Our mission is two-fold:
- foster collaboration between stakeholders, and
- 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.
Our research areas are best understood by the following non-exhaustive list of themes:
- platform cooperativism
- complex systems
- digital identity
- data-centric technologies
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
To join as a member, please fill out the membership form
and submit it to us.
Alternatively you can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the following details:
- Preferred username (lowercase)
- Full name
Once we process your membership request as per our rules, you will receive an email from us.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.