In Partnership with Holo, Terran Collective is Building Hylo: the Collaboration Platform for a Regenerative Future

Clare Politano
Terran Collective
Published in
5 min readMar 10, 2020


The transition to a world that works for all will require unprecedented collaboration — and powerful tools to support that work. In an important step toward creating such a tool, Terran Collective is partnering with Holo, the makers of Holochain, to assume stewardship of Hylo, a free open-source collaboration platform designed to help communities thrive.

Read Holo’s announcement here.

Holo recently acquired Hylo, and is using Hylo’s code base and user interface design as a foundation for core app libraries and for sample apps that will run on the cloud hosting marketplace for distributed applications. The Holo team has already open-sourced the Hylo codebase and ported it to Holochain’s distributed architecture to serve as the network’s Communities App. Terran will maintain and improve Hylo’s open-source codebase, the currently operating applications, and existing user communities.

The existing Hylo software consists of web, iPhone, and Android apps with a solid foundation of collaboration features including rich media posts and multiple post types such as Requests, Offers and Discussions. Within a Community space, users benefit from standard features including notifications, tagging, a member directory and profiles, search, email integration, direct and group messaging, and basic project management.

Hylo includes revolutionary and unique cross-network functionality out of the box. Users can belong to multiple communities and communities belong to networks, and it’s easy to view the aggregated content in a single stream. Similarly, a user can share a single post across all of their communities at once, creating a shared conversation that everyone in those communities can participate in — a feature not found anywhere else. Finally, there is no advertising, and no algorithm disrupting the user experience to manipulate or extract attention. The platform was designed from the beginning to maximize collaboration, not ad revenue.

Terran’s plan for the future of Hylo is to extend the platform’s current functionality for groups and communities, specifically to amplify coordination among organizations who convene networks of humans working toward thriving communities and a thriving planet.

Hylo is a solid foundation for Terran Collective to build systems and tools aligned with our scopes of practice: community weaving, technology for thriving, and collaborative ecosystem mapping. Our next steps are to create a holistic set of tools for coordination and collaboration with the goal of enabling more regeneration and win-win outcomes. Some of the high-priority features we are working on:

  • Network maps to transparently and collectively show relationships, resource flows, skills, requests, and offers.
  • Project management features to help communities organize and act together, including roles, tasks with due dates, and assignments.
  • Global directory for communities allowing people to find organizations and projects they are aligned with and would like to join.
  • Events: public and private options, ticketing, attendee lists, communication with attendees and community calendars.
  • Decision-making tools which enable communities to govern themselves by suggesting and voting on proposals, gathering information from polls, and tracking group agreements
  • Relationship maps along dimensions like trust and respect.
  • Membership tools and evolved community management including transparent moderation tools that enable conflict resolution
  • Coordination tools for allocating resources: Crowdfunding, co-budgeting, transparent resource management, group buying of common goods
  • Systems for emergent coordination: Based on each community member’s personal map of relationships, skills, offerings and passions, identify synergy points and recommend collaborators
  • API optimized for maximum interoperability and data sovereignty.

Ultimately, we intend to build Hylo as a collectively-owned and governed public utility. Our goal is to transition it to a platform cooperative that is owned and operated by the people who use it. As we develop Hylo, we will work with existing protocols or create new protocols to ensure maximum interoperability between our data models and other platforms with aligned values. We will never sell anyone’s data and will give each user total control over how their data is used. Once the Holo ecosystem is stable, we will port new features over to Holochain, with the goal of offering communities the option to join the Holo network.

The communities already using Hylo, like the Buckminster Fuller Institute and Planetary Health Alliance, are leaders in network-building and regeneration. Terran will be working in close partnership with groups like them to improve the platform, and conduct thorough user research and in-person onboarding to welcome new communities onto Hylo.

Going forward, Terran will partner with communities using Hylo and prospective user groups, who will guide prioritization of the roadmap to meet their most urgent needs in coordinating their networks. We are inviting more communities into partnership with us in 2020.

Want to help build a world that works for all? To get involved in co-creating Hylo as an individual or community, please reach out to the Terran team. We will begin community design sprints in Q2 of 2020.

Hylo’s mascot, Hylo the Axolotl, is ready to get to work.

Terran Collective is a community of care and practice building systems and tools for a regenerative future. Our mission is to amplify cooperation among people regenerating our communities and our planet by building systems and tools that foster trust and collaboration, starting in the Bay Area bioregion. Our vision is a world where all beings can thrive, in harmony with each other and the planet.



Clare Politano
Terran Collective

Software engineer & bioregional organizer building regenerative technology for collective governance @hylo @terrancollectiv.