6: The DisCO Project
The DisCO Project is a comprehensive framework to support the development of DisCOnomics and rapid expansion of the DisCOverse. It takes the experiences and vision we've shared and provides the tools, methods and spaces for massive, transnational DisCO creation and development. Our mission is to create replicable tools and practices for communities to self-organize into DisCOs at scale, communicate and support each other and keep strengthening the framework through their real-life experience.
The project has four main components organized under the umbrella of the DisCO CAT (Community Algorithmic Trust). What this means is that every DisCO nurtures its own DisCO CAT. The CAT holds all the cultural and structural components of individual DisCOs. This allows different DisCO CATs to Federate, create DisCO Clusters or DisCO Jam.
The four components are:
- DisCO FLOOR: Comprehensive online educational resources and legal tools
- DisCO DECK: Governance Modeling and Value Tracking Platform
- DisCO STACK: FLOSS collaborative tools for DisCO practices
- The DisCO Experience: DisCO LABS, research events and outreach
(Click on the highlights to jump to the relevant sections)
1: DisCO FLOOR: Educational resources and legal tools
The DisCO Floor is DisCO's P2P learning platform. The DisCO Floor gathers the cultural aspects of the project, including comprehensive educational resources and legal tools for cooperators to set up DisCOs worldwide.
The DisCO Floor includes:
1.1 The DisCO Website
Our new website, revamped for 2023, features an about section that complements the DisCO Basics, introduces you to the DisCO Crew and Pink Board, takes you through the DisCO Principles and introduces the DisCO LABS. The About section also features a FAQ.
The DisCO FLOOR section is all about resources to get you up and running and will be added to ongoing. This includes DisCOverse Live (our regular community calls) and intros to the DisCO Journey, the DisCO Ball Wiki and Governance Modelling.
The DIWO (Do it with Others) section is all about how you can engage with us and our collaborations with other orgs. There you can find sections on Events, DisCOnsulting, DisCO Swag, DisCO Partner orgs and how to support our mission.
1.2 The DisCO Journey
The DisCO Journey is our full spectrum process for co-creating DisCOs. Based around 3 modalities (Quick Start, Self-Paced, Cohort) it provides tools and practices for groups to self determine their governance, values and jam together with other DisCOs. Learn more.
1.3 DisCO Ball Wiki
The DisCO Ball Wiki is the main knowledge repository for DisCO.coop. Designed to semantically interface with other wikis and DisCO-repositories, DisCO Ball features modern, clean graphics and user-friendliness. Its categories cover the DisCO Principles, the DisCO DNA, DisCO Elements, Peer Governance resources, documentation for tools and active mapping of the DisCOverse. Visit the DisCO Ball Wiki.
1.4 The DisCO Handbook
The DisCO Handbook is an e-book based on the template of the Guerrilla Translation Handbook, but updated for general DisCO use and with various practical examples sourced from all DisCO LABS. (In progress)
1.5 The DisCO Trilogy
Three downloadable multi-format publications covering various aspects of DisCO. Also to be published as Audiobooks (see below):
- If I Only Had a Heart: The DisCO Manifesto. Read
- Care Before Code: The DisCO Elements. Read
- Stop! In The Name Of Love (Before You Break Our Heart): The DisCO Pink Paper. Learn More
1.6 DisCO Stories
Series of articles authored by the DisCO Crew and friends featuring the real stories and experiences of people using DisCO. DisCO Stories include short articles, long read essays, and interviews. Read all DisCO Stories here.
1.7 Videos and Film
Our video repository features DisCO documentaries, films of our events and workshops, webinars, presentations and more. It will also feature animated infographics, tutorials for the DisCO Journey and DisCO DECK, materials on DisCO governance and much more. We are currently producing a series of documentaries on Punk Economics. See the first trailer here. See all videos here.
Graphic adaptations of DisCO resources and materials extracted from the DisCO Manifesto. See infographics for the DisCO Governance Model and the 7 DisCO Principles. More infographics in progress.
1.9 Graphic Novel
Graphic narrative reimagining of the contents of the DisCO Manifesto. The graphic novel will feature a humorous and relatable narrative, highlighting user stories and historical precedents. (In planning)
Bilingual Audiobook version of the DisCO Trilogy to engage those who prefer their content via narration. The audiobooks will be read by co-authors Ann Marie Utratel (English) Stacco Troncoso (Spanish). (In progress)
1.11 DisCO Denizen Sci-Fi
Speculative spin on the DisCO Quick Start Journey. Here groups can quickly sketch imaginary/near future DisCOs and their Seven Principles. These economic scenarios can then be simulated in the DisCO DECK. These simulations, including basic Governance Modeling, will be posted in a DisCO Denizen SciFi expo so groups can take prototypes as templates for real world DisCOs. (In planning)
1.12 DisCO Legal structures
Tutorials and advice on DisCO-appropriate legal structures, organized by geographical legislation but also examining the practical legalities of DisCO's transnational dimensions. (In planning)
1.13 Translation and localization
Ongoing linguistic and contextual adaptation of DisCO materials provided by our sisters at Guerrilla Translation. (In progress)
2: DisCO DECK: Governance Modeling and Value Tracking Platform
To ensure their success and uptake DisCOs need to create accessible and convivial tech to help reimagine value, and they also need complementary tools to collaborate with and among DisCOs.
