Loomio
Mon 14 Aug 2017

Objective of the Open App Ecosystem

D
Draft Public Seen by 410

Hi all,

Seems we need to agree on the objective (thought I had made a thread with it, but apparently I didn't :D )

I took the @olisb and @gregorycassel and @lynnfoster proposition and made up another one, I put in () the name of the person who made the proposition.

Objective

A suite of interoperable tools (olisb) easy to use, install, configure and contribute to (lynn). This ecosystem will enable :
* the emergence of open, inclusive economic and social systems (greg).
* connections between people who build and use open systems (greg-mikey).
* transparent and decentralised collaboration (olisb).

If we agree on this it will become the new objective for the OAE.

D

Draft started a proposal Mon 14 Aug 2017

Is this objective for the OAE is good for you ? Closed Thu 17 Aug 2017

A suite of interoperable tools (olisb) easy to use, install, configure and contribute to (lynn). This ecosystem will enable :
* the emergence of open, inclusive economic and social systems (greg).
* connections between people who build and use open systems (greg).
* transparent and decentralised collaboration (olisb).

Agree - 4
Abstain - 2
Disagree - 5
Block - 0
11 people have voted (8%)
D

Draft
Agree
Mon 14 Aug 2017

MF

Marc Farré
Agree
Mon 14 Aug 2017

LF

Lynn Foster
Disagree
Tue 15 Aug 2017

I don't disagree with what is written, but disagree we are ready to do a formal Objective. See my last post.

GC

Greg Cassel
Disagree
Tue 15 Aug 2017

I think that Lynn did a nice job of indicating some concerns which I share. I think we're not ready for any inclusive formal decisions.

JW

Jim Whitescarver
Agree
Tue 15 Aug 2017

OS

Oli SB
Disagree
Wed 16 Aug 2017

For the reasons made in my comments, and Simon's...

BH

Bob Haugen
Abstain
Wed 16 Aug 2017

I am abstaining because it's 3 to 3 and I don't want to tip the balance. I don't think we have enough unity yet to publish a joint statement, though.

JL

James Lewis
Disagree
Wed 16 Aug 2017

JL

James Lewis
Disagree
Wed 16 Aug 2017

Contains no actionable text - could be the definition of any tech soc. ent. As it's generic and broad it could not be used to facilitate e.g. goal definition, tasks, membership decisions or organisational structure.

TK

Tibor Katelbach
Abstain
Wed 16 Aug 2017

I agree with Bob , these points are part of what is the OAE but I think there's much more to it, like experimenting new types of open and horizontal governance, building an OCDB:Open Common Database )based on aggregations of multiple sources...++

TB

Tiberius Brastaviceanu
Agree
Thu 17 Aug 2017

SG

Simon Grant
Disagree
Thu 17 Aug 2017

Not much rewording would be needed to get the concepts in good enough order for me.

D

Draft Mon 14 Aug 2017

I forgot to precise @olisb I deleted the "democratic" part because this word is not really concrete anymore (everybody use it in so many ways).

GC

Greg Cassel Mon 14 Aug 2017

I don't want to be a pain, but I'd honestly prefer for OAE's objective to be stated in one or more complete sentences.

Maybe something like:

" Open App Ecosystem will be a suite of interoperable open source tools which are easy to use, install, configure and contribute to."
[plus those three bullet points]

Thanks @draft , @olisb , @lynnfoster etcetera for working to find common ground.

OS

Oli SB Mon 14 Aug 2017

This is exactly why I am suggesting we relaunch the CTA.

I didn't write this definition of the OAE, the people who worked on CTA v1 and the OAE to date did:

"The Open App Ecosystem is a suite of interoperable tools which support transparent, democratic, decentralised collaboration."

Which makes the OAE pretty much already defined in my book...

We could debate the objective of the CTA / OAE but the vision (which is pretty similar to an objective) of the CTA has already been defined too:

The CTA vision
We envisage the future of the social web as an ecosystem of open source tools designed to enable groups, communities, and co-ops everywhere to share resources, and collaborate at a scale. We call this ecosystem of open source tools "The Open App Ecosystem": A suite of interoperable tools which support transparent, democratic, decentralised collaboration.

