August 30th, 2015 23:13

OVNs and expenses

Tiberius Brastaviceanu
Tiberius Brastaviceanu Public Seen by 236

There's a discussion on SENSORICA's main mailing list about how to pay for essentials (rent for the lab, domain names, web hosting, etc.)

Current practice:
CAKE, SENSORICA's Custodian takes 5% from commercial activities in order to pay for essentials.

QUESTION: should this % be increased?

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster August 30th, 2015 23:20

Tibi, I think using loomio for these discussion is a great step forward, because there is a way to actually make the decision democratically. Well done.

Fabio Balli

Fabio Balli August 30th, 2015 23:23

If we took the last months, which % would be needed to cover the costs ? Shouldn't the question be about how to generate revenue from commercial and non commercial activities ? Is there a strategy about the financial sustainability of CAKE ?

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu August 30th, 2015 23:38

Fabio, that is a very important question, but a very different
one. I encourage you to post it in a different discussion and invite others to contribute. Maria was concerned only about the 5% "tax" and I promised to put that on Loomio. We can't solve all SENSORICA's problems in one Loomio discussion : ) Let's take them one at the time.

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster August 30th, 2015 23:45

Fabio's first question about what % would be needed to cover the costs is actually right on target of the topic. It would be good information to know based on recent income, what would have been needed.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu August 31st, 2015 00:11

I understood it differently. The first question is just introducing a perceived distance from my question and the current needs of SENSORICA. From what I understood, Fabio's questions are
"Shouldn’t the question be about how to generate revenue from commercial and non commercial activities ?"
"Is there a strategy about the financial sustainability of CAKE ?"
But I'll let Fabio react.
All the info about revenue is transparent in SENSORICA, you can find it here
if not up to date, ask someone, myself or other, to put it up to date.
I would like to do this in the NRP-VAS, but please don't ask me why I don't ...

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen August 31st, 2015 11:30

@tiberiusbrastavice : you wrote, "I would like to do this in the NRP-VAS, but please don’t ask me why I don’t …"

I'll bite. Why don't you? Please include suggestions for improvement that would cause you to want to do so. (I understand that this is off-topic for this discussion, so elsewhere...)


Brastaviceanu Daniel August 31st, 2015 14:06

Haha, I love the fact we can ''Like'' comments here, unlike email.. I read most emails but I don't reply much, at least here you all can see I'm following :) what I like and what I don't :)


Brastaviceanu Daniel August 31st, 2015 14:48

The 5% doesn't cut it right now. If I made 10K$/month I'd give 500$ for rent etc, and if other people make money and pay the 5% we could make it. But right now we don't, I don't make 10K$/month.. Theoretically I could and I should.
So should we rise the 5% to whatever % it takes to cover Lab expenses? then I'd pay the Rent and use of the 3D printers and there would be no more for me.
And what about money from membership, etc, it's for the same purpose...
Eventually, when one day we're many members and with lots of commercial activity, the % will shrink to negligeable. But what do we do now?


Brastaviceanu Daniel August 31st, 2015 15:05

I understand Fabios' question as: let's look at the bills and what money comes in from commercial activity and see how to adjust that % to cover the expenses...
and when we look, we realize there isn't enough people with commercial activity around and not many people paying member fees..
Problem solved, we should not rise the % but encourage more people to do commercial activity and help them do it.
And also encourage more people to pay the fees.


Brastaviceanu Daniel August 31st, 2015 15:07

Or we can rise the % to acceptable levels, up to 15% and adjust it as more people start doing commercial activity and make $. More than 20% is still acceptable but would discourage people to do their activity in the Network if they can do it from home..

Steve Bosserman

Steve Bosserman September 1st, 2015 14:00

Understanding is key. So, I'm checking to see if mine is correct: The formula appears to be based on a percentage of commercial activity as brokered by CAKE, SENSORICA's custodian and representative in contract negotiations with prospective customers, clients, and sponsors on behalf of SENSORICA members. True or no? This is important because outside organizations that want to contract with SENSORICA members for their services need to know which agency they contact. I take it that would be CAKE. And if it is, spurring more commercial activity would be a function of CAKE's marketing and sales function, knowing whom to contact in CAKE and the process to follow in order to explore opportunities and options would be critical. If this makes sense, perhaps CAKE needs a special allocation percentage to gear up its marketing and sales and thereby increase commercial activity.

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 1st, 2015 14:57

@stevebosserman In Sensorica land at the moment, there are 2 types of legal interfaces where money can come in: custodians (CAKE is taking in payment for non-profit-ish efforts like PV Char, where the University's role is termed "fiscal sponsor"), and the exchange firms, which are for-profit and handle the more standard commercial sales (like BDan for 3D printer related sales, where the external entity's role is termed "customer").

Steve Bosserman

Steve Bosserman September 1st, 2015 15:46

Thanks for the clarification, @lynnfoster. So do the exchange firms, like GreenSense and BDan, impose an "infrastructure tax" as a percent of sales to help cover essentials? In other words, it's not just CAKE's percentage of sponsored projects that goes to cover core expenses, there's also a similar percentage from exchange firm transactions? If this is correct, should those percentages necessarily be the same?

Steve Bosserman

Steve Bosserman September 1st, 2015 15:49

A somewhat related question: would the percentage for SENSORICA consulting services rendered to a non-profit institution, agency, NGO, etc. about how to setup and maintain an OVN "instance" be the same as to entities in for-profit business ecosystems or clusters of community-based organizations? Seems like it might be useful to have weighted factors in the equation depending on the customer / client / sponsor served - just thinking outloud...

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 1st, 2015 16:06

@stevebosserman Thus far, all income from products and services has been treated the same: 5% to Sensorica, irrespective of custodian vs exchange firm source. (I don't know who was involved in the decision and what discussion took place; and I don't know the answer to your second question. Just reporting from the current situation as I understand it.)

Tammy Lea Meyer

Tammy Lea Meyer September 3rd, 2015 01:34

So the lab costs are around 1200, and then there is the hosting and domains... add another hundred? At 5% that is 26k in needed revenue, monthly, to generate the coverage needed for the lab and network expenses.

