On Thursday, April 9th, 2020, we have hosted the third edition of our online series on platform coops: “Funding Strategies for the Cooperative Digital Economy”. Thanks to Karim Chabrak for presenting Coinsence as a great example for a P2P funding platform! Thanks Shaked Spier & Jakob Kolb for presenting Nachbarschaftsmarktplatz as an example for a powerful community response in times of Covid-19!
Together we have discussed the notion of a community value model as opposed to the classic shareholder model. We started off with an intro by Ela Kagel about the nature of a co-operative, particularly with regards to fundraising. The co-op model helps to unlock ownership, especially for those that are currently left out from our economy. It creates access to housing, food, care, financial services and any other forms of critical infrastructure for our society. These domains are in the common interest and should therefore be off-limits for any classic return on invest-schemes.
Co-ops strive at building independent, resilient, fair and long-term economies, as opposed to the short-term, exit-oriented thinking that has been emerging around many start-ups in the past ten years.
Finally, co-operatives need other co-operatives. This means, that funding for the co-operative, digital economy cannot be regarded as an individual entrepreneurial strategy. Each funding stream has an impact on the entire ecosystem. Especially now, in times of severe wealth inequality, where the richest 1% of all US households own more than the bottom 90% combined. Co-operatives need multiple stakeholders and a diverse steering group in order to flourish in the common interest – not only for individual gains, but especially for building patterns of resilient, inclusive economies based on social coordination.
With this in mind, we discussed a number of classic investment and funding opportunities. We heard from experiences in the crowdfunding sectors, talked about how pitches often foster competition between co-operatives, rather than distributing the money in a way that helps an entire ecosystem. Karim presented Coinsence, global decentral collaboration platform and change-maker network powered by blockchain-based impact currencies, as an example for peer to peer-funding. We heard from various cases of impact investing and philantropic funding and discussed the value proposition of each project. You can find all the links and a documentation of the topics that came up in our documentation below. Enjoy!
Please check our shared document on Funding Strategies for Platform Coops, which we also worked on during the call: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y9PpSBus2yaAvcZSubERIaCL0pTKwqFwklC19WtwWYk/edit.
And the overall documentation document of the calls so far: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EqIv2QNDCh74PWulXSr9yUZKw2FGdw9gwDkcfoJphLM/edit
Here is the video: