Process to design governance

To structure the governance design process we can get inspired from the OVN governance canvas. I am not proposing to adopt an OVN governance, although some features of the OVN governance could also be useful for the open network part of IoP. Note that the OVN canvas presupposes an assembly of multiple legal structures that serve different functions and allow bridging the institutional with the open.

We can also get inspired from the page on Governance on the OVN wiki. There are some generic elements in there.

We can schedule a workparty to play with the canvas, one hour would be plenty to go over it and identify the good points that we’d want to use / extract. Then we can modify / adapt it to IoP, keeping with the spirit of the business model canvas, i.e. provide a template that makes us think about everything in a systematic way. It also helps us to address some meta-governance questions and avoid bias from our past experiences. I have to admit, I am very OVN biased but I’ll do my best to minimize it, and I’ll rely on you to put me straight.

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I like this idea. How many people would you say is a good number of participants?

I’d say that a manageable working group would be around 5 people, those most interested in this type of work.
But work on governance needs to be very inclusive, so I’d propose to do it transparently and have everyone being able to read the documentation and provide feedback on the go. So it can be a long-tail structure with a core of around 5?

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Link to a resource describing long-tail structure would be great, for readers to find more info!

There is a fundamental difference between close and centralized organizations and open organizations (networks or online communities), when we look at the statistics about contributions. Close organizations display a normal curve (bell curve) when it comes to contribution levels vs number of individuals. In other words, the majority of employees in a company deploy high efforts, those who contribute less are fired and very few contribute more than what they are expected, because there are no incentives.
Open organizations, open source projects for example, exhibit a long tail statistic for level of contribution vs contributors. A very few contribute a lot, they are called the core, and the great majority, over 80%, contribute a little. Most people only make minute contributions, but they aggregate to something large. Open organizations value small contributions, because their aggregate is large. In fact, open organizations collapse without the long tail. So these organizations care a lot about those who contribute very little and sporadically. Open organizations are designed to provide frictionless mobility from the tail to the core (and vice versa) for any participant.

Related to my comment
There is probably 3 to 5 individuals in IoP who care a lot and may contribute to efforts on governance (the core). Most people around (the tail of the distribution) consider governance important but cannot engage in the heavy lifting of designing governance. Nevertheless, these contributors are important and should be included in the process is some ways. By working transparently and providing access to comment / edit, allowing small inputs we can design governance that everyone associates with. Someone from the sidelines may also become core contributor by appreciating the experience and deploying more efforts.


I would like to be part of this.

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Count me in - thank you for the offer!

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Great, should I send a Doodle or @BarbaraSchack will set that up?
Still absorbing the culture and I don’t want to step in anyone’s shoes.
It also seems to me that the tempo in this community is in the order of 2 to 4 weeks. I’d call a gathering for early next week but I don’t know if that’s appropriate.

Other parameters to consider, talking about transparency and noting that Governance affects everyone, is weather or not to record this gathering and share it with at least the people that are signed on to Slack and Discourse? I highly recommend recording and sharing, since for governance to work it needs wide adoption, and adoption is related to appropriation, which depends on how close people feel they are to the process of writing governance, to consider the governance as theirs, or be truly concerned by it.

Thank you @TiberiusB for sharing your thoughts and ideas as well as for proposing the session. I think a doodle would be a good way to find a mutually suitable time. Alternatively you can add a Discourse poll to this thread. Note that with the Discourse poll you can’t see who voted for which option, jurist the tallies for each option.
Given the travel and holiday plans for many over the remainder of this month, I would suggest considering options in the first week of August.

Recording is fine, once everyone is informed that it will be recorded. We have a youtube channel to host the recording. Experience shows that few, if any, people will actually watch a recording, so my main focus would be that the key results of the workshop be just as much captured in other forms which are shorter to process (miro board, text document, illustration, sets of business model canvas etc…).

We can stat by having sharing some metagovernance experience. The idea is to prepare our minds for a collaborative process of writing governance. So let’s bounce some thoughts around a few important questions.

First question
How do you see IoP on the graph below?

