Uniting For A World That Can Thrive

Moving finance to sustainable economies, The Citizens Media® (CM) is a Global Investment Co-operative that connects and helps fund people and communities designing products and services for increasing their own livelihoods.

We Have The Power To Change Our World!

Yet 8 out of every 10 of us live on less than $5,000 a year; 2.7 billion on less and $2 a day, which is more than the world's population just 60 years ago.

Why is this? Our economy depends on systems where the more you have the easier it is to get ahead, which makes reducing the wealth-gap impossible to do. Learn More

The good news is these systems haven't been in place all that long, and since they began, a whole host of alternatives have stepped up. What's more, most of today’s economy came about by designing solutions for the wealthiest 10% of us, leaving the rest of us underserved. This is a huge opportunity.

What can we do? What if we use this market to replace old ways of doing business with new ways of working that mean the more we come together, the more we can do, be and create?

What Does It Need?

  1. Communication
    To serve the underserved, we need to connect. Yet only one in three are online, and the platforms we use vary throughout the world. Then there’s language, resource and literacy skills. It's time to bridge the gap.
  2. Collaborative Investments
    By making investments a co-operative effort, united interest in businesses we support will increase discussion on issues that relate to their success. We’ll make progress because co-operation and competition work hand in hand.
  3. Local Engagement
    Most world aid goes to large scale solutions that fail to address the people so don't work. If we are to reduce the wealth gap, we need to invest in sustainable solutions that give people the tools they need to help themselves.
  4. Mobile Exchange
    Only half the world's adults have a bank account, and their control on the marketplace means we need the ability to transact without.

How It Works

CM invites you to invest in sustainable solutions that give people everywhere the means to increase their own livelihoods. Minimum contribution $10.
  • Working with organizations – Community Partners – out on the ground, local needs will be identified through Community Projects.
  • When you invest, you'll be asked which one you want to support.
  • Projects are used to identify design and communication needs
  • Design needs are posted online and Peer Production Designers and developers invited to respond.
  • Build commences.
  • Progress will be posted online, from where investors and those working on the project can comment and post questions.
  • Projects are used to test, prove and help implement solutions.
  • As solution implementation gets underway, Community Partners will work to develop local distribution models.
  • Solutions will be promoted and sold throughout the co-ops Global Hub.

Peer Production

Enabled by using Peer Production Licenses (PPL's) rights to CM's software and the design solutions produced through Community Projects will belong to the people who contribute to its development. In other words – although design blueprints / software code will be accessible by all – only those who contributed to its production, and/or have paid a fee for its PPL License, can use it for commercial gain.

Rewards to Peer Production Designers maybe supplemented through a percentile of revenues generated through product sales. How much they get, and the terms associated with PPL's issued, will vary in accordance to the contribution made.

Doing this means we can minimize the the cost of building solutions and channel money to serving communication and distribution challenges faced by the people living in the communities our projects serve.

Assisted by our business partner, The P2P Foundation, Peer Production Plans needed to produce and sell solutions will be developed by Co-op Operations.

Associated References

Peer Production: where it comes from and why it was designed.

Chapter 3A Co-Production (P.19), NEF Working Paper: Moving beyond the market: a new agenda for public services

Network of Networks

CM is like a co-operative franchise. Each franchise begins with a Community Project. The people, solutions, conversations and economies served through each 'Project Franchise' will be connected through it's own community-based network, which will be built using the co-ops mobile friendly platform for uniting and distributing technology and content.

Networks developed through each 'Project Franchise' will be joined together through the co-op's Global Hub.

Where Money Goes

Co-op Member Investments get distributed as follows:

  • 60% directly to Community Projects;
    ...that are used to identify design and communication needs, then prove, implement and distribute solutions that fit.
  • 20% to Co-op Operations;
    ...for business, marketing and basic development needs.
  • 20% to Contributors Of Content;
    ...who are giving voice to the people, communities, economies and solutions supported throughout the Global Hub.

Finance given to contributors of content is distributed through messages of Kudos, which are 140 character messages that appear against content as its viewed from a site.

