Newsletter October 2015
Hello Robins and Robinas!
The last weeks have passed with a flurry of activity!
Check out the latest news and developments:
1. Funding Projects Now!
The member meeting made the final decision on the projects to support. Thank you for taking part in the meeting in Loomio! The coop funds Casa Nuvem in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with 5000 euros, the P2P Foundation’s project on the Catalan Integral Cooperative and Commons Transition in Spain with 4000 euros, and the Radio Schizoanalytique and the Steki in Northern Greece with 6000 euros.
Spread the word about our proud moment, for instance by tweeting, linking and mailing the press release to your friends, families, and, well, basically everybody!
2. Forums - New
Our new and shiny member forums are off to a flying start. The address is http://discourse.robinhoodcoop.org There are already several lively topics, including Ideas for Robin Hood, Events and the Blockchain. A good place to start is to check who else is there and introduce yourself to the other Robins here: http://discourse.robinhoodcoop.org/t/introductions-come-and-say-hello-and-introduce-yourself
The idea is that most of our communications will, in the future, happen via the forums. In order to stay abreast with what is going on and to make new paths possible, it is important that all active members register to the forums.
3. Changes in the Volunteer Team
There are also some changes in the volunteer team running the co-op. Teppo Vesikukka (also known as Cyberfriar Tuck) is concentrating on his studies and work as an artist, and has handed the role of Managing Director to Tere Vadén. At the same time, Ana Fradique continues to be Vice Managing Director, and Harri Homi takes up new tasks. A deep bow of thanks to Teppo and Harri, who also took the co-op ahead by leaps and bounds in 2015! We also thank Matthieu for his hard work over the last 2 years. Matthieu coded most of the improvements suggested by the core team behind the scenes over those years. Thank you Matthieu! We give a big welcome to Hannes who will be helping with some of the systems administration.
If you are interested in joining the web team then you can look out for openings in the forums here:
4. Next General Meeting
This brings us to the next topic. As was already evident in December 2014, when we had our member meeting, the traditional co-op structure is not sustainable enough. There is a lot of work and no possibility to pay for it. At the same time, there are great possibilities and avenues for going forward and diversifying in terms of both organisation and financial technology. Through the development work in the offices and other venues, it seems that there is a solution to these problems, one that also promises an exciting future: the coop of the 21st century is a digital platform (like facebook or some such, but distributed like bitcoin) owned and operated by its members/users. For the volunteers running the co-op, developing the platform feels like the next big thing. What do you think?
This is something we have to discuss and think about, in preparation for the upcoming general meeting. The board and the volunteer workers are busy preparing more material to chew on. In the meantime, there is the “grey paper” from June, and an increasing amount of documents in discourse. A good place to start is here: http://discourse.robinhoodcoop.org/t/an-intro-to-blockchains-ama/86/4
5. Upcoming Events
3-4.10 Palo Alto University: Positive Platforms
3-4.10 Milan: Effimera conference
1-2.11 Auckland: TBA
3-5.11 Sydney: TBA
13-14.11 New York: Platform cooperativism
20-22.11 Athens: Finance as a place of creation (see below)
3-4.12 Amsterdam: Money Lab 2
25-26.1 Los Angeles: TBA
The coop will be active in several venues during the next months. The first up is the Effimera Conference, in Milan, Italy, where Tere and Pekko Koskinen will be taking part. They will represent Robin Hood and, more importantly, present the plan of the co-op as a platform with some semi-practical examples and solicit feedback on them.
You can always follow up about events in the forums here: http://discourse.robinhoodcoop.org/t/events-offices-pop-ups-fairs-etc/28/3
Athens Office: Finance is a place of creation
The Office in Athens has two aspects. First, developing further the concept of finance in terms of new equity relations and commonfare. Second, running a testing/prototyping session with the second generation P2P finance platform Robin Hood is developing.
We are at a stage when we need to de-mystify the notion that money is either some kind of scarce resource (hence calls for austerity) or a simple index of a stable, homogeneous underlying quantity (such as labor time or quantities produced per hour). How could we free finance to be social?
In Athens, Robin Hood will work on this concept: is it possible to think of a shift from finance as a technology of capital based in debt and primitive accumulation to finance as a form of production of new kind of equity relations and commonfare? What role can invention with financial technologies and blockchain technologies play in devising new means to finance and organize creatively autonomous, non-privatised and not-accumulating institutions of commonfare production (health, the arts, research and development), which constantly disperse narrowly understood value-creation?
We will also run a testing/prototyping session, an analog simulation of how one of our new products called the PeerHood (working name) – a second generation P2P finance platform (exotic options technology in the backend) - will work and play out in the hands of creative users, groups, networks, collectives and societies: how it can be used creatively to finance things people want to do, making one’s abilities, knowledge, networks liquid, and what the social architecture embedded in it makes possible.
Working in the office, among others, are Pekko Koskinen, Stamatia Portanova, Tiziana Terranova, Carlo Vercellone, Andrea Fumagalli, Emanuele Braga, Tere Vadén, Daniel Hassan and Akseli Virtanen.
6. Financial Report
In the previous Newsletter in August on the financials, we noted that the portfolio was down 13% (from $756,594.56 to $656,272.62). The markets were very nervous then, and the volatility has continued. At the moment the NAV is further down, at $619,908.17. Below some thoughts from Sakari on the situation on the 28th September:
From the beginning Robin portfolio is now up 20,92%. During the same period SPX is up 49,19%.
From the beginning of 2015 Robin portfolio is down -7,45% vs. -4,77% of SPX (see below).
The economic problems in China really hit the markets. In many ways it seems to be more the problem with transparency than economy itself. US Fed has not been very helpful either. Just recently they voted 9-1 to keep the rates steady. After the voting James Bullard – one of the decision makers – came out and said “it was a close call”. 9-1 vote? That kind of statements only create confusion.
All that said I think we have the worst news in already. One sign of this is ANFI – Amira Nature Foods – that I highlighted in the previous report. Within the two last days of last week it rose 37,5%. If the short squeeze gets started, the stock rises much higher. We added our positions at the right time. So let’s bring up two other candidates: Akorn (AKRX) and OVA Science (OVAS). Which one shoots first?
Be proud of being part of such movement. Being a member of our cooperative is a significant political stand and way to increase your financial autonomy.
How to Became a Member?
Get On Board and Participate:
Join now on our website or click the button on the right side of this letter. Register and book your first shares. After confirming your email address, you will get instructions for payment.
If you have any questions, ideas or proposals feel free to contact us.
SPREAD THE WORD!
Please, help us continue by spreading the word!
Below is an example of tweet/facebook update that you can use, or, better yet, write your own!
Robin Hood Cooperative is the wild side of finance!
www.robinhoodcoop.org/ #RHMAM #RHcooperative #commons #newEquity @RobinHoodMAM
ROBIN HOOD ON KEISER REPORT
Also good to spread! One of our software engineers, Daniel Hassan, was interviewed by Max Keiser at his program Keiser Report. Find the video HERE .