More precisely, for every one of the five dimensions draw a point where you situate IoP. Then connect these points into a pentagon. That will be the IoP profile on this map. Use this drawing to trace your pentagon, chose a color for you and do NOT put your name on it (let’s make this anonymous for now).
Lets take for example the dimension of ENABLE / PARTNERS, how do you see relations with what YOU call partners of IoP? Do you see IoP exchanging services with partners, do you see IoP sharing opportunities with them or do you see partners as peers, co-creators with IoP? In essence, this axis is about how you see IoP within a larger ecosystem that you want to create around IoP.
Another interesting dimension is the SHARE / KNOWLEDGE. First, what do you think IoP produces? Second, is that thing packaged as a product / service, is it protected is some way, perhaps using patents or trademarks? Or perhaps whatever IoP produces is made public but restricting someone to profit from it, restricting commercial activity? Or perhaps you think that anything that IoP produces is supposed to be distributed without any condition.
There is no right or wrong answer!

The goal here is to extract the type of organization everyone of us dreams of. This is important, because we will compare our visions at a very basic level, harmonize that, try to reach a consensus and only after start formalizing, producing code to govern, compatible with the shared vision.
We will tackle a few other questions before we move into governance design mode… Co-creation is very tricky. If we don’t uncover unknown divergences and clear them the collaborative governance writing process will most probably fall apart or it will be dominated by the most influential.


A Network Governance Canvas doc has been created, in which I have extracted references to the OVN model.

It is important to note that this is a network governance canvas, and the assumption is to consider IoP as a network. My previous question is precisely intended to clarify that assumption.

Also note that the Canvas is to be supported by other references about Governance, it is still work in progress, but the best we got. I don’t know of any other tools like it, if you do, please bring it in so that we can remix them and enrich everyone :slight_smile:

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@AnnaSera I am sharing early the presentation for Tuesday. It’s part of my collaborative culture… The main ideas should be there, I’ll work a bit more on the format.
I invite everyone to comment and even to edit.

NOTE for those who were not in the loop, I was asked to make a presentation about OVN governance, present Sensorica’s Governance and go over the Governance Canvas. You’ll find links to al these things in the presentation. If I give them to you here there is a chance you’ll not open the presentation :slight_smile:
Also note that the Governance Canvas may change, as we didn’t touch it for a while. This event is a good opportunity to put it up to date.


This is awesome, thanks @TiberiusB . You may be planning to cover this when you speak, but my immediate question is to dive deeper into what you mean by open networks (since that’s the “qualifying factor” used from the start.
And, do you have any references or links you could share to an explanation of the 5 axis map on slide 8 please? I’d like to understand better what is meant by each axis and the points on it. Also to check my understanding: it’s intended as a tool to make sure all the people involved are on the same page about what they’re trying to do, not as a tool to recommend certain structures or governance models based on the shape a particular organisation forms, is that right?

Right @AnnaSera the 5 axis graph is a tool to situate ourselves, as a group. Sometimes people have the impression that they agree on a type of organization, but in fact they don’t fully agree.

This methodology comes from
They used this graph as a tool to assess growth potential of an organization in the digital age. It came from their observations about what made organizations grow.

Javier Creus is the brain behind Pentagrowth. I met him in Paris in 2014 at the Ouishare Fest and remained friends ever since. I strongly recommend him if someone here needs a consultant on platforms, collaborative organizations, commons, etc.

We recently applied this model to the 4th Sector, during this event. This is intended as a tool for decision makers, politicians and bureaucrats, to distinguish 4th sector organizations (open networks) from traditional organizations (coops, non-profit, inc), and to nuance that distinction.

Five system levers of emergent new standards

  1. Which level of connectivity are organizations building on, from social, to mobile, to ambient? About infrastructure.
  2. How do organizations produce, using their own resources or resources from environment? How they build their value chain?
  3. Leveraging the capacity of people, turning clients and users into prosumers, producers. About inclusion, openness.
  4. Providing others in an open way your deliverables, to build on top. Antifragile risk.
  5. Community support beyond market rules.

