Co-creating Hylo

The Social Coordination Platform for a Thriving Planet

Terran Collective is building Hylo, a platform for amplifying cooperation among people doing the important work of regenerating our communities and our planet. You’re invited to join us on this epic mission as a founding stakeholder - we need your help!

UPDATE: We have surpassed our original goal of $100k through a major partnership that will be announced tomorrow 12/1 during our campaign wrap party! This partnership will help fund our work for the next season and comes with some ambitious and exciting commitments. Our updated campaign target is to raise $190k to hit our budget for the next 3 months so we can accomplish the exciting Hylo work we have agreed to. We only need $7k more from our community, let's make this happen!

To survive the major existential risks our civilization is facing, humanity must cooperate on a global level. In the midst of collapse, our trust in each other and ability to cooperate is so weak that it is near impossible to coordinate in ways that honor the long-term thriving of people and planet. Existing platforms are not helping. Ad-driven social media platforms like Facebook commodify our relationships. They sell our data to the highest bidder, and enable misinformation to spread rapidly because the incentive is to encourage addiction, not the wellbeing of communities. We’ll never build deep relationships that enable powerful coordination on a platform that is so antithetical to trust-building.

Well-intentioned enterprise tools like Slack and Mighty Networks aren’t sufficient either. They serve single organizations with well-defined boundaries like companies, brand followers, and fan groups. They often deepen silos and create louder echo chambers, rather than opening them up, and they are still profit-driven. These platforms are not designed for the emergent, decentralized collaboration between groups and networks that we believe is required for broad civilization change. 

For cooperation at this scale to succeed, a new kind of tech commons is needed: free to use, open source, co-created, cooperatively stewarded, inclusive, transparent, interoperable, respectful of each person's sovereignty, and built for the thriving of the next seven generations. Hylo will be this platform.

The foundation of Hylo is a suite of tools for community-based communication, collaboration and social networking. On top of this, Hylo creates real-world outcomes that aren’t possible with other platforms through unique features that enable bottom up, emergent and decentralized organizing. Hylo allows conversations to happen both within and across multiple communities and even networks of communities, using a flexible, dynamic system of organizing information.

The goal is to rebuild relationships and strengthen trust, which is key to enabling collective sense-making, choice-making, and action. This scaffolding will help us transition from the extractive economy into a regenerative one.

Hylo is for communities and organizations of all kinds, but some of the primary ways we see people using it are:

  • Creating mutual-aid networks: request and offer matching, resource sharing and relationship building to strengthen local communities and build resilience.
  • Coordinating at the scale of a bioregion - an ecological boundary expressed by nature - so people can effectively care for the resources they share in common, like restoring the health of a watershed.
  • Managing an online community for a shared objective, like a cohort going through a course or program together.
  • Organizing global networks of mission-aligned people and organizations.
  • Scaffolding alternative food systems: mapping resources, hosting seed exchanges, connecting people to local farmers, food production and distribution.
  • Creating and finding impactful projects to get involved with, and then collaborating to achieve the project goals together.

Check out how Circular Cities is using Hylo to map initiatives around the world!

Who we are

Hylo is stewarded by the members of the Terran Collective, in a unique partnership with Holo, makers of the distributed web Holochain. We are technologists, community organizers, entrepreneurs, activists, and artists working for the greatest good of all beings.

Our mission is to amplify cooperation among people working to regenerate our communities and our planet, by building systems and tools that foster trust and collaboration. We are raising money to fund the development of Hylo through our non-profit entity Terran Watershed, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Empowerment Works.

Our journey so far

Hylo and Terran Collective have been working toward a more collaborative future for a long time. Here's a bit of our story:

  • Hylo founded by Edward West and Julia Pope in 2014 and launched in 2015
  • Terran Collective founded in December 2016 by Tibet Sprague, Aaron Brodeur and Dor Garbash
  • Terran Collective team expands with Kelly Erhart, Clare Politano, and Neha Sharma - April 2019
  • Hosted Terran Cospiracy, a gathering of Bay Area regenerative leaders - October 2019
  • Hylo sells to Holo, makers of Holochain - November 2019
  • Holo and Terran Collective sign agreement open-sourcing Hylo codebase and granting TC stewardship - January 2020
  • Terran Collective develops product journey and design principles for Hylo - March 2020
  • We begin our first partnerships to co-create Hylo with the Bionutrient Food Association and Pacific Integral - April 2020
  • Released a geographic map feature and many other improvements - July 2020
  • Launch our first crowdfunding campaign! September 2020

The journey ahead

With your help, we'll be able to build out critical features our movement needs to thrive.

Holonic Architecture

Hylo has a unique network architecture: communities nested inside networks, creating shared conversation and making coordination between groups possible.

- UP NEXT: Extending holonic architecture to create fractal groups that allow people to coordinate at many scales. Coordinating between communities and networks is critical, because no one group can regenerate the planet single-handedly. 

- Story: As a leader in the regenerative movement, I want to create coalitions across networks to achieve big goals like activating mutual aid and disaster response.

Collective Project Management

We currently have basic project functionality that groups team members to discuss the task at hand. 

- UP NEXT: Enhanced projects featuring cross-network coordination, with roles, tasks with due dates, project boards, and assignments. 

- Story: As a community organizer, I want to coordinate projects with people from many different communities.  

Bioregional Intelligence

We’ve released the first version of a geographic map to visualize the location of resources, requests, offers, events, members, and communities. There is a lot more to do to help community members understand both the social and ecological landscapes they’re a part of. 

- UP NEXT : Draw/Import custom geospatial data: Allowing users to draw or import geographic information adds another dimension to the map. Beyond just pinpointing a location with an address, this would allow users to show areas of land stewardship, the range of plant and animal species, and other features of their territory. This feature will create a vibrant tapestry of bioregional information on Hylo.

