DisCO framework for distributed organizations

Hi all - this is especially maybe interesting to @nanocastro @Andrew1 (Lamb I assume?) @zalmotek @jcm80 @shannond @Stephload @amchagas and anyone else interested in this manufacturing coop idea.

So if you haven’t heard about DAO’s, I’ll spare you, but it’s a way to distribute funds via the blockchain. It’s mostly overkill.

Recently, this group http://disco.coop/manifesto/ has put together a different, much more thoughtful framework for taking the good, leaving the bad, and ensuring it’s human centered in it’s thinking. However we move forward, I’d love for those involved to really read this, and see how it may apply to what we’re considering - to be honest, I haven’t yet and am partially posting this because I want someone else to read it and tell me what they think :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Maybe @jarancio might be interested too.

Anyone with opinions or who reads it post your thoughts here, would love to hear it!


Thanks for sharing Greg, I am having a quick look over lunch and indeed seems to be really spot on for the conversations we been having… It is also a bit long, so I might need some days before I can properly chat about it in detail… :wink:

Of little relevance, but for the sake of completeness: Cited them recently in a discussion paper on commons-public partnerships (CPP):

“[…] Digitisation, platforms and transformative research
Sustainability and digitalisation are “megatrends” of the polity. The necessary harmonisation of both leitmotifs or the embedding of technological development in social and ecological boundaries has also been significantly promoted by civil society groups in recent years (cf. e.g. Höfner/Frick 2019); today’s understanding of commons is closely linked to the libre and open source movements of software and hardware (Helfrich/Bollier 2014). Open-source, shareable software tends to require less energy than proprietary alternatives (Gröger et al. 2018). It is therefore advisable to also consider linking digitisation projects with commons-public partnerships (cf. Fuchs 2018) in order to perpetuate existing approaches to the participation of commons(good)-creating groups and to integrate external commons-oriented digitisation competences into public administration (see, for example, “DisCO Framework”, Troncoso/Utratel 2020, p. 69 f.). In the disciplines of transformative research and Citizen Science
the extent to which CPPs could be suitable for the initiation and transfer of research results, and
and could conceptually expand existing locations such as the BMBF research campuses. […]”

This extract was translated with DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator (free version), but there might be an international, English version soon.


A few of our opinions after skimming through the manifesto:


  1. It is impressive in terms of vision, inclusiveness, and fairness in applying the concepts of coop. they sure did their homework on that.
  2. On the technical side it could help with accelerating the development of the distributed manufacturing solution albeit by following their recipe.
  3. Open source! FTW!

But we also see some minuses or rather risks:

  1. We are aware of DAOs and have seen both good and bad examples.
    Now DisCO is not a DAO yet it has a bit of a technical side of it:
    “Although DisCO uses the blockchain architecture, it does so in a way that treats the blockchain as secondary to all the above-stated values and uses it to facilitate them.”
    Lots of companies that are outside of crypto(like probably all our candidates for COOPs) still see anything that even touches blockchain as a red flag or at least as another risk that could do well without if possible.
  2. While the tech stack might accelerate development it would also enforce some constraints that might not fit our needs. Basically, we have to go with their flow for most parts.
  3. It would require devs willing to stay in the loop with their community&dev and keep things updated on our side.
  4. We are linking our success to theirs as well. If they decide to drop the project or get delayed we will have to pick up the pieces or start from scratch.
  5. We are not yet sure how well it covers the legal side of things if any.

In conclusion, cool project, and if we could have some way of mitigating the risks maybe it could also be the foundation for our project.

Curious about what others think as well.

being reading a bit the DisCO manifesto and there are many interesting thoughts and models…
I really like the detailed Governance model and the idea that this model can be encoded into a Community algorithmic trust (DisCO CAT) that not necessarely relies on blockchain. I like the way they thought about what components should a CAT consider.

Not so sure on the technical side … I agree mostly with @zalmotek that is a risky option to go along with their develpment (and doesn’t seem to move so fast…)