What is OpenCollective?
OpenCollective is a platform where communities can collect and disburse money transparently to sustain themselves and develop their activities.
So far, the Internet has been really good at helping people do great things together. From open source projects, to meetups, all the way to movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #OccupyWallStreet. Yet, once there is money involved, there is still no good solution. As a result, those communities tend to avoid dealing with money or just have one sponsor at a time to cover immediate expenses.
We want to change that. We want to enable communities to have economic power so that they can sustain themselves and have a larger impact in the world.
How does it work?
We are providing tools to legal entities all around the world to host open collectives under their umbrella. Those host organizations are the heroes that empower people in their local community to create associations without friction. They act as a bridge between the analog paper based API of their local government and the digital API of the 21st century.
The goal of OpenCollective is to create a New Form of Association for the Internet Generation.
Why Open Source?
Regulations are different all over the world. Governments are local operating systems with their own set of (paper based) APIs. We need to build a browser that will offer a new global and unique interface on top of which we can start developing new communities that won't have to worry about the complexity of the underlying operating system (aka administration).
To achieve that, we will have to adapt the software to comply with local regulations. While the concept of umbrella organization is a universal concept, the way bookkeeping and tax reporting should be performed varies between countries. Payment processing is also another area that needs to be adapted locally to make sure that most people –online and offline– can contribute to a collective.
Why not using the Blockchain?
We would definitely love to explore how we can use the blockchain to achieve this goal. But we don't want to wait for self-driving cars to be ubiquitous before starting building Uber/Lyft. We believe that we can already go a long way by using existing technologies and services (Stripe, PayPal, etc.) that are already well established.
Examples of open collectives already on the platform
- MochaJS, Yeoman, Apex, and many more open source projects
- Women Who Code, RailsGirls Atlanta, Consciousness Hacking