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2: DisCO Principles

Cooperatives operate under the original seven Cooperative Principles. DisCO takes these into 2020s and beyond with the Seven DisCO Principles, a self-reinforcing framework to ensure the creation of transnational networked cooperatives and social-solidarity orgs working for social and planetary restoration.

DisCO Principles publication

Image from the DisCO Principles Illustrated PDF

The Seven DisCO Principles are

1: Values-Based Design:

DisCOs start from values-based accountability: DisCOs are economic organizations where decisions are not guided by profit, but by social and environmental priorities which are embedded in the DisCO's legal statutes and technological accountability tools. In short: DisCOs are no-bullshit and committed to keeping it real. Read more.

2: Whole-Community Governance:

DisCOs build whole-community governance: DisCO decision making and ownership extends beyond DisCONauts to include all affected by the DisCO's economic activity. This can include local communities, clients, suppliers and contributors, as well as the non-human world and its palpable needs. Read more.

3: Active Creators of Commons:

DisCOs are giving back to the commons: Commons are self-managed, community-led processes to govern resources and relationships. While capitalism encloses the commons by turning nature into products and relationships into services, DisCO creates capacity by growing new commons in digital and physical spaces. Read more.

4: Rethinking Global/Local Economics:

DisCOs combine local and global in ways that make sense: When a DisCO grows and builds tangible material goods, it does it locally, keeping it real, recyclable and needs-oriented. Meanwhile, DisCO-created knowledge, solutions, best practices and politics are globally shared over the internet as new commons. Read more.

5: Carework is the Core:

DisCOs bring Carework back to the fore: Care or reproductive work is routinely ignored or abused in our current economies. Historically, the burden of Carework has disproportionately fallen on women and underprivileged, excluded classes. DisCO values well-being and Carework as much as productive work, and DisCONauts care for each other and for their living DisCOs. Read more.

6: Origins and Flows of Value:

DisCOs are reimagining Value: DisCOnomics deal with three types of complementary values: Livelihood work (exchanged on the market), Lovework (voluntarily done for the commons) and Carework (for the DisCONauts and the individual DisCO's mission). DisCO's three value streams inform decision making, payments, work priorities and more. Read more.

7: Primed for Federation:

DisCOs don't scale, they spontaneously self-replicate: DisCO is a copy and paste protocol with an ever-growing collection of tools and resources . It's adaptable by anyone and ripe for adaptation for myriad local and cultural contexts. Real-world DisCO LABS (see below) are popping up all over the place. Read more.

Want to know more about the Seven DisCO Principles? Check out this article and accompanying illustrated booklet. Want to build a prototype DisCO yourself? Follow this exercise or contact us for a workshop.

  • Inspired by the original seven Cooperative Principles, DisCO proposes the Seven DisCO Principles, a framework with concrete goals to reinforce a cooperative and social-solidarity DisCO network.
  • In short, the Seven DisCO Principles encourage groups to:
    1. Let social and environmental priorities guide them,
    2. Extend participation to everybody affected by the DisCO’s decisions,
    3. Generate commons,
    4. Embrace cosmo-local production,
    5. Put care at the center,
    6. Radically reimagine flows of value,
    7. Favor self-replication towards federation.