Internet of Ownership Project Council Charter

Ratified 2019.09.21

The Internet of Ownership Project Council is a cooperative entity consisting of autonomous member projects that are creating a shared resource commons for the emerging democratic online economy—platforms that distribute ownership and governance among the people who rely on them, especially those who contribute their labor and personal data. The Internet of Ownership and the Project Council are fiscally sponsored by Sarapis, a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit. As a cooperative, the Project Council upholds the values and principles of the international cooperative movement.

All member projects agree to comply with the spirit and letter of this charter. In exchange, they can help build and manage resources controlled by the council.

The Project Council can mobilize a number of resources in support of member projects:

  • The IoO.coop platform: Our core resource is an online platform designed for resource sharing and collaboration in support of people and projects building a democratic online economy.
  • Funding: The Project Council manages a money pool it can allocate to member projects.
  • Promotion: We use collectively owned media properties to spread news and information about member projects.
  • Volunteers & In-kind Donations: We work together to productively mobilize volunteers to assist member projects.
  • Fiscal Sponsorship: We help member projects build relationships with US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits so they can receive tax-deductible donations and be in compliance with applicable regulations.

Membership

Projects must meet the following criteria to qualify to join the Project Council:

  • Advance democratic ownership and governance for the online economy
  • Actively contribute to our resources at least every six months, either in terms of infrastructure or content, or contribute constructively to the governance process in the same period
  • Commit to publicly identifying as a member if requested by the Project Council
  • Exhibit collaboration and coordination with other members of the Project Council
  • Comply with all Project Council guidelines, documentation requirements and processes

All Project Council member projects are required to maintain the following information:

  • Contact information for at least one active member who can represent the project at the council
  • Profile information as outlined in the initial project application described in the application section

People can only represent one Project Council project at a time.

Prospective member projects apply to the Project Council by filling out an application. We go through the following process to accept new members:

  • Project Council members will review applications to see if they meet criteria. If so, the applicant may be invited to present or meet with Project Council members at the next available opportunity.
  • Projects receiving over 80% approval from the membership are accepted into the Project Council.
  • Rejected projects will receive feedback explaining the reasoning behind the Project Council decision.

Member projects can be removed for the following reasons:

  • Persistent non-compliance with guidelines and process
  • Voted out (80% consensus) by member projects on the basis of non-compliance with the letter or spirit of this Charter

Funding

The Project Council can pool and distribute funds to member projects for the purposes of advancing a democratic online economy or contributing to the development of the Internet of Ownership.

Member projects are invited to apply for funds from the Project Council by providing the information below:

  • Amount Requested
  • Timeline
  • Explanation
  • Point Person
  • Other Sources of Support

Funds are managed by Sarapis, the 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor of the Internet of Ownership. Member projects can request funds to be paid from the Internet of Ownership account on Open Collective. Approval and provisioning of project-specific funds is determined by a decision of the Project Council, although as fiscal sponsor Sarapis reserves the right to refuse any approved funding request.

Governance

Decisions on most Project Council business can be made on a rolling basis through the organization’s Loomio group. However, Project Council meetings over video conference should take place at least once a year, and can be requested at any time by member projects.

  • Any documented members of a Project Council member project can join meetings or participate in conversations, but only one designated representative per member project may vote.
  • Proposals become policy when passed by consensus, defined as 80% agreement or abstentions among member votes.
  • Proposals on Loomio must be open for at least 3 days, and be announced via email notification when created, to result in valid decisions.
  • For proposals to pass over a video conference, at least two-thirds of projects must be present.

This Charter can be revised through the normal process, except requiring a proposal to be open for at least 5 days to result in a valid change.

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