- Story: As a land steward, I want to show the boundaries of the land I care for with others in my community.

- Story: As a community member, I want to learn the Original Peoples who are native to the land I live on. I want to discover which bioregion I am a part of and which species make their home here.

- Story: As a community member, I want to discover projects near me I can collaborate on.

To make all this happen, we invite the support of our community. A project this ambitious can only succeed with the strength of a global village behind it. Our first ask of you is to contribute to this crowdfunding campaign. Our goal is to raise $190k by December 1 through gifts from our community. This will allow us to continue working on Hylo with all our energy and give us some breathing room while we also engage in further conversations with philanthropists, foundations, and other organizations to raise a much larger seed fund in the coming months.

By contributing to this campaign you become one of the first set of “founding stakeholders" in Hylo! Once the campaign is over we will organize a summit with all stakeholders to begin fleshing out the scaffolding of the cooperative structure that will hold Hylo in perpetuity. In the meantime we want to make being a Hylo stakeholder feel special, because it is! You are getting in on the ground floor of helping craft what we believe will be the technical infrastructure to support the next evolution of humankind to a cooperative planetary civilization that works for all. For one, we are planning to add different badges to Hylo to indicate the ways that various stakeholders have participated in the creation of Hylo. To be clear, we will not be giving more power or status to people who give more money to Hylo, we would show the same badge for anyone who has contributed financial support whether that is $10 or $10,000. And we will have badges for developers, designers and all the different ways people contribute to the platform too. Eventually Hylo will transition to more direct collective stewardship and become something like a Platform Cooperative where all stakeholders have ownership and decision making power in how the platform develops.

If you resonate with our vision, please make a donation. We appreciate any amount you can give.

Want to contribute in crypto? 

ERC20: 0xe89d8E996662Da510Cdfb6c96Edd6eAc47B1352f


This campaign is not just about money. It is even more important to us to build relationships with anyone and everyone who shares this vision of cooperating to create a world that works for all, and sees the need for appropriate technology to help this happen. If you are excited to participate in the design and development of Hylo you can join our Building Hylo community. If you are a developer who wants to contribute to our open source codebase please get in touch. If you know of partners we should explore working with, please send them our way. And if you are looking for a values-aligned collaboration tool for your community or organization please try Hylo! You can read the full details of our Hylo Strategic Plan here. And don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or feedback.

We feel deep gratitude for this opportunity to be of service in a way that feels of utmost importance to our planet right now. We do not hold this responsibility lightly, this is our lives work and we are committed to it. We are forever grateful to all our teachers and those who helped make Hylo possible, with special thanks to its creators Julia Pope and Edward West, the developers who got it to where it is today - Lawrence Wang, Loren Johnson, Robbie Carlton - and our partners at Holo who agreed to let Hylo live as a gift.


Aaron, Clare, Kelly, Neha, Tibet

Terran Collective Core Stewards

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Thank you for believing in Hylo

December 10, 2020

We have successfully wrapped up our crowdfunding campaign for Hylo! With $190,277 raised from 271 individual contributors and one major partnership, we blew past our original goal of $100,000 and we are fully resourced for the next season of work. With the deepest gratitude and from the bottom of our hearts, we want to express a huge thank you to our community! It is an incredible honor to be able to focus on building the next features in our ambitious roadmap, thanks to your support, and deeply affirming that you believe in us and want to participate in the mission to make Hylo the social coordination platform for a thriving planet.

The campaign started off with great news -  just a couple weeks in, we embarked on a partnership with the Planetary Health Alliance, based out of Harvard. This partnership is perfect for us because they are using Hylo already and their desires for new additions to the platform are perfectly aligned with what we have been wanting to build. With the blended funding from PHA and our crowdfund we were able to raise a total of $190k.

PHA is an incredible organization advancing the cutting-edge field of planetary health, which weaves public health and ecological health in an interdisciplinary approach. They are a consortium of over 200 universities, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, and government entities from around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change and its health impacts. We are honored to work with their amazing team.

Upcoming Features

For our work with PHA, we’ll carry out some major usability upgrades, mobile app improvements, and big new additions. Here’s what we’re working on together:

  • Improved Profiles: Help members share who they are and connect with likeminded collaborators.

  • Community Discovery pages: Let communities showcase who they are and what’s happening in their group

  • Holonic Architecture: This huge architectural rewrite reinvents the structure of groups on Hylo to more closely match how people collaborate in real life.

  • Threaded Conversations and Forums: Make conversations easier to follow.

  • Onboarding Flow: Set new communities and new members up for success when first joining Hylo

  • Community Analytics Dashboard: Make visible the network health of groups on Hylo

View the complete scope of work with PHA on the Hylo Product Journey.

How to Get Involved

Building Hylo is the home for collaborative conversations about how we steward and build this open source project. Joining this group is a great way to get to know Hylo and participate in these conversations!

Hylo Stakeholders Call - January 27, 2021 @ 10-11:30am PT

Join the very first stakeholder call - our equivalent of a shareholder meeting - this January. We’ll report on Hylo progress, and discuss what’s needed to govern Hylo moving forward. Topics will include: working groups to start, the cadence of these meetings, and who wants to contribute in what ways. Save the date and look out for the official invite coming soon.

Thank You!

Thank you all so much for contributing. It means the world to us to know our incredible community is behind us and believes in our work. We can’t wait to co-create Hylo with you.

In solidarity,

Hylo Stewardship Team

Tibet | Neha | Kelly | Clare | Aaron 

PS - We held a campaign wrap party on December 1 with friends, Hylo community leaders, and musical guest Brian Capobianchi! If you missed it, check out the livestream here.