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At the P2P Foundation, we see the institutional emergence of a commons economy through the following three social forms:

  • at the heart of value creations are productive communities of contributors, paid or unpaid, that create shared resources i.e. commons
  • around these shared resources, new forms of entrepreneurial coalitions form, that created added value for the market to create livelihoods for the commoners, which can take the form of Open Cooperatives, Platform Cooperatives

This wiki section focuses mostly on the new entrepreneurial coalitions and the productive communities (sometimes called neo-tribes) with whom they are connected.

Key concepts related to this are Phyles and Neo-Venetianist Networks, concepts developed by Las Indias. A fictional treatment can be found in the Diamond Age, a science fiction book by Neal Stephenson. The 'poor man's' equivalent may be found in the description of transmigrant networks in: "Etrangers de passage. Poor to poor, peer to peer d’Alain Tarrius Editions de l’Aube.

Amongst the post-corporate ethical market coalitions that operate around the commons, our favourites for the moment are:

Associated transnational civic organisations in this space are:

Territorially specific under construction are half a dozen civic Assemblies of the Commons in France and Belgium, and a Chamber of the Commons in Chicago.

Specific commons-transition political organizations are:

A potential future organizational form:

Contextual Citation

"What does a thing that’s not a government and not a company, but is like a steward of commons look like? All these questions are the important questions. What do you actually need to do? What are your products? What is your org structure? How do you actually protect values and an organizational structure and a legal structure?"

- Derek Razo [2]

Citizens United in Cooperative and Participative Entrepreneurship

"Citizens unite to compete with multinationals: this is the entrepreneurship of the future; the entrepreneurship based on cooperation and participation as the key to develop large human organizations able to recover local production and to reactivate the economy. The cooperative and participative organizations apply an innovative approach to grow in a massive way: the members of the organization participate very actively in the co-creation, management and development of the cooperative. In cooperative and participative organizations the clients are the owners of the organization. They do not ask for money to banks or investors, they self-finance. They are non-lucrative structures with an aim of changing the current model by adding as many members as possible. Some success cases are Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn or Som Energia in Spain."

- Enladiana [3]

Overcoming the dependencies of the mainstream system is not an easy matter

"Very few organisations in our world (commons-based peer production) have a clear vision of new economic models. Extremely few have taken concrete measures to implement these models. ENSPIRAL for example has a pretty classical bussiness model. Sensorica is pushing a little further, but in the end we need to sell stuff to get $ to pay rent to a landloard who only takes $, to buy necessary materials for our projects and to have our affiliates pay their rent and buy their food, etc. In other words, we are all embedded in a reality that exerts tremendous pressure and keeps us operating in traditional markets. In the end, we're all hybrid organisations, some of us going a bit further into new models. Perhaps some communities that live in isolation can claim to operate in an entirely new way, but their disadvantage is to be cut off the rest of the world, and I don't think that's the best vector of change.

I do see a way out of this gridlock, but it will take time. I am saying all this because we cannot just be critic of organisations and even less so of the technologies they use, for not operating with totally new economic models, whatever they may be. We need to take into consideration all the dependencies with the actual world, understand the intriquaces of running physical operations in the current reality.'

- Tiberius Brastaviceanu (email, July 2018)

From a DAO to a DPO, i.e. a Distributed_Programmable_Organization

"The Distributed Autonomous Organization evolves toward the Distributed Programmable Organization. Post-blockchain architectures are already emerging that have even more flexible, lower-cost, rhizomatic architectures operating on the peer-to-peer model. These make it possible to design alternative models embodying an ethos of sustainable economic and social cooperation that is integrally built into the systems architecture at all levels.

These developments open new possibilities for collective projects to invent their own self-sustaining creative economies, operating not in competition with each other but in a shared, open-source environment based on notions of the “common”."

- SenseLab [4]

Key Resources

Key Articles

  • The Corporation as Commons: Rethinking Property Rights, Governance and Sustainability in the Business Enterprise. By Simon Deakin.


Introductory Resources

Characteristics of Generative Ownership Forms

from (visited 2016-12)

THE DESIGN OF ECONOMIC POWER — The Architecture of Ownership

1. Financial Purpose: maximizing profits in the short term 1. Living Purpose: creating the conditions for life over the long term
2. Absentee Membership: ownership disconnected from the life of the enterprise 2. Rooted Membership: ownership in human hands
3. Governance by Markets: control by capital markets on autopilot 3. Mission-Controlled Governance: control by those dedicated to social mission
4. Casino Finance: capital as master 4. Stakeholder Finance: capital as friend
5. Commodity Networks: trading focused solely on price and profits 5. Ethical Networks: collective support for ecological and social norms

Documentation on post-corporate practices

What the world and humanity, and all those beings that are affected by our activities require is a mode of production, and relations of production, that are “free, fair and sustainable” at the same time. Post-corporate entities and the productive communities they are based on are pioneering new 'generative' practices, that co-create value with the commons, rather than 'extractive' practices that enclose the commons or capture value from the commons.

