Posted by: Tony Shannon | July 31, 2018

Open Coop 2018 – Making history in London

July was a hot month in 2018.
2018 has been a hot year.
For most of us its been great to enjoy a warm summer, yet for many folk the temperatures are a wake up call to the state of Planet Earth.

You may have seen posts here on the challenge of living within the LifeRing,  i.e. meeting the needs of the earths population without destroying it. (aka Doughnut Economics)

We know that we are living through a time of turbulent change (Brexit and Trumpit) and its increasingly clear there is a mismatch between the key players of the State and the Market, that many Households are suffering, while the role of the Commons has been neglected/forgotten.

Indeed, you may not have heard much about the Commons, or consider that it belongs to a history lesson, but if you look around , you will see people coming together in new ways to collaborate and cooperate, just like they have done since the start of time.

In London, in July, in 2018 the second open platform cooperative gathering took place.
This was my first time to join this get together, the first one had happened in 2017, looked important and this one looked not to be missed.

So a gathering of people, from many walks of live, from many parts of the world came together for 2 days to bring their issues and ideas and work towards some common goals.

Most interestingly these were around the promise and potential of open platform cooperatives . Indeed open coop was founded on the purpose of ;

“building a world-wide community of individuals and organisations committed to the creation of a collaborative, sustainable economy”

Those attending were interested and agreed on the potential for

  • People to cooperate and work together
  • To tackle shared/common challenges
  • via leveraging the power and potential of open platform technology

It was great to attend with colleagues and make new acquaintances from this wider world. A few things were clear to me from the event

  • The energy and effort from those attending represents a new wave of thinking and working
  • We are in the early stages of this movement.
  • Many/most all attendees were convinced of the need to support Households with the Commons, yet many were unclear how to engage the State & Market in this shift
  • Much of the tooling that is needed is indeed common, yet at an early stage, work towards an open platform in healthcare and related tools are indeed interesting models that others could learn from imho.
  • There was an acknowledgement that as well as open source tools, that open standards were also going to be needed to achieve the change required at scale, which again fits with our experience in this field.
  • That momentum will steadily build from here, this is very much a bottom up grassroots movement and look out for evidence of open platform + cooperative efforts sprouting up around you.

In essence, this is historic, game changing stuff, just getting started. If it appears radical, that because it is, its not business as usual neo liberal economics as we know it.

Will it thrive/survive? in my view the ingredients already sown and the complex adaptive systems nature of our world make this stuff unstoppable, though it will takes years of effort to see it fulfill its potential and the State and the Market may not know how to handle it, but the Commons is on the rise..

Some key links for the record.

View at



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: