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.

Recent posts

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

Friday June 20th 2014, 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: Jim Johnson
Note Taker: Jamie Campbell
Time Watcher: Paul Fitzpatrick
Agenda Item Presenter/Facilitator/Notes Duration Time
I. Welcome, Roll Call, Overview of the Agenda Lauren Hudson and Jim Johnson 15 min 3:00-3:15
II. Board Elections overview David Morgan 5 min 3:15-3:20
III. Year in Review Noemi Giszpenc 5 min 3:20-3:25
IV. Featured Members: Facilitator: Jim Johnson 20 mins 3:25-3:45
US Solidarity Economy Network & Solidarity Economy Mapping Collaboration (Emily Kawano)      
Shareable/Sharing Cities Network (Mira Luna)      
Cooperative Grocers Network (Dan Nordley)      
Manitoba Cooperative Association (Cheryl Krostewitz)      
V. Treasurer’s Report Paul Fitzpatrick 10 min 3:45-3:55
VI. Report from Visioning and Development Team Ethan Miller 5-10 min 4:05-4:15
* VOTING REMINDER* David Morgan    
VII. Discussion/Feedback regarding planning and development Emily Lippold-Cheney 30 min 4:15-4:45
VIII. Announcement of Election results & Closing David Morgan, Jamie Campbell, Jim Johnson 15min 4:45-5:00

Reading material

Please read our election guide for more information about this election and the candidates. Read our annual report to learn more about the co-op’s activities.

New mailing list

We invite members of the co-op, board members, staff, techies, and friends of the co-op to subscribe to a new 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.

Food co-op / buying club enthusiast wanted

Do you know your way around the food co-op and buying club scene? Would you be interested in helping moderate perhaps the longest-lived online cooperative directory around? If so, drop us a note telling us a little bit about yourself and any food co-ops or buying clubs you participate in. No special skills needed, just the ability to edit an online spreadsheet.

Some background: From 1999 through 2011, the Cooperating Directory Service, a Minnesota non-profit initially funded from the estate of Kris Olsen, operated a directory of natural food co-ops at coopdirectory.org. When the CDS non-profit closed in 2011, Stuart Reid of the Food Co-op Initiative was asked to take it on. He, in turn, checked in with the nascent Data Commons (of which the Food Co-op Initiative is a founding member) to see what it could do to help. A Data Commons volunteer did some basic triage on the site, cleaning it up, structuring the listings, and saving submissions and corrections made via the site from falling into a black hole. At the end of triaging, the website was living and breathing again. It turns out to be a popular website, well-ranked in search engines, with a healthy number of updates coming in every month. It just isn’t in anyone’s business plan or monetization strategy! We’d like to keep it that way. Can you help?


Along with moderators, we’d be super-excited if any web design guru wants to freshen the look of the site a little bit, but for now we’re keeping its old-timey look, right down to the milometer-style visitor counter!

This is an all-volunteer effort right now, with the Data Commons Co-op guaranteeing continued hosting and attention. Financial assistance would be very welcome!

Welcome, Cooperative Grocer Network!

We’d like to welcome our latest member, the Cooperative Grocer Network. CGN is:

a nonprofit, 501(c)6 trade association intent on strengthening all retail food co-ops by a creating an online community of cooperators who can develop and share their best resources and practices.

CGN website

Here’s how Dan Nordley reacted when the Data Commons Co-op board approved CGN’s membership:

please accept my … exclamation of appreciation and pride for being accepted to perhaps the geekiest of all cooperative organizations on the planet!! Woot!

We reckon Dan’s going to fit right in :-). For the record, the DCC has the standard cooperative principles burned into its bylaws, including the principle of voluntary and open membership:

1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership. Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

So we are committed to being open to all (join now!). The responsibilities of membership and the nature of our services are definitely kind of geeky though. The geekiest of all cooperative organizations on the planet? We don’t know. The Tech Co-op Network is way up there, and it is hard to beat the International Ice Core Data Cooperative set up by a bunch of paleoclimatologists. One thing for sure, our planet could definitely do with more geeky co-op organizations!

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