2020 General Meeting

Our Cooperative held its annual general meeting this year!

Writer: Charles Adjovu

LedgerbackØDCRC held its general meeting on 12–19–2020 from 9:45 AM — 12:30 PM PST online via Jitsi.

The purpose of the general meeting was to provide an overview of changes in the cooperative over the past year and to discuss plans for the future.

Charles Adjovu facilitated the meeting and discussed the general report summarizing the cooperative’s affairs with attendees, going over changes in membership, finances, taxes, governance and organizing structure, and progress on the 2020–21 roadmap.

Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to go over any brainstorming sessions but hopefully we have the time next year.

Thank you to everyone who attended the general meeting, and helping cap off a turbulent and difficult year with hope for 2021!

Can’t wait to see what is in store for 2021 at the LedgerbackØDCRC as we help the world advance towards a global technological commonwealth.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to LedgerbackØDCRC’s growth this year!

For more information about the LedgerbackØDCRC, please send an email to ledgerback@gmail.com, visit our docs or website, or hit us up on Twitter

For what we’ll be working on in 2021, please refer to our Roadmap.

Additionally, you can learn more about the LedgerbackØDCRC by reading the About LedgerbackØDCRC section below.

Highlights

A brief mention of some of our highlights this year.

Tax Status

We finally applied to become a 501(c)(3) here in the USA. Hopefully our application is approved (fingers crossed).

Advisors

We now have 3 advisors, Patricio Guerpe, Dr. Sarah Manski, and Jan Zygmuntowski, advising us at the cooperative. 

Membership

We had 2 new members join us, Joshua Davila and Joseph Tobing.

Ecosystem

We finally formed the Ledgerback Maker Cooperative, a multi-stakeholder cooperative of makers, consultants, and staff, that acts as an incubator and startup design studio for social entrepreneurs (especially those who want to develop their own platform cooperatives) and Web 3 (any open source or decentralized technology) technology developers. 

If you have any ideas for a platform cooperative or decentralized technology, drop us a line at lederback@gmail.com

Projects

1. Blockchain-mediated Licensing

We finally released a pre-print version of our Blockchain-mediated Licensing: Legal Engineering for Artist Empowerment paper in the summer of this year. Through much heartache and endless nights, we were able to finally put out a decent version of this paper so that people can learn from our research and hopefully build on it. 

2. Bikestream

We finally completed our databike proof-of-concept this year! 

Additionally, we finally made an introductory slidedeck to Bikestream (so hopefully it makes some sense now 😆).

You can read about developing the databike (and how to make your own databike and join our market on Streamr) in the Databike Report

3. Alternative Governance Metrics Framework (formerly known as Distributed Governance Score Framework (DGSF)

We made progress on developing a framework for analyzing digital organizations (by reading so so much literature on organization science 😢), answered some of our questions regarding digital organizations and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and developed a draft of our self-assessment instrument for distributed governance and decentralized organizing. 

4. Data Commons Research Proposal

Jack Smye completed his research proposal for the Data Commons Research Report (aka Democratized Data Commons Research Report). 

Read the proposal here

5. Peer Accounting License

A draft version of the Peer Accounting License (PAL), version 0.5, was released in the summer this year. 

The PAL is a an update to the Peer Production License (PPL), incorporating aspects of collective management and stewardship organizations, contribution tracking systems, the Harberger Tax method (or Self Assessed License Sold via Auction (SALSA)), and Ethical Restrictions from the Ethical Source Movement.

You can find the draft of the license here

6. Open Source Educational Materials

We released our Introduction to Platform Cooperativism, Introduction to Commons-based Peer Production, and Decentralized and Open Thinking mini-courses (just Part 1 for the introduction to platform cooperativism and decentralized and open thinking (DOT) mini-courses)!

You can find the courses on Speakerdeck or following the links below:

Citations and Mentions

We were mentioned in Igor Calzada’s article, Platform and Data Co-Operatives amidst European Pandemic Citizenship, published in MDPI’s Sustainability Open Access Journal. 

Twitter avatar for @ICalzadaICalzada @ICalzada
JUST OUT NOW '#Platform & #Data #CoOperatives Amidst #European #Pandemic #Citizenship' has been published in @Sus_MDPI Journal #OpenAccess
lnkd.in/gCqGHHW #Cooperatives #covid__19 #COVID #GDPR #PlatformCooperatives #DataCooperatives #SocialInnovation #DigitalRights 1/n Image

We’re looking for new members!

About LedgerbackØDCRC

Established in 2018, the Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative (LedgerbackØDCRC) is a nonprofit cooperative association and distributed p2p network for unifying the study of the internet and society and fostering collaboration between stakeholders to advance towards a global technological commonwealth. 

Our research approach is an inter/cross-disciplinary approach, with the goal to eventually employ an anti/antedisciplinary approach as we continue to grow.

Global Technological Commonwealth

A global technological commonwealth (as summarized here) is a sociotechnical imaginary (i.e., a vision of the future) that “consists of post-capitalist society where communities of mutual interest cooperate in the construction of institutions of regenerative economic relations” [1]. The technological design principles include:

  • “incorporating planetary boundaries,

  • modelling on natural biological ecosystems,

  • enabling the redefinition of value,

  • enabling radically democratic coordination and governance, and

  • allowing for the growth of a cooperative commons as the desirable future” [1].

