We intend the Open Awards to be an international platform cooperative. By this we mean that the platform will be governed by the members and users of the platform and serve their needs. Some of the money that users put into the platform will go to cover costs, and will generate funds that can be exchanged for cooperative equity. One potential problem with this ideal goal is that the institution of a cooperative may incur taxes on the transactions inside the platform, which are essentially gifts from one user to the next. We are still looking into the costs, both financial and operational of creating such a legal national entity with an international scope, as opposed to a foundation, which may be a more appropriate entity in the country where we decide to incorporate. For the moment that is where most of the Open Awards team lives, in Spain. In either case, we will strive to make the end users the owners in every sense possible within either of these two legal structures. Users will own the code (libre software) and will control the governance of the platform.
A smaller workers’ cooperative will actually build the platform along the lines of what users need. Some will be paid employees working for a salary, others will volunteer their time. Those who can work on the necessary tasks will accumulate equity which can be used in the platform itself or else exchanged for funds. All of our finances and operation are and will always be transparent.