If it were increased to 10%, it would be 13k, which is still beyond where we are in affiliate generated revenue. I think it is relevant in this thread to mention the importance of fostering affiliate generated revenue, as that is the true proof of the model. @fabioballi

I would advocate to set the percentage higher at the moment though, perhaps 15%. I think that sensoricans are believers in the next economy, and would vote with their dollar to support it. Alternatively, perhaps there could be a 'sliding scale' culture put forward, 10-20% or even more, whereby affiliates could choose to give a higher percentage if they wanted to, and the percentage over the minimum could be held as fluid equity. I know I would choose to give more to support the network, because I believe in its potential.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 3rd, 2015 01:59

5% has been applied across the board. This practice has been implemented in the summer of 2014, after the "tragedy of the commons crisis".
Jim's proposition on SENSORICA mailing list sets the bar even higher, it defines a moral standard. It says that ANY individual and organization that uses SENSORICA's assets to generate revenue, material or immaterial, tangible or intangible, has a moral obligation to give 5% back to SENSORICA. Steve would go right in that category with his consultancy practice and for the fact that many of us have assisted Steve in his consulting endeavors. Just saying... In this case, Steve (or his company) would be an Exchange Firm of SENSORICA. He would give 5% to the Custodian, CAKE. Continuing with this example, Jim's standard is a moral standard that plays on reputation and therefore on the ability of someone to enlist people from the network on activities, to gather traction for initiatives, and more...

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 3rd, 2015 02:05

Tammy, our experience tells us that people don't want to pay 50$/month to sustain the infrastructure. My past experience is that some people were running their businesses from the lab, making money using space and equipment, and refused to pay 5%. They left the lab rather than pay.
Another thing is that SENSORICA is in competition with Fablabs and Makerspaces that offer space, equipment, tools, for 50$/month of membership. Startups that want to develop their products would go there, if they don't understand SENSORICA's model, i.e. if they only see SENSORICA as a fablab and nothing more.
We can try to increase to higher than 5%, but higher than 10% would be wrong, in my opinion. The probability that someone would bring a project to SENSORICA will be too low.
Numbers are numbers. What's important is how people react to numbers.
The problem is not the 5%, but the income. As you say Tammy, it doesn't take much income to cover the costs. The problem is that we don't generate enough, for different good reasons...

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 3rd, 2015 15:01

I object to what @tiberiusbrastavice wrote about @stevebosserman above.

Steve has tried to bring projects to Sensorica, over and over again. Sensorica has not moved on them successfully. But Steve has not profited from any of this.

He has tried to promote the OVN idea to his clients, because he believes in it, but none of them have adopted it. He has lost clients from this promotion, rather than gotten clients.

So Tibi's accusation is not only untrue and unfair, but also an unjust attack on Steve's reputation.


Jim Anastassiou September 4th, 2015 12:13

I guess its time I jumped in since my need to clarify the current definition of the 5% has sparked some accusations. The reality here is that in our collaborative network financial contribution is necessary to maintain and improve certain key elements of the infrastructure. Since these contributions rely on activities that can be funnelled through an exchange firm belonging to any affiliate, the activities may not be fully transparent. So the question is: when does an affiliate's existing company become an "exchange firm" to the OVN? I believe the answer is clear: when a part of the commercial activities rely on resources from the OVN, be it equipment, human resources or the last one (which is hard to track), knowledge. This last resource must obviously rely on the honour system and is of moral obligation to the network otherwise suspicions might raise a flag as is in Tibi's case with Steve. Not re-inforcing the accusation here, just analyzing it. I suggest we make a decision: is my definition of the 5% (or higher)a correct one? Can we base future contributions on these ethics? Since this was rather vague (correct me if i'm wrong) in the past I don't think past judgment should affect reputation in the network, unless anyone has something else to add? Steve how do you see this analysis, since you seem to be more involved with activities that can fall into that category?

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 4th, 2015 13:13

@jimanastassiou - I still think you are misinterpreting the case with Steve. I don't think he has done any commercial activities that relied on anything from Sensorica. He has tried to do so, and has tried to bring them to Sensorica. They have not brought in any money.

He has had one successful initiative, the Tanzanian Innovation Project, for which we set up an instance of NRP, for which he wanted to use Sensorica's OVN methods, but neither the software nor those methods were ever used by that project, and Steve's involvement with the project is finished. That's as close as any of Steve's projects ever came to actually using Sensorica anything, as far as I know. And none of the project leads came through Sensorica, they came from Steve to Sensorica. So if anything had come of them, Steve would be due something for bringing in the project, according to one of Tibi's recent proposals. (Although I doubt that he would want that.)

The new projects he has in the wings may use Sensorica methods, knowledge, and maybe even NRP software. Lynn and I may be involved in one of them. If we do, we intend to properly cite Sensorica knowledge and methods. It will be cited in a value equation that we may not control, so it may not be 5%. If we get any money from it, we will pass on whatever is the agreed upon percentage. (That will be on top of whatever comes from the citation.)


Jim Anastassiou September 4th, 2015 14:27

@bobhaugen I didn't wan't to give the impression that I assumed Steve did. I have only skimmed through some of the posts of his activities in Tanzania so I don't really know much about the initiative. I was only analyzing the situation and trying to find the reason why Tibi would make such an accusation. I am in no position to make a judgement call and wouldn't wan't to either. Maybe I shouldn't play the mediator, but I believe we should solve these little problems now and put rules in place to avoid future confrontations.

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 4th, 2015 15:09

@jimanastassiou I want to say that I do agree with and support your concept of the obligation to give back to Sensorica in the way you stated it. (Although this does not apply to Steve.)

P.S. When you're ready, you can make a proposal in this loomio discussion and people can vote. Button near the top.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 4th, 2015 15:36

I never acused Steve of anything. I am just using his case as an example of a SENSORICA affiliate who is using SENSORICA and other sensoricans' time in his consulting practices. I am just describing a real situation based on facts, and trying to compare it with the new moral standards proposed. The best is to hear from Steve himself. So please, no accusatory language, let's stick to facts and technical issues.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 4th, 2015 15:42

@tiberiusbrastavice - the problem is that you are inverting the situation. Steve was trying to bring projects to Sensorica that would result in income for Sensoricans. He was not trying to use Sensoricans' time for his consulting practice, which is winding down anyway.

Steve Bosserman

Steve Bosserman September 4th, 2015 16:58

Gee, @tiberiusbrastavice I don't know how to respond to you that gets you off the track you're on which is quite a departure from the road we've traveled together for several years, now.

I have included you in EVERY venture I've been in to promote value networks, in general, and SENSORICA as an open value network more specifically. This includes personally introducing you to key administration at Ohio State, leaders and members of the USDA grant team for LocalFoodSystems.org, and members of a wide range of localized business ecosystems centered on food and agriculture in Ohio as well as founders of makerspaces, training centers, startups, etc., in the US and internationally; partnering with you in the formation of the Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) wherein you are charter member and co-administrator to this day; writing you / SENSORICA into grant proposals to the USDA in 2012 and last year; developing an innovation portfolio framework based on OVN principles for application within both the private and public sectors; associating the NRP / VAS with the iAGRI Innovation Portfolio process in Tanzania in an effort to open the door for funding to underwrite development of OVN modules for international development; building slide decks that showcase GAVNet and SENSORICA in illustrating the flow of innovation in an OVN environment; and most recently, initiating a contracting process for the AAVP project at Ohio State and a prospective private sector client in based in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, none of these have panned out in terms of funded projects. We don't have a final verdict on a couple of them, so the tide may turn.

