2016 08 30 Degrowth conference - Budapest

(TransforMap Collective) #1

Special Session

in Budapest, 30. August - 3. September 2016

#Infrastructure and organisational patterns for socio-technical commons

As commoning practices become part of mainstream conversations on forms of social organisation, cultivating the right conditions for a thriving commons still presents unresolved challenges and underdocumented territory. Participatory infrastructure is not neutral, and minimal infrastructure - digital, legal and financial - is often required to support the co-production process of a shared resource. The choice of infrastructure exercises a strong influence on group participation patterns. As Lawrence Lessig put it: “The governance is embedded in the code.”

Based on an assumption of infrastructural access, as commons networks become increasingly distributed and decentralised the question of equal involvement across digital spaces takes the foreground. Holding shared assets such as trademarks, domain names, data or financial resources often introduces the need for a legal entity. When mistrust of existing financial and legal forms abounds, how can we approach this need and with what consequences?

How, collectively, can we navigate these questions to iterate on infrastructure towards forms simultaneously more fair and freely available, more open yet protective and synergistically leverage the potential of the commons?

In this session we will discuss hands-on knowledge from communities, focusing on organisational patterns as they relate to digital, legal, financial and communications infrastructure. Taking stock of best practices and embrionary experiences, we aim to identify concrete tools for fostering participation and better means of documenting, sharing and replicating these cultural practices.

Theme: Global Village
Subcategory: Social enterprise
Facilitation: Adrien Labaeye, transition>>lab / TransforMap

#Mapping resources with open knowledge, accelerate the ecological transition economic darwinism

Maxime Lathuilière ( max@maxlath.eu ), inventaire.io , France

Nowadays, buying online means using the vendor’s interface with the sole vendor’s data ordered by the vendor’s algorithms.

In a desirable future, interfaces and algorithms to access data on resources could be the result of an open, libre collaboration, at the hands of citzens consumers, aggregating vendors’ data, enriching them with open and contributive data such as those from openfoodfacts.org or opencorporates.com, or even data from organizations - governmental or not - like Greenpeace or consumer associations. By putting those independent data at the core of our purchasing choices, their influence could be dramatically increased and could accelerate the ecological transition economic darwinism. By decoupling information on resources from the corporations selling them, we could make visible alternative ways in the way for-profit businesses neither can nor will do.

Those are some examples among others of what the P2P Resources Management (P2P-RM) approach could bring, built as a prolongation of Doc Searls works on Vendor Relationship Management (VRM). By mapping resources, books, with open data from wikidata.org and through a libre interface, inventaire.io is a modest step in this direction that should hopefully open the way for others.


unMonastery and the Deep Time Bank: How can we foster resilient collaboration?

Kei Kreutler (@kei) / Katalin Hausel, unMonastery, Greece-Global

The unMonastery is a distributed clinic for social cohesion. Since its initiation in 2012, unMonastery ran a six-month prototype residency in Matera, Italy combining living practices from monastic rule and hackerspace design patterns, organised large-scale gatherings throughout Europe for a network of hackers, artists and social innovators, and from its nomadic and distributed membership, formed a base for community activists in Athens, Greece. Across its practices, the unMonastery looks to imagine the future(s) of living together amidst ecological and economic crisis.

Now the unMonastery begins a three-year partnership in the MAZI consortium, an initiative to develop offline network toolkits to facilitate face-to-face interaction in communities. Seeking to leverage the collective potential of our membership in this endeavour, we have begun iterating on legal forms and collective budgeting techniques to implement a time banking system, otherwise known as the unMonastery Deep Time Bank, and open source all of our organisational and legal documentation. This paper will explore the emergent landscape of open source organisational design, drawing inspiration from communities such as Enspiral and Robin Hood Co-op, and try to share best practices, as well as difficulties faced, in creating and iterating on existing legal, financial and communications infrastructure to support the social commons.

Cyberautonomy and post-productivist agile management: paving the way for the federated commons cloud

Gualter Baptista (@gandhiano) / Jon Richter (@almereyda), Ecobytes, Germany

This paper explores techno-social aspects of the use of information technologies in supporting new patterns of learning and collaboration within community initiatives and grassroots projects, as well as overcoming issues related to the business on big data (selling of user data and behavior by corporations such as Google and Facebook). It focuses on the role of infrastructure in the production of digital commons, particularly addressing collaboration and co-production workflows, models for community ownership and the current state of technological development of the Web and the free and open software community.

