[NetBehaviour] Links - Anyone members of coops?

Tom Keene tom at theanthillsocial.co.uk
Fri May 3 11:31:31 CEST 2019

Hi all, 
Interesting thread. 

On Cressingham Gardens Estate where I live, we're currently setting up our own tenant management organisation and explored a coop option, but as we have a very complex relationship with Lambeth Council (i.e intention to demolish through regeneration) the coop structure didn't seem to fit. We are now about to become a Community Interest Company (CIC).

Interestingly, Lambeth appointed itself as the UK's first 'cooperative council' though in reality this is meaningless. When housing officers attempted to enact a cooperative approach they didn't have a clue what it meant in practice, and said as much. The officers (and councillors) practice is based around tight control of information through existing technical systems, though they don't particularly recognise the role of technology. Weirdly, Lambeth Labour party councillors partnered and campaigned under a joint Labour/Coopertive Party banner. In other words, they co-opted (I do like a pun;) the term cooperative to make their policies of social cleaning through urban regeneration more palatable. 

What I've learnt through my experience of housing activism (trying to stop a council demolishing my home) is that multiple organisational structures are required to intervene in, alter, or instigate new power dynamics. On Cressingham, for example, there's a Residents Association, Community Interest company, Save Cressingham Campaign (organised around an anarchist model), and a formal council structure based on a written constitution. Each of which presents different possibilities of action - you need this fluidity or ability to participate in different structures to address a problems from multiple, simultaneous, directions. This multiplicity is required because they things we are dealing undergo constant change which is a central problem of capitalism... Can you tell i'm in the middle of my PhD writeup ;)


On Thu, 2 May 2019, at 10:06 PM, Ruth Catlow via NetBehaviour wrote:
> Dear Julian,
> It's great to hear that you have finally got some traction for the development work that you want to do. I would be v. interested to hear how it goes.
> I've been interested in cooperatives as one (incomplete and partial I know) route to democratising work and money flows - following the debates around platform cooperatives, open cooperatives, and the Preston model (where the local authority has committed to favouring local and cooperatively run services in public procurement decisions, with great benefits to the local economy).
> I've followed the rocky journey of Resonate to build a blockchain-based cooperative music service. And what I know of their experience chimes with the article when it says...
> "cooperatives are more difficult to bootstrap than corporations because they don’t have access to the same capital markets. Historically, it’s been a lot harder to coordinate investment from members with shared values than it is to raise funds with the singular goal of maximizing profits"
> We have often entertained formalising more cooperative organisational forms for Furtherfield projects, but have been put off by the administrative overheads and legal complexities and costs. The potential for DAOs to lighten the bureaucratic load is therefore very attractive!
> Look forward to hearing more about CoopDAO
> :)
> Ruth
> On Mon, 29 Apr 2019, 10:39 Julian Brooks, <lists at julianbrooks.net> wrote:
>> Hey Ruth,
>>  Yeah I also found that article of interest too.
>>  Insight from VC's, who'd a thunk it.
>>  I've been digging into Coops for the last couple of years. For me stems 
>>  from a visceral reaction to DAO's & 'Code as Law'. I just immediately 
>>  thought it'd be better to consider them more human-centric - with DAO's 
>>  being such a potential for collectivising power.
>>  So started putting this kinda mental construct together 'Cooperative 
>>  Autonomous Organisations', a sort of 'DAO, Coop, Mutual, Union' - type 
>>  structure. This was to house the participants in the music licensing / 
>>  smart contracts / IP-reinvention post-doc project that I have been 
>>  attempting to raise research funding for (unsuccessfully so far).
>>  I always thought the CoAO would be the trickiest part to put together, 
>>  and was actually planning to work in this during years 3-5 in a 5yr 
>>  project. After getting rejected for funding last October (working w. 
>>  UoMcr proposing to AHRC) I started exploring and getting involved with 
>>  the 'Aragon Project' community (cool people with some astonishing [& 
>>  really-existing] crypto tech-tools).
>>  A small Aragon group started seriously considering and engaging in what 
>>  a Cooperative DAO could be in practice. To this end I put togehter a 
>>  small funding proposal that was voted though by $ANT holders (the Aragon 
>>  token) a couple of days ago (whoop whoop!). So there'll be two of us 
>>  working a couple of days a week each, with additional funds for CoopDAO 
>>  members to also propose paid work a day p.w. to formulate and put into 
>>  practice what this org can actually be.
>>  Quite excited:)
>> https://twitter.com/AragonProject/status/1122172288462356484
>> https://forum.aragon.org/t/agp-40-discussion-aragon-cooperative-dao-funding-proposal/783/12
>>  Totally agree Coops are definitely 'a thing' atm. For me, this is a very 
>>  good thing. Also fascinating that (Ethereum mainly?) crypto is very much 
>>  engaging in this too.
>>  I don't know where this is all going, perhaps this is what I like most.
>>  J.
>>  On 28/04/2019 15:21, Ruth Catlow via NetBehaviour wrote:
>>  > Thanks Rob,
>>  > Full of great nuggets as always
>>  > 
>>  > Past, Present, Future: From Co-ops to Cryptonetworks -
>>  > 
>>  > https://a16z.com/2019/03/02/cooperatives-cryptonetworks/
>>  > 
>>  > 
>>  > Coops seem to be on the upsurge.
>>  > I'd be interested to know whether people here are already members of 
>>  > coops as workers or customers and if so why?
>>  > 
>>  > 
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