Programme Preview

A snapshot of what's to come...

The OPEN 2018 programme is evolving fast.
Before the Early-bird tickets run out here’s a taster of what to expect.

Sessions will be based around three key strands:

– The Platform Coop Showcase;
– The Collaborative and P2P technology;
– The Changing Narrative

interwoven with plenary presentations, workshops, discussions, open-space sessions, networking and drinks.

Whether you’re considering setting up a coop or are already developing a cutting-edge platform coop and using the latest technology, OPEN 2018 will inspire, inform and connect you to the people and organisations that can help move your project forward.


So, in no particular order, we invite you to come and experience….


Platform Showcase
Guillopé Aloïs, Founder of Co-op Cycle sharing their inspirational journey to develop an open-source alternative to Deliveroo made up of a community of couriers in cities throughout France and Belgium. The project is new and the code to run the platform is being actively developed, but the code is only a small part of the project with exciting plans to be announced.

Holochain for Coops
Arthur Brock, Co-Founder of HOLO leading a technical session for anyone interested in learning more about the breakthrough Holochain framework and the huge potential for using Holochain apps in the design and implementation of cooperative services. This introductory session will be followed up with further working sessions where developers can download and start to review the Holochain code.

The transformative power of narrative
Nathan Schneider, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Colorado Boulder and Writer, Cadwell Turnbull exploring the role that narrative can play in creating a world of abundance and inclusivity, underpinning the creation of a more collaborative, equitable economy and putting people and planet before profit.

Coop creation made simple
Siôn Whellens, Co-Founder of the Worker Co-op Solidarity Fund and Pat Conaty, Research Associate with Co-operatives UK leading a practical session on How to start a co-op, covering legal entities, model rules and governing documents.

The nature of money
Our special feature on “signals and transactions” with Matthew Slater, Co-Founder of Community Forge, Sheron Shamuilia from Happonomy, and Lisa Bovill, Co-founder of Hull Coin discussing “the nature of money” and how communities can leverage their own inherent wealth to develop thriving local economies.

Platform Showcase
Peter Harris, Founder of Resonate, introducing their blockchain-based music-streaming platform co-op, and explaining how receiving external investment does not mean you need to abandon Cooperative principles. As Peter says: “Once a co-op – always a co-op”!

Patterns for decentralised organising
Richard Bartlett and Natalia Lombardo from Loomio running their excellent workshop on Patterns for decentralised organising. If you work in any type of co-op, or non-hierarchical group and are interested in improving efficiencies and developing more successful collaboration within your team/s, this workshop is for you.

Growing the Commons
Michel Bauwens, Founder and Director, and Stacco Troncoso from the P2P Foundation, with Mònica Garriga Miret from the Free Knowledge Institute discussing strategies for Growing the Commons using examples from across Europe of organisations and institutions that are working to develop shared infrastructure and methodologies of mutual aid and peer to peer support.

Blockchain Bingo
Peter Thompson, Creator of KPcoin, providing a beginners guide to blockchain; what it is, where it came from and how it is being applied to support distributed software applications. The session will also include a hands-on game of Blockchain Bingo – a brilliant introduction to the “proof of work” concept underpinning blockchain.

Solving the crisis of the gig economy
Lieza Dessein, Strategic project manager at SMart Coop and Pat Conaty, Research Associate with Co-operatives UK addressing the problems of today’s “gig economy”; highlighting the work of freelancers co-ops like SMart; and the findings of the report ‘Working Together: Trade Union and Co-operative Innovations for Precarious Work’ including eight innovation solutions for the sector.

Delivering a $20million ICO
Matthew Schutte, Director of Communications at HOLO introducing the breakthrough distributed peer-to-peer framework his team have developed and their plans for development following their recent $20million “Initial Community Offering”. To be clear, this is not another blockchain technology, but has been shown to outperform Ethereum by several orders of magnitude.

Platform Showcase
Danny Spitzberg, Technology Strategist at CoLab sharing key observations from his recent involvement building Up&Go, a home-cleaning platform in New York, formed by a consortium of three co-ops and which is managed and owned by the 80+ women who earn 95% of the platform’s revenue.

Decision-making for participatory budgeting
Alex Jupiter, UX Designer at Democracy Earth, Shu Yang Lin from, Francesca Pick, Co-Founder Greaterthan & OuiShare Fest, and Richard Bartlett Co-founder of Loomio sharing insights into online decision-making systems; how online voting tools enable stakeholders to have an active say in decisions that affect them; and the goal of incorporating delegative voting to enable participatory budgetary processes.

Networking the Networks
Laura James Co-founder at Digital Life Collective, Tiberius Brastaviceanu, Co-Founder at Sensorica and Micky Metts a hacker, Activist, Organizer & Member at Agaric and Francesca Pick, Co-Founder Greaterthan & OuiShare Fest will discuss the wide range of projects and movements aiming to unite cooperative organisers and networks to enable collaboration at scale.

Building the cooperative cloud
Wouter Tebbens, Co-Founder and President of the Free Knowledge Institute; Chris Croome from UK co-op Webarchitects; Alexandre Bourlier from and more discussing their work developing a suite of co-operatively owned and managed open source tools to rival Google and Apple; a shared technical infrastructure to enable co-operators to move away from data harvesting monopolies.

Applying “the Preston Model” to the wider economy
Claire McCarthy, General Secretary of The Co-operative Party, Matthew Brown, Labour Group Leader on Preston City Council and Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Reader in Social Politics and Media at Loughborough University discussing the latest advances and successes of “the Preston model” and how similar local and central government strategies could be deployed to create a thriving cooperative economy across the UK.

Platform Showcase
Lynne Davis, CEO of the Open Food Network, sharing how the Open Food Network developed into an international platform co-op; manging open source software development on a global scale with teams of developers, product managers and testers working in rotating teams on a single shared infrastructure.

Growing global Mutual Credit systems
Arthur Brock, Co-founder, HOLO and Emma McGuirk, Co-founder of Dunedin Timebank in New Zealand discussing the potential of global Mutual Credit systems and frameworks for alternative currency designs and financial structures to enable more inclusive economies at scale.

Mapping the cooperative / solidarity economy
Back-to-back technology working groups will discuss a selection of initiatives mapping the cooperative and solidarity economies – and investigate how the various projects are uniting to develop shared schemas and open protocols. Protagonists include Samer Hassan, Faculty Associate & Associate Professor, Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University & Univ. Complutense Madrid; Tom Ivey of; Louis Cousin from Cooperatives Europe; and Colm Massey from the Solidarity Economy Association.

This is by no means everything! We are also pleased to welcome:

Daniel Harris the Founder of Kendraio discussing building tools for collaborative creatives in arts, music and media…

• Iris Schönherr, Programme Manager at the New Citizenship Project sharing insights and techniques to increase stakeholder participation gained from their Everyday Participation toolkit.

Ela Kagel, Managing Partner at the SUPERMARKT coworking space & research studio will present insights on digital culture, social innovation and the collaborative economy in Berlin.

Duncan McCann from the New Economics Foundation, speaking about co-producing a Ridehail platform for London that puts drivers and users in control

Irina Bolychevsky, Founder, & Director, Shevski Limited speaking about the value and power of developing and using open source software

• And much more…

The OPEN 2018 programme will continue to evolve over the coming months. Sign up to our newsletter or follow us on @open_coop for the final updates and for information on how to contribute to our Open Space sessions. Early bird tickets will end in the next two weeks.

We look forward to welcoming you into the conversation.