You Say Decentralized, I Say Potato: The DisCO Manifesto is live and ready to download

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What are DisCOs and why do we need them?

DisCO stands for Distributed Cooperative Organization, a way for people to work and create value together that’s cooperative, creates commons and is based on feminist economic principles.

The DisCO’s cousins, the Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) promise to allow people to exchange economic value, to pool resources and form joint-ventures, without control from the centre, in ways that were impossible before blockchains.

However, the core concepts of DAOs and crypto-economic mechanism design — incentives, penalties and secrecy — are not a natural starting point for most people forming new ventures together. Neither, funnily enough, is money. So what are DisCOs and why do we need them? DisCOs are an approach to forming Distributed Open Cooperatives. Let’s take this one track at a time.

  1. Why co-operatives? Because we need to inject democracy into our economic systems (and politics and society in turn).
  2. Why Open-Value Cooperativism? Because we need to expand our economics and accounting to include care for living systems.
  3. Why DAOs? Why distributed? To maximize radical and emancipatory cooperation across national borders (on- and off-chain) while operating within the laws locally (at least until we can change them).

The famous anarcha-feminist Emma Goldman said “ If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution!” DisCOs throw open the door and invite whole new tribes to join together with the crypto-economists on the dancefloor of planetary-scale cooperation, to co-create new moves and movements for working people, and to form common pools of care and value.

Co-published with the Transnational Institute (TNI), If I Only Had a Heart: a DisCO Manifesto is a deep dive into the worlds of the blockchain, commons, cooperatives, AI, feminist economics and more. At 80 pages, it’s a “longread” text that will take about an hour to read.

More resources

To learn more you can read:

DisCO Live

Stacco TroncosoAnn Marie UtratelRuth Catlow and other members of the DisCO team will be at several events talking about the manifesto in the coming months. The next events include:

Featured image by Kelsey

DisCO workshop image from Pixelache Helsinki by Cindy Kohtala

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