Saturday, November 10, 2012

How value networks can articulate with the present economy - an example in food preparation and distribution

Yesterday I had a conversation with my friend Paul about the advantages of value network over classical structures, including co-ops.

picture comes from this website
Paul is involved in #occupy Montreal and they are now organizing a center for preparation and distribution of vegan food in Montreal. They also want it to be very local. This operation would require gathering products from different local farmers, cooking/preparing, packaging and distributing raw or prepared food. 

Should they create a co-op or a value network

My answer 
They can have a co-op embedded within a value network. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The role of power relations in a p2p economy

The #occupy movement, which is a surface manifestation of a deeper Multitude movement, is in fact a refutation of power. Not only of the "power in place", i.e. big banks, governments, etc. but of what we call "instituted power", the kind of power your boss has over you. The consensus decision making process, a form of direct democracy that has been adopted by the #occupy movement, is the most obvious affirmation of this refutation of instituted power relations, which until now has been seen as a necessary structuring mechanisms of society. 

Where is this coming from? Was it there before? Is this pure Utopia? Or is there something fundamental happening, which makes instituted power relations lose their importance?  

We often hear that instituted power relations are tolerated by people because they are believed to be essential to organize us into efficient and effective groups, to achieve complex goals. Some say that without instituted power relations society would simply brake down, collapse. Go tell that to an anarchist... 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Value Networks, about commercializing their products

We take the example of a specific value network, SENSORICA.

The problem

One of SENSORICA’s main reason for existence is to provide for its members/affiliates the means of subsistence and well-being. This is to say that the surplus value that is created by the network must be exchanged on the market against other values, which are to be redistributed to participants based on their relative contribution. This redistribution is done according to the value accounting system, to which all members must adhere. The goal here is to establish a channel of distribution for SENSORICA’s products. The problem is that there are laws and regulations which makes it difficult for a non-legal entity like SENSORICA to sell certain products. Someone must take the blame if those products don't respect established standards, and our society doesn't know how to interface with things like SENSORICA.


In the current situation, we need to create legally recognizable forms to channel products through them. This is actually the role Tactus Scientific Inc. plays for the Mosquito Scientific Instrument System, designed for the scientific instrument market segment.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Re-Occupation 2.0?

What do we do next?  The question for revolutionaries in North America is to figure out how to activate the anaesthetized. But why are we anaesthetized? There is a realization, at least to some extent, that we are the ones responsible for the global ills; the reification of individualism and the exporting of capitalism and ‘democracy’, yet the vast majority of people are too ‘comfortable’ to do anything more than nod their head when presented with the evidence. Why is this? In short, most people don’t feel enough pain on a personal level to motivate them to take risks... If this is so, do we need revolution?

Yes, because we are living within a lie, and this cannot be healthy...


By Suresh
(more notes by Shresh)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to play the open game in the present and future economy

This is the forth draft; it will evolve based on your feedback. Come back later for more... 
Last modified on September 02, 2013

More and more value comes in the form of open products. We have grown accustomed with open communities creating open soft-and hardware. Most of these communities are based on gift economies, i.e. the creators of these open artifacts are not directly rewarded in a tangible way for their contributions. The most popular examples are GNU-Linux and Wikipedia.

Recently, we have witnessed the emergence of new models that brake away from the gift economy, directly rewarding those who invest (time, financial capital, social capital, ...) in open projects. The open product is gradually becoming sustainable. The first step in this direction can be illustrated by Open Source Ecology, which designs open hardware for farming, construction and manufacturing. The designs are  entirely open and free, but the Open Source Ecology community is not interested in the market economy, their designs target DIY communities. Their revenue model is based on donations. 

Open crowdsourcing is a model in which 
designers, part of an (open) community, are rewarded but not in proportion to their contributions. The organizations who capture the value of  the products don't share the profits with the individuals who help design them in a fair way. They give away some symbolic gifts, reputation tokens, sometimes can hire prominent members of their open communities, which dosn't reflect the entire value added to the product. Arduino is one example of such model, a hybrid between the open (value) network OVN and classical business. 

There are also closed and non-transparent crowdsourcing initiatives in which only a very few participants are rewarded. Contributors are placed in competition against each other. The resultant products are closed and remain under the control of the initiator. We are definitely against this new form of human exploitation, as you can see in this post

SENSORICA is based on a more radical model (referred to as an open value network) of commons-based peer design production. It is in fact a mix between a gift economy and a transaction-based, or market economy. SENSORICA produces products to be exchange on the market. All the revenue generated is redistributed to all contributors in proportion to their contributions, based on a value equation, which is at the heart of the value accounting system

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


a post by Poor Richard

What is peer-to-peer (P2P)  culture?
P2P culture is the post-capitalist framework that makes the most sense to me. It includes but transcends capitalism; and encompasses many hybrids of open and closed, public and private, hierarchical and egalitarian associations.

photo by Ian McCalister
P2P emphasizes cooperation, openness, fairness, transparency, information symmetry, sustainability, accountability, and innovation motivated by the full range of human aspirations even including, but definitely not limited to, personal financial gain.

I call p2p a “post-capitalist framework” because many of us are quite happy to abandon capitalism’s euphemisms and reductio ad absurdum altogether. However, other 99%-ers still consider it a major factor in lifting millions from poverty. They would rather reform and adapt it to humanitarian and ecological ends than to abandon it for something novel. I think it is entirely possible to craft forms of capitalism which “do no harm”, and I think there is ample room in the p2p community for such “diversity of tactics.”
Read more on Richard's blog... 