Together, we aim to knit together a flexible, collaborative open social web  -  facilitating the creation of a culture of creativity, collaboration, and mutual support, for the rejuvenation of the commons  -  at the scale required for a connected and collaborative humanity.

which seems pretty similar to what we're now trying to define for the OAE above...

GC

Greg Cassel Mon 14 Aug 2017

Relaunching CTA is fine as far as I'm concerned. I just think everyone should try to be clear about whether or not OAE has any official or formal relationship to CTA, and vice versa.

If they are to have any formal relationship to each other, then I will want to know exactly what that relationship is. I'm personally very technical and precise in such matters.

D

Draft Tue 15 Aug 2017

I prefer the new objective. It's shorter and more concrete. Do we disagree on that ?

For me a vision = an objective. A prefer the word objective which is more concrete. Do we disagree on that ?

LF

Lynn Foster Mon 14 Aug 2017

I didn't write this definition of the OAE, the people who worked on CTA v1 and the OAE to date did:

@olisb interesting, I wasn't aware of such an overlap in people in original CTA and original OAE, although I knew there was some connection around Enspiral, at least a social one. Can you give more history there? Who, and how it occurred? (I do like to respect the history of these things as we figure out how to move forward.)

SG

Simon Grant Tue 15 Aug 2017

I'm noticing some difficulty with responding to this thread and proposal. Draft, I like the way you have taken parts of what other people have said and put them together.

My difficulty relates to the overall concept, that an ecosystem is "a suite of interoperable tools". Yes, such a suite is a valuable objective, but surely our "real" objective goes way beyond creating such a suite?

So I'm wondering if we can see the objective suggested here, not as the whole objective of the OAE, but of the technical product side. To which I would add, that the tools need to be in keeping with our core shared values, and the way in which we build and agree these tools also needs to be consistent with the kind of society, and economy, that we envisage as desirable.

To me, a clue to more inclusive objectives of an "ecosystem" is given in the word, "ecosystem". A set of tools is not, by itself, an ecosystem, as it only lives and thrives through use by people. The people who use the tools are perhaps the most fundamental part of the ecosystem, and I would include the organizations of people that the tools are designed to enable, promote, or facilitate, better than the current set of tools. Looking further outwards, I personally can't imagine an "ecosystem" other than one that includes the society, and the culture, that surrounds the tools and the organisations using those tools.

Note, that I'm not saying it's easy, nor even maybe wise, to formulate objectives at those scales. I do believe, however, that it is vital to bear in mind the wider picture, and at least to include the objective of tool adoption. It's obvious — what use is a set of tools if no one uses them? — and I for one would be keen on thinking through whatever can be thought through about the conditions surrounding widespread adoption. To me, that's all about the real ecosystem.

D

Draft Tue 15 Aug 2017

I think we agree on that. I think you are talking about the CTA objective which could be : to gather people that creates open apps.

Here, it's the Open App Ecosystem objective, it's pretty concrete so I like it.

Plus, you can see in the objective : " This ecosystem will enable the emergence of open, inclusive economic and social systems ", which is a very large objective, maybe not large enough for you, you may want to change this part though.

My question would be : Do you have any concrete change to make ? :D

SG

Simon Grant Wed 16 Aug 2017

"Here, it's the Open App Ecosystem objective, it's pretty concrete so I like it. ...

Plus, you can see in the objective : " This ecosystem will enable the emergence of open, inclusive economic and social systems ", which is a very large objective, maybe not large enough for you, you may want to change this part though."

To me, names do matter, because they bring up associations and expectations in people. What I'm saying is that your @draft formulation of the objective doesn't, to my mind, belong to an "ecosystem", but to a technical sub-system, and that matters, to me at least.

You could indeed say something like "This technical tool set will be designed to support the emergence of a whole Open App Ecosystem" and that is absolutely fair enough, but you're not talking about the objectives of the Ecosystem as a whole, but just its technical sub-system. And we could evaluate a candidate set of apps based on how well, in our collective view, it would in fact enable the greater Ecosystem. I'd be asking for us to try to be reasonable and measured with our use of the term "Ecosystem".

And at some point evaluation is important. How can we expect to be able to evaluate how much, or how far, an interrelated, interoperable set of apps actually supports our wider objectives? To me, one of the vital, positive points of writing objectives is so that one can evaluate potential strategies against those objectives — after all, we do and will need to make decisions about which way to go on some matters, and it would be great if we can make those decisions in view of criteria which have been agreed by consensus (and which can be changed by consensus). Otherwise, decisions are liable to be made for reasons of personal power, popularity, or other such criteria that do not necessarily relate to our long-term goals.

