Ownership, in common purpose organisations, is by membership. Membership is by contribution – if people contribute they are members and owners of the organisation.
The transition to common purpose organisations is facilitated by making financial owners liable to ensure responsibility, and by protecting people’s rights to their ideas, not allowing them to be autocratically co-opted by corporates for financial gain.
When organisations become voluntary owner-contributor-member organisations, then organisation assets are developed or bought by the organisations owner-contributor-members. This begins when people get responsibility for their contributions, and share and receive the benefits from them.
The financial funders of a common purpose organisation are people or other organisations with the excess cash to afford to buy shares in, or give loans to, the organisation.
Funders are paid interest or dividends or other benefits in kind on the funds they have provided. There are no tradable shares, as these invite speculation. Shares may be of limited duration and can only be sold for what they cost in the initial offering.
The participants own an organisation when its funders are repaid. Real ownership is liquid and transient. People, more than assets, are the organisation. An organisation may feasibly have no significant assets other than people, although people are counted as expenses in financial accounts.
Organisations are formed for as long as their products and services are desired. Organisations may morph to produce other products and services chosen by its participants. This is the most likely scenario in a common purpose organisation.
Founders are not controllers. They are funders, leaders and real owner participants of organisations which, as they grow, adhere to democratic central decision-making, decentralised local decisions, distributed responsibility and shared information in which everyone participating is an owner and a leader in making their own contribution.
[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]