(Pollination) Franchises as a form of Autonomous Self-Governance

Kent Dahlgren
2 min readAug 31, 2020

Have you ever heard of a franchise prototype? Trust me: this pertains to self-governance.

McDonald’s began as a single restaurant, and a guy named Ray Kroc bought it and turned it into a franchise.

How did he do that?

He documented everything; the business, the operations, the staffing, etc.

So when one buys a McDonald’s franchise, one gets a proven business model, and a manual that describes just precisely what you need to do to run a successful business.

All you gotta do is choose the location, and you’re golden.

Same is technically true of self-governance, right?

We did something like this with skatepark advocacy; we took a model that worked in several locations, documented the how-to, and we gave away the franchise prototype.

(Currently available on-line, but originally available in a printed book)

We are always evolving, each time improving the model we are making available to others.

Working in collaboration with Ruth Glendinning’s company (Future Story Lab) as well as others, we endeavor to deliver a “field guide” that will help communities flourish, on their terms.

One might call it a Field Guide to Flourishing. She came up with the name. She’s good with words.

What kind of communities? I’ve been writing a lot about them lately, but preferably: your existing neighborhood. Why make this harder than it needs to be?

What will the field guide look like? Basically, a franchise prototype:

  • a proven (regenerative) business model
  • a “how-to” manual for operations and self-governance

Start small, fine-tune, and extrapolate.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Not as hard as you think, actually, and requires no violence or drama.

Our software (214 Alpha) delivers the self-contained business model, and the operations and governance necessary to launch and sustain a community-centric franchise prototype, and our human to human services step you through the process to make sure you understand what’s going on.



Kent Dahlgren

Product management fix-it guy. World-famous people skills. Extremely small hands. (edit) marketing lady says I’m also supposed to say “CEO of software company”