Results of participatory action research on the use of free and open source online tools in 3 projects will be presented:

Anchored on complex systems theory and contemporary commons research, the challenges of building digital infrastructure and services as a commons are analysed. It concludes that compatible co-design processes are required, for example by transforming productivist-oriented, but collaborative and open practices like those found on agile management (e.g. scrum) into more convivial co-production workflows. On the technical side, current paradigms on federation and decentralization of the Web will be presented, arguing for the need of a federated commons cloud as an infrastructure to support autonomy and control of technology by citizens and movements.

@alabaeye Call for special sessions is open until 31st of December! Should we apply? http://budapest.degrowth.org/
A VoCamp (a vocabulary camp) ? I believe this would be a very good time to do it. The TransforMap infrastructure would have been running and many communities are on spot. But, it may be good to do VoCamp with only one community at a time. Then the degrowth one.
@gandhiano @almereyda @josefkreitmayer @Silke

Community Report #5: 30th June 2016
Principles we can agree upon?
(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #2

Yes, lets apply with a Research in Action session! We need 4 speakers/abstracts.

I would probably like to write something related to the agile practice in the co-design/co-development of socio-technological processes aiming at the building of collectively owned and commons infrastructure and services.

Please note that the conference sessions will mostly speak to a restricted, probably more academic public (limited to 500 participants, mostly also submitters). We also have the possibility of organizing events on the social spaces of Budapest, within the “week of degrowth” - every day after 16:30.

(Adrien Labaeye) #3

So you’re thinkig more of an academic session I understand. I was not aware of the singularly different profile of the conference compared to Leipzig.
In that case we don’t necessarily need to have all the speakers in advance but a scope for the session.
We could then see later the opportunity of organizing a Vocamp for the degrowth community in the social space.

(Adrien Labaeye) #4

A first session draft proposal to further edit. Proposed speakers, please indicate your interest. :smile:

Infrastructure and organizational patterns for thriving digital commons in a hostile world

Setting the right conditions for a thriving digital commons is not as easy as it seems. A minimal infrastructure (digital, legal, financial) is often needed to support the co-production process of a shared digital resource. Infrastructure is not neutral. The choice of infrastructure does have a strong influence on participation patterns. As Lawrence Lessig put it: “the governance is embedded in the code”.

Participation infrastructure always exclude some participants: e.g. making a pull request on Github is not accessible to everyone obviously, but contributing to a forum either. In addition, commons can hardly survive completely disconnected from the mainstream world and holding shared assets such as trademarks, domain names, or simply money poses the question of a legal entity. How should that be done? With what consequences? If not done right, handling money in particular has shown its destructive power for commoning groups. How to avoid mistakes in this regard?

Too often commoners disregard the importance of infrastructure and the patterns that are associated to it. Relying on capitalist infrastructure comes at a cost, but can also be hacked. More commons-native infrastructure sometimes exist and can be leveraged by communities. This session tries to collect some hands-on knowledge specifically focusing on digital commons.

  • Digital infrastructure: Which online tools (mailing lists, forums, git, Loomio, etc.) exist for serving a commoning community? What do they entail?
  • Legal infrastructure: What kind of legal entity to ensure commons are protected from appropriation? Is a dedicated organization necessary?
  • Financial infrastructure: How is money distributed among contributors in a way that is compatible with fiscal and legal environments while fitting commoning patterns? What existing infrastructure can be used by commoners?

In this session we want to take stock of best practices and assess how far various types of infrastructure influence decision-making among the community and governance of the commons in general. A goal is to identify concrete ways and tools to set up an infrastructure that is compatible with peer-to-peer governance.

Facilitation: Adrien Labaeye, transition>>lab / TransforMap

Speakers (tbd)

  • Simon Sarazin (@Simon_Sarazin), Encommuns, France
  • XXX, Enspiral, NZ-Global (a woman please)
  • Gualter Barbas Baptista (@gandhiano) / Jon Richter @almereyda , Ecobytes, Germany
  • Kei @kei, Unmonastery
  • [alternative proposals]

Format of session: Fishbowl

After a first round of input (5-10 min each) by speakers, the audience is invited to take possession of one of the two empty chairs to share concrete experience.

(Silke ) #5

I am not yet sure if I will be in Budapest, to many conferences and deep
dives already planned for the fall, but I would certainly suggest to
apply for a special session!

(Adrien Labaeye) #6

@Silke what do you think of this session description? the current idea is that we would have some transformap event in the fringe of the conference.

(kei) #7

Hey Adrien, this is a great proposal.

At unMonastery we’ve actually been discussing similiar aspects regarding infra, comms stack, legal and financial aspects for commoning projects. We actually had a call back in October with Robin Hood Coop and OSCE Days touching on this (link is here) and we plan to keep these cross-org conversations going.

Would love to take part in the above and/ or work on this together to prepare something for the Degrowth confedrence, potentially as a culmination of lead up discussions over the spring.

