Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative

Ledgerback Digital Commons Research Cooperative (LedgerbackØDCRC) is a nonprofit knowledge, innovation and data (KID) cooperative association and international distributed network for fostering collaboration between stakeholders and unifying the study of the internet and society through models, tools, prototyping, research and analyses to advance towards a global technological commonwealth

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Our mission is two-fold:

  1. foster collaboration between stakeholders, and
  2. unify the study of the internet and society.

In doing so, we utilize open science, cooperativism, systems thinking, social innovation, crowdsourcing, hybrid intelligence, emerging technologies, pilot programs, toolkits, participatory models and collective action in furtherance of our activities and objectives.


Our vision is to innverate a global technological commonwealth by causing paradigm shifts through the socioal, economic, poltiical, scientific, technical and cultural spheres with sociotechnical systems that incoproate the technological design practices of:

  • radically enabling democratic organizing,
  • incorporating planetary boundaries
  • modelling on natural biological ecosystems
  • redefining what is considered valuable
  • allowing for the growth of a cooperative commons

To better understand our vision, please read Dr. Sarah Manski's article, Distributed Ledger Technologies, Value Accounting, and the Self Sovereign Identity.

Research Themes

Our research areas are best understood by the following non-exhaustive list of themes:

  • platform cooperativism
  • complex systems
  • decentralization
  • digital identity
  • data-centric technologies
  • metascience
  • digital infrastructure
  • information security and privacy
  • science, technology and society


LedgerbackØDCRC is a nonprofit cooperative association based in the United States. Beyond this, we are a global pluralist network of groups and individuals working towards our shared vision in furtherance of our shared values, norms and principles. People who identify with the principles and inspirations of the LedgerbackØDCRC are encouraged to participate in our knowledge commons, and to add their voices to the LedgerbackØDCRC network by choosing one of the roles below.


A supporter is someone who shares our work or donates to our efforts.


A member is someone who has officially become a member of the cooperative association and actively participates in its business affairs.


A contributor is someone who works on one or more of our projects.

Advisory Board

A non-legally binding, informal assembly that aids the members in running (e.g., advice on decision-making, strategy, research, and member-to-member affairs) the cooperative association. The role is non-intensive and punctual, including only 3 yearly online meetings with the members serving on the Core Team.

Core Team

Including the Board of Directors who oversee the administrative affairs and the cooperative association's infrastructure, there is also the Core Team that takes on leadership roles in each stream.


Ledgerback is a combination of "ledger" and "back." Ledger comes from the term Distributed Ledgers (which is often used interchangeably with blockchain). Back comes from the slang term "greenback."

The word is meant to recognize that we are currently in a transitory period and identifying the paradigm shifts needed to move our current system to blockchain-based systems (though, this can be expanded to the global technological commonwealth).

We chose "Ledgerback" based on the history of the slang term "greenback." Greenback as a term arose in the mid-1800s during the US Civil War as the US Federal Government started issuing paper money on green-colored paper (hence the name greenback). There was major uncertainty at the time over whether greenbacks would be recognized as banks as legal tender, how much one greenback equated to a piece of gold, and so on.

Though this period caused some turmoil, it was a transitional period that has led to our current time where we accept paper money as money without a second thought.

We believe we are going through a similar transitional period, where we are moving from paper (physical) to distributed ledgers (digital), or to ledgerbacked systems, (i.e., systems that are built on top of blockchains and are backed and secured by the blockchain's inherent properties and a society pushed by blockchain values and thinking), and even greater than that, a global technological commonwealth.


Our mascot is our super adorable and quick-witted stork you see in our logo, Scout Stork (SØS). Scout is scouting the world for fellow storks to flock with in gaining and disseminating knowledge to others by delivering ideas and causing paradigm-shifts across the land.


