FOSSMeet 2016

FOSSMeet is an annual event at NIT Calicut that brings together the Free and Open Source Community from around the country.

Steven Deobald


The Software Co-operative: Creating a Corporation in the Commons

Submitted Jan 19, 2016

Many of the attendees will be business owners or future business owners. The principles represented by worker and consumer co-operatives hold up well with the solid foundation of a truly co-operative business, much like a well-written software license. However, even if these principles are approached and applied piecemeal, they still retain much of their inherent value; and that value can ensure businesses growing from the industrial age to the information age remain resilient.

The slides listed are an example of some topics which will be approached during this talk and will not be the slides used for this specific talk.


Using the example of nilenso (a sustainable software co-operative in operation for the past 3 years), we will walk through the web of guiding principles governing a corporate co-operative and compare them to the guiding principles which make open source possible: transparency, resiliency, meritocracy. We’ll also look at specific documentation released by nilenso into the Commons which can help new technology co-operatives get started.

Speaker bio

Steven has run a number of startups and small businesses, starting in high school when the entrepreneur bug first bit him along with the first wave of small web development companies struggling with CSS 1.0 and optional Javascript. After a 10-year career which found him in National Defence, oil companies, consultancies, national government agencies, high-frequency trading firms, and startups, he has finally found a home at nilenso: India’s first technology co-operative.




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