The French-based group OuiShare recognized five exemplary projects in the “collaborative economy” at its recent OuiShare Fest conference in Paris. The three-day event was itself was a remarkable gathering of more than 1,000 passionate fans of innovative models of sharing and mutual support.
The OuiShare awards focused on five broad categories – collaborative consumption, open knowledge, crowdfunding and P2P banking, makers and open manufacturing, and open and horizontal governance. With 127 applications from 31 countries, it was a rather competitive field.
The winners this year included one of my favorites, Guerrilla Translation, “a collaborative hub for authors and translators to network and share stimulating ideas internationally.” The group describes itself as “exporters of fine interlinguistic memes,” adding:
Guerrilla Translation is building bridges between cultures, starting with Spanish and English. We select written and video pieces with a focus on constructive change and long-range analysis, translate them, and share them. We’re connecting authors with new audiences, and people with new ideas, shared through technology but created in a very personal, artisanal way. We feel strongly that translation is best handled not by software, but instead, by committed and passionate translators working together to achieve the highest level of professional quality in our work.
Full disclosure – I have been exploring some new project ideas with Stacco Troncoso of Guerrilla Translation, who is based in Madrid, and I’ve been excited by the sensibility that Guerrilla Translation brings to its cross-cultural sharing and translation. Browse its homepage – in Spanish or English – and you’ll discover some great commentary and perspectives that you just can’t normally find. See, for example, David Ugarte’s essay on “Phyles and the New Communalism.” Well worth a look!
The other four OuiShare awardees this year also look quite impressive. They include:
Common Libraries. A British project that is prototyping new sorts of services and functionalities for public libraries, such as networks of library-hacker-maker spaces, community publishing platforms and #opendata access points.
Symba. A Frecnh-based complementary regional currency. Owned by a coop and created by shared governance, the goal is to create a network of trust and give credit to participants without interest.
Copass. A global membership system that gives people access to a network of independent coworking spaces, fablabs, hacker spaces and other collaborative spaces and people with one single account.
Sofa Concerts. A P2P music community enabling talented artists and music lovers everywhere to get in touch and organize house concerts themselves.
You can read a compiled set of interviews with all the winners here.
A final note: At a time when many companies are trying to hoist the halo of "sharing" over themselves despite really aspiring to secure proprietary investor control of micro-rental markets (not sharing social networks), OuiShare avoided such "share-washing" nominees and chose some solid winners. Bravo!