We are turning over control of The Reef's project to an association

Today we ran an impromptu workshop on governance of The Reef, taking advantage of the presence of @patrick_andrews in Brussels. Our conclusions were:

  1. When putting money into real estate, we all are accustomed to think in terms of freehold property. We buy something, and we own it completely. On the other hand, The Reef wants to be quite large, and so it would have to be owned by more than one owner. Collective ownership of real estate is not easy, but the Wooncoop model (discussed in some details here) seems to offer a partial set of solutions. Action point: investigate the model further with Wooncoop. Try to establish if The Reef could give rise to what Wooncoop calls “a group”: a collectivity of actors that have a common real estate project, and wish to realize it within a cooperative framework.
  2. Right now, people have no way to signal commitment – or even serious interest – in The Reef as a project. Everything is open, people come to our workshops etc., but for now Edgeryders is the only entity that has project ownership. But this won’t do, because Edgeryders is only one of the future housemates. I am another one, @noemi is another one, and others. Action point: create a Belgian ASBL (a no-profit association) that will be gather people who are seriously considering moving into the future Reef, for a more sociable, greener urban life. Patrick will draft a statute. Edgeryders will be one of the founding members, and I will be another. If you, too, want to be a founding member, let me know, by leaving a comment here. You have time until Friday 13th December 2019. After that deadline, you will be able to join the association at any time, so no need to rush it, though of course we would be glad to see so much enthusiasm already.

Edgeryders will continue to run the relationship with Climate-KIC, and seek funding for the next stage of the project. The main advantage of having an association is that anyone can join it… anyone seriously interested in moving forward, that is. We have decided there will be a membership fee, because this will discourage the tourists.


Hi Alberto

As @patrick_andrews will testify legal design has long been my core interest based on a lifetime’s practical legal, accounting, regulatory experience and two decades in ‘fintech’. The subject of my work at UCL ISRS where I first coined the neologism “Nondominium” in making a Land Reform Submission is the institutions and instruments necessary for the positive sum collaborative services economy evolving out of our broken (zero sum) competitive transaction economy.

Since then I have been fleshing out concepts through iterative action-based learning at community level in Scotland, where I live and have recently begun to populate Nondominium

In a nutshell, there are two elements to rethinking the Property relationship in terms of rights of use, fruits of use and exclusive possession: firstly the multi-stakeholder Nondominium agreement, so-called because no single stakeholder has dominant rights over any other.
Secondly, the simple but radical rental credit instrument. This is simply a £, € or whatever denominated promise which is returnable - ‘Peer to Here’ in payment for the use of land & buildings.

I think of the combination as Community Fintech, the difference with Blockchain/Coins being that Nondominium is an agreement (not an organisation) between people, not machines, and a coin is a machine-generated proof of past utility, whereas a credit is a people-based promise of future utility.

I see rental credits as a form of currency local by definition.

My lecture on Promises, Protocols & Power sets out my latest thinking of a complementary Fintech 2.0 implementable tomorrow with no change in any law and which integrates the utility of energy, location and ‘intellectual’ value (which is extensible to spiritual and emotional value).

Happy to assist in working out a practical, scalable prototype which may be networked globally.

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@chrisjcook I have been thinking about you… are you aware of what we are doing with the Sci-Fi Economics Lab?

New to me, but I could probably help pull it together

I mean that could be an outlet for this part of your work: out-of-the-box economic thinking.

This is just an association, not a very interesting challenge for you.

On the contrary. I have come to understand over many years working on legal design that it is the concept of the artificial legal person or “corporate” which is at the root of our problems. This is the case whether the corporate is public (eg nation state or municipal) or private eg company limited by shares or by guarantee.

The reasons are:
(a) members individual identities are submerged in a collective, thereby alienating us from each other;
(b) the 51/49 tyranny of the majority;
(c ) the principal/agent management problem, whereby the interests of the people appointed to manage diverge from those of the collective.

Note that all of the above also apply to the Blockchain as a machine collective.

So I am going back to the future or “re-novating” through the institutional use of unincorporated societies and companies not as ‘organisations’/legal persons but as agreements to self organise to a common purpose. Note that the origins of the word Company was with groups of ‘companions’ who took bread together, and indeed companies (eg soldiers) survive in use today.

So the ‘Nondominium’ agreement I propose is in fact an Unincorporated Company agreement to a common purpose, bringing together the stakeholders necessary to achieve that purpose.

The key to it all is the ancient prepay credit (promissory) instrument, the acceptance of which requires trust in the issuer, which may be assured by mutual guarantee agreements eg Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Clubs in the shipping world.

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this rental credit instrument sounds interesting :wink: from what i read potentially applicable to a concrete project that wants to experiment with rights of use,usufructo or possessio of a material property . thank you for sharing

In fact land rental and/or tax credits were essentially how UK sovereigns funded themselves for centuries. National Debt is a myth.

There is nothing new under the sun: we need re-novation not innovation


We are going to need to hire historians then :grinning:

Not to mention philosophers…


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Application for incorporation of The Reef ASBL submitted.

Founding members (have to be minimum three) are: Edgeryders OÜ, represented by @matthias, @nadia and myself. In 2020 we will be accepting new members as we move on. I will see with Matt how to put the statute onto the website thereef.brussels.


Hi Alberto,
we (@Malcolm, @manuelpueyo and I) had a good meeting with Noemi yesterday. Could we get to look at the statutes of the new asbl? What would be the process for becoming a member?

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Hello guys, sure: here it is. I also tried to update the website with the same link – ping @matthias to check I did it right.

The idea of the ASBL is:

  • Start sifting people who are willing to make a preliminary commitment to The Reef as a very concrete project. This is why we have a membership fee (though for now we are not accepting payments, the ASBL does not have a bank account, and will not until we secure funding for the project in 2020. This should hopefully happen next week).
  • Make Edgeryders less central in the project. I am a member as an individual, and so is Noemi. The third founding member is Edgeryders itself. I am the pro tempore president, but, in the logic of making Edgeryders less central, I would very much like to step down as soon as possible: remain a member, of course, but not the president. Would any of you consider the role?
  • Start configuring what Woon Coop calls a “group”, i.e. a collection of individuals that decide to live together. We thought it would make sense to create a formal structure for our group, that would sit at the table and negotiate with possible partners (like Woon Coop itself, for example).
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