Cooperatives Europe developing open source software
Cooperatives Europe is currently developing a new open source software ‘Knowledge Base’. This new technology will enable users (in the case of Cooperatives Europe cooperative mentors and youth organisations that support young cooperative entrepreneurship) to index information and resources in a standardised way. The software is developed in the framework of the ICA-EU Partnership (#coops4dev) and is currently in its final testing phase.
Knowledge Base software
Imagined as a ‘cooperative search engine’ of information and resources, this is the first initiative by Cooperatives Europe involving the development of open source as a strategy for promotion of the cooperative model and empowerment of cooperative enterprises and representative organisations.
The idea of developing a software to index resources (guides, e-books, explanatory videos, etc.) emerged via the CoopStarter 2.0 project led by Cooperatives Europe, and up-scaled via the Global Cooperative Entrepreneurs (GCE) programme as an activity under the #coops4dev Partnership. Both initiatives aim to train mentors from the cooperative movement and youth organisations to stimulate youth cooperative entrepreneurship. The Knowledge Base is now piloted as a joint effort between the two mentoring programs.
The software will enable cooperative mentors to reference existing material on cooperative entrepreneurship and help find useful publications in a variety of languages, based on topics of interest and type of material in a matter of seconds. The users will also be able to contribute to the growth of the Knowledge Base by sharing resources and information. All users will be able to learn about cooperation and entrepreneurship by joining this online global community.
The developed technology will be of great benenefit not only for Cooperatives Europe’s members but for the cooperative movement worldwide, allowing to easily share and access knowledge.
Open source licensing
The Knowledge Base is developed as an open source software, making it available to everyone and following the fifth cooperative principle – providing education, training and information. This means that the software may be used and repurposed by the public, including our members, for their own needs and on their own infrastructure. Since open source is historically committed to empowering people and fostering collaboration, the cooperative movement and FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) share the same values.
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.
Wordpress Plugin: https://git.happy-dev.fr/startinblox/applications/coop-starter/wp-knowledge-base
The Knowledge Base is developed by Happy-Dev – a network of developers from France, and built on top of Startin’BLOX.
This article related to the ICA-EU Partnership has been co-funded by the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Cooperatives Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.