Vision, Asks, Process, Connections

Meet the Exit to Community Cohort

Dec. 8, 2020

During the fall of 2020, MEDLab and Zebras Unite organized a cohort of more than two dozen startup founders working toward an " exit to community ." It was led by Sheeza Shah of Zebras Unite and MEDLab Community Fellow Danny Spitzberg. At today's public, online showcase, we heard from...

Drawing by Sita Magnuson

Exit to Community: Peer Learning Cohort

Sept. 2, 2020

Our next initiative is a peer learning cohort—but first, we need to hear your story so we can serve you and your community! Fill out this survey We're doing research because we don't know yet what people need in practice to successfully Exit to Community. Why a cohort? People told...

Exit to Community: A Community Primer

Exit to Community: A Community Primer

Aug. 31, 2020

DOWNLOAD: SCREEN / BOOKLET What is a startup for? Who are startups for? The usual answers begin sounding strange the more you think about them. A startup is kind of like a child, some say. Founders pour themselves and their resources and energy into the thing—but then, unlike a child,...

Illustration by Sita Magnuson

Cooperative Design: How Co-ops Center Their Members to Build Better Products, Faster

July 15, 2020

In 1948, ten workers at an Iowa meatpacking plant began Dupaco Credit Union by putting their mutual trust and around $150 in a shoebox. In 2017, I attended a credit union conference where Dupaco’s head of marketing David Klavitter said his key metric is still just as simple: 0% stock...

CommunityRule logo

We're Working with COVID-19 Mutual Aid Groups on Governance Design—Want to Work with Us?

June 5, 2020

One of the most inspiring outgrowths of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rise of local relief efforts under the banner of "mutual aid" and a commitment to "solidarity, not charity." These groups seek to address the impacts of the pandemic while also working for transformative social change. Their work...

Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator (public domain).

How’s That Open Source Governance Working for You?

April 29, 2020

Isn’t it weird that the radically democratic miracle of open-source collaboration is so full of monarchical dictatorships? Take your pick of projects; “benevolent dictators” are everywhere. Linux has Linus Torvalds, WordPress has Matt Mullenweg, and Ethereum has Vitalik Buterin—all of them founders poised to enjoy (or not) lifelong, absolute authority...

Exit to Community: A Community Primer

Exit to Community Poster Available Now

March 6, 2020

After months of travel, events, webinars, and more, we're proud to announce the first print publication related to our Exit to Community project : a printable poster and booklet called Exit to Community: A Community Primer . We've worked hard to produce a concise, information-dense artifact which briefly outlines the...

Longmont Observer logo, licensed CC-BY.

The Quiet Media Revolution in Longmont

Dec. 19, 2019

When the Longmont Observer responded to a request-for-proposals for control over the city’s public access channels, the team wasn’t sure they’d win. The contract had been held by another organization for over 30 years, and most assumed it was unlikely to change hands. But the Observer presented an unusual idea,...

Exit to Community

Startups Need a New Option: Exit to Community

Sept. 16, 2019

Founders create startups for all sorts of reasons. Often, the motivation is a mix between the founders’ desires to do well for themselves and to do something worthwhile for others. Dreams of greatness might figure in there too. Rarely, however, is the overriding reason to build a company people want...

Colorado Sun

How MEDLab Evaluated the Colorado Sun's Public Benefit

Sept. 5, 2019

The Colorado Sun is a new Colorado news organization seeking a business model that allows it to break free from the outside financial interests currently dominating the state’s news scene . Founded as an employee-owned company just last year, the Sun has incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation—a categorization for...