So, let me pose some questions to you: Over the past five years, have you used my creative output, my connections, my reputation, my funded projects, my prospective projects to develop the principles in action for SENSORICA and perhaps even your individual professional development? Have I ever suggested that you pay me for these services much less invoiced you / SENSORICA for them? Have I diligently documented my contributions to SENSORICA projects or initiatives on the NRP / VAS system so I would be entitled to a slice of the pie when allocating gains? Have I requested support from you and / or other SENSORICA members that I incorporated into the work of my business for which I was paid and did not acknowledge you appropriately?

In terms of parity, I feel as though I have done my share to support the concept of an OVN and I will continue to do so because I believe it represents an essential part of the solution for the world. In terms of whatever moral code you choose to impose, I do not feel as though I owe you or SENSORICA members anything.

I close with a statement made by Jim A. a couple of weeks ago that hits the nail on the head as far as the elephant in the room:

"It is sad to see primal human behaviour and aggression surface when money is involved, a primitive reflex and natural instinct that for me is the root of all evil and the corrupt capitalist structure the world has adopted."

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 4th, 2015 17:43

So let's speak in technical terms. We need some criteria to distinguish personal gains from contributions to the network. This is how I see it.
If a consultant uses knowledge, methodologies, templates developed by the network, the OVN model, network success stories, other network affiliates' time, etc. in order to increase his/her market value as a consultant, in order to negotiate a contract, in order to advance his/her mandate for a contract, this person has personal gains from the network.
On the other side, if the consultant has already an established contract and brings SENSORICA in for exposure, to generate revenue for other affiliates, etc., without directly impacting the already established gains from this contract, then the person is contributing to the network.
I took Steve's case, because in my opinion it has a mix of both. Bob only perceives the second part. My long experience with Steve, as he pointed out in his post, is that he has found a way to market skills and tools and methods developed by the network, and in my opinion, he has been the most successful sensorican in doing so. I do admire Steve's skills. At the same time, I do think that Steve's case is a very interesting one for this debate, because it does offer a mix of personal benefits and help for the network.


Frederic Durville September 5th, 2015 12:16

Whoa.... I probably should not jump in, but here I go...

What is happening to you, Tibi?

From where I sit, it seems that Sensorica and you personally has gained through your interactions with Steve, much more than Steve has.

And it seems that the questions you are asking is:

If I introduce Sensorica to one of my contact that has the potential to benefit Sensorica, do I now owe something to Sensorica?

If I include sensorica in one of my proposal to get funding that will be shared with sensorica, do I owe something to sensorica?

In my opinion, and I can also say in common business practices, the answer to both question is a resounding NO.


Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 5th, 2015 16:21

@lynnfoster @bobhaugen @stevebosserman
Let's take this step by step.

  1. I proposed a criterion which allows us to distinguish between benefiting from the network or contributing to the network. Do we agree with it or not?

  2. Yes, reality is complex, and in some situations we get both at the same time.

  3. There is no way to quantify how much benefit or contribution in a given situation.

So yes, things aren't clear and they are complex, this is why, building on Jim's idea, I am using the expression "moral standard"

The fact of the matter here is that in SENSORICA the infrastructure is maintained by a single individual at 95% of its financial costs. We can look at this anomaly from a moral perspective. Why others don't contribute more financially? The next question is who should contribute more financially? Are there affiliates who benefit something, even though they also contribute? Should they feel morally obliged to contribute something to monthly bills, or at least to get involved in initiatives meant to get more funding?

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 5th, 2015 16:33

In the end, we want to see if we can solve SENSORICA's anomaly of having a single individual maintaining the infrastructure at 95% of its financial costs by using moral criteria coupled to a reputation system.
This may not be possible if people always react badly to the moral argument, taking into consideration that proving that an individual extracts tangible personal gains from the network is not alway easy. In other words, the financial gains the network gets might be overshadowed by the bad blood every such discussion creates within the network.
Or it might work...
This is another experiment in SENSORICA's evolution. This is how we solved our problems, by accumulating facts, and one day we analyze them.

Question: Do you at least consider this as a "legit" path to be explored in search for a solution?

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 5th, 2015 16:53

What is your intention?
What is your expectation?

We can attach these two questions to the criterion proposed above to distinguish between benefiting from the network and contributing to it.

Example: A friend calls me and asks me if he can put my name on his resume for a job interview. I answer YES, he does it and he gets the job.

We can never know how much my name on his resume influenced the outcome. But as moral beings, we think that next time I see the guy he is probably going to offer me a beer. Here's how I explain why.

My friend asked if he could use my name believing that this can help. His intention was to increase his chances to get the job. I accepted and that is perceived as help, therefore this person feel morally obliged to give me a token of gratitude next time I see him. It usually comes in the form of "Thank you man, I got the job!".

We can transpose that to our situation and ask Steve the following questions:

  1. Did you use SENSORICA, or the OVN model, or an artifact created by the network, or a remix of these artifacts in your submissions for contracts?
  2. Did you think that in doing so your chance of getting the contract was higher?
  3. Do you think that associating with SENSORICA and the OVN model increases your market value as a consultant?

So in this case we're not talking about quantifying the impact anymore. The discussion becomes more about the intention and the perception of the individual. If someone thinks that has something tangible to gain from the network, he/she should perhaps, at least, feel morally obliged to show some gratitude towards the network.

What do you all think about this?

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 5th, 2015 18:22

Tibi, you pinged me back into this discussion. All I can say is that I reject the premise.

I do think that your paying 95% of the rent is a bad condition for both you and the network. And I don't have any easy solutions. But this ain't it.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 5th, 2015 18:35

Hi @bobhaugen which part of the premises exactly you don't agree with?
And could you please tell us why?
This will help everyone here understand how people react to such issues and why. It is important to get through these discussions in a constructive way.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 5th, 2015 20:02

I don't think you want me to explain in more detail than I and others have already given in this discussion. You won't like it.

It is a repellent energy drain that will not pay the rent. There is no way to make it constructive.

Too much time on this already.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 5th, 2015 20:17

Thank you for your participation Bob. I find this discussion important. This is how we forge governance. Democracy is not easy, not simple, not pleasant to exercise sometimes.
I tried to cut this discussion into smaller technical bits, in order to avoid talking about each others, but rather about facts, principles, criteria, etc.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 5th, 2015 20:34

Tibi, don't do that. You are wrong. You think you are talking about governance and democracy, but you are fooling yourself. Take a break, work on PV, do some actual fundraising.