Paid out in Comcoins, 60% of revenues that go into Kudos will be distributed to contributors; 40% to Co-op Operations.

Member Returns

For every dollar you invest in CM you'll receive a Community Share. Your share of the dividends will depend on how much you've invested in relation to the whole.

Returns from Community Shares are generated through profits from sales of Design Solutions, Kudos (Message Ads), and Data Analysis, and will be supplemented by Philanthropic and Angel Investments.

The total amount you'll receive through dividends will depend on the returns generated by the Community Project/s you support. Different classes of Investment Shares will be issued for each one.

To help you decide which Community Project/s you want to invest in, projects will provide detailed information about what they do. For further information, check out the Project Application Form.

How You Get Paid

The Citizens Media® (CM) is about working together through an entrepreneurial approach for impacting long term change. The more you give, the more you will get and the more we can do.

Profits made will go to those who invest. Taking away the need to have a bank account, returns will be distributed in a mobile currency called Comcoins, which you'll be able to use to purchase more shares, buy products and services sold through the Global Hub, exchange for like currencies, or – for a 15% fee – convert to traditional cash.

How much you've invested, and the amount you've made, will be updated in your online account. Get others to invest and, paid out in Comcoins, 5% of what they pledge goes to you.

How It Fits Together

How CM Fits Together

Co-op Operations

20% of revenues invested by Co-op Members; 40% of Kudos; and 100% of returns from design solutions and sales generated through data analysis, go to Co-op Operations.

  • Co-op Operations takes care of basic needs, such as platform maintenance, hosting, business and marketing.
  • To sustain ongoing needs, Co-op Operations will maintain a float. Revenues will be supplemented by media sponsorships, philanthropic donations and grants.
  • Distributed as Comcoins, 100% profits made by Co-op Operations go to it's members. How much you get will be determined by the amount you invest and the returns generated by the project/s you support.
  • The frequency of return distributions will increase as we grow. So you know we're being accountable, we'll invite Co-op Members into the decision making process, and financial reports will be published online.

Implementation Plan

CM is about creating a self-organized means for collaborating needs skills, technology, business, people and communities in a way that means everyone has equal opportunity to benefit.

Budget Process

Who the co-op employs will depend on both business, marketing and development needs, as well as those of Community Projects. Budgets will be determined as follows:

  1. CM's Board identifies tasks and who will take them on;
  2. Budgets are drawn up and shared with Co-op Members, who will be invited to ask questions and post comments;
  3. Where appropriate, adjustments will be made;
  4. Co-op Members invited to vote;
  5. The Board will seek a 2/3 majority before items on the budget are passed;
  6. Unless otherwise agreed, tasks will be paid through two installments: 50% upfront; 50% on completion.

Revenue Model

Financial Returns on investments will come from sales of Design Solutions, Kudos (Message Ads), and Data Analysis.

Returns to Crowd Investors (co-op members) come from the co-op's surplus revenues (profits), and are issued through a mobile currency that can be re-invested into the co-op, or cashed in for other currencies through a revenue exchange. The amount received by members will depend on the returns generated by the Community Project/s they support. Different classes of Investment Shares will be issued for each one.

Crowd Investments
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Initial investments will be supplemented through Philanthropic and Angel Investments. Our Financial Plan reflects 100-120% investor payback within a period of not more than 7 years from when that investment was made. Money from Philanthropic and Angel Investments will be used to complete preparations and to increase co-op returns, so investments made by the crowd.

Philanthropic Investments
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Break-even point comes when no further investments are needed for the co-op to generate returns for it members. i.e. when Co-op Sales exceed new investments.

Once break-even's been reached, CM can become a self-organized system that reduces the wealth gap and manifests sustainable enterprise throughout the world.

Revenue Flows
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Content Management System (CMS) for building distributed networks of sites.

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  1. The Citizens Media® (US and Canada)
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  4. Think New. Think Forward.® (Canada)
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"Thinking Must Change From Survival Of The Fittest To Unity."

– Caroline Smalley, Co-Founder.


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