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).
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 and contributes to decision-making within the OVN. 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 guides workers), the 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 with almost 100% probability, in effective time. This requires that the organization stays above the critical mass, to have always someone that can respond favorably to a task, 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 operate below critical mass must use a heavier governance, rely on regular meetings and clear engagements from participants.
How do I make money?
Almost everyone has to buy food in our current economy. There are different ways you can work sustainably as an affiliate of this OVN. 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 should also look at product development projects and chose the ones that are active and close to maturity. You can join any project and take as much initiative as you want, even bring more people with you to accelerate the pace. Get creative and fund the development of a project using crowdfunding or other means. If you are more interested in social value, you can apply for grants that will pay your contributions. See more on grant writing here.
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?
At this moment, the best way is to contact someone in the network to guide you. But you can also visit the Project page.
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 material needs. You can join the infrastructure development group to accelerate this process.
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 traditional 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 economic potential and the attractiveness of our network. 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 this river now meandering in a plane, going through small lakes and continuing its path towards their oceanic destination. As the river slows down, sediments deposit to the button and 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 this slow river zone, slowing down the flow of agents and capturing resources, 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 traditional company is that the open venture gets its resources for development from its environment, which can be the entire world, through various crowdsourcing processes. The traditional company deals with a finite pool of resources, such as the number of employees, its 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 to 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, allowing all affiliates to contribute to shape our digital environment. We are designing better web infrastructure. Can you help us with this transition and make our site the best it can be? Please join our network. Se more on Open Value Network infrastructure.