Towards a Coalition of Commons-Oriented Entrepreneurial Coalitions

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Michel Bauwens:

This idea came up during a conversation with Alanna Krause of Enspiral, when she visited Chiang Mai in June 2015.

The basic idea is that peer production generally takes a triarchical form, i.e. open productive communities that co-contribute to a commons and common good; a ethical entrepreneurial coalition that creates livelihoods for the commoners and co-creates commons (related to our ideas about Open Cooperativism ), and quite often, for-benefit associations such as the Floss Foundations, which manage and maintain the cooperative infrastructure.

This initiative aims at connecting the already existing entrepreneurial coalitions in this space, so that they can learn from each other, but also to develop a collective voice. It's a global equivalent of our proposal for the Chamber of the Commons, which aims to give voice to local ethical entrepreneurs.

Michel de Kemmeter:

Other dimensions can be added to this dynamics:

- the need to innovate and disrupt of existing companies

- ownership transmission and generation issues in family business

- the need of business development in existing companies

in a context where ethics, coherence, purpose and paradigm shift is everywhere, knowing that existing entrepreneurs are not able to deal with the latter. No time, no information, not "wired" to enable transition.

A nice way to catalyse it would be to team up demanding existing companies with a coalition, a cooperative of (young and trained) entrepreneurs, to incubate innovation in the margin of the existing. But with access to resources of the existing (administration, technology, office area, networks, finance). We (UHDR UniverseCity) call it "Extrapreneurship". We started an experiment in Brussels.

Here is the proposed flow:

- Intake : casting on entrepreneurs willing to serve common good into this paradigm shift

- Training : new economy models, systemic project management, personal coaching on soft skills in SHG

- Internship : 2 or 3 months testcase on a live innovation or business case (low basic pay compensating for the training)

- Action : 3 to 12 months of paid entrepreneuship

The community, in form of a cooperative, participates in benefits and profits, and in shares of the new ventures. In case of sales of the shares, the community generates capital inside the cooperative which becomes like a private equity operation.


  • for now, we're just launching the idea


Here are potential candidates for such an initiative:

  • Sensorica, which originated in Montreal, Canada
  • Las Indias, based in various places in Spain and elsewhere (but definitely post-nationalistic)

The FairCoop inititiative of the Catalan Integral Cooperative probably belongs in the same category ?