[NetBehaviour] Links - Anyone members of coops?

Graziano Milano grazmaster at googlemail.com
Fri May 3 13:17:09 CEST 2019


I’m actively involved with Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS)
<https://www.theruss.org> which is a members-led Community Land Trust based
in Lewisham (South East London), founded in 2009 with the aim of creating
sustainable community-led neighbourhoods and truly affordable homes.

It was a long and hard journey for us, but in June 2018 our first housing
project was finally granted planning permission by Lewisham Council and
soon after that we managed to get a £988k pre-development grant from the
Mayor of London. Our story started a few years earlier when, after a
campaign led by RUSS members, we successfully completed a public
procurement process and signed a Development Agreement in April 2016 with
Lewisham Council for a ‘community-led, affordable, self-build housing
development’ in a derelict former school and industrial site at Church
Grove in Ladywell, South East London.

The project will provide 33 new sustainable, customised, high quality homes
(including 5 social housing) that will be permanently affordable and partly
self-built in order to reduce construction costs. Have a read at the Innovative
Approach to Community-Led Housing
brochure (which I designed) for more detailed info about RUSS’s vision.

In summer 2017, I also successfully led a Spacehive crowdfunding campaign
<https://www.spacehive.com/ladywellselfbuild> to raise £50k+ to self-build
(this summer) a community hub on the same site as a training facility for
would-be community self-builders (may well be used for community arts
projects as well). If you wish to find more about it, you can book a free
ticket for the RUSS Community Hub - Build Launch Event
on Wednesday 15th May.


On Fri, 3 May 2019 at 10:31, Tom Keene <tom at theanthillsocial.co.uk> wrote:

> 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  ;)
> Tom
> 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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> >
> >
> > --
> > Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised
> > Arts Lab
> > +44 (0) 77370 02879
> >
> > *Furtherfield *disrupts and democratises art and technology through
> > exhibitions, labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free
> > thinking.
> > furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org/>
> >
> > *DECAL* Decentralised Arts Lab is an arts, blockchain & web 3.0
> > technologiesresearch hub
> >
> > for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural ecologies & economies now.
> >
> > decal.is <http://www.decal.is>
> >
> >
> > Furtherfield is a Not-for-Profit Company limited by Guarantee
> > registered in England and Wales under the Company No.7005205.
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> >
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