Cluster coops are usually created as associations of “1st tier” cooperatives. Here, we try to modify it a bit. Walkaway Coop is intended to be a cooperative maintaining shared infrastructure and making it available for members and not-members. At the same time, members will be invited to create module coops, focused on specific economic projects. Within rules agreed at the cluster level, they will be independent, self managing and supported internally on the base of solidarity and mutual aid.
Let’s assume that two or more members of the coop decide to start making candles and sell them. They announce the project as part of the cluster and start working on it. They may ask other members for occasional help, or invite them to join the module. As the cluster members, they can use shared infrastructure for their module. Whatever surplus they generate, they will be free to allocate as they wish.
Cluster assembly will define, which cluster rules apply to module coops. The goal of this provision is to prevent the cluster from becoming an incubator for capitalist “start-ups” and keep all initiatives within brackets of self-managed cooperative association.
Cluster rules should certainly define at least matters of:
- Internal governance, keeping the spirit of cooperativism.
- Financial rules, preventing profiteering and (self)exploitation.
- “Intellectual Property”, sticking with Open Source model.