When you have dug yourself into a hole, stop digging.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 5th, 2015 20:52

Thank you Bob. If you aren't interested in this discussion it's fine.

While we continue to build the OVN model we still need to address a very important problem that is persisting in SENSORICA since the summer of 2014, which is about network affiliates' financial participation in the development and the maintenance of the infrastructure.
I can't take brake, since I am the one who supports the network financially at 95%. Other people can...

It is a governance problem in my opinion... related to other aspects as well.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 5th, 2015 21:12

I am very interested in a discussion about how to maintain Sensorica and its infrastructure, and I totally agree that your 95% is a serious problem.

I am not interested in a discussion where you were bummed out because Steve didn't give you any money, although he was approached in the worst possible way, so you try and fail to indict him for immorality, as if he will then give you some money, and nobody agrees with you, and then you try to justify it by raising some governance principle that currently applies only to Steve (except it does not apply to him.)

And none of this will help pay the rent. It's useless.

I am saying that this discussion, and your proposals herein, are bad, counter-productive proposals and should disappear, not be magnified.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 5th, 2015 22:15

Bob, I think your comments are not helpful. Here`s one example: ''you were bummed out because Steve didn’t give you any money''. I never asked anyone for money for myself, i.e. for personal use.
This discussion is about SENSORICA and how its affiliates, or those who consciously associate with SENSORICA for personal benefits, should or should not contribute to infrastructure maintenance and development.
I do use Steve as an example. because these discussions don't lead anywhere if they are abstract. Moreover, I believe that Steve is a good candidate for supporting the financial burden of SENSORICA, but I would like him to respond to my questions above. Let the man speak with words or with silence.
In the end, this discussion raises some concrete issues to the consciousness to all sensoricans, with clear illustrations, and I hope that from it we'll build a stronger foundation for our network. That is the goal here. I am not trying to make Steve give me some money. I am trying to get people thinking and have them collectively change the way they see peer production.
I am confident that my actions, however they may be perceived by those who are in the hot seat, will have a positive consequence on SENSORICA in the long run. We've been there many times in the past and we've came out stronger.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 5th, 2015 22:39

Tibi, nobody thinks you are asking for money for your personal use. But do you think Steve will give Sensorica any money after the email you sent to him, and continued in this discussion? Would you, if you were him?

Have you investigated why people don't want to contribute any money to Sensorica? What's the difference between those who do and those who don't?

Or do you think they are just bad people and if you shame them enough, they will give money?

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 6th, 2015 02:52

@bobhaugen "Or do you think they are just bad people and if you shame them enough, they will give money?"

No, I think we need to use actual stories to create the space for collective reflections, to create precedents, and from that we can have new practices emerge.
I am not inventing these stories, they are given to me by people, and when the community really needs it we'll use them to turn bad habits into good ones. SENSORICA is a flow-through organisation. People come and go. The idea is to keep improving our foundations so that the next ones who come find even more comfort and justice. That's how we can scale. Sometimes it is difficult to dislocate bad practices, because people recognize common interests and gang up to defend themselves, against the common good. I understand that this is what is happening here...

Trust me Bob. I have some experience in networks dynamics and community development. It's not always nice and smooth... It's not always obvious why I do what I do. The fact of the matter is that SENSORICA is alive and kicking because of my past interventions. Search "crisis" on the SENSORICA website or in our database and you'll find some commonalities. You'll also understand that my line has always been the same. Never changed my values and the principles I stand for.

This is not about one person, this is about the network as a whole.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 6th, 2015 02:58

So, let's go back to technical issues...


"If a consultant uses knowledge, methodologies, templates developed by the network, the OVN model, network success stories, other network affiliates’ time, etc. in order to increase his/her market value as a consultant, in order to negotiate a contract, in order to advance his/her mandate for a contract, this person has personal gains from the network.
On the other side, if the consultant has already an established contract and brings SENSORICA in for exposure, to generate revenue for other affiliates, etc., without directly impacting the already established gains from this contract, then the person is contributing to the network. "

"There is no way to quantify how much benefit or contribution in a given situation."

"(...) The discussion becomes more about the intention and the perception of the individual. If someone thinks that has something tangible to gain from the network, he/she should perhaps, at least, feel morally obliged to show some gratitude towards the network."

I consider this the core of this discussion, before we go back to the main QUESTION: should this % be increased?
This question probably needs to be expanded to contributions from those who benefit in other ways from the network, according to some moral standard.


Frederic Durville September 7th, 2015 15:34

Going back to your example, Tibi:

"Example: A friend calls me and asks me if he can put my name on his resume for a job interview. I answer YES, he does it and he gets the job."

If indeed your friend gets a job, he owes you at least a beer.

If he does not get a job, then he owes you NOTHING.

Same applies for a consultant. If no contract or funding comes out, then nothing is owed. Plain and simple.


Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 7th, 2015 15:44

I personally agree with that Frederic.
"If no contract or funding comes out, then nothing is owed."


Abran Khalid September 15th, 2015 11:56

So lets go back to the first question : should the percentage be increased ?

I say yes. A simple caluclation by Tammy shows we need a revenue of $26000 every month at 5% Sensorica Tax to pay for rent, infrastructure, hosting etc. As a whole, we are no where near it. And we are no where generating that income in the near future either. We would need a project like PV Char every month to near that goal.

So i support increasing the percentage from 5 to at least 15. I would be OK with even more, lets say 25% but as other people pointed out, this would be too high to compete with FabLabs and Maker spaces.

Another way proposed was to have different percentages for "in-house activity" and "outsiders". If some one brings their project to Sensorica and only use the infrastructure there, they should pay between 5 to 10 percent. This way, its at par with competition. For in house activity, like PV Char project, or iPot project, it should be more since it was incubated and worked on by Sensorica affiliates exclusively. The problem then would be defining when an "outside" project becomes "in-house".

For the raging debate about broadening the tax net, I am inclined do agree with Tibi's proposal but not the implementation of it. Any one who uses Sensorica's brand or work to improve their chances of getting a contract, or funding or any other financial gain, owes "royalty" to Sensorica. How do we get about in policing it ? That is a tough question and most probably we would have to rely on morality of the individual.

Where I disagree with Tibi is that Steve owes Sensorica for getting us exposure or contracts. I am not fully aware of the email exchange between Tibi and Steve that Bob alluded to, or to the details of projects that Steve has undertaken on his own by using Sensorica's name. But from the surface, it looks like Steve uses Sensorica's name to bring in projects for Sensorica. So essentially, he is a sales agent of Sensorica. If anything, he should be getting a commission for generating more revenue.

  • Apologies, Steve for demeaning your work down to the level of sales. Its the easiest way to make my point.

