Cooperatives Europe builds open-source index for the co-op movement

Open source shares the same principles as the co-op movement, say developers

Cooperatives Europe is developing a new open source software to allow users to index co-op information and resources in a standardised way.

Now in its final testing phase, the Knowledge Base – aimed at mentors and youth organisations that support young co-operative entrepreneurship – is being developed in the framework of the ICA-EU Partnership (#coops4dev).

It is the first time Cooperatives Europe has develped an open source strategy to promote the co-op model. 

The idea of developing software to index resources  – such as guides, e-books and explanatory videos – emerged from Cooperatives Europe’s CoopStarter 2.0 project and was up-scaled via the Global Cooperative Entrepreneurs (GCE) programme.

Through the software, co-op mentors will be able to reference existing material on co-operative entrepreneurship find useful publications, in a variety of languages, in a matter of seconds.

Users can also contribute to the Knowledge Base by sharing resources and information.

Co-operatives Europe says that making the resource open to all conforms to the fifth cooperative principle – providing education, training and information. The software may be used and repurposed by the public for their own needs and on their own infrastructure.  

“Since open source is historically committed to empowering people and fostering collaboration, the co-operative movement and FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) share the same values,” says Cooperatives Europe.

The organisation adds that the knowledge base source code is already public and available. It is built on two main components: front-end (interface) and back-end (the indexing system as well as the management part). For the moment a WordPress plugin is being developed. The code of the plugin is free and available.

Where to find it



WordPress Plugin:

The Knowledge Base is developed by Happy-De – a network of developers from France, and built on top of Startin’BLOX.