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Background of Robin Hood Unlimited

In the general member meeting in December 2014, RHC decided it needs new means to grow and develop. The main reasons were that the cooperative had been unable to grow enough to become economically viable, yet it became too much work to be sustainable as a volunteer organisation, it was (legally, organisationally, financially, affectively) too demanding, rigid and burdensome to continue as it was. It was also obvious, that more could be done in terms of different financial tools and technologies.

\From Dec 2014 minutes: Robin Hood 2.0 will need a structure, organization, strategy and people:
A. That allow Robin Hood to grow-that makes possible external funding (of the development)-opens to bit assets-makes entry and exit easy and flexible-opens a secondary market for our shares-takes care of the permit problems
B. That make Robin Hood viable and possible in the first place:-makes it possible for people to put their time into it and get livelihood out ofdoing and developing it: brings food to the table-makes long term commitment of key people possible
C. That make multiple openings possible-decreases our dependency on one product, one business area, onemarket, any one person
D. That is wise, inventive, consistent, secure, legal-makes serious web development and admin possible-makes sustained aesthetics work possible-makes risk management possible

In view of these goals, in 2015 two steps have been made.

First, the coop has made a sustained effort to widen its basis and open source its day-to-day operations as well as its development. The power of the coop are its members! New subdomains have been added, the most important being discourse.robinhoodcoop.org. The volunteer section of discourse.robinhoodcoop.org is the place where the coordination and decison making on the open source tasks happens. Volunteers/contributors help organise open offices and other events, do PR on social and other media, maintain the websites, develop new ideas, and so on.

Second, in order to be able to access external finance, manage risks and to support full-time commitment to developing the next stage, a new organisational tool, called Robin Hood Services (RHS), was set up. Since the spring 2015, the team of RHS has been working towards the next stage, the coop as a platform.

In the grey paper “Equity, Options, Assemblage - Robin Hood 2.0” we wrote:

“We’ve learned a considerable amount during our first two years of operation. And while Robin Hood understands its project to have only just begun, we sense an increasing inability to self- effectuate our full-power and scalability. For one, our product is still too one-dimensional: it doesn’t create enough options for our members, and subsequently risks falling into ‘small circulation’ (members end up again with powerless consumption money in their hands). Second, we increasingly realize that if it’s important to be able to turn money into capital, i.e. to make it work, to make it a means of production and organization, it’s perhaps even more important to make its organization n-dimensionally dynamic. And finally, we wonder if now our organizational charter as solely a cooperative has not reached its endogenous limits? For this reason, we are preparing to self-induce our own transmutation, and now turn to greet a critical moment whose encounter grows near. What we know: 1. We must grow our common equity. A first step towards this is accomplished by increasing our assets under management (AUM).2. We must also facilitate the creation and distribution of new options. For equity without options lacks dynamism and distributive force.3. Our member base must grow. If we are to effect a clearing for a new aesthetics of economic assemblage, the number of Robin Hood denizens must proliferate. For this reason, our organizational structure must also be reappraised, transvalued, updated and made commensurate to the organizational demands of our present moment. We intend to move forward our program of multiplicity-in-becoming with affirmation and joy. And we know that to remain sleek and nomadic, monstrous and couth, we must augment our strength, momentum, and élan vital. The only question is that of how? How do we better operate the objectives - more equity, more options, more assemblage - of our 1.0 protocol? How do we effectuate a fluid, flexible, autonomous organization, from which a heterogeneity of new options and possibilities spring forth?”

After analysing carefully many different structural alternatives, Robin Hood Services was set up as benefit-company in the US. We wanted explicitly a structural solution that would, first of all, compartmentalize Robin Hood’s ongoing development risks so as to eliminate any domino effect or otherwise exogenous risks, while securing the possibility for continual creations of new, member-driven autonomous services and operations. Secondly the solution had to be able to secure necessary funding and other development resources required for the successful implementation of Robin Hood’s next steps, for example that the development team could concentrate on the work, earn salary, receive shares and will otherwise be materially vested in and remunerated by our joint success, and that micro-contributions, bounties, and short-term commitments by varieties of operators would be allowed. Thirdly the solution had to be able to secure that Robin Hood would never lose control of the direction of itself.

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