Project Management Software - Collective Decision Tools

Project Management

The module “Project Management Software - Collective Decision Tools” is the driving force behind our demotratic ideas, and is also the heart of the platform. It is a standard and widespread software tool, but one that is essential for coordinating the network.

Project Management Software

This type of software allows people to propose new projects, as well as joining and managing existing ones.

The creation of a new project (which includes a presentation of the objectives, resources, staff, and necessary skills of the project) automatically opens a dedicated discussion board and an editable timetable, as well as a task manager and mailing list for the participants. This task manager can create a list of actions that need to be carried out, and can distribute them to the correct people to be completed. It also allows monitoring and follow-ups of the progress of each project stage.

The advantage of dedicating a discussion board to each project is that discussions which are centered around concrete projects are more constructive and action-oriented than those of a typical discussion board, which can be open but aimless.

The authorization of the creation of a new project can be made conditional to a collective decision in order to avoid proposals which are too far-fetched.

We have experimented with this type of tool for a few years, during which some 30 projects have been proposed. Some of these were very interesting, others more uncertain, but the principle has proven that it works well.

“Committees” dedicated to certains skills (groups of translators, groups of computer developers, etc.) can be formed to identify the range of skills that are available for a given project.

Decision by Consensus: A Democratic Tool

Consensus is the best method of decision-making, as it allows minority-voices, and their arguments, to be better taken into account

Take for example a decision that must be made on a local level to allocate a budget to a project. The proposal is made, and a first vote is put in place.

If “yes” is the majority answer, then the “no” supporters are asked the reasons behind their answer. These will be listed, grouped, analyzed, and discussed.

A second vote will be taken in light of these elements. If “yes” wins again, the project is adopted, but the minority arguments are recorded and archived. They will be used for project monitoring, which, once finished, will make it possible to compare the results of the projects to the reservations expressed by the critics.
If during the second vote “no” wins, then the “yes” supporters will explain their arguments in turn. Therefore, the vote is carried with two winning rounds, out of a maximum of three.

If after the fact it turns out that the opponents of the adopted project were right, their voices will naturally be considered more carefully in the next decisions. This is especially true when it comes to a decision at the local level, such as a town where everyone knows each other.

Thus, as decisions are made, and based on everyone’s different skills and knowledge, all voices will be heard. This greatly simplifies the acceptance of projects by minority critics.

The module will record and secure votes using Blockchain technology to make this system tamper-proof.



The rather old idea of crowdfunding has now become well known to the general public. This method of disintermediating a project makes it possible to bypass the need for banks, but requires the convincing and uniting of a sufficient number of participants. During a set period of time, every interested person pays a small sum into the campaign via a donation or a future consideration.

The use of this module with our platform will be an opportunity to finance projects that meet the standards set by ethical charter. Its effectiveness will, of course, depend on the number of members and their motivation towards a project. If there is a sufficient workforce, the crowdfunding module can be turned into a credit union, an entity that can finance larger projects, such as the creation of a worker’s cooperative.

Communal Lending

One function of this financing module can be dedicated to direct communal lending :

Small municipalities and towns are often forced to borrow funds to finance local projects of public interest (apart from infrastructure and other investments that are already financed by taxes). This could be the construction of a public space, a place dedicated to local democracy, or the subsidization of a café, which can be a place for meetings and exchanges in small towns. This type of café, often “multiservice”, will have beverage service, a post office, cash machines, a bread box, internet access, and more. It is, above all else, the heart of social life and the nerve center of rural communities. WIthout them, conviviality and social ties disappear, as does the sustainability of the small town. Very often in these communities, the very existence of a school depends only on the continued enrollment of just a few students. These can be lost by just a few families who decide to leave an aging and unattractive village to join the droves of urban people who are subjected to demographic pressure, pollution, and aggression of different kinds (such as noise, imagery, advertising, etc.).

Instead of using a bank for this type of credit, it would be in the better interest of the community to solicit the inhabitants for a communal loan. The interest rate could be lower for the municipality, and the interest will be paid directly to the inhabitants who are already benefiting from the project. The level of involvement of the population within the project is increased since their contribution is voluntary, and they are directly participating in the decisions and its development.

This municipal loan could even be accompanied by a referendum, or local consultation, a sort of public debate with a decision by consensus.

It is an opportunity for a local community to self-finance, to free itself from the banks and to practice in self-management and direct democracy.

We hope to be able to, via a dedicated module on the platform, be the interface between small town halls and the individuals wanting to finance projects. This way, a loan may be able to extend beyond the population of the concerned municipality, and the digital tool to manage these funds will be made available to them free of charge. This module can share many functionalities with the crowdfunding module.