Bruce M. September 16th, 2015 14:35

Hi All

We as a community are wading in uncharted waters. The problems that we are striving to solve as a community, are the same as the dismal science of Economics. Humanity has tried many solutions that some of them ended in catastrophic failure eg Capitalism, Communism Facism et al. There is a whole industry trying to address issues that we as a community are trying to solve on a micro level.

DEFINITION of 'Economics'

A social science that studies how individuals, governments, firms and nations make choices on allocating scarce resources to satisfy their unlimited wants.

Read more: Economics Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/economics.asp#ixzz3luZYganh
Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook


Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 16th, 2015 17:36

Thanks Abran for your contribution.
I agree that widening the "tax" net is not always obvious. This is why we keep it on the moral dimension. We also need to rely on discussions like this one, in order to keep it in people's minds, a sort of a peer reminder and peer pressure. After that, we can formalize a bit through the reputation system, depending on the outcome of a discussion like this one.
With the risk of repeating myself, Steve's case is a perfect one, because it is clear for those who have worked closely with him that he does both, sales SENSORICA and benefits by association to increase his value as a consultant. The selling SENSORICA part is almost always in the context of his work too, which does generate more work for other SENSORICA affiliates.
But we still need to hear from the man himself...

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 16th, 2015 17:41

"Steve’s case is a perfect one, because it is clear for those who have worked closely with him that he ... benefits by association to increase his value as a consultant."


Fabio Balli

Fabio Balli September 16th, 2015 18:41

I am sorry but I left for some time and there is lots too much info there. Could one do a proposal so that we vote and possibly create a better one ?


Bruce M. September 16th, 2015 20:03

We are all good intentioned individuals as we choose to be Affiliated with Sensorica.co. An individual with mal intent would unlikely find a pay off being Affiliated with Sensorica.co.

We should primarily rely on the honor system for contributions to the network.

I doubt that Steve is making a huge amount of money selling x units of Sensorica in Tanzania, we would off been aware of it if new Tanzanian Affiliates started to join. I doubt Steve travels to Tanzania as a vacation destination to have fun.

Steve in my opinion is an excellent Ambassador for the Sensorica community, who has actively contributed his time, energies and contacts even though there is a moderate geographical distance between him and the Montreal Lab.

We are all trying to benefit and also want to work collaboratively towards a common goal. Myself included as being an Administer of aces-cake.org I can add credibility as being skilled in Administration.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 16th, 2015 20:28

Any request for information or facts needs to be answered in an open environment.
I am sorry Steve, I would like to give you the chance to react, but Bob is forcing me to make things more clear. I can't not respond to a request for information.

Steve's LinkedIn profile:
"I am the founder and president of Bosserman & Associates, Inc. (B&A) a management consulting firm that specializes in strategic framing and organization design. Since its inception in 1987, I have provided consulting services to small business, corporate, university, association, foundation, agency, and NGO clients with locations in the U.S. and worldwide."
Steve makes a living as a consultant.
Steve got a contract with USAID to work in Africa.

"A contract was signed with Bosserman & Associates to provide continued inputs to SUA in the area of leadership development and organizational management of change. Steve Bosserman spent additional time working with SUA leadership on this topic, including Gerald Monela, Vice-Chancellor, Peter Ngila, Deputy Vice- Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vedasto Muhikambele, Director of Research and Graduate Studies, and Jairo Matovelo,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Administration and Finance. Together with David Kraybill, iAGRI Project Direct, he met with the Deans and Institute Directors to discuss existing plans for change at SUA and their implications for change at their respective unit levels. This initiative has become a focus of iAGRI. It is designed to strengthen the capacity of SUA to deal directly with issues that have taken on increasing urgency, such as increased competition from other higher education institutions, insufficient financial resources, decreasing numbers of trained staff for teaching, research and outreach, increased student numbers, and deteriorating infrastructure. Change management will also include issues raised by a recent Deloitte audit of SUA dealing with capacity building for risk mitigation, especially in regard to accounting systems, budgeting, internal control and audit systems and procurement."
NOTE: accounting systems, budgeting, internal control and audit systems and procurement, for which Steve was selling the NRP-VAS idea.
Steve Bosserman, Bosserman Associates continued to work with the leadership of SUA on how to increase SUA’s private sector linkages. (...) preparation of three draft scopes of work for (a) seed tapes; (b) strip intercropping; and (c) precision irrigation for presentation to SUA academic staff and administration as potential
sponsored research projects on behalf of AGCO, CNH Industrial, among other private sector candidates.
NOTE: Steve used SENSORICA's examples of open projects for sensing in agriculture.
"Leadership development for change management - iAGRI consultant, Steve Bosserman, presented teaching modules activities to various individuals and groups at SUA on contracting and implementation of activities. These are important topics in management of change in organizations. "
NOTE: change in organizations. You can find mentions about SENSORICA and the open value network model in many of Steve's presentations and Trello boards, like here https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzrQyEif2HItUzU0b0ZHTnQyN2s/view
You can search through the presentations here
I worked with Steve several times on his USAID / iAGRI project, I was involved in netmeetings and cc-ed in email communications with his partners.

Search Steve Bosserman. Also pay attention to "Greener Acres Value Network" which you can find here http://www.greeneracres.us.com/ a website that I helped Steve to create in 2011, which takes the open value network concept, and was used in the project paid from this grant. No funds have been transferred to SENSORICA or to me from this grant, which apparently ended in 2013.

I think this is enough for now...

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 16th, 2015 21:32

First, if I were Steve, I would not respond here either. @tiberiusbrastavice you have created a poisonous environment for him, and I have no idea why you have done that, except that you are under a lot of stress. None of this will pay the rent.

I was involved in the Tanzanian project, as you know. Steve was trying to bring Sensorica, and me and Lynn, into that project as contributors who would be part of the income stream.

That attempt failed. We set up an instance of NRP (which Steve paid for), they never used it. They never bought into the OVN methods.

So of course he mentioned Sensorica and OVNs. He was trying to bring the project to Sensorica. Which did not work, but it wasn't for Steve not trying. I don't know anything about the other grant, but suspect the situation is similar.

He's still trying to bring projects Sensorica's way, bringing Maria into one now, which may result in more involvement in future stages. For which he won't make a dime.

I don't think he is trying to build his consulting practice, I think he is moving away from it.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 16th, 2015 21:48

"I have no idea why you have done that, except that you are under a lot of stress."
Let's stay on track... I am not making comments about people's states of mind "being stressed" or anything like that. This discussion is about contributions to infrastructure maintenance and development Bob. Is this not clear enough? I can link to our financial statements and records again if necessary, and to the situation SENSORICA is in, one individual contributing over 90% of the infrastructure costs.
I want to thank those who have stepped up to help!

