Ashley Taylor is a Social Innovation & Strategy member of Consensus Systems (ConsenSys), a company that is utilizing the technology underlying Bitcoin, the blockchain. They build applications that run on Ethereum, a cryptographically-secure, decentralized network. It is likened to a global, shared computer with a transparent public ledger. Specifically, Ashley is interested in the potential of the blockchain to to catalyze community organization using tools that enable liquid democracy and micro-economies. Ashley studied Cultural Anthropology and Visual and Media Studies at Duke University. Previously she worked with a group of data and media artists at the Office for Creative Research, who craft tools for engaging with the human side of data. She was also part of a think tank, Center for Planetary Culture, where they developed a wiki that crowdsourced viable models for social change. She grew up in the Piedmont foothills of North Carolina, and has also been a yoga therapy teacher.
Cooperative ownership is enabled by a new wave of decentralized technologies, such as the blockchain, distributed file storage and computation protocols, and decentralized identity and reputation systems. ConsenSys, a blockchain production studio, is developing tools and platforms that allow cooperatives to easily form, manage their resources, make decisions, collaborate, transparently distribute equity and shares, and evolve themselves. These include boardroom.to (a group governance and decision making tool), inflekt.us (an open source community network and events management platform), weifund.io (decentralized crowdfunding and equity distribution), and uPort.me (a cryptographic identity and reputation system).