Scoping Contracting Call - Jun 22, 2022

Hi all,

Good session today on Scoping Contracting. See Pad for notes here.

I have no experience with writing standards, but I can bring my decade-long experience, as a full time practitioner, embedded in the maker and commons-based peer production movement.

In 2014, I spearheaded the Open Alliance initiative in Montreal to federate open innovation space (fablabs, makerspaces, hackerspaces, …). You have access to all our documents here. This was before the DAO movement. The main idea was to mesh these highly collaborative and open environments at the economic level, to allow material and digital resources to flow between them and thus create a diverse physical platform for commons-based peer production, local, decentralized material production based on global commons. We took this initiative because we were developing an IT infrastructure that would allow this kind of network activity, the NRP-CAS.

The NRP-CAS is still a prototype built on a server/client architecture (before web3). Although the UI / UX is far from being satisfactory, under the hood of this tool you find William (Bill) McCharthy’s REA ontology. Bob, the main programmer of the NRP-CAS had work with Bill in the past. Bill became interested in Sensorica’s OVN (open value network) model and helped us implement his model. I may be biased, but Bill’s REA is the most advanced ontology that I’ve came across that does justice to properly describing economic processes in networks. Bill is also involved with ISO and brought Sensorica’s OVN model to ISO discussions. Bill visited us in Montreal two times.

Bob and Lynn (partner, also developer) went on to create Valueflows, a set of common vocabularies to describe flows of economic resources of all kinds within distributed economic ecosystems.
A few years ago, Pospi started h-REA, economic network coordination software built on a Holochain backend. It is an implementation of the ValueFlows specification.

Sensorica lab is contributing with user stories, UI / UX tips, because we are a network of practitioners that also interface with other collaborative spaces. Sensorica is seen as experienced first adopters of this new NRP-CAS built on p2p infrastructure.

So we have a whole chain, from the abstract to the concrete, nuts and bolts and human relations. This is already a well-oiled network, with trust already cemented, spanning from academia to the maker / p2p movement and to hackers. We can leverage this network to extract and remix specifications, standards that match the reality on the ground, some being already implemented.

In parallel with this before blockchain 2.0 movement we have the new DAO movement. At this moment we are building bridges with DAOs / web3 developers, because we see DAOs complementary with OVNs. For this effort of Scoping Contracting, we would also need to bring in people from the DAO space.

To understand the distinction and the complementarity between DAOs and OVNs we need to look at their starting points. The OVN model that started with Sensorica began in a makerspace. We were playing with hardware, designing open source hardware and software and thinking about building an economic layer on top of the open source innovation model. Soon we realized that we need IT infrastructure to manage our shared physical resources and to manage our collaborative processes, as well as to account for everyone’s contributions to collaborative projects in order to know how to redistribute future benefits. So we looked at ERPs (enterprize resource planning) and could not fit into that box, so we designed the NRP (network resource planning). DAOs did not start from the physical world, but from tokens and smart contracts that live on blockchains. DAOs later added governance to their primitives (onchain voting for example, as a mechanism for a group to decide how to spend tokens in a shared wallet). We also developed governance to deal with decisions about pools of shareable material assets. The problem that persists today is that the physical doesn’t mix well with the virtual. Moreover, specifications for digital assets are different from material assets, we cannot treat them the same way.
OVN moved from the physical to digital, DAOs move from digital to physical. Now we meet in the middle. The remix between these two models will define the future economy.

Also interesting is that Sensorica practiced interfaces with traditional organizations and nowadays DAOs are also building interfaces with the traditional world. So not only we are bridging OVNs and DAOs, but we are also bridging them to the current economy. That will allow a smooth flow of resources from the current economy to the new, which will hopefully lead to a smooth transition between the two economies without economic turbulence, social unrest and waste.

That may be a lot of information… The idea is not to download 10 years of experimentation with Sensorica and network building into a post. I hope to build awareness about past development, development currents and trends, potential to leverage, … I’d be happy to contribute to this effort. If there are some financial resources available I can free more time to facilitate / coordinate the formation of a group to work on this, animate some activities, set up tools and processes for open collaboration, etc. This has been my passion since 2008 :slight_smile: