Createdestruct (III). Comunity economics

Notes from the Creative destruction. Social innovation initiatives conference, organized by the Etopia centre for art and technology and the ZZZINC collective. Held a the Centro Joaquín Roncal, Zaragoza, Spain, in November 27, 2012. More notes on this event: createdestruct.

Javier Creus, Ideas for Change
Community economics. Alternative, complementary or parallel?

Community economics is not about sharing a resource, but about sharing a goal. By sharing a goal, the way people organize and collaborate radically changes. Sharing is not always and necessarily less efficient than private/proprietary/non-collaboratively ways of producing.


  • People more important: more convergence of people and with higher added value.
  • More shared resources: infinite if they are digital.
  • Less capital needed: money is less important and there are networks of trust where money is cheaper (because you don’t have to pay for risk).

Some dichotomies in communities/corporations: shared resources/goals, the driver is conservation/conquest, the value balance is positive/equal, development comes spontaneously/planned, users are contributors/costumers, producers are entrepreneurs/employees, the scope is the system / a need, the scale is resilience/efficacy.

Three huge changes: young (world average: 28 y.o.), educated and connected population.

Increasingly, there is the possibility to create full value chains, so that it is possible to create, sell, distribute and use some goods fully in alternative ways (both in the sense of platform and kind of usage).

Common resources generate entrepreneurs. There are mix designs where part of the resources is shared but another part is reserved or kept close so that business/profit can be made out of it.

Corporations support communities to guarantee their success, which is, at the same time, the foundation of the sustainability of the corporation.

How can we make the shift from extractive organizations to contributive organizations? Strategies of contribution: what can be shared, whom can I cooperate with, what can I keep to myself.

  • Keep a nodal position inside the system.
  • Keep the commercialization channel.
  • Keed leadership.
  • Keed homologation, the brand.
  • Keep part of the profits

Javier Ortega Díaz, Coop57

Money is not neutral: the use we make of it determines the model of society we get.

An alternative and community system of financing: based on complementarity, an instrument for social transformation and serving the social and community economics, collectively owned, based on direct democracy.

Coop57 was born after Editorial Bruguera (a publisher) shut down business and 57 workers became unemployed. They used the money they got after being fired to fund the cooperative and help others with their own businesses. Nowadays it is a cooperative with circa 500 organizations and +2000 individuals as members. As a cooperative, it is self-managed and provides several services to their members.

Coop57 fosters community savings and ethical funding, especially in the field of the social economy. Principles: compatibility between social outcomes and economic viability, democracy and self-management, transparency, local development and social rooting.

Coop57 is a means, not a goal. Works as a network, with a unique identity but with several and quite-independent local nodes.

Enric Senabre, Goteo
Towards an open standard of collective funding

Is crowdfunding compatible with crowdsourcing? The idea of Goteo is opening the projects for the benefit of everyone.

Goteo combines individual incentives with collective incentives and social outcomes: generating economic opportunities for others, creating community and social capital, sharing knowledge and fosters learning, providing access to files/technology, and fully opening projects.

Besides funding projects, the activity of Goteo has other outputs, such as sharing their knowledge in the form of workshops, helping others learn about sharing and how to license content, etc.

Goteo is beginning to create a network so that there can be local nodes, being proximity usually a good helper for building trust.

Goteo has also created a fund, Capital Riego, to foster or accelerate some strategic initiatives.


Rubén Martínez: What is the secret of scalability? Javier Creus: the secret is not more resources but the possibility to add more people with less coordination. Coordination scales very badly, so the more distribution without (added) coordination, the better.


Open Parliament: the Senate in the Net (2012)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2012) “Createdestruct (III). Comunity economics” In ICTlogy, #110, November 2012. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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