Group Purchasing

Group Purchasing

The Group Purchasing module plays a very important role for the platform, it can be seen as the engine for the machine. It is a question of creating a “unionization of demand”, that is to say a central purchasing body composed of individuals and companies (i.e, professional group purchases) that is framed by the ethical charter.

This type of power allows us to:

  • Obtain lower prices, while still paying the producer a fair value, since it is a direct sale with no unnecessary intermediary.
  • Attract both buys who are interested in finding useful, quality products that respect the social and environmental charter, as well as producers who are looking for commercial opportunities on the platform, who could then go on to use the other modules.
  • Finance the maintenance and development of the platform without need of further crowdfunding, ensuring sustainability.
  • Transform companies. Those who wish to offer their products and take advantage of this network will have to respect the ethical charter, which will often take an effort on their part to reach its standards.
    In return for these efforts on the working conditions of their employees or their environmental impact, they will benefit from commercial opportunities that they do not have to search for themselves. Therefore, it is potentially a tool for bringing about social transformations with the company. For example, if the network is strong enough, partners could be asked to transform themselves into cooperatives.

So, for companies that offer their products by group purchasing, it is an opportunity to take advantage of commercial opportunities free of charge, with no need for marketing, networking, or searching for sales of their products. The time saved, and the resources that would have been allocated to this commercial activity, allow them to focus on the core of their business : product quality and innovation. The decrease in manufacturing costs triggers another virtuous circle : the product now has a better quality, and is more durable and cheaper. It is now also competitive, and can go head-to-head with products on the market that are manufactured under worse social and environmental conditions, with intermediaries, marking, dividends, shipping costs, etc.
It may seem strange to talk about competitiveness on a cooperative project, but we have to keep in mind the reality that we are starting from and trying to transform, that this is a tool for transitioning from a vertical to a horizontal economy. Being competitive with lower-quality products from a destructive economy will be key to the success of the project and the gradual recovery of the means of production.
The motivations of the members of this network will differ. Some will come for philosophical reasons, others for the quality of the products. Others still, quite simply, for the affordable prices. The reason doesn’t matter-- this system will lead to an increase in the number of members on the network, which in turn will make it possible to launch the models that require a larger workforce.

The group purchasing module will also be able to offer “group delivery” to optimize logistics in an economical and environmentally friendly way. Thus, the inhabitants of a community will be able to join forces to have multiple orders delivered to the same place.

Direct Sales

Direct Sales

The aim of the direct sales module is to provide a shared information system for CSAs who would like one, and to extend the principle of linking producers and consumers to other parts of the process.

Food is humanity’s primordial concern, and a certain level of food self-sufficiency is essential for security. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is an absolutely necessary step to progress towards further independence.

The maintenance of community supported agriculture, and the paying of its fair value, now become primary concerns for health, just as interest in quality, local products (especially organic), was.

This disintermediated distribution model is another virtuous circle in many ways, which is why it needs to be developed and made more accessible.

Here is the principle :

The producer offers individual products or carts already filled with products within a defined geographical radius for direct sale to the consumer. They will be able to manage their catalogue online, which will also include the ability to manage their stocks to meet demands and reservations, as well as a schedule for planning pickups and deliveries.

They can choose from the following options :

  • Group buying (volume discounts for multiple orders)
  • Group delivery
  • Joining with other geographically close producers to manage a shared catalog, as well as fulfill pickups and deliveries.

On the buyer’s side, they have the possibility to search within, say, a radius of 30 km,what producers are available and the products that they have for sale. In addition, they can join with other orders for group buying or group delivery.

This direct sales module will be able to work with the project management module: local producers will be able to organize themselves to set up self-managed shared stores, either one-off or recurring, in order to link up with buyers, get to know them, and explain their approach and their job. This can be an opportunity for visitors to pick up their order, while discovering other products and learning more about their production. Restoring social ties is very important, because the purpose of the platform is not to dehumanize the exchanges, but on the contrary, to rehumanize them.

Subsequently, it will be possible to look into the possibility of establishing permanent self-managed stores where producers and buyers can carry out orders.

Individual Eco-Social Network

Individual Network

The idea is a social network oriented around the economy; a collaborative relationship for exchanging of services, bartering, donating, and renting and lending between individuals…

This module can be seen as a digital version of a LETS (local exchange trading system), expanding on its principles by moving beyond geographic limitations.

A LETS is an exchange of goods or services, which can be done in-network indirectly.

An example for 3 people: Peter gives a guitar lesson to Paul, who gives an English lesson to Jake, who then lends his lawnmower to Peter.