1. Open Business Models based on shared knowledge

Closed business models are based on artificial scarcity. Though knowledge is a non- or anti-rival good that gains in use value the more it is shared, and though it can be shared easily and at very low marginal cost when it is in digital form, many extractive firms still use artificial scarcity to extract rents from the creation or use of digitized knowledge. Through legal repression or technological sabotage, naturally shareable goods are made artificially scarce, so that extra profits can be generated. This is particularly galling in the context of life-saving or planet-regenerating technological knowledge. The first commandment is therefore the ethical commandment of sharing what can be shared, and only creating market value from resources that are scarce and create added value on top or along these commons. Open business models are market strategies that are based on the recognition of natural abundance and the refusal to generate income and profits by making them artificially scarce.

Wiki section at

2. Open Cooperativism

Many new more ethical and generative forms are being created, that have a higher level of harmony with the contributory commons. The key here is to choose post-corporate forms that are able to generate livelihoods for the contributing commoners.

Open cooperatives in particular would be cooperatives that share the following characteristics:

1) they are mission-oriented and have a social goal that is related to the creation of shared resources

2) they are multi-stakeholder governed, and include all those that are affected by or contributing to the particular activity

3) they constitutionally, in their own rules, commit to co-create commons with the productive communities

I often add the fourth condition that they should be global in organisational scope in order to create counter-power to extractive multinational corporations.

Cooperatives are one of the potential forms that commons-friendly market entities could take. We see the emergence of more open forms such as neo-tribes (think of the workings of the Ouishare community), or more tightly organized neo-builds, such as, Las Indias or the Ethos Foundation. Yet more open is the network form chose by the Sensorica open scientific hardware community, which wants to more tightly couple contributions with generated income, by allowing all micro-tasked contributions in the reward system, through open value or contributory accounting (more below).

Wiki section at

3. Open Value Accounting or Contributory Accounting

Peer production is based on distributed tasks, freely contributed by a open community-driven collaborative infrastructure. The tradition of salaries based on fixed job description may not be the most appropriate way to reward those that contribute to such processes. Hence the emergence of open value accounting or contributory accounting. As practiced already by Sensorica, this means that any contributor may add contributions, log them according to project number, and after peer evaluation is assigned 'karma points'. When income is generated, it flows into these weighted contributions, so that every contributor is fairly rewarded. Contributory accounting, or other similar solutions, are important to avoid that only a few contributors more closely related to the market, capture the value that has been co-created by a much larger community. Open book accounting insure that the (re)distribution of value is transparent for all contributors.

Wiki section at

4. Benefit-Sharing through CopyFair Licenses

The copyleft licenses allow anyone to re-use the necessary knowledge commons on the condition that changes and improvements are added to that same commons. This is a great advance, but should not be abstracted from the need for fairness. When moving to physical production which involves finding resources for buildings, raw materials and payments to contributors, the unfettered commercial exploitation of such commons favours extractive models. Thus the need to maintain the knowledge sharing, but to ask reciprocity for the commercial exploitation of the commons, so that there is a level playing field for the ethical economic entities that do internalize social and environmental costs. This is achieved through copyfair licenses which, while allowing full sharing of the knowledge, ask for reciprocity in exchange for the right of commercialization.

Wiki section at

5. Commonfare solidarity practices

As one of the strong results of financial and neo-liberal globalization, the power of nation-states has gradually weakened, and there is now a strong and integrated effort to unwind the solidarity mechanisms that were embedded in the welfare state models. As long as we do not have the power to reverse this slide, it is imperative that we reconstruct solidarity mechanisms of distributed scope, a practice which we could call 'commonfare'. Examples such as the Broodfonds (NL), Friendsurance (Germany) and the health sharing ministries (U.S.), or cooperative entities such Coopaname in France, show us the new forms of distributed solidarity that can be developed to deal with the risks of life and work.

Wiki section at

6. Sustainable Manufacturing through an Open Source Circular Economy

Open productive communities insure maximum participation through modularity and granularity. Because they operate in a context of shared and abundant resources, the practice of planned obsolescence, which is not a bug but a feature for profit-maximizing corporations, is alien to them. Ethical entrepreneurial entities will therefore use these open and sustainable designs and produce sustainable good and services.

Wiki section at

7. Mutual coordination of production through Open Supply Chains and Open Book Accounting

What decision-making is for planning, and pricing is for the market, mutual coordination is for the commons!

We will never achieve a sustainable 'circular economy', in which the output of one production process is used as an input for another, with closed value chains and where every cooperation has to be painfully negotiated in the conditions of lack of transparency. But entrepreneurial coalitions who are already co-dependent on a collaborative commons can create eco-systems of collaboration through open supply chains, in which the production processes become transparent, and through which every participant can adapt his behaviour based on the knowledge available in the network. There is no need for over-production when the production realities of the network become common knowledge.