For more information on the global technological commonwealth (and to get some background), we recommend reading Dr. Sarah Manski’s article, Distributed Ledger Technologies, Value Accounting, and the Self Sovereign Identity.

Areas of Interest

Our areas of interest include, without limitation:

  1. Web 3 technologies (blockchain, pubs, secure scuttlebutt, fediverse, smart contracts, etc.)

  2. Collaborative economy (platform ecosystems, business models, platform capitalism, platform cooperativism, ownership economy, p2p/commons, digital labor, social contracts, etc.)

  3. Future of work (open value accounting, peer production, self-management practices, digital organizations, etc.)

  4. Digital Infrastructure (internet service providers, hardware, mesh networks, machine-to-machine economy, Internet-of-Things, etc.)

  5. Data science and ethical AI (AI/ML, human-in-the-loop AI, data analytics, algorithmic policy, algorithmic governance, etc.)

  6. Information privacy and security (data stewardship, cybersecurity, privacy-by-design, zero knowledge proof, cryptography, etc.)

  7. Knowledge Commons (notetaking tools, knowledge repositories, decision-making models, decision analysis, collective intelligence, swarm intelligence, EdTech, etc.)

  8. Metascience (open science, citizen science, science funding, bibliometrics, publishing, etc.)

  9. Personal Data or Digital Identity economy (data stewardship, data monetization, self-sovereign digital identity, decentralized identifiers, digital identity, decentralized identity, data privacy, data cooperatives, data trusts, etc.)

  10. Open Finance (e.g., alternative currencies, timebanking, community currencies, decentralized finance, prize-linked savings accounts)

  11. Complex systems (game theory, mechanism design, dynamic systems, simulation, etc.)

  12. Cryptoeconomics (bonding curves, cryptoprimitives, complex systems, peer prediction, schelling points, tokenization, etc.)

  13. Sustainability (circular economy, renewable energy, community-owned utilities, etc.)

  14. Science and Technology (how science and technology interact with society positively and negatively, and how the relationship between them can be changed for the social good)

Problem Statements

Some example problem statements we are investigating are described in the following articles:

Currently, LedgerbackØDCRC is run by volunteers (and we thank them for all their effort!). 

Membership Benefits

Our primary stakeholders or intended beneficiares of our membership are investigators (scholars, researchers, academics, activists, makers, technologists, etc.), practitioners, citizens, and our staff (the people who make LedgerbackØDCRC run!) .

The benefits we provide or plan to provide to our members includes:

  1. online portal (email included)

  2. cloud infrastructure and interactive computing infrastructure

  3. combining resources

  4. mapping, data analytics, knowledge tools

  5. grantwriting support

  6. fundraising support

  7. sharing experiences

  8. publishing support

  9. research assistance

  10. networking offline and online

  11. informing members of opportunities 

  12. providing resources 

We do not have a membership fee (no need to pay $2,500.00 to join our community) but we do have annual fees ($50.00/year or provide 40 hours of time to cooperative-directed activities) to keep the cooperative operational.

Join us via the form or send an email to ledgerback@gmail.com.

Describing LedgerbackØDCRC

The LedgerbackØDCRC is best understood as multi-purpose cooperative (we don’t fall neatly into a category 😖) that can better be described by its functions (or really a mix of a foundation, ecosystem and a research institute):

  1. Research Institute: We produce original research (basic, applied, empirical) and analyses on the internet and society, formulate models, tools, and designs and practices, grow a body of knowledge on the internet and society with an emphasis on how to transition towards a global technological commonwealth, develop prototypes, open source software and proof-of-concepts, and run citizen science projects.

  2. Data Cooperative: We produce and analyze datasets, trends, and other areas of interest by collecting publicly available data or curating data from our members or participants in our projects, and offer our analyses and datasets to the general public and interested parties.

  3. Foundation: we support efforts to advance towards a global technological commonwealth, hosting events and workshops, hosting distributed communities, and acting as a host for the greater Ledgerback ecosystem.

  4. Observatory: We monitor progress among the many sociotechnical ecosystems

  5. Academy: We produce open source educational materials and help others find and take courses on the internet and society, and develop the skills needed to cause transformational change towards a global technological commonwealth. 

  6. Distributed community: We work together with people all across the world online to build a knowledge commons and provide resources to those who need them.


Supporting the LedgerbackØDCRC

You can support us in many different ways including:

  1. Becoming a member (best way to do it)

  2. Making a direct donation (donations are not tax deductible for now but we are working on it!)

  3. Getting involved with one of our cooperative research projects as an investigator or citizen 

  4. Volunteering to help take on our core or administrative activities

  5. Connecting the LedgerbackØDCRC with other individuals and organizations working in similar areas

  6. Sending us your feedback on our articles, podcasts, and other media

  7. Mentioning to others who we are and what we are doing 

  8. Taking our ideas and models and putting them into practice (with attribution 😆)

  9. Send us a message asking for problems to solve. 


References

  1. Manski, Sarah. “Distributed Ledger Technologies, Value Accounting, and the Self Sovereign Identity.” Frontiers in Blockchain, vol. 3, 2020. Frontiers, doi:10.3389/fbloc.2020.00029