Alignment with Real Economy Lab

(Benjamin Brownell) #1

Hi, I am currently working with Jules and team from NEF to help design and test their vision for a collaborative concept mapping platform to survey and make sense of the “new economy” movement (or ecosystem…).

We’ve been working towards a unifying taxonomy and ontology for this field of work, and there are many parallels to the work of Transformap at this point - as you’re probably aware.

I would love to share a bit of what we’ve come up with, and perhaps engage some collaborative development here with you to work towards alignment or interoperability of the information architecture behind all this.

Is anyone here familiar with REL project and interested in exploring the connections?

I am doing a lot of work via Metamaps right now to explore and compare frameworks.

Very excited to pursue some innovation and convergence in this area. Cheers!

Community Report #3: 27th April 2016
Validating, using and extending DCAP-SSE and ESS Global Vocab
(Michael Maier) #2

Hi Ben,

I would be very excited to take a look at your work. Could you provide any links to your ontology, and to your Metamaps?

Thanks in advance,

(Benjamin Brownell) #3

Michael, the data structure is tentative at this point, and will evolve based on initial responses to a draft survey going out this month.

You can see some of the work in progress on this map:

And an effort to reorganize the data ranges around a unifying narrative framework:

I think what is most interesting / exciting to me so far, is to take the approach of understanding the transition movement through the lens of story - success story - and value creation in terms of ‘common good’. So, the ontology may build from basic Who, Where, When, What, Why, How taxonomies of ‘tags’ for such stories.

There are parallels with the Transformap approach that I can see already, where ‘value creation’ (what) is analogous to ‘fulfills need’ / value stream, and why/how matches up with several areas of production method / org model.

(Y'a la merde!) #4

Regarding NEF:

I’ve always liked Lumen, but never established any further contact.

(Jon Richter) #5

I was just running across the fabulous Post-capitalism concept map and wonder why your work, @BenB, is not further featured on @transformap, especially as you align with our broadest conceptions regarding There are many alternatives and Examples of post-capitalism.

Are you already in contact with other members of this endeavour here?

(Benjamin Brownell) #6

Hi Jon, thanks for commenting–yes I think Metamaps is becoming a nice way to explore some of the interwoven theory and practice around various alternatives and schools of thought…such as taking the info from and creating a more detailed mapping, showing links etc

I would love to work with anyone from Transformap along these lines. I can also engage here in more familiar discussion format and then harvest from that into a metamap as we go.

Your thoughts? What is most active now in the concept mapping and taxonomy work for TMers?

(Benjamin Brownell) #7

Also, I hope everyone is aware of next week’s online ‘webinar’ event from Real Economy Lab, New Economy Coalition, and Next System Project-- we will be exploring the ways that (eco)systems thinking based on concept & network mapping can support dialogue and coalition building for a larger collaborative movement:

I will try to bring some attention to your complementary work on flexible geo-mapping solutions for this subject matter as well…any major updates from Transformap that are relevant to share?

(Jon Richter) #8

Right now the Semantic Mediawiki by @toka at still holds the most accurate self-assessment of TransforMap. Yet everything related to the OSM Taxonomy is aggregated at our demo map right now.

There are preparations get back into the discussion about a Linked Open Vocabulary (LOV) for location-based sustainability resources (social innovation, community assets, transformation, new economy). This socio-technical ecosystem is still in conception and needs more input from external contributors coming from the diverse streams there are.

Nevertheless we are close to providing interfaces for visualization, mapping and integration of folksonomies and related LOVs. This will eventually lead to another global alpha test mapping a.k.a. 16MMM which we could collaboratively prepare.


We may want to bring in @Noemi_Giszpenc from the datacommons coop, too.

A major conclusion about developments has recently been written by @alabaeye and can be found at

(Benjamin Brownell) #9

Great, thank you @almereyda!

I will definitely be interested in discussion of LOV for alternative economy resources and initiatives.

