Crowd Benefits. Interview with Mauricio O’Brian

Mauricio O’Brian is a co-founder of Goteo.org, a crowdfunding platform foregrounding collective return. The platform was founded in 2011, and is one of the pioneering platforms. It was developed by Platoniq, an arts and media design collective working on participatory culture in the digital realm, working since 2001 and based in Barcelona, Spain.

Goteo is different from other crowdfunding platforms like kickstarter in the way it conceptualises crowdfunding as a participatory project. Central for Goteo is the social return of the projects. It promotes projects working for the commons, open code and/or free knowledge, putting the accent on the public mission and favouring free culture and social development, allowing only projects available under a free and/or open licence. Apart of the usual monetary contributions, Goteo includes collaborations like services, material resources, infrastructure or participation in specific microtasks needed for the development of projects. It is thus as well fostering a network of local communities. It has always put an emphasis on local events, working together with local communities, organizations and public institutions and has sought to involve the community through local workshops and other means in developing new features. Goteo has put a lot emphasis on partnering with wide range of public and private institutions, primarily municipalities in Spain. The principle of “co-responsibility” is also touching on public desicion making processes.
Goteo is managed by the Goteo Foundation, a non-profit organisation which unites all the agents committed to the development of the project.

Mauricio O’Brian talks in this interview about the social dimension of crowdfunding, explains the concept of crowd benefit and social return in crowdfunding. He discusses the vision of a culture of co-responsibility, and how this is also linked to decision making processes, when it comes to partnerships with public institutions.

Interview with Mauricio O’Brian, conducted by Felix Stalder, 15 September 2018, at HeK (House of electronic Arts, Basel).