How does the Knowledge Atlas Co-op work?
As a contributor you are a member, and as a member, you are an owner. We are inviting people around the world to help build, and collectively own, this map of human knowledge. As a contributor to Knowledge Atlas, you will own a share of the company itself.
Come share in the ownership, profits, and governance of the worlds first social media co-op. As a member, you will have a voice in how the co-op is run, including how the surplus funds are allocated. In addition to building and editing the map of human knowledge, the members can attend local community social events, volunteer for committee work to develop co-op policies, and even have a voice in who is elected to the Board of Directors. To become a member-owner of the Knowledge Atlas Co-op, we don’t ask for a membership fee, but instead ask that you contribute to Knowledge Atlas itself.
You can belong to a co-operative effort to change the world. 50% of the co-op surplus will be donated to causes chosen by the co-op membership. You direct the profits from your contributions to a worthwhile cause that you identify with and believe in.
What is a co-operative?
A co-operative is owned and controlled by its members, quite the opposite of many investor-owned businesses. Profits are distributed to the members in proportion to their work, used to build the co-operative, and donated to social and environmental initiatives. All decision making is fair and transparent.
Co-ops are a cornerstone of trade and commerce around the world. Over 800 million people belong to co-operatives, including over 25% of all people in the United States and Canada. The lives of nearly half of the world’s population are made secure by co-operative enterprise. Co-ops provide over 100 million jobs around the world – 20% more than multinational businesses. In 2008, the top 300 co-ops were responsible for an aggregate turnover of US$1.1 trillion (Global 300 report, International Co-operative Alliance).
Co-ops have a mandate for education and giving back to the community. Co-operatives share revenue with their members and the community. Their buying and charitable-giving policies are dictated by co-operative principles. They support local food production, Fairtrade, higher animal welfare standards, ethical investing, microfinance, and sustainable development. Co-operatives do not support child labour, tobacco trade, environmental polluters, the abuse of human rights, and other unethical practices.
View statistics on the worlds co-operatives
Read more about Worker Co-operatives and governance
Guiding Principles of Knowledge Atlas
We are building a learning tool to share with the world and we feel that the co-operative principles are perfectly matched to the type of community we wish to build. Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
In addition to the seven co-operative principles, our guiding principles are:
- Develop a love of learning and teaching in all ages.
- Create a new form of communication that strips away rhetoric, one-sided messages, and media spin.
- Be a good person. Be truthful. Act with honour. Do something hard.
- Encourage robust, thoughtful dialogue and discourse.
- Present many points of view without ridicule or bullying.
- “Be the change that you want in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
- Be open and transparent as a business.
- “Grow only with purpose.” (South Mountain Company, USA)