(Introductory text by Michel Bauwens)
The General Assembly of the Catalan Integral Cooperative has confirmed a proposed partnership with the P2P Foundation.
This is an important development for several reasons.
First, the Catalan Integral Cooperative is the first new type of cooperative that is entirely in line with the idea for a new type of coops engaged in the co-production of the commons, and, after themselves already embodying these ideas before we formulated them in our recent appeal, they are committed to continue and pioneer the path of open cooperativism.
Second, the CIC fully endorses the Commons Transition Plan that was formulated in connection with the floksociety.org project in Ecuador. The FLOK experience was important in that it was a historical first for such ideas to be endorsed at a nation-state level, but also because that cooperation with a government brings its own type of challenges. How to transition towards partner state practices with a state that is not a partner state itself ?
The experience in Catalonia promises to be very different. While the CIC endorses the Commons Transition Plan as its own development plan and roadmap, of course to be adapted and concretized to their own needs, it wants to apply the proposals for the commonification of public services and the partner state, not at the state level, but at the civic level. So the aim here is to directly create civic institutions which can, within or outside of the CIC, carry out the same support functions and enable the further expansion of the commons economy, in particular to stimulate p2p-based production and manufacturing, which the CIC itself is already pioneering. If successful, we may well have a adaptable/changeable but also largely replicable model that could be used in other regions of the world as well, because it will have been the experience where different pieces of successful DNA have come together in a working model.
“CIC and P2pfoundation strategic partners”
It’s been a while now since some people in the CIC took the initiative to start collaborating with the P2P Foundation after certifying our common goals. Indeed, the Permanent Assembly of July 27 approved supporting this line of strategic partnership between CIC and P2P Foundation.
In fact, the P2P Foundation itself (a foundation for the peer-to-peer alternatives), has already expressed the need to partner strategically. You can find more information about the purpose of the P2P Foundation on its website.
Amongst it’s priorities, the P2P Foundation includes the promotion of open cooperativism, as explained in this article. In this sense the CIC appears as one of the ongoing initiatives with most affinity to these principles of open cooperativism, and for both organizations it seems important to keep on developing it and make it known.
Another priority of the P2P Foundation, and one of the areas where they have developed more research, is to generate transitions towards open production processes related to knowledge and towards a social, common goods economy. In this sense, they have been collaborating with Flok Society, a project financed by the government of Ecuador, for which the following document was composed.
From the core work group of the CIC in this area we have suggested that they collaborate with us to tailor a plan of this type for the development of CIC in the following 5-10 years. The objective is not as a theoretical approximation, but to contribute towards identifying and developing key strategic projects that might enable the production of tangible and intangible commons to become one of the reference characteristics of the CIC’s approach to production.
The P2P Foundation has responded enthusiastically to the proposal, amongst other reasons because they will bring their experience and knowledge to a grassroots initiative like ours. We are already beginning to form a joint working group so as to get started with our work. Michel Bauwens, the P2P foundation’s co-founder, expressed his intention to find funding for this project through several independent European foundations.
In addition to these initiatives, as strategic partners, new ways for collaboration will most certainly appear in the future.”