Welcome to “perhaps the geekiest of all cooperative organizations on the planet!” The Data Commons Co-op greases the flow of data between communities in the cooperative, solidarity, new, call-it-what-you-will economy. The co-op not only serves these communities, it is owned by them. The Data Commons Co-op, like a food or housing co-op, is owned by its members. The members have some fundamental differences, and many differences of emphasis and priorities. But like the Judean People's Front, the Judean Popular People's Front, the Campaign for a Free Galilee, and the Popular Front of Judea, they have a lot in common. This co-op is a way to share the cost of tending a commons of overlapping data, and realizing the benefits that brings to all.

Are you part of a community that should join? Send in an application. Dues are on a sliding scale starting at US$100, with waivers for no-budget groups. You don't have to be a co-op to join. You don't have to be in the U.S. to join. You just have to be trying to change how the economy works for the better in your bit of the world, and be interested in pooling knowledge systematically with overlapping communities. The Data Commons Co-op is committed to voluntary and open membership, open to all persons able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

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Annual General Meeting 2015

The third Annual General Meeting of the Data Commons co-op will be held:

Friday June 19th 2015, by phone.
3:00-5:00 PM Eastern (2:00-4:00 Central; 1:00-3:00 Mountain; 12:00-2:00 Pacific)
Conference call instructions will be were emailed to co-op members.


Facilitator: Lauren Taylor
Note Taker: Noemi Giszpenc–notes at https://pad.riseup.net/p/DCC-AGM-2015
Time Watcher: Lauren Taylor
Agenda Item Presenter/Facilitator/Notes Duration Time
I. Welcome, Roll Call, Overview of the Agenda Lauren Hudson 15 min 3:00-3:15
II. Board Elections overview Noemi Giszpenc 5 min 3:15-3:20
III. Annual Report Lauren Hudson 5 min 3:20-3:25
IV. Work of Visioning Team Facilitator: Emily Lippold-Cheney, Presenter: Noemi Giszpenc 10 mins 3:25-3:35
V. Treasurer’s Report & Fundraising Overview David Morgan 20 min 3:35-3:55
VI. Dues Proposal Noemi Giszpenc 5-10 min 3:55-4:05
* VOTING REMINDER* Noemi Giszpenc    
VII. Discussion/Feedback regarding fundraising & dues proposal Lauren Taylor 30 min 4:05-4:35
VIII. Announcement of Election results & Closing Noemi Giszpenc, Lauren Taylor, David Morgan 15min 4:35-4:50

Reading material

Please read the biographies of the candidates. Read our annual report to learn more about the co-op’s activities. Read the dues proposal.

Mailing list

We invite members of the co-op, board members, staff, techies, and friends of the co-op to subscribe to our mailing list: datacommons@lists.riseup.net. This is a list for members, staff, and board to mingle and talk things over, and get a sense for the pulse of the co-op. It has public archives. For any private concerns start with an email to info@datacommons.coop instead.

Reference material

For more background on the nature of the co-op, you can check our bylaws, or records from last year’s AGM.

2015 Board Candidate Biographies

2015 Board Candidate Biographies

Julia Poznik


I am a graduate student interested in studying and promoting the cooperative business model as a tool for radical systemic change. By the end of this summer I will have completed my coursework and be ready to begin dissertation research and writing. The degree sought is an interdisciplinary PhD in Economics (co-discipline: Social Sciences Consortium) at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. My department takes a heterodox and pluralist approach to the study of economics and therefore we do not confine ourselves to the textbook (neoclassical) school of economics that is dominant in academia (and politics). Personally, I am studying economics in search of a better system of provisioning - one that incorporates environmental concerns and promotes a more equitable and just society. I think cooperatives are a key aspect of that alternative economy and am excited by all the work being done to promote democracy in the workplace. I recently coauthored a case study on the Greater University Circle Initiative, a public-private-philanthropic based effort to revitalize the local economy of Cleveland, OH using environmental and economic justice conscientious programs. My future research will continue to explore, critique, and promote creative approaches to increasing democracy and environmentalism within our economy.

Before commencing my graduate studies I was the office manager of a medium sized non-profit that promoted sustainable urban planning. This experience distilled in me an appreciation for alternative transportation and smart zoning that promotes community and efficient use of city resources. I am also interested in local food systems and view them as a vital (and delicious) aspect of the new economy. Worker cooperatives and agricultural cooperatives have long been an interest of mine, both as a topic of academic inquiry and as a personal way of life. I helped create and worked in a collectively managed cafe and have lived in housing cooperatives. These passions motivated me to return to school so that I may better serve the movement for economic democracy. I am interested in serving as a board member of the Data Commons in order to facilitate a deepening of the relationship between cooperatives and academics to their mutual benefit.

A brief description of your relationship: I am a member of the Data Commons.

David Morgan


David Morgan has long been involved with social movements—from public space activism to anti-poverty work—that make use of the kind of everyday democracy that is at the core of his work at the Toolbox for Education and Social Action. His background is in cultural organizing, as co-founder of the Groundswell Collective, a group of artists/activists who produced and researched critical cultural works, and as a committee member the HONK! Festival of activist street bands for more than five years. After graduating from Hampshire College, he focused on nonprofit communications work with such groups as the Boston-based housing rights organization City Life/Vida Urbana before becoming involved with the worker cooperative movement. David also sits on the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. I am interested in serving as a board member for the DCC to help streamline the infrastructure our movement needs to be most effective and to promote a collaborative culture among member organizations.

A brief description of your relationship: I am currently Treasurer of the Data Commons Cooperative, and affiliated as a member through Cultivate.coop.