So please, let's stick to this topic.

This situation has driven us into this discussion about who else has a moral obligation to contribute.

It is true, we can't easily cut between benefits and contributions. Steve's case is well documented and can serve as a good example. I think I did my best to surface the benefit side of it. I can also surface the contribution side of it if anyone is interested. The fact of the matter here is that there are two sides, and we should look at them objectively, and decide how to deal with it.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 16th, 2015 22:03

"if I were Steve, I would not respond here either. tiberiusbrastavice you have created a poisonous environment for him"
All organizations have filtering mechanisms to protect activities that go hand in hand with their mission. These mechanisms can rely on rules (governance), norms, ethics, etc. Those who engage well find comfort. Those who don't, are excluded, or exclude themselves.
This is what we are trying to design here, and we are working at the ethical level. It's not always easy to go through these processes where we put in place new mechanisms for filtering, because some of us can find themselves on the other side of the fence.

I am trying to remain objective, to avoid using subjective qualifiers addressed to an individual. We are using a case, because talking in vacuum is not productive, and because Steve has chosen to put himself in this situation, by staying away from the "bridging the gap" discussion, which I don't appreciate from someone who uses the network a lot in his private business endeavors and claims to be heart and soul for SENSORICA.

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 16th, 2015 22:04

The topic of this discussion is raising the Sensorica % for commercial work. Someone should make a proposal. This is one way to help with the financial issues. Several others have been suggested. None of them were: let's drive people who have been longstanding supporters away from the network and make a lot of other people uncomfortable or angry and waste a lot of time in the process. So - Let's try to build the network. Let's do some R&D. Let's make and sell some products. Hey, let's even build some infrastructure....


Abran Khalid September 16th, 2015 22:11

Guys, this is not going to lead anywhere nice. We are discussing things that can easily be resolved. I agree with @bobhaugen that Steve would not touch this conversation with a 10 foot pole. Naming someone to discuss their role in the whole community was not a good idea. Lets not make this a more toxic environment.

@tiberiusbrastavice , your point is well made and at least I understand it. Lets try to frame the situation in a different way. If a Sensorican was to apply for a job at Google as a Project Coordinator and used their experience at Sensorica as a leverage to get it, would they owe a percentage of their pay to Sensorica.

Lets make this clear cut and not rely on morality. We are not judges or juries. Lets keep it that way otherwise personality clashes will result in maligning influences.

I propose, and this could be used as a solid proposal to get out of this situation, is that if a Sensorican gains financial gains through utilizing their experiences gained at Sensorica, they have no financial obligation towards the community.
If, however, they utilize Sensorica's infrastructure or infer that Sensorica will be involved in the project without including Sensorica in the project, they do owe Sensorica part of their financial gains.

Think about it in a logical, real life situation. We are a open source community. If some one decides to use one of our projects as a basis of their own product, we do not go after them with patents. They owe us nothing in terms of their financial gains. If they do give back, that is their prerogative. We should not expect anything from them.

Similarly, if someone uses their experiece working within Sensorica, be it organizational skills, writing skills, engineering or anything else, as a way to secure an income, they have absolutely no responsibility towards Sensorica.

Think about it, if I were to keep giving money to all my ex-employers for the lessons and experience it would be very unjust system.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 16th, 2015 22:23

I totally agree with: "if someone uses their experience working within Sensorica, be it organizational skills, writing skills, engineering or anything else, as a way to secure an income, they have absolutely no responsibility towards Sensorica."

I also agree with this " If some one decides to use one of our projects as a basis of their own product, we do not go after them with patents. They owe us nothing in terms of their financial gains."

In both cases, the individual doesn't use his/her proximity with the network as a leverage, or does not extract value from making others in the network work on their endeavors. These individuals don't claim that they support or contribute to the network. They might appreciate everything that comes out of it.

In the end, this initiative to draw a line in the moral sand and implement some peer-pressure mechanisms to follow some moral standards might no fly. In part, because it is hard to enforce it in a systematic way, without creating negative situations and interminable discussions.
But one thing is clear, this phenomena EXISTS. Some people do benefit from their proximity with the network and use other people's time in their private commercial endeavors, while also contributing to the network.
The least that can come out of this discussion is a realization that makes us more sensitive to this issue in the future, and perhaps changes our attitude.

I, for one, will chose with whom I collaborate more or less, based on the feeling I have about their reciprocation towards me, and towards the network. And I will be very open and transparent about my choices.

Bob Haugen

Bob Haugen September 16th, 2015 22:25

I agree with most of what @abrankhalid wrote, and thank him for jumping in, but would add that if the NRP software project ever makes any money (which is extremely unlikely), some of that will come back to Sensorica in general and those Sensoricans who have contributed in particular. The software would not have happened without Sensorica. (Or without a lot of other people, but that's another story.)

I like value network rules.


Abran Khalid September 16th, 2015 23:08

@bobhaugen Thanks for the upvote. I am always have my fire fighting suit ready :)

I just finished updating the Horizon 2020 document I shared with some of the community yesterday. There are specific cases where NRP software can be used for gaining grants. Please do look them over. I am very optimistic that there will be a day when NRP will make money, and lots of it.

@tiberiusbrastavice I appreciate what you are trying to achieve and that raising these issues will have a very negative impact on cohesion of the community, and that you will get a lot of flak for it. But it is a necessary evil.

I will not question your experiences with any sensorica affilate. Those are as valid as mine or anyone else's. And I understand that some people have taken advantage of Sensorica in the past.
The goal here should be to create a set of rules that eliminate personal judgments and morality from determining whats owed to the community.
Keeping that in mind, lets explore the situation we have discussed before. I will use my self as an example. I do not properly log time spent on Sensorica projects. I am sure others do the same. I do this with the understanding that when rewards are distributed, I will not receive anything for the un-logged time. The mechanism exists and there is encouragement to follow the procedure. So I have no logical argument to ask for more than what the system shows.

In a similar vein, lets formalize the exchange of work done for and by Sensorica. If an outside entity, or an affiliate use the network in a tangible manner to make financial gains, there should be a way to formally assign value to it.

For assigning value to the gains offered by being in proximity to the Sensorica network, it is impossible to assign a value to it. And I don't think there is a logical scenario for it either.
For example, I use some of the people I got to know through Sensorica to develop my own Mango Juice or Dried Mango business. But i do not use any tangible infrastructure offered by Sensorica. Do you think I owe money to Sensorica for connecting me to the people who were instrumental in developing the sales of my business ?


Frederic Durville September 17th, 2015 12:02

You seem to be right on point. And for your last question, my answer is NO.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 17th, 2015 16:06

I will answer like Frederic to your last question, Abran, NO.
But if you use a sensor developed by the network in your mango drier, and don't give anything back to the community, some people will feel bad about it.

