A trial period in order to test the cooperative legal form


Very simple.
This is our time.
We are awesome and we are in beta.

As you may already know since some months we are thinking about how we could have a legal form in order to run in a better way our economic activity.

For economical activities so far we used the non-profit legal form we already have in Paris (France) and Valencia (Spain), but it’s quite clear that we can’t keep going like that.

A possible way we took into account as a legal form is one or more cooperatives.

From Madrid and Valencia we started to get informed about how work cooperatives. We can say that we are really interested and almost convinced about the idea to create one or more cooperatives. However, we also realized that there’s a lot of things to take into account about our governance, in order to set up properly the cooperative.
For instance, we have to think about the percentage that we will give to CivicWise Global and CivicWise local circles. A cooperative as a legal form has as well some important expenses like an accountant or taxes. We should also think about social care etc…

How we share the money related to any each project? Should any project related to a specific circle? … or maybe a Lab? How do we decide how to spend the global money?

During the last “legal session” in HO we were discussing those things and we started to think that maybe would be useful to be a little bit more prudent. So instead of start right way a cooperative we could start a simulation period.
We could have an experimental period while we will work as a cooperative, sharing economic information and take decisions as we were a real cooperative but without creating a real one.

The idea is to start this trial period during the Glocal Camp and finish it for the next one (February or March 2018). So we can have at least 6 months to improve our economic governance before to start a real legal form.

What do you think about it?

BTW: something I think is really important
1 Thinking about it don’t forget that we are a network, so each territory must decide the legal form based on its context and its context

2 Any legal form should be understood as a tool not as a direct legal identification with CivicWise. What I mean is that the cooperative we will create in not CivicWise but a tool create by CivicWise people that will improve CivicWise activity and projects.


My propose: let’s speak intensive about it here and in july in the glocalcamp but I think we don’t need a trial period. Without the cooperative I think we lose oportunities to develope projects together and we delay the real trial period - that in my opinion we will have anyway- with accountant suport.

I write it also in spanish because I feel I cannot express everything in english

Creo que empecemos cuando empecemos, tendremos una fase de prueba, de ver si todo aquello que hemos decidido funciona o no. Creo que por aquí y en el glocalcamp podemos perfilar bastante bien cómo queremos que todo funcione. En mi opinión, retrasar el inicio legal de la cooperativa puede incluso complicarlo más al tener que hacer frente a una situación en la que nos comportamos como tal pero sin el apoyo, que desde mi punto de vista es fundamental, de una figura contable.


@majereig the idea is that if we want, we can have that accountable support on this ‘testing mode’. Here in Madrid there is an innitiative called impulsa.coop which has been created for this kind of situations. This cooperative, impulsa.coop, are also used to work with ‘networks paradigm’ as CivicWise as they are the guys who act as consultant for El Salto. @luisgsanz and me already talked with them.

Eventhough I’m sure that we can find this kind of service from other people, we want to talk again with him to have specific info about this and how it works to share with you on Glocal Camp.


ok @pascualpg that is another situation but… I still don’t understand why we need this trial period, sorry!

I think we will have “problems” to solve any moment we decide to make the cooperative because the diversity of projects will make us doubt about the governance and other structural issues of the cooperative.

this will be a key theme in the Glocalcamp, I think.


Well, the thing is…we don’t need this trial period…at all. :slight_smile: but can help… a lot.

Think about it…to make the cooperative it’s going to takes us months to do it anyway, to make decisions about this governances and other structural issues and try to clarify them and define them on some statutes and all our internal regulation for that cooperative. The idea is that, while we are discussing all this, let’s say theoreticaly, we can test at the same time empiricaly, working as if we are a cooperative at the same time of having this discussion about statutes and regulation so we are going to be able to make better decisions for that statutes just because what you are saying, we are going to find a lot of “problems” to solve because of the diversity of projects and situations, let’s makes this problems and situations as soon as we can, so we can know how to solve it. Not sure if that makes sense for you… =? not very clear with my english… :head_bandage:

Lo intento en español… :stuck_out_tongue: El tema es que no necesitamos ese periodo de prueba para nada, pero en cualquier caso constituir una cooperativa nos va a llevar meses de curro, para definir todas esas cuestiones de gobernanza y protocolos de trabajo en estatutos concretos y un reglamento interno. La cosa sería, solapemos ese proceso de discusión y debate sobre todos esos protocolos y cuestiones de gobernanza con un proceso empírico en el que vayamos viendo y testeando al mismo tiempo que lo discutimos y lo decidimos cuáles son esos problemas. Si mientas estamos tomando decisiones sobre si el estatuto es A o B surge un proyecto en el que una situación concreta, por el hecho de estar ya funcionando como cooperativa, nos da la respuesta, pues mejor que mejor, ¿no? podremos tomar la decisión y registraremos ese estatuto a sabiendas de que funciona, porque ya nos hemos enfrentado a esa situación y lo hemos resuelto. :slight_smile:

Quizá no me he explicado bien ni siquiera en español… :head_bandage:


ok, now I understand. But what happens if we lose some projects because we don’t have a strong legal situation? for exemple, we have some projects in Valencia that need a legal workgroup not individuals working together.
thank U for the explanation :slight_smile:


The thing is that this ‘trial mode’ is not making more difficult the approached of projects. I mean, we need, let’s say, at least 6 months to constite a cooperative in our situation (civicwise global, even if the cooperative it’s only for spain, because that coop has to relate with people whithin CW who are not in spain and with other circles of CW out of spain), so if, we lose a project because we don’t have a strong legal form, is not going to be because of the trial mode, is going to be because we are still involved on the process of being a coop. The trial mode is not making dificult to constite the coop nor making it slower, instead, (from my point of view) is making it easier and faster.


I understand the intention and benefits of a trial period but the likely weakness of those “tests” worry me. Maybe it’s only my anxious profile but i think that we need action. That is: i’d be inclined to go directly to create the cooperative.


@Pablo ha tenido un problema y no ha podido escribir en el hilo. Mientras averiguamos de qué se trata, os pego lo que me estaba comentando.
“El periodo de prueba no va a ser real hasta que no esté constituida la ccoperativa. En cuanto a qué va la estructura, hay que definir qué servicios va a prestar la ccoperativa a sus miembros y el coste que va a tener. Lo primero es tener una cooperativa de trabajo asociado. Si después se decide optar por cooperativas territoriales, puede haber una cooperativa de segundo grado que preste servicios a las demás.”