Leah Feder


I am on the board of Sarapis, which helps the free/libre/open-source (FLO) movement produce comprehensive solutions that enable groups and individuals to overcome common challenges. I first learned about FLO technologies during fall 2011. Invigorated by the cries of activists taking democracy into their own hands, I was surprised to find a revolution taking place behind computer screens — one involving data standards and documentation and revealing the potential to transform our economy and our world. Since then, I've been organizing within the FLO movement to increase our collective capacity to take on challenges and innovate effectively.

I have almost a decade of marketing and communications experience, developed in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. I have worked on community development projects in the Northeast and internationally, and am especially passionate about FLO’s potential to transform local communities and our relationship to natural resources.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College.

A brief description of your relationship: I serve on the board of Sarapis, which is a member of the DCC.

Call for 2015 Data Commons Cooperative Board of Directors Nominations

Call for board member nominations

The Data Commons Cooperative [1] is looking for people to serve on its Board of Directors. We particularly encourage nominations from marginalized and underrepresented communities.

The co-op was founded in July 2012 to improve information flow in the cooperative/solidarity/new economy. If you like to push the edge of what can be done with co-ops, and think the infrastructure of the ethical economy could do with some love - we want you! Serving on the co-op board is an excellent way to make sure the voice of your community is heard clearly, and to guide the co-op in productive directions.

Directors are nominated and elected by co-op members. Existing members of the co-op are generally umbrella organizations or projects that represent a region, sector, or movement (and are listed in this call). Each member may make two nominations. The current board encourages members to consider using one of their nominations to sponsor motivated individuals active in their community to step forward. The board stands ready to help with any match-making needed, and encourages passionate individuals to respond to this call without necessarily having a confirmed sponsoring member.

About the Data Commons Co-op

People everywhere have been organizing a more ethical economy, but they work in relative isolation, fragmented by geography, sector, and even organizational form.

Many communities gather information about a small piece of these efforts. In every situation, there is another community for which that information overlaps. In every case there is an opportunity to share that will strengthen all the communities participating. But that requires effort, it requires trust, and it requires infrastructure. It requires, in short, a co-op!

The Data Commons Co-op is a cooperative of organizations that are figuring out how their disparate communities can work together, both technically and culturally, to benefit from their overlap without blunting their difference.

Board member duties

Your basic duty is a 3-hour commitment per month. One hour of that is a regular board meeting (by phone). The remainder is reading and responding to board business (by email).

There are various roles that go beyond that baseline. These are strictly voluntary, and will be selected at the first board meeting after the election. Those roles include:

  • Officer roles - treasurer, secretary, president
  • Operations team - work with the people coordinating the day-to-day activity of the co-op
  • DCC Development Team- Phase 1: Draft a development plan and vision for the DCC using member and Board input. Phase 2: Generate the resources to implement it.
  • Tech team - work with the people who move the bits around
  • Membership committee - read member applications, make recommendations
  • Data trust - check out incoming data, make recommendations

Terms are for 3 years.


The key formal requirement is that you must be connected to at least one of our existing members. Directors are nominated and elected by the co-op members. Nominees need to be "employed by or connected with or representing" a member organization [2]. Check the list of member organizations included towards the end of this call. If your interests overlap with one or more members, they may well be interested in nominating you as part of their board representation (each member can nominate up to two board members). We'd be happy to help with any match-making needed. If you belong to a group that isn't yet a member but you think it should be, let us know so that we can reach out, or you can direct the group to our member information packet [3].

A general qualification is having an interest in the development of infrastructure for sharing data in and about the ethical economy. You just won't have any fun in the co-op otherwise.

How to nominate a candidate, or offer yourself as a candidate

We particularly encourage nominations from marginalized and underrepresented groups.

If you represent a member of the co-op and would like to nominate a candidate for the board, please send an email to info@datacommons.coop with the subject line "board nomination" giving the candidate's name and contact information. Expect an acknowledgment within 3 working days.

If you are an individual who'd like to run for the board, please send an email to info@datacommons.coop with the subject line "getting on board". Please provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Contact information
  • A biography (in any format you like)
  • A brief description of your relationship (by employment or interest) to one or more of the co-op members listed here: http://datacommons.coop/participants

Please do so by: Friday May 29th 2015

Expect an acknowledgment within 3 working days.

Voting will take place at the Annual General Meeting, scheduled for:

Friday June 19th 2015
3:00-5:00 PM Eastern DST
(2:00-4:00 Central;1:00-3:00 Mountain;12:00-2:00 Pacific).

The meeting will be held by phone, details to be announced.

Current Board of Directors

The second member-selected Board of Directors was elected at the 2014 Annual General Meeting in June 2014. The current Board is made up of elected member liaisons. Bylaws state that the number of board members should be between 5 and 15. Board member terms are staggered.

  • Lauren Hudson, President
  • David Morgan, Treasurer
  • Noemi Giszpenc, Clerk/Secretary, Operations team
  • Jamie Campbell
  • Emily Lippold-Cheney
  • Ethan Miller resigned due to work/life issues
  • Mira Luna - on temporary leave of absence due to health issues

Former Board of Directors & Steering Committee Members

  • Paul Fitzpatrick: prior Director, Treasurer, Tech team member, Operations committee
  • Jim Johnson: prior Director, Tech team member
  • Melissa Hoover: prior Director, Membership committee
  • Joe Marraffino: prior Director and President
  • Adam Schwartz: Steering committee member prior to incorporation
  • Neily Jennings: Steering committee member prior to incorporation

DCC Member organizations

[1] http://datacommons.coop
[2] See section VI(1) of our bylaws http://member.datacommons.coop/bylaws
[3] http://datacommons.coop/content/member-packet

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