What I think the network should do, is to establish the facts. In this particular case, people should establish that someone is using SNESORICA-made parts without rewarding the community, and make that information public, so everyone has access to the facts.

We can go a little further. some projects can include in the affiliate agreement and governance a clause for fair-play, something like if you join the project, i.e. gain proximity to the action core, you agree to reward the community if you make personal gains from what the community has developed. This creates something tangible for people to compare and evaluate the actions of an individual in the future.

The p2p Foundation goes even further than that, they created a p2p license, which essentially enforces that idea. According to this license, any organization that uses the technology for commercial reasons and is not part of the network MUST pay royalties to the community. Members of the community (not just with the name, but those who have contributed) can use it royalty free.

For technology and for specific projects is easier... But for using SENSORICA as a whole, it's methods, governance, infrastructure, business models, brand, ... by anyone who signs up as an affiliate, which doesn't take much, is more problematic...

Anyway, Abran, thank you for adding weight on the technical side of the discussion. This starts to be a creative process.


Frederic Durville September 17th, 2015 17:07

I believe that one essential part of being an "open" community is to rely on "self governance" and the honesty of each individual. As soon as you start defining strict rules, you loose the "open-ness" of the community. And due to human nature, there will always be people who are going to abuse the system.

In addition, each and every individual will interpret each situation slightly differently, and each and every individual has his/her own set of specific circumstances for each situation, so it is impossible to make a fair judgement based only on a few facts.

If you feel that someone has abused the system, you can make your own judgement, and you are welcome to advertise your opinion (obviously every one is free to express his/her opinion), but it would be wrong to change the system just because of that.


Fabio Balli

Fabio Balli September 18th, 2015 12:59

There seem to be deep discussions there. :-)

I propose that we take benefit of the proposal tool to formulate a clear proposition, have a vote and improve the proposition... we then should reach more consens and it would give us a direction to focus on.

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster started a proposal September 18th, 2015 13:27

Raise Sensorica % to 20% Closed 7:08am - Monday 21 Sep 2015

Products that are sold that are made within a Sensorica project should give Sensorica 20% of the income.

This percentage should decrease as Sensorica gets more income, although it should be noted that besides the lab, there are other "overhead" expenses that have not been paid at all, for example for bookkeeping, outreach, etc., that should be paid out of such income.

This does not apply to FabLab or TechShop services where people have already paid just to use the lab and have developed their own products without using Sensorica knowledge or branding.

All Sensorica designs and methods and ideas are open source. Sensorica can't require others outside Sensorica to cite and send income back to Sensorica for using their designs. Sensorica can suggest that people do so, but it should be left up to the users to decide, and there are no repercussions.

People who use skills developed in Sensorica for other projects or jobs are not expected to cite and send income back to Sensorica.

Agree - 4
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
4 people have voted (0%)

Maria Frangos
September 18th, 2015 13:35

We are at a critical point and at the moment, the responsibility towards expenses has been taken up by a few. Aside from funding, revenue from products is a viable way to ensure Sensorica is able to sustain itself financially.

Tammy Lea Meyer

Tammy Lea Meyer
September 18th, 2015 13:42

I agree, and appreciate the note about FabLab and TechShop services, so as not to disadvantage us. Much time and care goes into the fostering of every new affiliate, which should be tracked in the VAS. That investment could then be rewarded.


Frederic Durville
September 18th, 2015 14:33

This makes sense now.


Abran Khalid
September 18th, 2015 15:36

Thank you Lynn for extracting and summarizing all the relevant items from the discussion.


Abran Khalid September 18th, 2015 15:48

@fredericdurville I understand where you are coming from. I have a different take on the issue of governance and morality. I am not proposing that we have strict rules to govern every possible situation. That would be counter productive. Instead, I am advocating for a small set of rules that govern the exchange of monetary benefits between members of the community.
That is one place where disputes are bound to rise. I have never heard an argument over doing social good because that is a common denominator between all members of the community. Monetary benefits require a mechanism because everyone has a different take on value each member brings to the community or a project.

I am going to quote @tiberiusbrastavice here from his last post:." For technology and for specific projects is easier… But for using SENSORICA as a whole, it’s methods, governance, infrastructure, business models, brand, … by anyone who signs up as an affiliate, which doesn’t take much, is more problematic…"

That is something I believe needs to be discussed ( in a separate thread) and a conclusion needs to be drawn upon how we regulate that part of the issue.


Abran Khalid September 18th, 2015 15:50

@tiberiusbrastavice I like your thoughts about creating a fair play clause in the governance agreement. Perhaps we can start a new Loomio discussion and discuss this objectively.

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 21st, 2015 13:23

The proposal closed, with all approvals, but I don't think it has passed, there are key core members missing from the results. Does this make sense to others, given everyone's understanding of Sensorica's governance?

@tiberiusbrastavice @abrankhalid @fabioballi @brastaviceanudanie it would be really good to hear from you. I'm wondering if 20% is too high? Would you all be comfortable with the same proposal at 15%? Or, please say what should be improved in the proposal for you to like it; or also you could say you prefer that the current practice remain unchanged.

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 21st, 2015 13:50

@abrankhalid oops very sorry, you did vote! My bad! Should have been @jimanastassiou .

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 21st, 2015 16:10

I didn't have time to react to this voting...
All those who voted here have very little experience with how people in general react to 20% cut of business.
I think we need to discuss more, and perhaps even ask around, those who are interested in using the SENSORICA lab for commercial activities. This decision is completely cut from reality. If people don't give 5%, what makes us think that they would give 20%?

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 21st, 2015 16:52

@brastaviceanudanie is one of the only people who has been paying the 5%, from his 3D printer activities. It would be very helpful to hear how you think of it, Daniel. You have experience both as an exchange firm and as a long time Sensorica member. So your thoughts would be very useful for this!

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 22nd, 2015 14:01

@tiberiusbrastavice and all, I'll offer a suggestion to try to reach consensus. (Don't know if I agree with it, but trying to move everyone closer together, as funding the lab is critical. Anyway it doesn't matter if I agree, I don't have a personal stake.)

Suggestion for discussion: Make the percentage 5% - 20% sliding scale, with the project that creates the deliverable deciding, either for the project in general, or for individual deliverables. Then Sensorica can see in practice what people decide to do, per Tibi's concern.

Although I must say, I don't get the implication that these people are somehow outsiders and willing to join Sensorica or not based on the %. I would hope that we are talking about people who want to join Sensorica to be part of what Sensorica is trying to do, in addition to hoping to make some sort of a living. Some of those people are part of Sensorica now and have already voted.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu September 22nd, 2015 14:54

@fabioballi is a good person to ask. If we do a crowdfunding for the Breathing Games project, do you think it is fine to give 20% of that to CAKE to further develop the network?
What would be OK in your opinion?