The DisCO DECK will be the front-end interface and back end for any given DisCO's Community Algorithmic Trust (or DisCO CAT). It's designed to be an accessible online tool with a balanced integration of Dweb and Web 3.0, Distributed Ledger Technology and (optional) Blockchain components. The DisCO Deck will facilitate value tracking, accounting, and other tools to fully support the DisCOs in their day-to-day operations.
The DisCO Deck will feature:
2.1 DisCO Blocks: Governance Modeling
DisCO Blocks will display the basics for DisCO Governance in dedicated, graphically supported sections, with drop-down text and links for more details, including examples and solutions derived from the DisCO LABS. Based on interactive Q&A style templates, DisCO Blocks will allow DisCOs to spin custom governance models based on basic templates.
The builder works through drag and drop components, based on Community Rule. These are known as "Governance Modules", presenting recurring solutions to common DisCO challenges sourced from various DisCO LABS and experiences. They also provide information, pros/cons and risk assessment about the significance and lived experience behind every governance choice to help DisCOnauts discuss and configure their peer governance practices.
The modules also serve to program the basic function and value flows of the DisCO Deck (see below). The modules will be created following the categories of the DisCO Applications Program.
2.2 The DisCO DECK
Conceived as an anticapitalist, decolonial and intersectional feminist, convivial tech, the DisCO DECK is currently in a community design process in concert with the DisCO Pink Board, DisCO LABS and others. Warning! The following section gets a bit geeky. If you're ready for that, the DisCO DECK will include:
Configurable modules for value accounting with adjustable ratios and characteristics:
- Pro-bono, Lovework, market Livelihood Work, and reproductive Carework metrics, with the possibility of varying rates and modes of tokenization.
- Interface for transparently determining DisCO Pricing in relation to client's economic status
- Integrations for automated value tracking, depending on a given DisCO's chosen productive work and software tools.
- Time tracking tools.
Interactive Real Time Visualizations:
- Graphic displays of all value streams following agreed-on ratios.
- Drag and drop real-time adjustability of accorded ratios to suit personal circumstances and necessities of members (validated by voting-consent mechanisms).
- Personalized views of each DisCO member's historical, invested and divested credits (see this section of DisCO governance model for more details).
- Economic projections and budgeting tools, including reproductive vs productive work balances and readjustments, as well as optimal invested/divested credit ratios.
- Legislation-appropriate tax ratios, regular expenses and individual member expenses (deducted from individual allocations).
- All interactions in the Platform can take place through drag and drop graphic visualizations and/or numerical input interfaces. This includes real time visualizations of all DisCO-wide and individual member value flows, as well as economic interactions (not only monetary or token based) with other DisCOs.
Financial Tools, including:
- Automatically executed value transfers mediated by the CAT (as in a regular DAO) or via liquid democracy enabled consent mechanisms.
- Access privilege mediated transfer of credits between:
- Individual DisCO members
- Value streams
- Separate DisCO nodes
- And, toward configurable value pools for specific projects
- Transfer of credits among different DisCOs
- Conversion of credits to designated fiat currencies, with bank transfers to:
- DisCO members (ie. monthly payments)
- Conversion of credits to various cryptocurrencies and individual, permissioned access to wallets.
- Automated invoicing and payment tools, both via bank transfer and/or cryptocurrency wallets.
- Legislation specific (Country/legal structure) community-developed plugins, validated by cryptographic notary signature for taxation and State financial reporting.
All components will allow for customization of how many of these processes are:
- automatically executed by the CAT
- automatically displayed by the CAT but only executed via customizable governance-model determined permissions and votes by the members
- individually permissioned
Modular components and existing FLOSS options will be repurposed and built into the platform. Our pre-design process for the DisCO DECK will be described as part of the DisCO Pink Paper, firmly embedding our tech within Culture and Structure DisCO's Cultural context. Check out chapter 5 of the DisCO Elements: The DisCO CAT and DisCO-Tech for an earlier but still relevant specification for the DisCO DECK.
3: DisCO STACK: Collaborative tools for DisCO practices
The DisCO Stack is a toolkit of convivial and Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) platforms for people to work together using the DisCO Methodology and resources.
