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...

Alphonse Desjardins (photo by Vista Stamps, used without permission)

Co-ops, from Lateral to Vertical and Back Again

July 29, 2019

Alphonse Desjardins (photo by Vista Stamps, used without permission) I have been trying for some time to put my finger on the difference—between the stories of co-op origins I read about for years while working on my book, Everything for Everyone , and what I encounter among many larger cooperatives...

Arielle Jordan

The Curafied Co-op Story: A Prequel

July 9, 2019

I’m the founder and CEO of Curafied. Curafied is a platform that helps digital content creators earn monthly income by charging a low monthly subscription to fans for their content creation and curation directly—not from “patron” donations or advertising sponsorships. We’re exploring a new direction for our startup, and I...

Katy Fetters

Building Spaces for Belonging

May 3, 2019

In recent years, I have struggled to call myself an advocate for those with cerebral palsy. I’ve struggled to understand what that means both online and offline in the disability community. What do I advocate for? Whom do I advocate for? While attempting to answer these questions, I’ve come to...