers are just traditional companies, but one of the reasons we are doing this internal event is to start brainstorming to change that. Would be cool if at least part of our business was centered around working with other coops or non-business interests.

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Hi Xan, thanks so much for sharing this talk!

I’d love to learn more about the incorporation process for coops with global members. What it takes to start such a coop, what it takes for members (from around the world) to join, countries/jurisdictions that are best suited for this.

I would love to lower the barrier to entry for starting new coops, and making it as simple as it should be!

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One area that might be of interest is large worker cooperatives. Last year, I brainstormed numerous times with a few folks from a worker coop group with 10,000 worker-owners in Japan - whilst they would love to have their IT vendors to be worker-owned, their large-scale requirements cannot met easily. Thus, they keep sourcing services from the world’s biggest IT vendors.

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Welcome @xanlpz there is also the ICA tech co-op forum:

It might be worth also posting about this there?

Hi Xan!

Nice to read this post!

My name is Nicolás and I am part of an Argentinian software development cooperative called Fiqus. My cooperative is part of a federation of technology cooperatives called FACTTIC.

Almost two years ago together with other technology cooperatives from other countries we started working on building a cooperatives network to share knowledge and projects. Today we are more than 40 cooperatives from 13 different countries that are in contact. We communicate through a chat and now we are working on improving the dynamics of the network to build a more active community.

During the last 4 months, the network shared more than 10 job opportunities for intercooperation among the cooperatives that are part of it. During the process of sharing projects, new challenges always arise that we manage to overcome by applying solidarity and collaboration values.

All technology cooperatives are invited to participate and continue building a global community in a horizontal and democratic way.

If your cooperative or any other that reads this post is interested in participating, write us and we will share with you an access to the chat!

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This sounds really intriguing. Can you share the name of that coop group in Japan?

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Sure, here is the link - https://jwcu.coop/

JWCU is an umbrella organization - there are various worker coops (of which Center Jigyo-dan is by far the largest)

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