Good to see the progress, plans, demo so far. Much more ahead in the new year I believe

(Adrien Labaeye) #10

Hi @BenB!
Somehow missed that discussion.
I again looked at
I see that you have done a classification of various “tribes”. That’s a nice way to describe them. It was always difficult for us to find a way to talk about this. In the taxonomy we’ve developed we ask about the “identity” of the initiative that is being mapped. Not great. Maybe using tribe would be better.
Let me copy here the tribes that were identified:

  • COMMONS ORIENTED supporting and sustaining many forms of shared resource pools, from digital to physical and local to global
  • P2P NETWORKS enabling and advancing self-organized, distributed collaboration amongst autonomous individuals and groups
  • GOVERNMENT & POLITICS institutions and actors in the realm of public services, oversight, and policy or regulatory frameworks
  • ENTERPRISE BASED business and social ventures pursuing impact and return on investment through creative commerce
  • NGO / NON-PROFIT public benefit, mission-driven, and civil society organizations supporting well-being, culture, and community
  • CO-OPS & SOLIDARITY groups founded in shared identity and co-ownership or co-responsibility for mutual assets and aims
  • RE-LOCALISATION & TRANSITION initiatives for local self-reliance, appropriate culture, and community resilience, drawing on the common bonds of place
  • ACADEMICS & LEARNING scholarly programs, intellectual discourse, and learning communities dedicated to the propagation of knowledge
  • RADICAL DEPARTURES advocates and adventurers undertaking fundamental shifts in lifestyle and culture by conviction or necessity

Could you tell us a bit more about the process that brought you and Jules to those clusters?
I’m very interested to increase our collaboration. As you see I’ve been using metamaps more and more… and I’m writing an article (for a peer review journal) at the moment that will cover the method of mapping ecosystems - so I’d be interested to have your feedback at some point in the near future. :slight_smile:

(Benjamin Brownell) #11

Yes, hi Adrien, thanks for checking in.

The taxonomy at REL - actually there are several, it is more like an ontology really - is still what I would call a prototype in development, although it has been fairly stable during this initial phase of the project.

The “tribes” is one of the high level classifications or clustering, based on a mix of several attributes selected from the actual survey data (things like Economic Paradigm, Primary Output, etc.). The other two high level groupings we looked at so far is Themes, and Archetypes. You could say that Tribes is a bit more the How, Themes is closer to the What (objective), and Archetypes is closer to Who (in the sense of character/nature). But that is a simplification and not all correct. It’s tricky :slight_smile:
You might like to look at the analysis framework metamap that was set up to link this up to our taxonomy of attributes from the survey data: (see the three map links in the middle for each of Tribe, Theme, Archetypes - we used Kumu metrics to calculate which orgs were most closely linked to each option within the set of e.g. 10 Tribes)

Identity of individual organizations is an interesting challenge to make useful generalizations for mapping at the level of detail that you are undertaking in Transformap. Also, who decides? The POI owner? User/customer? General public? Map curator?

I would say that the word Tribe causes some issues for something like this, we are using it more generally as a characterization but I would not want to make a clean cut definition and assignment to “tribes” because this gives a sense of distinction, possible competition or tension, and has some negative connotations (or outright offense, in some case) to how it has been used in the past.

Character, Theme, Paradigm, Domain, Focus Area, Methods / Means…all may be better label for this? Are these groups (or something similar) part of the current taxonomy, or something new to add?

Definitely interested in what you are working on, and the journal publication - I have begun to write up some reflections and documentation of our process, insights, and ideas so far with REL mapping and will be glad to discuss this with you. Maybe on a call at some point soon?

(Adrien Labaeye) #12

Thanks for the insider information!
So basically from what I understood, those clusters are mostly statistically produced form the survey data (from 50 respondents organizations I believe). It’s interesting. I think it would be valuable to produce thinking on how to produce such clusters in the future - especially with much more data (like n>1000) from Transformap, or should I say TransformapS: ie. all those maps that are mapping transformation and adding tags, sometimes producing taxonomies…
[Allow me a fantasy note: Those clusters are then moving semantic objects, constructs that depend on arbitrary decisions. Ideally, one could manipulate the clusters factors through a simple interface, moving through levels of abstractions: ie. at the lowest resolution level we’d have one big thing - alternative economies or whatever it’s called - and with finer grain resolution one could then navigate through the wide diversity of movement, tribes, etc. Anyway, now fantasies, but I think that could be a vision to pursue.]

Fully agree. I believe that field should be abandoned for the very problem you mention: who decides? Otherwise, we have to introduce a system with editing control, and it not practicable. Open tagging seems to me more doable in an open field called ‘tags’ allowing for statistical/algorithmic analysis. @almereyda @species: what’s the “Transformap thinking” so far?

It’s tricky. I think it relates to the level of abstraction (or resolution as written above) one takes. That’s another reason why I think the Transformap vocabulary/ontology should avoid a field called ‘identity’, ‘tribe’ or whatever.

The groups/clusters you’ve identified are partly overlapping with Transformap taxonomy used in I’m not sure there is a plan to use that taxonomy further though. @species @almereyda?
I think those clusters and the semantic containers you produced are valuable as we progress in collecting more data that will allow more analysis and therefore developing narratives around that data. I’m not sure how to progress from now on… one thing I’m sure is that we need to find a way to get an import function in metamaps @josefkreitmayer @gandhiano: anything new on the bounty discussion?

next week?

