DisCO Project


Welcome! This page will give you up to date information about the project described in the DisCO Manifesto. For background, you can also read our short introduction to the DisCO framework.

Purpose

The DisCO Project represents a comprehensive framework to support the development of Distributed Cooperativism. It will provide:

  1. Comprehensive online educational resources and legal tools
  2. Accessible and customizable value-tracking software and collaborative tools
  3. Research and pilot projects
  4. Events for learning how to launch and operate a DisCO

Culture and structure: a short overview of the DisCO Project

The following is extracted from the DisCO Manifesto, chapter 7, Tecktonic: Next steps on the DisCO dancefloor:

The DisCO project was created to cooperatively develop, prototype and popularize DisCOs, and provide integrated resources for Open-Value Cooperativism. With the Guerrilla Media Collective and CultureStake (a new DECAL project) as its first pilots, we intend to mature, codify and open source our cultural practices for other collectives practising contributive accounting. We are also co-developing a modular legal/technical infrastructure for other commons-oriented collectives and businesses to adapt. This culture/structure distinction will be expressed through two complementary components to the project: The DisCO Framework and the DisCO Stack.

The DisCO Framework (Culture) is predicated on care work, and prototypes real-world practices. It includes resources such as an educational portal (complementing the Platform Co-op Development Kit), handbooks, audiovisual materials, infographics, DisCO-thons and workshops to engage communities in developing and prototyping the model in practice. The purpose is to make DLTs, contributory accounting, feminist economics and other components accessible to the precariat. Finally, we will conduct Participatory Action Research with GMC and other pilots. The aim is to highlight the application of user privacy and feminist economics to contributory data governance within DLT frameworks, and also show how tokenization in different mediums affects social relationships.

The DisCO Stack (Structure) will be developed by the Guerrilla Coding Collective (presently being created – get in touch!) to build the Community Algorithmic Trust (CAT) platform for DisCO value tracking and accounting. The CAT’s dual layer architecture is studying lightweight Web 3.0 solutions, such as ActivityPub, Secure Scuttlebutt, ValueFlows, IPFS and Radicle for energy efficient, trustworthy value tracking and economic networking at the individual DisCO level (not everything has to live on a trustless blockchain) and blockchain-based ledgers for interactions between DisCOs and other compatible entities. The purpose here is to dispose of unnecessary blockchain usage by crunching small-node data, and applying blockchains only to secure trustless interaction. In summary: (non-blockchain) DLT tech is used at the trustworthy end of the spectrum, cryptographic blockchain tech at the trustless end. As a whole, this design can offer lightweight, agile and energy efficient DLT alternatives to sidechains or sharding.

Adding to the value-tracking and economic components, the DisCO Stack will also develop collaborative FLOSS tools based on existing systems, to optimize DisCO workflow and facilitate all aspects of the DisCO governance model. These pilot-tested, inclusive educational materials will have state-of-the-art UX provided by Guerrilla Graphic Collective, to ensure the CAT’s accessibility and user friendliness. 

We believe that this combination of off-chain (cultural) and on-chain (structural) qualities are essential for any serious distributed project that wants to avoid being vapourware. To this end, we are working in partnership with a multidisciplinary team to bring something radically new to the cooperative and DLT/blockchain world. Collectively, we bring experience in entrepreneurship; research; programming; blockchain and web 3.0; communication, design and storytelling; P2P and Commons innovation; and culture.

Stay tuned for a fuller description in the coming weeks…