Holochain Forum

A Shiro Update – From idea to prototyping

Shiro is an idea that has been percolating on this and other forums for quite some time now. A while ago @ViktorZaunders wrote about the project here: Shiro - Coordination for Local Communities.

Now we feel the time is right for next steps. Me and Viktor among others recently concluded a project working with Swedish food coops - buyers clubs, cooperative food stores, etc. The insights from that project proves there is a big need for cooperative solutions to local supply chain issues. In plain words, the demand for a system that makes buying and selling local food easy is huge, provided that the system is able to handle a multitude of business scenarios - subscriptions, pre-orders, online sales, bartering, as well as all the stuff that is not buying and selling such as logistics, member management, etc.

We believe Holochain to be the perfect platform to realise this local first regenerative supply chain network and plan to begin prototyping and developing in January.

If the Shiro ideas resonate with you please comment this post to find out how you can get involved.


Shiro – Our vision for a new local food system

Shiro is a local first supply chain network on a mission to create thriving regenerative food systems. A multi stakeholder platform cooperative – open source, owned and managed by all active participants from local consumers to regional wholesalers.

Shiro moves beyond food as a commodity and people as consumers. Participation on the platform means an active food citizenship to support the development of a democratic, socially and economically just, and environmentally regenerative food system.

We envision a platform that allows for many local initiatives to link up and become truly an ecosystem that supports regenerative development.

Shiro builds a new food system from the bottom up, not top down

Local first, that is our focus! Then region and city. After that national and international where possible.

It’s about scaling out, not scaling up! It’s about rejuvenating communities and creating thousands of jobs in thousands of small coops and companies. Let’s eliminate middlemen to achieve affordable food for consumers and increased profitability for producers. The vision with Shiro is a local economy where value is circulated rather than extracted, where locally created value stays local!

Shiro bridges the gap between producers and consumers

There is gap in local food systems, a gap between producers and consumers, between supply and demand.

Producers find it difficult to make ends meet

  • Selling online is complicated and not well suited to food products
  • Running an on farm store takes time, costs money, requires marketing, etc
  • Chain grocery stores rather not work with small producers
  • Local produce markets, direct restaurant sales, CSA programs, they all have advantages but also major drawbacks.

Consumers would like to choose local products more but often ends up visiting the chain grocery store out of time constraints, convenience etc.

With Shiro we want to bridge the gap between producers and consumers, enabling new streams of products and services within the food system. We want to move away from centralised economies of extraction to co-created economies of shared value. Built on trust, community and sense of belonging.

Shiro connects supply and demand and matches existing offers with consumer needs and wants. When value is unlocked it stimulates creation of new business models through a virtuous cycle of supply/demand discovery and co-creation.

A multi sided matching engine at the core


Shiro builds on ValueFlows and HoloREA – models for distributed economic networks where resources flow from agent to agent via events. Objects such as resources, events, agents, proposals, intentions, actions, commitments and processes can be combined in novel configurations to facilitate a multitude of business scenarios.

Agents in our network are the consumers, the producers, food hubs of different kinds as well as everyone involved in the logistics that lets the ecosystem thrive.

Shiro will support new business models as well as established:

  • Direct sales (store, webshop)
  • Community Suppported Agriculture (subscriptions)
  • Buyers clubs (group ordering)
  • Pre-ordering
  • Etc.

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Hi @kristofer @ViktorZaunders how are you? I’m checking in because we just met a group who wants to extend or preferably re-do their buying club software, because they have to do a lot of ugly work-arounds to meet their requirements. They are in Austria, where there are apparently a lot of buying clubs.

I don’t know if there would be a connection, they are currently in Ruby. But they are interested in getting into a standard vocabulary and protocols. This is also part of a discussion we are having with DFC (Data Food Consortium) vocabulary.

But, what is your timing these days? And are you interested in possible collaborations of various kinds with other groups? (It’s OK to say no. :slight_smile: )

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Hi Lynn!

Doing well, thank you for asking! Sorry for the late reply, but I have been a little busy :slight_smile:

The last few weeks have been very slow on the Shiro front for me (and Kristofer I think), I’ve been mostly trying to grow and run our mushroom/microgreens business and caring for our newborn daughter (which is a total delight).

I’ve had a little bit of conversation and exploration with @guillemcordoba on trying to create an inventory module on hREA where we came to a point of needing some assistance from Pospi, I hope we can continue on that quest pretty soon. I also have a good relationship with a food coop that we are selling mushrooms to here locally that are interested in piloting tools, so it’s still bubbling away on low heat. But as for implementational timing, it pretty hard to say. we would have to go into a more active state to explore that stuff.

Something that would be really good, it seems to me, would be sort of requirements elicitation round with groups that are currently connected to this space, kind of like what we did in HoloFood conversations but more with a focus on buyersclubs/food coops. To see if we are 30% the same needs or 80% the same needs.

How are you doing Lynn? Whats been bubbling for you?

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Aww, yeah, isn’t that the most fun in the world? :blush: But definitely some work…

Something that would be really good, it seems to me, would be sort of requirements elicitation round with groups that are currently connected to this space, kind of like what we did in HoloFood conversations but more with a focus on buyersclubs/food coops.

Sounds good, when it makes sense to do it. I’ll see where this other thing goes, not clear yet. I do have some detailed requirements for it, mostly around units and splitting of resources, and ordering rules per resource - but not the big picture.

And thanks for the info on your status, that’s what I needed to know!

P.S. If you and @guillemcordoba ever need advice on Valueflows, not holochain specific stuff, feel free to give a yell here if pospi is busy, I’m always happy to plug in… :slight_smile:

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Glad to see this conversation becoming active and that there is action on the Holo app front. I am totally in agreement with the vision, but think that there is plenty of work to do on the social side, probably using existing software, before Holo gets to the point where it can contribute. (But I would love to be told I’m wrong!) My current best guess is that the earliest Holo contribution might be some kind of directory, locally based and customised. What do people think? Gary