Even if, in general, LETS are done locally (in person encounters are often inherent to the exchange of services), the principle of continuous exchange can take a path that goes over a much larger geographic area and return to the local starting point via the network. The mesh-network structure makes it possible to find the shortest paths between each exchange.

In fact, with digital “LETS seeds” (a virtual currency generally based on time. One seed = one minute), the choice and number of exchange combinations is multiplied.

In our case, LETS seeds can become Freecoins (an internal Cryptocurrency)

Ridesharing Module

Given the specificity of this service (which isn’t worth going into right now), this will be a module in its own right, even if it fits perfectly into our definition of the Individual Eco-Social Network.

Typically, ridesharing is a “peer-to-peer” (i.e. between individuals) type of organization. There is no reason for a professional to spend their time chasing a profit that could be better made in a business setting. Furthermore, there are already local groups and/or businesses which provide this type of service which can, if they wish, use our application to group together and extend their service area.

Professional Eco-Social Network

Professional Network

Uberization (collaboration without cooperation and with an intermediary) hurts its participants. They are put into competition against one another, without any guarantee of income, and at the mercy of unpredictable margin increases for the intermediary.

The professional section of is therefore defined as a “deuberization” tool:

One of the main objectives of is to make self-managed platforms dedicated to businesses available to professionals in the collaborative economy.

To expand on the example of Uber drivers, the idea is to offer them a technically equivalent geolocation application, but without the 25% fee demanded by Uber. A consideration of 5%, totally allocated to development costs of the platform, could be requested. The remaining 20% of the margin could then be divided between the driver and their client so that all parties share a fair amount.

To start, drivers can use the platform at the same time as they drive for Uber, and suggest to their clients to use this cooperative platform rather than Uber (through flyers or business cards). With a three-pointed reasoning based on price, equity, and solidarity, they can gradually develop the network.

Since this type of application is quite expensive to develop, it may be necessary to take out a cooperative loan, or use crowdfunding. Since the geolocation tool could be used with logistics modules and various other applications (ridesharing, deliveries, transportation of people or goods, etc.), its cost can be more easily spread out.

A partnership with freelance drivers and delivery unions would be desirable to spread knowledge of the project more quickly in-house.

As a reminder, here is the set of logistic uses for individuals and professionals :

  • Ridesharing (An application similar to Blablacar)
  • Personal Transport (An application similar to UBER)
  • Local Delivery (An application like Deliveroo)
  • Transport of Goods (mainly for group deliveries)

Skill Grouping

This professional eco-social network should make it possible to form a union of freelancers. Since they are not employees, it will not be a union in the legal sense of the term, but a federation where a collective defends their common interests and facilitates their coordination. It will allow the standardization of minimum hourly rates, provide a pooling of resources, allow the creation of joint projects, or assisting in projects or tasks that cannot be achieved alone.

Groups of similar occupations and skill sets could also be established to exchange information or develop mutual training.

Professional Marketplace

A professional marketplace can be developed internally, always with the goal of eliminating unnecessary intermediaries.

Here again, it will be possible to integrate this market place with the group purchasing and logistics modules to optimize costs.

Financial Modules

Financial Modules

Three financial modules will be attainable when membership numbers reach to the hundreds of thousands. They will cement the independence of the network by ensuring its financial autonomy.

Mutual Organizations

To quote Wikipedia:

“A mutual, mutual organization, or mutual society is an organization (which is often, but not always, a company or business) based on the principle of mutuality and governed by private law… A mutual exists with the purpose of raising funds from its membership or customers (collectively called its members), which can then be used to provide common services to all members of the organization or society. A mutual is therefore owned by, and run for the benefit of, its members - it has no external shareholders to pay in the form of dividends, and as such does not usually seek to maximize and make large profits or capital gains.”

The concept of a mutual organization acting as a sort of cooperative form of health insurance is well known, but the principle can be applied to other ends. Tontines (a sort of collective savings) are widely used in Africa. In a rotary tontine, for example, each member has the right to the total sum saved by each other member one time, to finance a real estate project or similar endeavor.

Mutualism itself, invented by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, is an even broader concept founded on the idea of equitable exchange; that the value of a product or service is a function of the labor time involved. It is no longer a question of simply applying the law of supply and demand, nor one of a centralized planning of production and prices, but rather creating an exchange system that is as fair as possible. Basing the value of a good or service on the labor time is a much more egalitarian approach than simply estimating the base monetary value of materials, which is disconnected from human reality.

When 82% of all money that is generated is automatically seized by 1% of the population, even without the use of real production but of debt (the promise of future production), this 1% can buy a majority of property and production means. This phenomenon has contributed to rents doubling in the last 30 years, and it completely destabilizes the economy by concentrating power into a few hands.