Wiki section at

8. Cosmo-Localization: what is light is global, what is heavy is local

“What is light is global, and what is heavy is local”: this is the new principle animating commons-based peer production in which knowledge is globally shared, but production can take place on demand and based on real needs, through a network of distributed coworking and microfactories. Certain studies have shown that up to two-thirds of matter and energy does not go to production, but to transport, which is clearly unsustainable. A return to relocalized production is a since qua non for the transition towards sustainable production.

Wiki section via

9. Mutualization of physical infrastructures

Platform cooperatives, data cooperatives and fairshares forms of distributed ownership can be used to co-own our infrastructures of production.

The misnamed 'sharing economy' from AirBnB and Uber nevertheless shows the potential of matching idle resources. Co-working, skillsharing, ridesharing are examples of the many ways in which we can re-use and share resources to dramatically augment the thermo-dynamic efficiencies of our consumption.

In the right context of co-ownership and co-governance, a real sharing economy can achieve dramatic advances in reduced resource use. Our means of production, inclusive machines, can be mutualized and self-owned by all those that create value.

Wiki section at

10. Mutualization of generative capital

Generative forms of capital cannot rely on a extractive money supply that is based on compound interest that is due to extractive banks. We have to abolish the 38% financial tax that is owed on all goods and services and transform our monetary system, and substantively augment the use of mutual credit systems.

Wiki section at


Making Corruption Impossible by Design (Transparency)

"Creating an association should be as easy as creating a Facebook Group. For most cases, we shouldn’t have to worry about creating and maintaining a legal entity. Yet those associations should be able to collect money and disperse it for their activities. Instead of creating these associations using a 20th century framework* that assumes that the money collected goes into a blackbox and therefore requires reporting to avoid abuse, what if we could create new associations on a more open and transparent model, where the collected money wouldn’t go into a blackbox, where we wouldn’t need to file annual reports with consolidated numbers, and where corruption would be impossible by design?"

- Xavier Damman [6]

With the advent of the P2P Mode of Production, the community and its common is now the appropriate scale

"We’re seeing something that is historically shocking—the reduction to zero of the cost of an especially valuable part of capital, which materializes directly knowledge (free software, free designs, etc.). And above all we see, almost day by day, how the optimum size of production, sector by sector, approaches or reaches the community dimension.

The possibility for the real community, the one based on interpersonal relationships and affections, to be an efficient productive unit is something radically new, and its potential to empower is far from having been developed. This means that we are lucky enough to live in a historical moment when it would seem that the whole history of technology, with all its social and political challenges, has coalesced to put us within reach of the possibility of developing ourselves in a new way and contributing autonomy to our community.

Today we have an opportunity that previous generations did not: to transform production into something done, and enjoyed, among peers. We can make work a time that is not walled off from life itself, which capitalism revealingly calls “time off.” That’s the ultimate meaning of producing in common today. That’s the immediate course of every emancipatory action. The starting point."

- David de Ugarte [7]

Are platforms replacing corporations

"What if the nature of the economic puzzles that corporations evolved to solve have shifted? Thanks to software, the internet and artificial intelligence, the expenses that Coase identified can now be reduced just as well with tools from outside the company as they can from within it. Finding freelance workers via online marketplaces can be less costly, less risky and quicker than recruiting full-time employees. Collaboration tools are opening up space for manager-free forms of work. And contracting costs are likely to fall markedly thanks to the advent of blockchain protocols – algorithms that replace trusted third parties, and instead automatically verify transactions using a huge digital ledger, spread across multiple computers. As a result of these innovations, a new way of working is emerging: a series of interactions that are open, skills-based and software-optimised. Where once we had the ‘corporation’, instead we are witnessing the ascendancy of the ‘platform’. The question is: should we see this as a promise, or a threat?"

- George Zarkadakis [8]

Colin Mayer on the the corporation of the future

"There are three themes that are really emerging in the current discussions about corporations.

Those are

1. purpose, ensuring purpose,

2. ownership and the nature of ownership that‘s contributive to the delivery of that purpose and

3. governance and the way in which the management of companies is aligned to the delivery of that purpose.

Those are the three key elements that are emerging."


Key Resources

Key Books

  • from Las Indias, "an open-ended series of books on recovered and/or self-managed businesses", [9]


Key Players

In France

CEDRIC : Collaborative Ecosystem Development and Roadmap Innovating for the Commons


  1. Association Ekopratik
  2. Association Open Atlas
  3. Chez Nous [11]
  4. Dialoguea [12]
  5. Living Coop
  6. Multi Bao [13]
  7. Nacelle 0.2 [14]
  8. Organisation Pixel humain [15] video
  9. P2P Foundation France with Julien Cantoni
  10. Projet Communecter [16] video
  11. Unissons

Key Podcasts

Pages in category "Post-Corporate"

The following 101 pages are in this category, out of 101 total.