Initial Scan of our Survey Responses - THANKS EVERYONE!

This is a quick note on special areas of interest and emerging thoughts and trends in our survey responses. THANK YOU!

The intent here is not to come to any premature conclusion: It’s more about providing a check on the process and a ‘temperature check’ on sentiment so far.

Please remember that this is very far from a ‘scientific’ analysis:

  • the sample size is still small - about 20 responses

  • we tweaked the survey substantially half way through… there are gaps in our responses

  • we have used some very subjective reading and evaluation to convert some qualitative responses into something more quantitative, but simplistic!

Almost all of the responses are public and available in the public category, but there are a couple that are private. This summary is generic and anonymous.

The story so far….

Who has responded?


Responses so far cover more than 20 co-operative organisations, from those with thousands of members or sign-ups in the media and entertainment sector and/or tourism, through to growing networks of established agricultural co-operatives. Some are ‘co-ops of co-ops’ with a potentially large regional consumer reach. Some are small, brand new locally-based community start-ups, incubating a variety of projects.


Our respondents so far are mostly from the EU, with a reasonably broad national distribution. Ireland and the UK are well represented, but there are many gaps. There are no APAC or African responses at all. Some purely digital platform co-ops have the potential for global reach, but their respondents here are all EU or US based so far.


Our respondents are almost all involved in running a coop with managerial business responsibility. Two or three are technical, and represent coops with high levels of technical readiness and commercial maturity.


The response coverage of the high level ‘standard industrial codes’ is still patchy, with information and communication ( J ), Arts, entertainment and recreation ( R ), featuring strongly followed by a mix of others in social work and care, freelancing and food supply chain and retail. We seem under-represented in financial services (e.g. credit unions) , housing (community land trusts, long term rental) and non-IT freelancing platforms (driving, cleaning).

What are the main concerns?

Overall, respondents align strongly with the problem areas we identified. Concerns about privacy are a given - all respondents identified with the issue. Co-operation among cooperatives was the topic that generated most engagement and comment about the potential to do more. KYC featured strongly as an issue for larger, more established co-operatives and those starting up in strongly-regulated sectors like housing.

There were several other problem insights that led to further use-case possibilities (see below)

Which Use Cases (Applications) are of most interest?

Of the three use-cases we ‘featured’ in the survey, the area with greatest interest was involving privacy-respecting cross-cooperative marketing, selling and collaboration. This was closely followed by the Stay Fair Play Fair independent music tourism scenario. Elections and polling had less engagement, but was arguably the least developed of the scenarios, so it is difficult to draw a conclusion here.

Are there any new insights and connections?

The discussion around the problems and use-case topics gave us some valuable insights:

On Know Your Customer/Cooperator:

  • KYC1: There is a problem / opportunity to address identity verification risk and levels of assurance through mutual ‘insurance’.
  • KYC2: Self-hosting of authentication technology by individual co-ops in a co-operative network is possible, but it places an emphasis on security… small co-ops have limited resources to deal with cyber threats. Can we provide ‘enterprise-grade’ security collectively without excessive centralisation?
  • KYC3: Accreditation of non-digital government-issued credentials is expensive and time consuming - doing this once, and not repeatedly, in a network is a big saving of ‘legwork’ (How much?)
  • KYC4: KYC in the context of Care, trust and public bodies is a special area with highly sensitive data.

On Inter-Cooperation:

  • Co-operation1: a big part of ‘inter-cooperation’ is being able to ‘find the others’: How to provide for discovery of others? What would a ‘registry’ look like? How to map the ecosystem and identify the most promising value exchanges and credential issuers/verifiers?
  • Co-operation2: there is an opportunity to provide an ‘open data’ resource, open for mapping and discovery by all.
  • Co-operation3: collaborative fundraising is more effective than myriad competing efforts (coherent brand, effort, infrastructure and approach to investor ‘market’)
  • Co-operation4: an opportunity to provide secure access management to common / semi-common resources or repositories in the co-operative network - ‘keys and locks’ scenario.
  • Co-operation5: potential use of a common wallet as a ‘pod’ for carrying / managing ‘my co-operator’ data (personal data store scenarios)

On the Stay Fair Play Fair independent music touring scenario:

  • Music1: Local DIY music festivals and / or network of local music collectives in addition to Stay Fair Play Fair accommodation exchanges. Annual festival / events.
  • Music2: Transportation, Food, Co-Work Spaces, Performance Venues
  • Music3: Music masterclasses and workshops
  • Music4: Licencing and verifiable rights, agreements

On Elections and Polling:

  • Poll1: Ballot distribution and verifiable presentation (not voting itself)
  • Poll2: are offering Decidim as a service for co-ops - reach out to and engage with them?

Things to do next:

Fill in the gaps in the survey with some follow-up questions.

Reach out to more potential respondents - many clues provided - thanks!

  • Target coop sectors: Telecomms, Energy, Finance/Credit Unions…. (mature, large user bases, experience in KYC)

  • Address gaps in geographical / regions: Spain, especially the Mondragon ecosystem. US Co-op networks. Also APAC / Africa

Facilitate some connections and conversations - e.g. on elections and polling

Identify the most promising use cases for the pilot. (Question: what does ‘promising’ mean? Criteria?)

Start on more rigorous Requirements Definition for our selected ecosystem use case(s). Consider using a approach to this?

Lastly: the survey is still open!!

It’s OK to make further new entries, or return to edit/add to the post originally created by your response.