The LedgerbackØDCRC currently consists of three different aspects:

  • Legal: A formal cooperative association registered in the United States with 6 operational hubs dedicated to organizing, advocacy, research and the facilitation of a knowledge commons.
  • People: A community of activists, scholars, technologists, citizens, and more working at different levels of engagement; a global core team handling daily operations, organizational strategy, and long-term sustainability; and numerous supporters engaging with and contributing to our information commons, including our blog, public Wiki and Loomio groups.
  • Virtual: An ecosystem producing and sharing knowledge on the digital commons, the internet and society, and the emergence of a global technological commonwealth.

Social Charter

In accordance with our principles, any member, individually or as part of a collective, may create their own LedgerbackØDCRC local or regional or language-based spin-off, as long as it is in accordance with our mission, guiding principles, and our status as a nonprofit research institute.

Guiding Principles

Our four guiding principles are:

  • Decentralization is a spectrum, with our goal to continually decentralize our processes
  • We are in constant development
  • Transparency and Openness is the default
  • Complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity are natural occurrences
  • One-size fits all approaches are unlikely to be helpful
  • The Commons (knowledge, documentation, tools, etc.) should be freely accessible to members
  • We should strive for egalitariansim
  • Technology is a means, not necessarily an ends
  • Technology and Society are not separable


The LedgerbackØDCRC conducts various projects to aid in fostering collabroation between stakeholders and unifying the understanding of the internet and society, and how to develop new models and systems that will help move us towards a global technological commonwealth.


A project focused on how alternative data governance models and Web 3 technologies (e.g., blockchain and smart contracts) can provide user's mobility autonomy, with an emphasis on micromobility modals such as electric bicycles.

Read our introductory slidedeck, go to our page, or go to our repository to learn more about Bikestream

Peer Accounting License

An innovative intellectual property license that updates the Peer Production License synthesizes aspects of collective management and stewardship organizations, contribution tracking systems, the Harberger tax method (or Self Assessed Licenses Sold via Auction (SALSA)), and Ethical Restrictions from the Ethical Source Movement.

For more information, please refer to the Version 0.5 draft of the PAL and the discussion thread

Alternative Governance Metrics Framework

a theoretical research project focused on developing a theoretical and analytical framework for modelling and comparing digital organizations, decentralized digital organizations, and decentralized autonomous organizations based on their organization design and performance attributes to make community governance and organizational design more transparent and actionable.

Read our introductory slidedeck to learn more about the AGMF

Laplace Platform

A social learning and scholarly crowdsourcing (i.e., a research repository) platform designed for engaging solidarity economy actors, citizens, scientists, students, and teachers that combines elements of platform cooperativism, Web 3 technologies and designs, open science, citizen science, and alternative EdTech.

Read our introductory post on Laplace or send us an email. We've got much work to do so expect updates.

HyperKnowledge Framework (HKF)

A set of models, tools, platforms and protocols for a knowledge/cognitive democracy. Projects under the HKF include Laplace, Axolotl, Knapsack, Noggin, and Virga.

Last updated 3 mins ago

Data Commons Research Report

In this essay, we will be looking at potential conceptualizations of democratic governance structures facilitating an interoperable data commons for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). And while our proposal goes into far more detail, in essence we will be analyzing this in two parts:

  • the ways in which Web 3.0 technologies can utilize the collection and manipulation of data in an emancipatory manner, and
  • how the organizations working in these fields can share and collectively manage this data in a way that honors the true socio-political nature of blockchain technology.

Read our blog post and research proposal to learn more about the Data Commons Research Report


A knowledge-delviery service focused on connecting analysts together with potential clients


An artificial swarm intelligence platform for amplifying the collective intellgience of groups so that they can make better decisions, that combines elements of platform cooperativism, Web 3 technologies and designs, crowdsourcing and sensemaking.

Last updated 3 mins ago

2020-21 Roadmap

Our plan of work for the next 2 years to preapre our cooperative to grow and make meaningful impacts towards the global technological commonwealth. .

Check our 2020-21 Roadmap in our docs.

Thinklusive Journal

An open access journal covering platform cooperativism and organization science, and their intersections with Web 3.0 technologies.


The LedgerbackØDCRC partiicpates in many activities to actualize its mission of fostering collaboration between stakeholders and unifying the study of the internet and society.