Lynn Foster

Lynn Foster September 22nd, 2015 15:24

@tiberiusbrastavice and all, should there be a distinction between sales and crowdfunding? I was thinking sales, and I was thinking developing the network is on the bottom of the list (there is a loomio discussion), it is more just paying back for what Sensorica has contributed to the development of what was sold - lab, equipment, website, bookkeeping, Sensorica name developed over the years, etc.

I think crowdfunding is different, and probably depends on who did what, how it was framed, etc.

@fabioballi at the same time, I agree you are a great person to ask. But I would add sales to Tibi's crowdfunding question.


Abran Khalid September 22nd, 2015 19:06

@tiberiusbrastavice , the 20 percent is not meant for projects that use Sensorica infrastructure only. Its for those projects that are incubated and worked on exclusively at Sensorica.
Breathing games would be 5 percent. Pv Project or iPot would be 20 percent.

That is how I understood it. Does that make sense ? Is this distinction workable ?

Fabio Balli

Fabio Balli October 20th, 2015 02:47

@tiberiusbrastavice and @lynnfoster, I just answer the latest questions.

I personally would not agree to give a fix percentage of crowdfunding to CAKE. BG brings contributors an contacts to CAKE and the other way round. BG makes CAKE tangible while CAKE offers good governance practices. Per se, the initiative does not need a dedicated physical space. Of course, a common place to meet and work on the device is a asset.

While I like to work in the lab, I could also work in the library or elsewhere, which I did before coming to Sensorica. This raises important questions about the value vs rent of the lab. I feel we should brainstorm different options such as loggin the use of the lab in the VAS and define how it could go in the value equation.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu October 20th, 2015 04:53

I think there is a problem in the language used @fabioballi
CAKE is an essential component of the SENSORICA OVN, it is an instrument for all sensoricans. We don't give money to CAKE. We take a portion of incomes to pay for essentials that we use, and that allow us all to exist and to function, using CAKE as an instrument, our instrument.

Our governance about using the SENSORICA physical space is clear. Everyone who works on SENSORICA projects doesn't have a moral obligation to contribute financially to maintain the infrastructure, although in times of crisis everyone is strongly encourage to jump to help. Contributing to SENSORICA projects means respecting the norms around all SENSORICA projects. For any other activity there are immediate costs associated with the use of physical assets.

" I feel we should brainstorm different options such as loggin the use of the lab in the VAS and define how it could go in the value equation."
This rule cannot be enforced. We tried it in the past and it ended in disaster, having the guy (Serge Galley) with the project leaving the network, taking with him the prototype and everything material associated with the project, after having used the lab for free for 6 months, and SENSORICA was left with a bunch of numbers recorded in the NRP-VAS.

This tells me that we need to sort out some potential misunderstanding.

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu October 20th, 2015 04:59

@lynnfoster I prefer to talk about these issues once we have enough money to pay our rent. Until then, I think we should take a portion of any income to cover that bare minimum. The day we'll surpass that minimum we can create distinctions. That's my opinion... Everyone should rally behind the cause to make SENSORICA sustainable, which doesn't takes much...

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu October 20th, 2015 15:35

@fabioballi @jimanastassiou
I think that before we move this issue at the level of governance, which in my opinion is the last resort, we need to ask ourselves the following question: how can we do things so that they generate a sense of justice and increases the potential of the project?
The way to go is to propose a few ideas and to probe the network to see how people react to them. Some will make values-based judgments, others will bring economic arguments.
From what I understand, the BG project is split in two: the game/software and the hardware. The hardware is definitely a SENSORICA project. The reality is that other SENSORICA affiliates are also involved in community building, strategy, sourcing efforts, etc, which are global activities, overarching both subdivisions of the project. This makes things a bit more complex...
But, if we just focus on the hardware part, it is a genuine SENSORICA project, i.e. it is on the website, in NRP-VAS, and new people contribute to it, i.e. old SENSORICA affiliates. On the level of values, it is unsafe to categorize this part of the project other than a genuine SENSORICA project, running the risk to alienate those who have already contributed to it. On the economic level, alienating those affiliates from the project will affect the progress of the project and can cut it from other benefits that it gets within the network.
Analyzing the situation even further, if there is a coalition forming around the BG project that doesn't identify with SENSORICA and doesn't embrace the values and the principles of the network, we create an asymmetrical situation that might be problematic. If this coalition captures most of the social capital for the project and controls the software part, there is a possibility that they leave SENSORICA, benefiting from the hardware development, without respecting the norms of reciprocity. The hardware part remaining within SENSORICA would have a very low value, since it would be cut off from the cluster of influence and from the rest of the project that would make it a "product". So, the separation of the project in two, game/software and hardware, with most of the social capital on the game/software side, creates the possibility of a fork that would not be beneficial to the SENSORICA network. We all need to acknowledge and understand this reality and address it in a way that allows economic activity to flourish around this project. Anything that kills or slows down the project is a bad decision, in my opinion. A good decision is one that creates a unique attractor, a cluster of activity that generates network effects and deters others from "go it alone". This is defense by critical mass and network effects. It send the signal that it is more beneficial to play with the crowd than trying to compete with the crowd.

This particular case can lead to a leap in governance for SENSORICA.

For reference, please take a look at the "Sustaining the commons crisis doc", look for Serge's case.


Frederic Durville October 20th, 2015 20:45

It seems that money always brings turbulence...

As an Open Community, we are intrinsically exposed to abuse.

I believe it is fundamentally wrong to try to impose a pre-determined and fixed amount to be paid from something that has not happened yet.


Fabio Balli

Fabio Balli October 21st, 2015 02:50

Yes, maybe I added to much to my answer with was : no to fix percentage.

I agree we have to see what is best for both Sensorica and BG. At least we have the contributions in time logged, we then will have to sort out how to go with the infrastructure, but I am confident we will find an agreement on that before we get money. :)

Tiberius Brastaviceanu

Tiberius Brastaviceanu October 21st, 2015 02:57

@fabioballi this will be an interesting case, because we are dealing with different identities. The project was formed one year before joining SENSORICA, formed its own culture and identity. SENSORICA had its own. We need to understand how we can articulate these identities at the level of shared infrastructure.

My opinion is that the share infrastructure of a p2p network should be considered just as shared infrastructure, not as the infrastructure of SENSORICA or of another entity.
So the way I see it, is how to distribute the load for this share infrastructure among all sort of projects and initiatives.

The solution should allow all these projects and initiatives to exist and develop in proximity, sharing and exchanging resources, remixing their commons, etc.