Comprehensive Cooperative Township
Suehiko Ono is attempting to create a legal model for a massive member-driven leaderless organization, in which ownership does not equal control: one person, one vote. The draft of his operating agreement is being developed in partnership with Winston & Strawn LLP.
"The purpose of CCT is to allow this township a self-directed and truly democratic development and form of government. The form of government, laws and principles are made by the participants in the community."
Commentary by Mattew Cooperider at http://www.bandillero.com/scholar/index.php?title=Comprehensive_Cooperative_Township
Here is the first draft Executive Summary of the project:
"Among other things, this is an investment opportunity: for the purchase of one or more shares - each valued at $100 - the company grants a pro-rata share of equity, which equals a pro-rata residual interest in the company. As in many corporate organzations, this investment is very low liability – each person has limited liability beyond the amount of his or her equity. Also, since the intention is to reach a very large membership, we will be able to raise relatively large amounts of capital while dispersing the risk among a larger group. A large dispersed ownership is nothing new. This is one of the characteristics of corporations. Our goal is to include many people making a relatively small long-term investment in order to raise a substantial amount of capital. And the dispersion of risk allows the corporation to take on more risky (and potentially more rewarding) endeavors. The large diverse group also provides other valuable resources including information and skills that can be used to generate wealth. In most respects, this is much like any other corporation. In other ways, it is more like a partnership and a social network.
Ownership & Control: With membership in the CCT, which is a fundamentally a Venture Capital Firm, every member is entitled to equal control of the major venture firm decisions, e.g., decisions about which ventures to pursue and overseeing the ventures' progress. CCT members have equal control over decisions relating to Government, Economics and Culture as defined in the CCTWiki. Essentially, every member is also a board member entitled to equal per capita control over areas such as shaping of policies and goals, choice of ventures, changes in charter documents and by-laws, authorization of dividends, nomination of directors, election of officers, approval of mergers, sales of substantially all the corporation's assets, and corporate liquidation. We separate control and residual interest in order to maintain per capita control - i.e., one-person-one-vote - regardless of how much equity any member holds. More equity means more share of profits, but it does not mean more control over major group decisions. This willingness to separate ownership and control flows from our belief that the wisdom of groups is greater than the wisdom of individuals and from our commitment to democratic principles.
However, equally important is that we do not necessarily maintain equality or equal control over all decisions. We distribute profits in accordance with equity, and we will elect officers to run the day-to-day operations of individual businesses associated with the CCT.
We embrace a geographically dispersed and diverse membership. We utilize internet and other telecommunications technology towards fostering improvements in communication so that we can effectively cooperate despite our dispersion. We also try to embrace many different mechanisms for making group decisions including this wiki, internal markets, emails, and meetings.
Members' Commitment: Although each member is entitled to equal control on the most abstract group level, the business organization embraces all levels of involvement. This means that once a member has commited his or her money, he or she is completely free to engage as much or as little as he or she desires; it is the decision of the individual member whether or not to exercise control. Each member is equally entitled to propose business plans, draft internal contracts and legislation, vote in community decisons, make proposals of various kinds, and make limited unilateral investments with CCT resources (see Membership and Benefits). The CCT community can also delegate more control to individual members by electing members to become executives, managers or other officers of businesses related to the CCT. On the other end of the spectrum, members are perfectly entitled to engage like a silent partner, i.e., put money in, watch equity grow, and that's all. The only commitment necessary is to purchase at least one share for $100. We also intend to make shares fully alienable and embrace other ways to maintain exit as a meaningul option.
We are not aligned with any particular political group or organization, and we strive to maintain an ideology that is minimalist in order to encourage real diversity. We desire a constituency that is diverse in every sense of the word - lifestyles, world views, perspectives, etc. Each member must only agree to the Guiding Principles, while entertaining the possibility that we will eventually use our collective assets to form an actual town. However, one does not need to commit to the town, one must only entertain the possibility because, remember, any member can sell his or her shares and exit the CCT at any time. The purpose of the CCT corporation is to empower and create more, not less, freedom for each member. The very nature and makeup of the town will be determined by the CCT community over time as we accumulate experience, practice, and wealth; we at all times endeavor to preserve the liberal values of liberty and personal autonomy.
What We'll Produce: This is a venture capital firm with a goal that is much more broad than monetary profit. This is a network with common property and democratic control that seeks to harnesses all the value associated with networks and common property while preserving liberty and personal autonomy. We wish to create a community that will engage in diverse business and financial ventures, cultural relationships, and eventually become a town. First and foremost, we wish to create a real network of diverse, creative, dynamic, talented and motivated people.
We will be creating a substantial economic network, and each person will be vested in it, at least financially. Each person in this network will have the incentive to work toward the improvement of the corporation as a whole because each improvement means a pro rata improvement in each member's equity. At the same time, this business organization will be a catalyst for a social and cultural network, which, as a result, will naturally generate many things of value, e.g., talent, skills, good ideas, art and culture. We will then use our venture capital firm to finance various businesses that will capture this value. It is a plan to create economic self-empowerment and democratic self-governance."
GDP Productions is a traveling festival of quality culture. GDP will occupy various venues across NYC and the United States and host celebrations for various artists to showcase their work.