Our current activities includes:

  • Connecting: Connecting society, policy, citizens, industry, and academia
  • Outreach: Promoting work by individuals and organizations and movements going on in the network society helping advance towards a global technological commonwealth, and helping citizens get involved in transformative movements;
  • Investigation: Theoretical, applied, and simulation research on how to build a human-centered paradigm for the internet and society that transitions towards a global technological commonwealth;
  • Educate: Developing literacy programs and educational materials to better inform citizens, industry and academia of the issues, current practices, and solutions in the internet and society (i.e., the network society);
  • Design: Identifying, developing, improving, democratizing and sharing open-source prototypes, protocols, systems, platforms, and tools;
  • Consultancy: Helping change-relevant clients to work through their problems with research commission, content marketing, connecting analysts to clients and vice versa, strategy formulation, and problem statement identification;
  • Partnering: collaborating with changemakers on grassroots initiatives in virtual and/or physical communities
  • Pilots: Developing pilots (i.e., prototyping) that test community-focused, cooperativism-governed, or Web3-inspired solutions.
  • Resources: Publishing resources that support the advancement towards a global technological commonwealth, bring stakeholders together, and unify the study of the internet and society
  • Advocacy: Supporting and promoting commons-oriented paradigms
  • Thinklusive Journal: We run and manage the Thinklusive Journal, an open access journal on the PubPub platform for scholarly works and short articles covering organization science, platform cooperativism, and their intersections with Web 3 technologies
  • Stewardship: Stewarding the use of free and open source (FOSS) technologies, designs, and other materials; and
  • Ecosystem expansion: stewarding the use of Ledgerback trademarks and governance models in Ledgerback-affiliated organizations

Knowledge Commons

LedgerbackØDCRC welcomes you to join our knowledge commons and map the growth of knwoldege on alternative movments and actors helping move towards a global technological commonwealth.


Join our Zotero group and start adding to our ever-growing bibliography.


Join our Hypothesis group and annotate documents across the web!


Follow our Medium blog to stay up-to-date with our thoughts, findings, and interesting tidbits we find as we continue to study the internet and society!

Thinklusive Journal

Follow or join our Thinklusive Journal on PubPub to read about scholarly articles on platform cooperativism and organization science and their intersections with emerging technologies (implications and solutions)!


LedgerbackØDCRC welcomes everybody to join as a member. The community we hope to build is comprised of volunteers, thinkers, activists, radicals, researchers, educators, developers, technologists, scientists, professionals, academicians, students, learners, citizens and more.

We do not have any membership fees. However, members are subject to a non-refundable annual fee of $100.00 or equivalent in resources (as determined by LedgerbackØDCRC), or providing 40 hours of labor.

Why join?

Our mission is to foster collaboration between stakeholders and unify the study of the internet and society. In doing so, we believe we can grow a more democratic world at all elvels,a healthier, freer internet, and sociotechnical systems that support, rather than harm, our society and our relaitonships. To do this we need not only funding but also volunteer effort.

The key actions in furtherance of our mission are discussed in our activities.

How to join

As a legal association we keep a member list as per our rules. We take privacy seriously and will not share the data you have given to us to third parties. Please see our privacy policy. To join as a member, please fill out the membership form and submit it to us. Alternatively you can also send an email to ledgerback@gmail.com with the following details:
  • Preferred username (lowercase)
  • Email
  • Full name
  • Domicile
Once we process your membership request as per our rules, you will receive an email from us.


One vote

All members get one vote in our Annual General Meetings, which are held once a year. Additionally, as a self-directed cooperative, our members are at the forefront of shaping how they work and how they govern the cooperative via a proposal system. This way you get to shape the direction of our association, how funds are spent and how our work is managed. Association members are also eligible for positions on the Board of Directors and leadership positions.

Good feeling

Knowing that you are helping us support the activities we conduct and the services we provide in making it possible for us to help push society and the web forward.

Member services

Access to our web infrastructure and funding (if available), and assistance with fundraising, publishing, analysis and more. For more information on our planned services, please refer to our Cottage Program.