(Benjamin Brownell) #13

Regarding the clustering, it is not directly “produced from the survey data” via social network analysis, at this stage, it is calculated based on the level of connection to a set of attributes which we assigned to each proposed cluster group based on observation and inference. For example you can see the associations with the “P2P Networks” tribe group here:

We simply measured which orgs had the greatest number of attributes linked to each group. So, these are really more of ah hypothesis by us, which have turned up some nice results, and will be refined further in time with more data and testing.

I think I agree with your fantasy note, in terms of allowing the user/viewer to create their own maps and models (and tribes, groups, etc) based on adjusting parameters in the metadata model - so, you could imagine that some of the analysis metamaps above were actually like a secondary, mid-level interface to the data set in Kumu, where the kumu maps and metrics would change in response to changes at the metamap or data-model level (and also, based on user context, preferences etc).

This question of how to allow for both an accessible, general ‘consensus’ model/result, and also a highly configurable, evolving crowdsourced knowledgebase with possibly many complementary or distinct-but-linked models/results, is an interesting one, as I think you are quite aware! Growing graphs of linked open data and vocabularies creates for us some new solutions, if we design well. The interface side and user experience is so important, I think that’s where lots of work is needed.

(Josef Kreitmayer) #14


As most mapping will be done by third party, it does not make sense to have it integrated in the editor / map.

At some point early last year for some time we had the mis-conception, that these then “identities” would be even required to fill, in order to close gates for business as usual activities to become part of the map.

The current draft of the Taxonomy for the SUSY-map of the SSEDAS project, seems to integrate well with the upper 2 lines mentioned on the Real Economy Lab website:

		P2P NETWORKS (maybe represented)
		GOVERNMENT & POLITICS (not so well represented)

Especially the column C types of Initiatives are in the focus of producing a stable tagging sceme, without attaching an initiative to a socio-political identity.

Could it be worth to give time to a revision of the current draft.

(Benjamin Brownell) #15

One possibility to hold in mind regarding the assignment of “identity” characteristics/categories and other subjective labeling is that there can be multiple versions, or perspectives, which a viewer may apply based on their own preferences/context/affiliation. So, perhaps there is a layer of that identity data that is generated by the POI owner (e.g. documented in their own website), another layer that is the consensus or majority opinion of trusted mappers, another that is the informed opinion of stakeholders based on a discussion forum or vote, etc. - and all of these would be available and selectable. Also, as we have done in REL, to link the more general Identity labels to a set of specific attributes that are much more concrete, making it more of a meta-category, and again something that users can adjust based on their own interpretation of which attributes correspond to which identity types.

PS @alabaeye I would be glad to try and connect for a live conversation, possibly thursday this week or we could set something next week as well. I am EST zone, 5 hours behind CET

(Josef Kreitmayer) #16

Would love to join that conversation. Will be available until 16:00 CET.

Today we made a huge step with @almereyda, @gandhiano and me towards a shared understanding of the data model for types of initiatives and relating narratives/categories of types, …

(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #17

This alignment mentioned by @josefkreitmayer gave now place to a short article:

Leave it to the user: collectively shaping taxonomies to express plurality of narratives

(Adrien Labaeye) #27

The meeting today didn’t really happen. Was a very short conversation.
We would like to schedule a meeting next week to discuss some issues/ideas (please edit them, this is a wiki post):

  • further using metamaps for vizualizing ecosystems (importing list of people and projects)
  • using metamaps for vizualizing, editing, converging, and iterating taxonomies/ontologies/vocabularies used by existing maps (an import function would also facilitate that). That point could be a part of the effort to take stock of methodologies used by various mappings.
  • roadmap for Transformap taxonomy development, and aligning with related efforts/projects such as Real Economy Lab, the Next System Project, SSE etc

@josefkreitmayer @gandhiano @almereyda: can that contribute to a deliverable? I believe it would when it comes to the mapping of the mapping. There could be an idea of a community bucket emerging there (eg. mapping 12 maps ontologies).

(Jon Richter) #28

I believe there is room for diversity in approaching community folksonomies. Let’s try to produce few independent experimentation vectors which align their implementation needs, in so all would learn from each other. Getting them interoperable will be the key.

(Benjamin Brownell) #29

Can this thursday afternoon EU time work for a live meeting? Or shall we set up a Doodle poll to find something?