(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #8

Deadline has been extended to January 15th. How do we move forward @alabaeye @kei @Simon_Sarazin? Maybe starting an hackpad to collaborate on the final text(s)?

Do we have contact with Enspiral and could we get them in the process?

As a side note, I think that from the digital infrastructure we are missing the underlying infrastructure where these services are actually hosted. Here I think it would be good to bring in the ideas of the federated commons cloud @almereyda, posing as well challenges associated with resource scarcity/limits of growth and the need to move to more decentralized, community-managed and lower energy intensity digital infrastructures.

(Silke ) #9

hey everybody @kei @alabaeye @almereyda
on the concept: I very much agree with this:
“Too often commoners disregard the importance of infrastructure and the patterns that are associated to it.”, and from a conceptual perspective wd only have two remarks.
The first being that I don’t believe (anymore) that “digital commons” is a helpful concept. Each commons is a social commons. Each one is based on shared knowledge and each one is based on natural resources (after all we need energy supply for ppl and computers); so the software is digital - the way we transmit information, that’s all.

Secondly: as I use pattern in the sense Christopher Alexander did I guess using this term cd be misleading for some … (for instance for me, as the workshop isn’t framed on an alexandrian basis so to say,
but I guess both are kind of academic details.

As for the contacts with Enspiral: there is Alanna Krause alanna@enspiral.com (Greetings if you contact her), also: mix irving mix@enspiral.comand Derek Razo
derek@enspiral.com who both have recently been in Berlin and tried to be in touch, but I was unavailable.

(kei) #10

Hi all again! @alabaeye @Silke @josefkreitmayer @almereyda

I saw too that the deadline’s been extened and think this is still a great chance to plan a group presentation and discussion between different networks. Could one of you start a hackpad on the transformap server, and then we could continue to add to the proposal together? Perhaps it would be good to also plan a quick call to align and talk about this as we work on it - Friday, Saturday afternoon, when would be best? Though we haven’t corresponded, I’d be happy to get in touch with Alanna from Enspiral about this.

Ps, @Silke, really appreciate your input on social commons, and Christopher Alexander is very close to my (academic) heart in these terms, especially regarding ‘planning’ communities in a way that is not ‘top-down’ but generative and differentiated.

Hope to all talk soon!

(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #11

Here it is @kei @Silke

(Jon Richter) #12

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Hackpad - Meeting minutes and other real-time notes

(kei) #15

Hi @alabaeye @gandhiano @almereyda @Simon_Sarazin @Silke,

I worked on the hackpad with the proposal - and accidentally renamed it - so it’s now here: https://notes.transformap.co/Degrowth-App-F7aRhIhOiG5.

I made an account on the Degrowth site, and to submit a special academic session, the main abstract has to be less than 1700 characters with spaces. I edited it down as much as I could and tried to save or condense the content. (It’s currently at something like 1709.)

If you all could take a look and make whatever changes you’d like, it’d be great.

If people are still interested in doing this, each speaker/ group needs to write a short description of their talk as well to be included in a different section of the submission platform. I’m happy to write this with Katalin Hausel, collaborator at unMonastery - so let me know if we should go ahead with this submission, and Katalin and I will do that.

Cheers and happy new year &c,

(Adrien Labaeye) #16

thanks @kei! I have a look now again.

(Adrien Labaeye) #17

Can you go forward with the submission? Deadline is tomorrow, if I 'm not mistaken.
@gandhiano is working on it tonight again.

(kei) #18

Yes I’m happy to go ahead with the submission later, or if anyone else would like to. Apologies bureacratic errands today leave me AFK until later this evening when I’ll be back on the proposal.

Also I didn’t hear back from anyone as to whether I should contact Alanna so I didn’t - I suppose this won’t happen?

(kei) #19

Hey @alabaeye @gandhiano @Simon_Sarazin,

I’ve given a final edit to the pad and can submit any time now. Only remaining question is @Simon_Sarazin, do you have an abstract of your presentation you’d like to include? Currently there’s only a title.

Also is there an IRC channel for Transformap on which I might receive faster replies?

(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #20

Hi @kei, thanks for your work. We also talked yesterday with @maxlath about getting a contribution from him. He has access to the pad and plans to write something along the day.

I also have to finish my paper, later in the afternoon. Will be available in the evening for dealing with the submission?

(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #21

We don’t have an IRC channel for TransforMap, but you can at least meet me, @almereyda and @maxlath on #ecobytes at irc.indymedia.org

(kei) #22

Thanks for your help too!

I should be available until around 2030 CET this evening to submit the
proposal if/ when it’s ready. I also jumped on the ecobytes IRC.