Interesting Work

You will get the chance ot collarboatievly work on cutting edge research on the internet and society and develop insights that will influence the decisions of stakholders for years to come.

Can I still help even if I do not want to be a member?

No problema! You can also support us by donating on OpenCollective or Donorbox, following us on social media, participating in one of our surveys, adding to our knowledge commons, or letting your friends know about us!

Updates and Announcements



Direct Donation

Please consider making a donation (any amount works! But if you need a base amount, go with $10.)) to us via the DonorBox button below. Your donation will go towards support our work on advancing towards a global technological commonwealth. Such donations are not tax-deductible.


If you have some time to spare, please consider volunteering.


If you like our work and want your name associted with it, please consider sponsoring us. In exchange for sponsoring our acitivties, you may request the following thank-you gifts:

  • donate $15+ to get a sticker
  • donate $70+ to be mentioned as a sponsor on our website and media
  • donate $30+ to get a t-shirt
  • donate $300+ and we will list you as a key sponsor


Knowledge-delivery Service

Get your reseach questions answered with our Axolotl knowledge-delivery service. Tell us what you're working on by filling out our requests form and we'll set up a research team to help you find what you're looking for.

Pricing starts at $30.00 for project sizes of 1 hour or less!

You can also join the Axolotl knowledge-delivery service as an analyst by completing our submission form and passing our analyst test.

Hire Us!

You can hire LedgerbackØDCRC to perform research and analysis, help define and solve organizational structure and internal issues, and create and market content related, develop documentation and advise on organizational and community issues, on matters related to the internet and society, including platform cooperatives, future of work, blockchain applications, and online communities.

Get in contact with us at ledgerback@gmail.com to start getting your problems solved today!

Our Services

  • Creating and marketing content on a variety of topics under the internet and society including platform cooperatives, future of work, blockchain applications, and online communities
  • Trainings for self-management, project intelligence and management, and open approaches
  • Compiling information satisfying certain criteria and extracting it from existing data sources.
  • Preparing custom analyses and visualizations based on existing data.
  • Connecting analysts and requestors together to solve pressing problems through our Axolotl knowledge-delivery service
  • Creating materials and providing speakers for events and workshops.

Hourly Work

For well-defined projects, we will work with the client to define the scope of work, and estimate the number of hours required to complete it. LedgerbackØDCRC charges $125/hour for hourly work.

For longer term projects (several months or more) we may be able to offer a lower hourly rate, especially if the analysis is of wider public interest.


2020-21 Roadmap

Check out our 2020-21 Roadmap to see what we will be working on for the next two years!

Get involved

We’re a non-profit organization built primarily by volunteers. There are many ways to help out and you can get started without making a large commitment.

Participate in the community and give feedback

Feedback and questions from newcomers can prompt progress. As you learn and explore, please connect with us, share your experience, etc.

Events and Conferences

Host local meetups on Ledgerback, the global technological commonwealth, or any theme we cover under our study of the internet and society, and we will help you run the meetup by providing materials and speakers. Additionally, you can host a conference on the above and we will help set up the conference.

Support us financially

Support us by making a donation, even the smallest amount can help us achieve our mission and goals.

Send us your ideas

Send us your thoughts on content we should make and areas we should focus our research efforts on.

Prototype our Models and extend our Proof-of-Concepts

Take our ideas and turn them into reality. Ask your university or school if working on one of our ideas can get you school credit.

Write in our publications

Write and publish an article in one our Medium publications or in our Thinklusive Journal. We will proofread and edit the paper for free!

Get some Ledgerback swag

Purchase LedgerbackØDCRC-branded clothing (T-shirts, jackets, etc.) and stickers on Redbubble or Teespring.

Promote us and recruit others

Once you feel comfortable enough with the overall concepts:

  • Mention LedgerbackØDCRC in relevant discussions online, at conferences, with friends and family, etc.
  • Write blog posts or other updates about LedgerbackØDCRC
  • Invite others to come learn and help


If you have some time to spare, please consider volunteering.

Citations and Mentions

Reports or journal articles mentioning LedgerbackØDCRC