LF

Lynn Foster Tue 15 Aug 2017

I personally am not ready to put enough time and thought into a formal statement, although I see its usefulness. I am very happy we did enough to establish basic understanding among ourselves, I thought that was important - but it was quickly dashed off in a get-to-know-each-other mode, and remains that way in this statement. And since then, at least one fundamental issue has been discussed but not resolved. And anything that someone disagreed on, or just initiated more nuanced discussion about, was just removed from the statement.

I would suggest these steps:
1. Nail down any remaining big issues on goals/objectives/values/governance, involving everyone.
2. People who focus on aggregating ideas and clear writing can deepen and improve the statement, representing the group's agreements on content.

For myself (I am a better coder than writer), I need to be focusing on creating software. (For OAE, this also includes researching and discussing technical architecture, vocabulary, etc.)

I don't mind if this goes on a website or loomio group or wherever as is, saying something like we don't have a formal statement yet, but this is how we are thinking initially. But let's do a decent job when we formalize. And personally, I would just wait until we're ready.

GC

Greg Cassel Tue 15 Aug 2017

I appreciate your strong efforts to spark dialogue and progress, @draft . I think it's always fine to launch formal proposals, and I also think that it's fine for proposals to not pass.

Personally, FYI, I barely ever launch formal proposals anywhere. (For instance, I was very active in Enspiral for the last few years without launching any Loomio proposals.) I usually see formal proposals and agreements as fundamental "constitutional" elements, and I rarely feel compelled to engage groups on that level. (When I do engage in that way, I focus intensely on it.)

Hope that makes sense and seems relevant to my activity here.

OS

Oli SB Tue 15 Aug 2017

To try and bring several threads together... ;)

I think this proposal is the perfect example of the lack of governance in this OAE Loomio group.

What is quorum for this decision?
Who should really be voting on this?
If it is decided here, where does this 'objective' get enshrined into what 'charter'?
Who's signed up to that...?

If only a few people vote, we will have all wasted our time because the decision will never be binding or useful in any way...

I would suggest that (given its' long and hard won history) defining the objective of the OAE is only appropriate, or worthwhile, if the decision is taken by a much larger group of people than we have here participating in these discussion today.

Which is why I think we need an "organisation for collaboration", like the CTA, which could more effectively manage large group discussions and important decisions like this by pulling together it's "signed up" members, from it's various working groups... :)

JW

Jim Whitescarver Wed 16 Aug 2017

This vote is for discussion. Our objective will continuously be refined. A vote is not required at all because our objective is whatever we have collaboratively edited in the doc. We never have no objectives or final objectives.
I'd say we aim for autonomy and collaboration at scale and have objective leading us on the path.
We are responsible to comment on and update the docs.
In diglife.com we are employing sociocratic and self management principles delegating authority and consent to good enough and safe to try solutions in linked teams. There are many good reasons for us to try that here is order to create a scalable organization.

LF

Lynn Foster Wed 16 Aug 2017

Our objective will continuously be refined. A vote is not required at all because our objective is whatever we have collaboratively edited in the doc. We never have no objectives or final objectives. I'd say we aim for autonomy and collaboration at scale and have objective leading us on the path. We are responsible to comment on and update the docs.

I like this perspective, it gives me a vision of an ongoing process where we as a network continue to grow and learn from our work together and our discussions.

TK

Tibor Katelbach Wed 16 Aug 2017

+1 we do "connected work"

OS

Oli SB Wed 16 Aug 2017

@jimwhitescarver

" We never have no objectives or final objectives"
I'm not sure I agree or understand exactly what you are saying...?

"There are many good reasons for us to try that here is order to create a scalable organization."

I agree completely.

