Commons Engine
Commons Engine | About
Commons Engine solves real-world problems through helping to generate commons-resource sharing organizations
Sharing Economy, P2P, The Commons, Mutual Credit, Asset-Backed Currency, Microtransactions, Holochain, CryptoCurrency
page-template-default,page,page-id-2246,mkd-core-1.1,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,burst-ver-2.1, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,side_menu_slide_with_content,width_370,blog_installed,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.0.5,vc_responsive

Commons Engine offers the learning we gathered, while nurturing the commons-based-crypo-launch of Holo, to more people and projects working on commoning. We rely on a small core team and a group of co-creators specifically suited to the projects we nurture. And, we have a strong, inspiring set of partners.


Beyond our deep internal capacity, we connect a broad network of leaders in regenerative agriculture, energy, transportation, open source technology, and more, so that we can weave the structures for a commons economy into the web of how things are today: technically, socially, and financially.


Meet Our Team

Jean Russell is Co-Director of the Commons Engine, an offshoot of Holo focusing on building tools and capacity for a commons-based economy. Jean acted as project lead for the Holo ICO, which raised 30,000 ETH (valued at $22M at the time).

Jean comes to the Commons work as a thought leader and a practitioner. With Herman Wagter, she published Cultivating Flows: How Ideas Become Thriving Organizations, which explored patterns for healthy emergence, through leading edge practitioners.  Jean also published Thrivability: Breaking Through to a World That Works. She curated 65 inspiring people to co-create Thrivability: A Collaborative Sketch.

Jean was a co-organizer of the Co-creative Innovation and Impact Institute (CI2I) from 2011 to 2016. She has published popular articles on organizational design strategies. Her work on innovation, philanthropy, and cultural shifts has been highlighted in The EconomistHarvard Business Review, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. Jean received an honorable mention on the Enrich List as one of the top 200 people enriching our path to a sustainable future. She is also listed as one of 100 women globally co-creating a P2P Society.

Ferananda Ibarra, Co-Director of the Commons Engine is a visionary social innovator and regenerative entrepreneur, bringing over fifteen years of experience with community building and currency design. Her background in collective intelligence, integral theories, and deep wealth design inform her creativity and facilitation of systems and organizations that can address our global challenges.

She is specifically interested in ‘building the commons’ as a way of incentivizing new patterns of collaboration, coordination, value generation and the embodiment of the principles of nature. Ferananda believes that nature shows us the most powerful keys to wholeness.

She works with Holo and Holochain in the space of distributed applications, decentralization, distributed ledger systems, and crypto-economies. Holo finished a successful Initial Community Offering (ethical ICO) and is creating a Distributed App and hosting Ecosystem.

Emaline Friedman, Commons Engine’s resident researcher, is a network activist, cultural critic, and teacher. She recently completed her PhD in Consciousness and Society in the Psychology department at the University of West Georgia. Her work uses Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and critical psychology to understand the nature of the constitutive power of digital technology and its inseparability from the evolution of social forms. She is currently turning her dissertation on network production and social discourse into a book called “Internet Addiction”.

Emaline writes and speaks about delving deeply into the dynamics of distributed organizations, emerging forms of cryptocurrency, and the realities of digital labor. As a philosopher, Emaline spends time toiling with concepts and expressing complex ideas lyrically. As an entrepreneur and a proud commoner, she also experiments with community engagement techniques locally, practices the Human Design System, and mediates difficult encounters using Nonviolent Communication principles.

Meet Our Partners

Meet Our Co-Creators

Arthur Brock builds targeted currencies which shape the social dynamics of our emerging post-industrial economy. To that end, he has created more than a hundred designs for multi-currency systems, and his software company has built and deployed dozens of those systems. He is currently launching Holochain, an alternative to blockchain for running fully P2P distributed applications.

Initially, he applied his degree in Artificial Intelligence at GM, Chrysler & Hughes, but he soon shifted to bringing intelligence to social architectures. He started student-run schools and award-winning, employee-run businesses and discovered that the self-managing feedback loops needed to operate these types of organizations were built on particular patterns of incentives and measurement. He began to unlock the social DNA by which groups operate and uncover the critical role of currencies as carriers of that social DNA.

His designs include currency systems for: collaborative scientific research, sustainable fishery management, corporate compensation plans, employee stock options, community-based economic development, business barter and exchange, triple-bottom-line trade credits, open source software development, customer loyalty programs, water rights, recirculating gift certificates, community service, employee performance management, arts & culture development, efficient resource sharing & management, and community & environmental impact assessment.