The relentless increase in global resource throughput and environmental despoliation is not principally the result of states aspiring to a metric – higher GDP – but of industrial and financial firms, driven by market competition to expand turnover, develop new products, and increase profits and interest. Any effort to restructure our economy toward justice and sustainability must then have a plan for reimagining the firm: how it is governed, how it operates, in whose interest, and for what purpose.
The dominant model of the firm – organized to maximize shareholder wealth, with coordination rights held exclusively by capital – limits workplace democracy, generates steep inequality, and in aggregate drives the economy to operate beyond environmental limits.
Douglass Coops will reclaim and reform the company, from an institution premised on extracting value from nature and labour for the gains of investors and management toward a purposeful, sustainable, inclusive form of enterprise. Democratizing and decarbonizing the company will require transforming the patterns of ownership, governance, and control that underpin the operating logic of the company.
Douglass Coops are a core concept of Douglass. Coops define groups of people within the greater Douglass Community that have common purpose. This common purpose might be productive in nature, it might be based on shared resources like housing or farm land, it might be a geographical connection like a town, or any other type of association that people want.
A Douglass Coops is defined as a grouping of individual members, and resources. A Douglass Coops might have only individual members, or all of its members might be other Douglass Coops.
The relations defined here allow for any number of general organizations or groups of organizations that might be needed for members. They might want a separate Douglass Coops for housing and commercial property within their region, or they might want one large Douglass Coops in stewardship of all the resources in that region. They might want Douglass Coops that mirror the current city, county, and state they live in. Whatever arrangements are used depend entirely on the participants, and members are free to arrange, re-arrange, enter, and exit these structures however they see fit.
It's important to note that membership in a Douglass Coops could be based on rules defined and enforced by the members of that Douglass Coop (who would have to approve each new member), or membership could be defined automatically by someone using one of the Douglass Coops's resources which might be the case for something like a Douglass housing Coop.
Beloved Community Aligned
All Douglass Coops will be aligned with Beloved Community Economics, Beloved Community Policy, and the Douglass Community License.
Douglass Coop Framework
Douglass Coops are initially funded by the Douglass Community Bank.
- Whenever possible Douglass Coops are the preferred producers of goods and services for the Douglass Community.
- All Douglass Coop employees receive equal share of tokens that are equal to one equal amount of votes.
- All employees are equal partners. This ends the tug of war between wages and profits.
- With Douglass' collaborative and governance technology there can be a democratized economic life.
- Coop Membership shares are not tradable they are only for voting.
- One vote one token also allows for equal profit sharing
- 5% of revenues from all Coops are distributed on a quarterly basis to Douglass community members.
- If a Douglass Coop creates tokens, 5% of the tokens are given to the Douglass Community asset pool.
- Douglass Coop Shares operate like library cards. The cards give you rights that cannot be sold.
- Shares are equal to the value of the coop.
- If you leave the coop you receive the value of your share.
- All Douglass Coop workers have one vote and one share
- All Coop receive a basic wage that is decided by vote
- Bonuses are decided by vote
- All capital flows are in a common accounting unit/currency "Douglass"