Category:Mutual Coordination

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Key hypothesis: What market pricing is to capitalism and planning is to state-based production, mutual coordination is to commons-based peer production!

Key tool in the context of Peer Production: The Open Value Network model and the Open Collaborative Platform. (see also our info on Network Resource Planning software, such as Wezer and the Ryaki project.

Current experiments and examples: Sensorica and the internal transparency in the Enspiral network

Introduction to the potential for Mutual Coordination through Peer Production

Our approach marries 'mutual coordination' mechanisms in the commons, such as open and contributive accounting and shared and circular 'eco-systemic' supply chains, perhaps using REA accounting and verification through shared universal shared ledgers like the holochain; just pricing and exchange mechanisms in the sphere of the ethical and generative market; and a planning framework based on Tresholds and Allocations proposed by global resource commons institutions.

0. What market pricing is to capitalism and planning is to state-based production, mutual coordination is to commons-based peer production!

1. Today we have the emergence of a new proto-system of production, Commons-Based Peer Production in which contributors are free to contribute to a common pool of shareable knowledge, code and design, which may be associated through physical production in microfactories using distributed machinery such as 3D printing.

2. This emerging new system of value creation and distribution is not sustainable if contributors need to find work as labour for capital, so contributors need to be able to generate livelihoods for themselves, keeping the generation of surplus value within the sphere of the commons and its contributors.

3. To achieve this, we advocate the use of Commons-Based Reciprocity Licenses such as the Peer Production License. This allows for the creation of a non-capitalist 'counter' economy based on Open Cooperativism and other forms of an ethical economy. In this proposal, the commoners or peer producers, i.e. the contributors to the commons, are also cooperators of their own corporate entities, which create livelihoods and insure the surplus value remains within the commons. So, in between the sphere of the accumulation of the commons (open input, participatory process, commons-oriented output), and the sphere of capital accumulation, there is a intermediary sphere of cooperative production, which regulates physical production and the social reproduction of the commoners-cooperators.

4. The production of immaterial common pools is already regulated through mutual coordination and stigmergy, i.e. coordination based on open and transparent signals of what is needed by the system; but physical production cannot be coordinated without similar signals, i.e. the coordination of production through information. It is therefore a next logical step to advocate and practice, within the ethical entrepreneurial coalitions that coalesce around particular commons through their shared adherence to the commons-based licenses, to also practice open accounting and open supply-chains and logistics. This means that within these coalitions, physical production can also be coordinated through stigmergic signals; and negotiated coordination and even voluntary common planning can take place on the basis of the shared production information.

Projects of particular interest to the P2P Foundation

Most crypto-ledger and blockchain applications intend to create distributed markets, which tend to oligarchic concentration over time. The P2P Foundation is partial to commons-oriented approaches in which market dynamics serve the common good and more egalitarian outcomes. In the context of this section, blockchain and other crypto-ledger applications could be a vital tool for open supply chains.

Some criteria to look for (via Dick Bryan and Akseli Virtanen):

  • 1. "Programmable organizations enable production to be organized in a way that makes social criteria the rationale for production; not a constraint on it."


  • 2. "The rise of ‘networks’ as modes of corporate organization breaks down the conventional means that differentiate one corporation from another and challenges the principle of ‘competition’ as the driver of corporate rationale. These are both issues that feature prominently in decentralized applications."


* 3. Mechanisms, like tokens, that allow surplus value to be retained by the workers, not capital.

" Changes in the nature of work (precarization, casualization, subcontracting, the rise of the gig economy) see workers carrying greater risks and break down the attachment of work and living standards to employment. There is growing interest in alternative ways of organizing work." [3]

4. "the real potential is cryptocurrencies as units of account: as modes of measuring economic activity that are conceived differently from those intrinsic to fiat money. Fiat money has become tied to conventional framings of profit and loss, income and expenditure, and a market-centred calculus. Non-fiat monies have the potential for developing new ways to calculate economic activity; ways that represent different social and economic values, and measure performance by criteria other than profit. Think about it for a moment. The unit of account potential signals the importance of the crypto economy developing ways (not a singular way, but coin-specific ways) of accounting and measuring the activities supported by each token. We see this as central to giving tokens a material basis in the crypto economy; not just leaving them as speculative stores of value. .... "Exchange is often between parties of unequal power, so mutual gain cannot be presumed. An important issue of the crypto economy is how blockchain can and cannot countermand asymmetrical power in trade. We see blockchain not facilitating frictionless markets but rather frictionless capital: distributed capital." [4]

Interesting projects in this sphere are:

Key resources


  • How Hyper-competition leads to inefficiencies in the supply-chain [6]


* Stefan Heidenreich. Money. Merve Verlag, 2017. [7] See: Stefan Heidenreich on the Post-Currency Non-Money Economy




Bob Haugen and William McCarthy:

"The Internet as a means of coordination is driving supply chain collaboration very quickly, but there is no accepted standardized semantic model that can actually encompass all supply chain activities. A standard, non-proprietary semantic model can make supply chain collaboration more like a public utility (the semantic Web) that businesses plug into than the current slow and expensive collaboration projects." (

Engage Global, Test Local, Spread Viral

John Boik:

"No matter how promising the design of a new system might be, it would be unreasonable to expect that a nation would abruptly drop an existing system in favor of a new one. Nevertheless, a viable, even attractive strategy exists by which new systems could be successfully researched, developed, tested, and implemented. I call it engage global, test local, spread viral.

Engage global means to engage the global academic community and technical sector, in partnership with other segments of society, in a well-defined R&D program aimed at computer simulation and scientific field testing of new systems and benchmarking of results. In this way, the most profound insights of science can be brought into play.

Test local means to scientifically test new designs at the local (e.g., city or community) level, using volunteers (individuals, businesses, non-profits, etc.) organized as civic clubs. This approach allows testing by relatively small teams, at relatively low cost and risk, in coexistence with existing systems, and without legislative action.

Spread viral means that if a system shows clear benefits in one location (elimination of poverty, for example, more meaningful jobs, or less crime) it would likely spread horizontally, even virally, to other local areas. This approach would create a global network of communities and cities that cooperate in trade, education, the setup of new systems, and other matters. Over time, its impact on all segments of society would grow.

Cities, big and small, are the legs upon which all national systems rest. Already cities and their communities are hubs for innovation. With some further encouragement and support, and the right tools and programs, they could become more resilient and robust, and bigger heroes in the coming great transition." (

The Coordination Problem

Ian Wright:

"To solve the coordination problem we need to operate the economy at the correct activity levels such that final demand is satisfied without over or under production. A fully coordinated economy produces the population’s consumption bundle without wasteful accumulation, or unsustainable depletion, of stocks. Of course, final demand continually changes, and so do the techniques of production. So a complete solution of the coordination problem requires discovering, and re-discovering, the correct activity levels, and ensuring that the economy conforms to those levels." (

Pages in category "Mutual Coordination"

The following 97 pages are in this category, out of 97 total.