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 ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), 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