Or in other terms

  1. connection & tech
  2. shared & common assets
  3. personal capacities
  4. value creation enablers
  5. shared knowledge

For us, I think that it is the perfect tool to unpack what we mean by collaborative, open, … It will allow us to see divergence of opinions related to the nature of the organization that we want to build, and once identified, we can address these differences using these dimensions to try to reach consensus.

So this also helps us understand what we mean by “open network”, when we say that Sensorica and Bitcoin are open networks. If you project them on the graph they will score highest on all axis.

Thanks a lot Tiberius. Some of the dimensions in the diagram make sense to me, others not yet - but I suspect the best way to fully understand it would be to work through it. We aren’t going to have time to do that on Tuesday (I think there’s already more content in your presentation than we’ll be able to get through in 15 min session :slight_smile: ) so perhaps we could arrange a dedicated session on it later if you would be willing to devote the time?
I’m hesitant to ask you to include more things in the presentation but from having a look at the Sensorica governance documents I’m curious to know how the consensus-building & lazy democracy approaches are used in practice - do you have specific rules or forums defined for them?

Hi Anna,

Definitely, 15 min is way too little to achieve some alignment or build some shared understanding to set in motion a collaborative governance development process. The thing with Governance, when it comes to associations, alliances and collaborative organizations, is that the process of making it must be collaborative, because everyone in it must feel part of it.

Perhaps the goal of this 15 min gathering on the topic is to map the territory, to surface unknown unknowns, so that everyone discovers how much there is to think about when we play with Governance. At the same time, it is also to make people realize that like with anything else, creating governance is a process that must be conducted diligently, using some methodology. I hope that these realizations will generate a commitment to a thorough process.

Here’s the ting… Governance is not something that we can simply copy and paste from one organization to another. Every organization is different and the internal rules reflect that difference. There are common patterns that can be used, but we cannot just do copy and paste. So there’s a process… Governance is built, not copied. That’s how I see it. So that’s why I am always coming back to commitment, process, participation.

So I think we can agree on scratching the surface, mapping the territory with this presentation, building shared understanding about the process, surfacing the unknown. There’s no point in diving deep into anything…
Then we can think about the process, a method, and once we do have the method (perhaps the canvas) we can set up a series of workshops to tackle one aspect after the other. For example, we can just go over the 5 axis graph to present it as a tool and mention that at some point in time EVERYONE concerned must use it to surface for everyone else their own understanding of what IoP should be and why.

Excuse my brief reply but I don’t have long. We may have some wires crossed - the taskforce call is for an hour, and the first topic is to discuss the process we will use (more at the level of timelines & opportunities for others to contribute, not so much at the level of tools we’ll use) - I’ve been working on a proposal for that with Barbara & Max which we’ll share tomorrow for review ahead of the call on Tuesday when we can discuss and amend it. I was asking you to present a little on the Sensorica governance model as potential inspiration for us, and on the governance canvas as a potential tool we may use - for that there’s about 15 mins plus time for Q&A, then after that we can take stock of where we’re at and what we want to prioritise in terms of next steps. Does that sound ok?
We’re very aware that there’s a process to building an appropriate governance model!

The agenda for the call on Tuesday is Governance Task Force work session 22.09.20 13UTC

Hi @TiberiusB and @AnnaSera,
looking at the presentation and thinking through how to make the most of this first intro time (which would then find more time in dedicated worksessions), I suggest the we look at the slides pretty much in reverse order :slight_smile:

  • Start with the last one showing Sensorica in practice, (slide 20)
  • then the governance canvas and how and why it was created, how the process of using it to guide governance design in the IOPA might work in practice, (slide 19)
  • Then as a illustrated use-case, go back to Sensorica and look at the overview of the Sensorica governance. (slide 18)
    And as needed go to the slides that give further information on an element that comes up in the conversation/Q&A.

I find that the other slides have a wealth of information that I really look forward to learning from and understanding better (for example, the "Summary of developmental stages " really captures well some of the evolutions I’ve observed over the past 2 years).
Yet there won’t be enough time in this session for it, and I want to avoid a situation where relevant information gets rushed through.