Rather than recreating the wheel, or designing an all-in-one tool that is a jack of all trades and master of none, the DisCO Stack will leverage and customize existing FLOSS tools into a complementary, browser-based framework that is custom-designed for DisCO needs and value accounting. It will include tools for:
- Time Tracking: BackBeat — DisCO-specific time tracking tool, plugs into DisCO DECK.
- Synchronous communication: Mattermost
- Asynchronous communication and decision making: Loomio
- Task management: Distributed Kanban alternative named SpaceTime. Early designs in progress
- Collaborative writing: Jetpad (in need of development to bring to to Google docs functionality and ease of use)
- File storage: Nextcloud
- Documentation: Semantic MediaWiki, see DisCO BALL section above
- Calendar and scheduling tools: Nextcloud
- Video conferencing: Big Blue Button
None of these tools are finite. The DisCO Stack is in reality a skin for browser-based apps. Individual DisCOs can plug in their preferred apps and configure at will. What's most important is how the tools can be inclusive for all DisCOnauts while supporting each DisCO's governance and workflow.
The DisCO Stack is designed to be used in conjunction with the patterns and practices described in the educational resources listed above (Knowledge base, Handbook, video tutorials, etc). Crucially, the DisCO Stack will interface with DisCO DECK and DisCO BLOCKS to:
- Automatize Value Tracking according to consent-based protocols
- Assess the health of the collective and its needs for Carework, with clear displays of needs, imbalances and red flags
Beyond the particular tools and their interface with DisCO DECK and DisCO Governance Modeling, the DisCO Stack will prioritize integration among the different tools. Finally, documentation for DisCO Stack will highlight best practices and inclusive educational materials so DisCOs can use these tools within a coherent framework. All documentation exists in the tools section of the DisCO Ball Wiki.
4: The DisCO Experience: DisCO LABS, Research, Events and Outreach
The DisCO Experience is how DisCO gets deployed in spacetime, with real communities and people. It includes three main components:
- DisCO LABS (DisCO pilots and active co-creators in DisCO development).
- DisCO Research Lines (collaborations with universities and research collectives on DisCO participatory action research, as well as investigations into applying the DisCO methodology and tools to research itself).
- Events and Outreach (large scale community activation).
4.1 DisCO LABS
We introduced the current (to date) DisCO LABS earlier. They are the essence of the DisCO Project, purposefully reflecting a diversity of geographical and cultural contexts with a healthy variety of mission-oriented, productive work.
Any group can choose to become a DisCO and make use of the resources shared on the DisCO Journey or DisCO Ball Wiki. The LABS are crucial to the participatory action research components of the DisCO Project that co-determines the future of DisCO.
More sustainably resourced groups are encouraged to engage with DisCO.coop's in-house DisCOnsultancy for bespoke guidance in the processes detailed below.
4.2 Research lines
The research lines described below are being developed through fieldwork and ongoing dialogue with the DisCO LABS. As with the tech sections above, this part will get into geeky academic language.
Distributed Cooperativism in Action
Participatory action research on the DisCO LABS, including fieldwork and ethnographies on group processes, cultures and challenges. Read more.
Designing Whole-Community Governance
Building on the DisCO Blocks, we would explore strategies for enabling DisCOs and other communities to craft and share their community designs in intuitive, collaborative ways. Read more.
The DisCO Applications Program
The DisCO Applications Program develops adaptations of the original cooperative and Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) oriented version of the DisCO Governance Model. It will include dedicated templates for:
- DisCO.SSE: (Social Solidarity Economy) For Worker Owned Coops, Social and Solidarity Economy enterprises and mission-oriented SMEs. DisCO.SSE is the latest iteration of the original DisCO Governance model first developed in Guerrilla Media Collective.
- DiSCO.NP: (Non Profit) Aimed at Non Profits in general and Worker Self-Directed Nonprofits in particular. This is the governance model currently being developed in practice by DisCO.coop.
- DisCODelica: Anticapitalist, decolonial and intersectional feminist care-oriented solutions for psychedelic retreat centers and sacred medicine ritual spaces/groups. DisCODelica approaches Mental Health from a DSM5-abolitionist perspective and psychedelics/plant medicine with an intersectional focus.
- DisCO.Living: for housing cooperatives, Community Land Trusts and co-living situations where people want to establish trust, agree on carework and set clear, consented boundaries.
- DisCO.Makes: for Makerspaces, Repair Cafés and other productive Community Centers that need to incorporate clear Livelihood, Love and Carework distinctions.
- DisCO.Onchain: for DAOS transitioning to SuperDisCO circuits of value and care, as well as Commons-Based Peer Production communities.