So, there is currently too great a supply of money that is egregiously poorly distributed. This dilution of money also automatically leads to a decline in the value of money, and thus further untenable inflation for the most economically vulnerable. The impoveritization of the middle classes, which is observed throughout the world, is a result of this system of wealth concentration.

Credit Unions

Free mutual credit”, also theorized by Proudhon, is a system of banking that allows, amongst other things, microcredit. Individuals’ and companies’ banked assets can be loaned provided there is a guarantee of total repayment.

Repayment rates of microcredits are on average 95%. The remaining 5% of defaults are financed, in general, by interest paid on the loan. If we grow larger, however, into other areas, and the network expands, then these interest payments are no longer necessary as financing can be assured otherwise :

Creating use value :

This self-managed credit union can be used to finance internal projects on the network, using the collective decisions tools to choose which projects to support.

One goal of a network is to obtain information directly from the field. Each member knows their own piece of reality, which they can realy to others. Because of this, the different needs for services, organization, skills, or equipment can be identified. If an infrastructural need arises (say, for example, the need for a permanent covered market for 50 producers, or a joint logistics cooperative for a region), a projected solution can be proposed for financing. If this infrastructure is created and turns a profit, then 10% of that profit can be used, for example, for further project financing, and so on. Failures are written off, and successes continue to finance other projects, or fix the missed payments of the previously discussed microcredits.


Cryptocurrency often gets bad press because it is associated with speculation or the black market. It is, however, originally a type of encrypted digital currency, handled Peer-to-Peer via blockchain technology and with no central bank. Therefore it fits directly into the horizontal and rhizomatic ideals of this project.

A dedicated currency can indeed be useful in an autonomous economic network, in order to promote internal trade. Like specialized local currencies, such as the city of Renne’s Galléco (aimed at promoting the city’s trade), it is a complementary currency that could be dedicated to internal cooperative exchanges.

However the real interest of cryptocurrency, such as our future Freecoins, is to secure long-term monetary independence and promote international trade in the event this platform is adopted in other countries. So while it is not currently available, we must keep in mind that it is a possibility, in case of a bank or monetary collapse, which have happened several times throughout history. Therefore, this is the final stage of our economic re-appropriation project (the means of production, distribution, logistics, finance, and currency).

Collaborative Search Engine

Collaborative Search Engine

This module will be the most complex to initialize. It sits aside from the rest, and it is not totally necessary to the economic functionality of the network. That being said, as this is a Peer-to-Peer concept it is fully compatible with the platform’s philosophy, and is very important to us, as it is certainly the most innovative.

It will take at least hundreds of thousands of people for it to operate, meaning it will be necessary to reach all the previous steps to have such a network.

Information research is practically monopolized by Google (90%), which itself presents only 4% of the web in its results. Those who are looking to be found on google know how these results can be manipulated, especially by the purchase of domains (which can sometimes cost up to several thousand euros per domain). It is the largest companies that appear first in the results, and often in the same order. If this is not the case, such as if their SEO was poorly done, they buy the top-page ads from Google, and so they still find themselves at the head of the list.
So it is not an impartial system for seeking information, but rather a system for the trade of information. This is without even talking about censorship, which differs depending on the country (like the famous example of Tiananmen Square being censored in China by google), the manipulation of public opinion, or the selling of personal data. Google is considered the best search engine simply because its competitors are worse.

In addition to being very energy intensive (getting requests for information on remote servers that require power), this centralized way of information searching is not the most efficient.

The solution will take the form of Peer-to-Peer network under a sort of “Firefox” plugin, with an indexing system and a ranking algorithm based on 200 main criteria (quality and recency of content, ease of access to information, number and quality of links, etc…). Each site visited can be automatically or manually added by the user and indexed by the system. The manual addition option will allow the user to categorize and describe the site, which will create a “human” dictionary, a “wikipedia” of search engines. In the search bar, you will have the choice between the engine, the directory, or both.

The computing power of a neural network is multiplied in relationship to the interrogation of centralized servers, especially with fiber optics. A network of a few million people, allocating some of their IT resources to the module, will be more powerful, faster, and less energy intensive than Google.

The quality of this tool will also rely on the quality of its algorithm, which will evolve over time. A growing team of developers will be able to continuously improve upon it (using the same principle as the Mozilla community for Firfox, Thunderbird, etc.). The specifications of this algorithm will define the technical details in time, and our team of research analysts can contribute to it (our 15 years of reverse engineering off Google will be used to keep it this best).