" In diglife.com we are employing sociocratic and self management principles delegating authority and consent to good enough and safe to try solutions in linked teams. "

I would go as far as suggesting the a newly formed CTA, consisting of many of the other groups that are working on exactly the same mission as you are at Diglife, and we are here, should probably borrow / build on some of the lessons you have learned at Diglife, your structure of "linked teams" and possibly even the software I saw demonstrated in your / DigLife's excellent video presentation

@lynnfoster I'm all up for an "ongoing process" but not a structure-less one... ;)

LF

Lynn Foster Wed 16 Aug 2017

I'm all up for an "ongoing process" but not a structure-less one... ;)

@olisb yes, and I am not anti-structure. It is just a balancing act that every group has to work through, and will be different for different purposes and for different stages of network development. I started a thread so we can discuss this more, I'm interested in any specific ideas relative to the OAE. And I think all of the various organizational experiments are interesting in this transitional phase.

D

Draft Fri 18 Aug 2017

@mozboz Didn't quite understand what you mean

@asimong Can you reword it ?

@gregorycassel Do you think we can work together without any formal objective ?

SG

Simon Grant Fri 18 Aug 2017

Yes I could try a tentative rewording -- give me a short while...

GC

Greg Cassel Fri 18 Aug 2017

@gregorycassel Do you think we can work together without any formal objective ?

Depends IMO on what we mean with "work together"!

I think that any group of people can (potentially) have mutually beneficial discussions without sharing an objective.

Beyond "just talking": I have personal technical definitions for coordination and collaboration.

Coordination can happen/emerge "naturally", but it often requires (or improves by) identifying a shared objective.

I think that collaboration rarely works without a shared objective. Even then, though, it doesn't necessarily have to be a formally (or officially) identified objective. However, formally identified objectives are typical and helpful. They reduce risks and misunderstandings.

BH

Bob Haugen Fri 18 Aug 2017

I think an agreed upon set of objectives would be good. I have no big disagreement with that has been written so far. I do think we are getting ahead of ourselves in the OAE (for those of us who think it is an ecosystem of apps that will be used by possibly different ecosystems of organizations and people but that this is about the apps). I think we could make a lot of headway in the next few weeks, though.

For those who are more concerned with the organization or organizations of people, yeah, some goals and definitions and agreements would be useful, too.

The differences between those focuses and goals and conversations gets pretty confusing, though.

GC

Greg Cassel Sat 19 Aug 2017

The differences between those focuses and goals and conversations gets pretty confusing, though.

It's really hard for diverse people to have reasonably well-organized discussions in simple discussion forums (including Loomio) where new comments are just tacked onto the end of threads. The ability to host proposals and polls here is unparalleled, but otherwise frankly it's a rather typical forum.

I don't mean to imply that we should use another discussion forum tool. I don't know of any which have most of the features I desire. I just think we all need to have some patience for dealing with the limitations of the medium.

If anyone's especially interested in learning to have more effective and efficient discussions with one or more currently available online tools, I suggest checking out Enspiral's Comms Guidelines as food for thought. I don't think those guidelines are perfect, but I do think they've often been helpful. They could probably be used to start drafting an alternative set of guidelines for something like OAE. (Among other things, I'd recommend using Mattermost or RocketChat instead of Slack. And of course, some of the Enspiral-specific stuff wouldn't apply.)

BH

Bob Haugen Sat 19 Aug 2017

The more-technical conversation is probably gravitating to https://chat.lescommuns.org/channel/open.apps.ecosystem (RocketChat). The more-organizational probably here in Loomio.

And of course both conversations are intertwingled. And Lynn and I are interested in both. We were organizers before, during, and after we were software devs. We just think the open apps are necessary for the orgs, but also that they need their own organization, which has to focus on developing the apps, and not an overwhelming amount of other talk. Can't get any work done.

BH

Bob Haugen Sat 19 Aug 2017

Consider also a bit more analysis of the various focuses and goals at play here, and how best to organize discussion and action around them.

TK

Tibor Katelbach Sun 20 Aug 2017

We have a small surprise coming within more or less 10 days a surprise right along the thoughts of this discussion. I had to share the Teaser that we are currently finishing of the refactor of a tool we had build along the lines of Loomio, but wanted to keep a hand on experimentation, so we build something to experiment , it's called DDA (v2) stands Discuss, Decide and Act , and there's a 3rd D coming soon after which will be Document.
please bear with us as we finish things off , and I'll present it to the OAE , maybe it'll suite our needs and any way it's build to be enhanced.

OS

Oli SB Mon 21 Aug 2017

sounds very interesting @tiborkatelbach - looking forward to seeing what it is :)