- DisCOThropic: DisCO Governance and Fluid Funding practices for critical philanthropic and grantmaking organizations.
- DisCO.Unbundle: for Non-cooperatives, corporations and start-up structures ready to transition to the DisCO Model by federating into DisCO Nodes and evolving into complex, stable SuperDisCOs.
IntraDisCO Value Flows
Overview of possible mutual solidarity mechanisms and funds between different DisCOs both within national and legislations and fiat currencies, or transnational and through crypto-assets. Read more.
Legal Frameworks (on-chain and off)
A comparative review of suitable legal frameworks for DisCO value accounting and member control. Will include regional, national and (in the case of the EU) continental and international cooperative legislation. Read more.
Feminist economic theory and practice
A comparative review of feminist economic literature vis a vis real-world practices of the DisCO LABS, including the definition and practice of Carework as practiced in DisCOs, the pros and cons of reproductive work accounting and relative tokenization. Read more.
Commons-Oriented, Decolonial and Feminist Critique of DAOs
A comparative study of DisCOs vs DAOs framed within existing academic literature on commons, feminist and decolonial economics and the blockchain/DAO/DLT world. Read more.
Research and development in three specific cryptocurrencies corresponding to DisCO's Value Streams:
This component will explore different compensation mechanisms for DisCO Value Streams. Once the research phase has been carried out, it can be decided whether to build these crypto-currencies and add these options to the DisCO Deck platform above. Read more.
Study of documented commons-public partnerships, as well as public-cooperative frameworks and how DisCOs could lower the costs of public provision by encouraging redistributive strategies. This includes policies for public organisms interested in working with and supporting the growth of the DisCO ecosystem. Read more.
4.3 Events and Outreach
Although DisCO originated from the lived experiences of a mainly online group (Guerrilla Media Collective), we appreciate the importance of in-person contact and creative development through a variety of events and exercises. Trust building among “trustless” architectures is an essential part of the DisCO vision; DisCO project members and allies can take part in feeling the result of creating real economic counterpower by joining our in-person events.
The DisCO.coop team has an intensive touring calendar (click here to see all events, past and present). We're continually fostering in-person connections to explore and challenge the possibilities of the DisCO framework. Event types include:
Introductory talks and workshops:
Introductory workshops can take place over one or several days to provide a more thorough overview of the framework and include audiovisual materials, short lectures, games and interactive prototyping of DisCOs.
DisCO core group members also regularly participate in keynotes, conferences, panels and other events worldwide.
When possible, DisCO.coop will be there to help DisCO LABS, especially those taking part in the DisCO Journey. Here we focus on accompanying LABS in the development of their own governance models, prioritizing the cultural and structural aspects of DisCO creation while documenting and systematizing new pattern approaches to the DisCO Framework. The process is always mutual, we have as much to learn from the LABS as they can learn from us.
DisCOthons are DisCO-themed public events combining tech, art, music and human-centered educational and collaborative resources. They occupy a middle ground between expository introductory talks and workshops and the more involved mentoring of the DisCO LABS. DisCOthons explicitly prioritize inclusivity, diversity, imaginative group work and play, transcending the passé social monocultures and heavily tech-goal oriented hackathons of the past.
Webinars and AMAs
Public webinars and online AMA "Ask me anything" sessions facilitated by the DisCO.coop team and DisCO LABS to showcase the framework and answer questions. Click here to sign up for the next one.
Click here for more detailed specifications and revisions in the DisCO Project.
The DisCO Project exists in Perpetual Beta, in constant development according to real world circumstances. The educational resources, community spaces, and FLOSS tech platforms described below have been conceived as commons from the ground up to make DisCO-building accessible to as many people as possible worldwide.
We are at the service of the communities that choose to become DisCOs and federate with each other. This means that every component of the DisCO Project is yours for the taking, as long as you answer the DisCO Challenge. If you want our assistance on walking through the Seven Principles, contact us for a workshop.
The DisCO Project aims to support the development of DisCOnomics and the expansion of the DisCOverse, creating replicable tools and practices for communities to self-organize at scale.
The DisCO CAT (Community Algorithmic Trust) holds all the cultural and structural aspects of DisCO, consisting of four components:
- DisCO FLOOR: P2P learning platform that gathers the cultural aspects of the project, eg. the website, the DisCO Journey, the wiki, the handbook, publications, media, etc.
- DisCO DECK: Governance Modeling and Value Tracking Platform. This includes the DisCO Blocks (governance modules), and DisCO’s anticapitalist, decolonial, intersectional feminist, convivial tech.
- DisCO STACK: FLOSS collaborative tools for DisCO practices: time-tracking, synchronous and asynchronous communications, task management, file storage, collaborative writing, etc.
- The DisCO Experience: DisCO LABS, research events and outreach