Q and A

Structure and legal status?

This Open Value Network (OVN) is a non-registered association - Code civile section V, 2267. It is composed of other OVNs, also a non-registered associations, as well as of other legal structures that fulfill specific functions, such as Custodians (they are trusts) and Exchange firms (they are interfaces with the market).

List of OVNs

Some Custodians

Some Exchange firms

If there is no "boss" in this organisation, who leads projects and ensures tasks are completed?

Any affiliate can be a leader in project development and contributes to decision-making within the community. Unlike most corporations that implement a managerial "vertical approach" to governance (i.e., CEO instructs upper management, who then instruct lower management, who in turn guide employees), this OVN implements a "participatory and meritocratic approach" to governance. No boss, no chaos! Open networks have their own mechanisms to make their processes deterministic. The idea is to add redundancy into the system, so that every important need can be addressed by multiple agents. This requires that the organization stays above the critical mass, so that the most important roles can be occupied with a high probability. If someone doesn't want or doesn't like to contribute to a process that is considered important by the community, someone else can respond favorably, with a high probability. This reduces the burden on community governance. We call that operating in the long tail mode. See the presentation no boss no chaos.

We also use planning and coordination tools that help people orient themselves and figure out what to do and when.

Projects that are below critical mass must use a heavier governance, rely on regular meetings and clear engagements from participants.

How do I generate a revenue?

Everyone has to buy food and to pay the rent (or mortgage) in our current economy. There are different ways you can generate revenue as an affiliate of this network. If you need money fast, join an activity that is already generating revenue. You'll be paid according to the role you play and to the amount of effort you put in. You should also look at services, which are easy to implement and can pay very rapidly. You can always propose new services and find partners to deliver them. Second, you should look at product development projects and chose the ones that are close to maturity and with a good activity. You can join any project and take as much initiative as you want. You can always bring more people to work on a project if you want to accelerate the pace. If you can't wait before the product reaches the market, you can get creative and fund the development process through crowdfunding or other means. If you are more interested by the social value that the SENSORICA network creates (development of NRP-CAS, of new governance, of new methods and practices, offering free education, stimulating the local economy, the OVN model itself, etc.) you can apply for grants that will pay an activity related to the development of this network and its model. See more on the Grant writing page.

These are just a few options. There is a lot of potential within the network and you can take a lot of initiative. The best thing is to ask other affiliates for help.

How do I know where and how to contribute, in order to be effective and to have a good return?

We are creating tools to help everyone manage his/her investment (time, money and others). When it comes to product development, these tools will analyze activity and will report which projects are advancing well, their risk level, how close they are to the market, what are the most important needs, etc. This will allow us to diversify our activity within the network in order to meet our risk tolerance and our needs for revenue. You can join the infrastructure development group to accelerate this process. In the mean time, the best way is to contact someone in the network to guide you. But you can also visit the Project page.

Why is it important to document our work?

an OVN is a flow-through organization, which means that people come and go at a rate higher than in a classical organization. It is important that every individual who passes through the network leaves something behind, so that stuff can pile up, so that our commons can grow in order to increase the value of our community. Documentation is part of what we call capturing mechanisms. Picture a river that goes fast in a mountainous area. The bottom of the river is usually filled with rocks, a desert. Imagine the same river going through a small lake and continuing its path towards their oceanic destination. The lake is a place where the flow slows down. This is where plants and animals gather in numbers and diversity, creating an ecosystem. They become capturing mechanisms, taking essentials from the flow and depositing them in and around the lake, transforming it. An OVN is similar to the lake, slowing down the flow and capturing value from it, increasing its wealth and diversity. Documentation is one example of capturing mechanism. It fixes knowledge, processes, methods, etc. so that others can build on top, later.

Why is it important to socialize work?

OVN projects are open ventures, or open enterprises. The difference between an open venture and a classical company is that the open venture gets its resources for development from its environment, which can be the entire world, through processes like crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. The classical company deals with a confined pool of resources, like the number of employees, a budget, etc. OVN projects develop by attracting skills, material resources, money, ideas and designs, etc, through affiliation (individuals with different assets join projects) and contributions. In order to attract more resources to a project, we need to send signals out there, using social media and other means, about our successes and about our problems. Socializing our work means making our work available to the public and engage people in it through social media, by posting and propagating content like blogs, pictures, videos... It is also very important to realize that open projects, like OVN projects, require a critical mass to become statistically stable. In other words, a minimum number of individuals are required in a project, in order for it to develop in a more predictable manner. Open projects also require redundancy, meaning that they need more than one individual per important role, in order to increase the probability to have someone in that role at every critical moment. In order to keep projects above the critical level we constantly need to reach out for participants. Projects that fall below the critical level become unstable.

Why is this website so ugly?

We built our website on Google Sites because it is user friendly and adaptable, where affiliates of the network can contribute to the website's development with ease. We know this website format is not the most aesthetic; however, Sensorica is an open-access online community, and thus we must have a website that enables all members to post content, edit pages, and improve our web infrastructure. We aim to implement better web infrastructure in the future. Can you help us with this transition and make our site the best it can be? Please join our community and become a member of our Open Value Network infrastructure.