OPEN 2018 Videos – Workshop Space sessions


The workshop space at OPEN 2018 featured a range of session covering many different projects and approaches to building a more collaborative, cooperative future.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who contributed and especially Simon Borkin and Alice Casey for facilitating the discussions.

If you’re interested in finding out more about any of the topics discussed please leave a comment below, join in the online discussions and collaborations or contact us directly.

OPEN 2018 – What is blockchain and how does it work? Plus Blockchain Bingo – Perter Thompson

Peter Thompson, Creator of KPcoin, provides 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 also included a hands-on game of Blockchain Bingo – a brilliant introduction to the “proof of work” concept underpinning blockchain.

OPEN 2018 – How can Blockchain enable Elinor Ostrom’s 8 commons principles?

Samer Hassan, researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center and UCM in Madrid, who recently received a 1.5M€ grant to build blockchain-based democratic and sustainable organizations for the collaborative economy (, leads a working session exploring how blockchain technologies, can be utilized to create new ways to cooperate: building new commons-oriented, blockchain-driven initiatives which incorporate Elinor Ostrom’s 8 Principles for Managing a Commons. With an additional presentation from Daniel Harris about Kendario

People also took shared notes on the session.

OPEN 2018 – What is a Co-op? – Sion Whellens

Siôn Whellens, Co-Founder of the Worker Co-op Solidarity Fund provides a brilliant explanation of cooperatives. This session went on to provide guidance on how to start a co-op, covering legal entities, model rules and governing documents with discussions in small groups but the intro from Sion stands out as a very important intro to cooperatives.

There are some really useful notes from the session including links and ideas and questions to ask when thinking about setting up a co-op.

OPEN 2018 – Growing the commons

Stacco Troncoso from the P2P Foundation; Mònica Garriga Miret from the Free Knowledge Institute; Guillaume Compain from Plateformes en communs discuss strategies for Growing the Commons. Also see the shared notes people took from this session.


OPEN 2018 – Building the cooperative cloud

Wouter Tebbens, Co-Founder and President of the Free Knowledge Institute; Chris Croome from UK co-op Webarchitects; Alexandre Bourlier and Sophie Rocher from  discuss their work developing a suite of cooperatively 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.

The co-op cloud project is one of our key projects at The Open Co-op so please get in touch if you want more information, or to collaborate.

OPEN 2018 – Mapping coop economy

Following on from the introductory session on the Main stage Louis Cousin from Cooperatives Europe leads a working session on mapping the cooperative / solidarity ecosystem. With input from Colm Massey from the Solidarity Economy Association; Laura James Co-founder at Digital Life Collective; Tom Ivey from; and the audience – with a view to developing a steering group focused on “Developing taxonomies for describing co-ops and solidarity organisations” using Linked Open Data.

There are also some great shared notes which were made during this session. The mapping project is one of our key projects at The Open Co-op so please get in touch if you want more information, or to collaborate.

OPEN 2018 – Patterns for decentralised oranising

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

There are also some useful shared notes and links in the working doc from this session.

OPEN 2018 – The Capital Conundrum

The dominant platforms, like Uber and AirBnb were able to use millions of dollars to get to scale. But, without venture capital, what can platform co-ops do to match their growth? In this session, Vivian Woodell, ex CEO of The Phone Co-op and now head of The Foundation for Co-operative Innovation, leads an open discussion to tackle “The capital conundrum”.

There are also some really useful shared notes, links and questions, captured during the session.


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