Data flows

April 2014

Welcome!

Hello dear member of the Data Commons including our two newest members, Solidarity Piedmont and Shareable and the Sharing Cities Network. This is our first newsletter with a few updates about how some of you are making use of your membership in the Data Commons Cooperative. We are all learning as we go, in this brand new area of data sharing. And–call us nerdy–but the sight of a “change log” of all the new time banks, co-op start-ups, loans, address changes and news of defunct businesses that our members shared–in one place–just makes our hearts sing. This is better than the Sunday comics, folks.

Noémi Giszpenc, Operations Team

Have you seen the Data Commons article at Shareable.net?!

In March, Shareable.net published "Creating a Stone Soup of Alternative Economy Maps and Directories" by Noémi Giszpenc and Ethan Miller. Hop on over to Shareable.net to read about the Data Commons and how it is linking the many efforts to map the gift/solidarity/new/cooperative/rooted/generative economies. Then, please share with your members, friends, and networks. Thanks!

Save the Date! 2nd Annual General Meeting: Friday June 20th 3:00-5:00 PM Eastern

We're looking forward to our 2nd Annual General Meeting in June and are hoping for broad membership participation again this year! Please mark your calendars and stay tuned for further notices. Also, please think about good people to serve on the DCC Board, we will be calling for nominations in the coming month.

hOurworld

hOurworld cooperative began its fourth year with a major expansion in its time bank network. TimebanksUK, a thirty thousand member organization serving England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, joined hOurworld. hOurworld is a community cooperative co-created by three social architects — Stephen Beckett, Linda Hogan and Terry Daniels — who provide software, consulting, a peer support network and comprehensive training to time banks internationally. Their access to online software, Time & Talents (TnT), features a mobile application and intertrading capabilities, opening the door for service exchanges wherever TnT is used. And, it's free.

While Stephen Beckett honed TnT as an “open innovation tool,” converted different software users to TnT and worked with Penn State and Palo Alto Research Center to create the mobile application, Linda Hogan and Terry Daniels dedicated part of their first two years on a US Walkabout, gathering personal stories from time bankers and others about their relationships with community currencies. These histories, rich in lessons learned, are woven into their popular Immersion Training Program, reflecting the ebb and flow of practical and creative economy movements from wampum to early scripts, Self Help Exchanges to the first known time bank founded in Osaka, Japan. hOurworld's mission of Peace, Abundance and Sharing Through Equality In Exchange is now a widening tapestry shared with kindred organizations including: Cooperatives; Alternative Currency Users; Buy Local Campaigns; Transition Towns; Resiliency Hubs; Sharing/Gift Economies and emerging networks of people reclaiming and sharing their gifts and talents with their neighbors. hOurworld has a Knowing. It believes this — We don't need another movement; we need the movements to move together.

Linda Hogan, hOurworld

New Economics Institute

Exciting news! The New Economy Coalition (NEC) has teamed up with a worker cooperative web firm called Palante Technology to redesign and build out their online portal for mapping a green and fair world, GTNE.org. NEC's contract with Palante Tech included a series of conversations with the Data Commons Cooperative to ensure that the website's data standards were optimized for sharing with other members of the DCC. GTNE.org is designed to be mobile friendly via a responsive design and will launch soon. If you have any questions, contact Eli Feghali.

screenshot of GTNE

Manitoba Cooperative Association

Manitoba Cooperative Association (MCA) is a provincial association of cooperatives. Our membership is broad and reflects the diversity of the cooperative community in Manitoba.

In 2008, a partnership was struck between MCA, the Province of Manitoba and the Conseil de développement économique des municipalités (CDEM) to create a strategy which would stimulate, broaden and sustain the development of a socially and economically successful Manitoba cooperative community. One of the aims of the strategy is to enhance collaboration among cooperatives, and what better way to do that than to create a database of Manitoba cooperatives showcasing the various goods and services that Manitoba co-ops provide?

MCA joined Data Commons in 2013 and is now in the process of gathering information from the over 400 Manitoba cooperatives to populate its database. As you can well imagine, this is a daunting task but one which has been made much easier with the assistance of Data Commons. We truly appreciate their professionalism and advice and are really looking forward to seeing the end result of our database project.

If you have any tips for us in creating the database or would like to learn more about Manitoba's cooperative strategy, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact Cheryl.

Cheryl Krostewitz, Manitoba Cooperative Association

Data for the Commons

As you can see, there is a lot going on among Data Commons members. You can see more at the Change Log and if you visit data.find.coop, the member-only data sharing center. New data is steadily flowing into the Data Commons! Over the last month, we've been reaching out to founding members and bringing in baseline data. Our strategy is to establish this most basic foundation and then build from there. Our latest contributions include data sets from the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI), hOurworld, and the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC). CDI's data includes their partners, collaborators, and entities that have reached out to them for assistance, while hOurworld's data includes a comprehensive directory of service exchanges, often known as time banks. USFWC shared their “Worker Cooperative Census” data, including a comprehensive listing of worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces, their status, location, and contact information. Many thanks to all the members that have already submitted data to the commons. If you would like to submit additional data sets, or to know more about sharing data with the cooperative, please contact Daphne Loring. Our job is to make it easy and painless for you!

Daphne Loring, Operations Team

Further reading

Thanks to DCC board members and operations team for help preparing this newsletter and other material, particularly Lauren Hudson, David Morgan, Daphne Loring, Noémi Giszpenc, Paul Fitzpatrick, and Jamie Campbell.