Internet and a Cooperative Society - How Does That Go Together?

The Internet is created by many people and for many people. It is the result of a joint effort, which has become an integral part of our lives. For the German namespace, DENIC administers all domains with the ending .de, providing the infrastructure that enables the domains to be accessed at any time from any place in the world. From the very first day, this task has been understood to be an important common effort. Since 1996, the cooperative model has proven to be the right organisational structure for this purpose.

"What one person cannot achieve is achieved by many," was the conviction of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the initiator of the cooperative concept. This credo and the basic cooperative principles of self-help, self-responsibility and self-governance convinced the 37 founding members of DENIC eG in 1996. From the very beginning, they considered the management of the German namespace on the Internet and the provision of the necessary infrastructure a task to be tackled jointly.

There's a Touch of the Raiffeisen Cooperative Spirit in Every .de Domain

Today, the private not-for-profit Cooperative represents more than 17 million .de domains and has a membership of over 300 Internet companies. A quarter of these member companies are based outside Germany, bringing international aspects and perspectives to the DENIC community and spreading the cooperative idea throughout the world.

Joint Decisions of Equal Partners as a Foundation for Sustainability

Building consensus on a broad basis, by way of co-determination of our equal partners, is our Cooperative's recipe for success. The General Assembly as the Cooperative's supreme statutory body makes its decisions in keeping with the principle of equality, which ensures that a wide variety of viewpoints are taken into account in the decision-making process. Since we operate in a rapidly changing technological environment, we see the cooperative model as a time-tested guarantor of future-proof decisions.

What started in the mid-19th century with Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen as an agricultural purchasing group has become a model of success for many of today's companies in various sectors. Thanks to the numerous actors who are committed to a free and open Internet, it also fits in very well with the virtual world.