By AllOfUs

Friday, June 1, 2012

Crowdsource the solution to the student tuition problem!

How do we educate our population? 
Where do we get the resources necessary to do it?

Every society on this planet struggles with these fundamental questions. The education problem evolves in time and as technology advances, as societies change, and we are constantly trying to find better solutions for it. The student tuition crisis in Quebec/Canada is seen as part of this process of finding solutions (although this crisis must be seen within an even larger socio-economic crisis). It is described as a conflict between two social factions who have different views on the problem and who propose incompatible solutions. On one side we have a coalition of student associations, now enlarged by other non-student organizations, and on the other side the Liberal Government of Jean Charest.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Meta Plan

The Meta Plan (see also the Diigo annotated link- it will save you some time reading) is in essence the Multitude Project.

This is the Meta Plan, the plan for building the We Plan...
We are not disorganized but disconnected. We have self-selected and self-organized and self-lead our prior efforts. We must coalesce these efforts into one global organism. One organism with many parts, and a single purpose.
The plan starts with our common purpose...
There are answers. Many have been working on the pieces for years. We must put these answers together in once place: the We Plan.
Some will work on design for technologies; some on design for social structures; some on the logistics systems required to deliver the people, information, and materials required under the plan, some on the architecture of the Plan itself.
Just as we collectively and continuously build Wikipedia, we will collectively build the We Plan.
The We Plan will be developed both top-down and bottom-up simultaneously. Some will tie the pieces together. Some will flesh out the details of the pieces. The entire Plan will be visible to everyone all the time.
The We Plan will be a living plan.
Together, We will comprise the We Movement.
As the We Movement builds, We will begin implementing the plan. We will find resources. We will make the parts. We will educate. We will build.
We will have a movement with the force to make political change where necessary, to pool resources and knowledge, to stop destruction and looting by the few against the many, to remake the world in the image of our highest dreams.

The world is waking us and coming together!

By AllOfUs

Friday, April 6, 2012

Commanding Heights

[The name of this post was inspired by the Commanding Heights documentary.]

Four years ago we launched the Multitude Project with the aim of understanding the effects of the new digital technology on our socio-economic institutions. We convinced ourselves that humanity was fast approaching a transition point, and that a new social order was about to emerge. But, unfortunately, we now realize that the future doesn’t look as unidirectional as we would like it to be.

Three possible worlds

One possibility, the one we would like to see materializing, is another step of emancipation of the multitude. It is a world in which individuals have greater control over what they want to become, over the value they produce, in all dimensions of value and, as a matter of fact, a world in which individuals have greater control over their own lives. It is a continuation of an undeniable historical trend of emancipation, as the multitude became more cohesive with the advance of communication and coordination technologies. We have finally reached the era of real-time peer-to-peer coordination, with practically no spatial barriers. The multitude is now more coherent than ever. It is able to generate very powerful large-scale effects, surpassing the containing forces of any social system previously designed to constrain it. The will of the people can now be expressed in massive global waves. The #occupy movement is one recent example of such manifestations.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Government as a platform

The multitude stops engaging the government for services and uses the new technology to become the government.

This video is a very good illustration of a thread that runs through the Multitude movement, which is that power relations lose their importance as peer-to-peer coordination and collaboration become possible. The new world will be built on value-based relations!  

By AllOfUs

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I DON'T PAY! How corrupt governments commit suicide by cutting open their own veins.

Some corrupt governments go too far, forgetting their dependence on the will of the people to stay alive. Today, in the age of the Internet, the multitude has many, many ways to shut down governments. Not only by protesting or striking, but by cutting critical resources. Today's multitude is a highly coordinated one. It is also a highly creative one.

This video illustrates a very powerful idea. This is just the beginning!

Read also our previous posts:

By AllOfUs

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New economy - how things will be designed, produced and distributed in the future

Here's another example of the newly emerging pattern of design, production and distribution.

We are glad to see that our vision of the new economy is finally materializing. In 2008 we proposed the Discovery Network concept (see the post describing the initial motivation behind it). In 2010 we launched our first pilot project for the new economy a commons-based peer production system the Matchmaking Device System. It failed...  : (    but we learned a lot.

In 2011 we launched the second pilot project SENSORICA, which evolved into an open, decentralized and self-organizing value network.  SENSORICA is increasing in value and potential since its creation. 

Also in 2011, the know how developed within  SENSORICA spilled over to glocal food systems. In Ohio, USA local food systems are now morphing into value networks, see Greener Acres.

Furthermore, early this year we initiated another project in Montreal, through the #occupy movement, to implement value networks in clothing design and manufacturing. This is the #occupy Fashion project.

In the following weeks we will publish a few videos and documents detailing how value networks form, self-organize, and operate. This information will be put into context based on our new understanding of the new economy.

By t!b!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Where is the #occupy movement now?

Today I dared to look at Google Trends of the search term "occupy". See bellow what I found. You can do the search yourself here.

In this post The multitude movement limited by the pace of cultural change and of general understanding of open movements I wrote:
I've always seen the #occupy movement as a manifestation of this multitude constructive revolution, which is much broader, touching almost all aspects of our activity. Most of these affected aspects don't have a clear manifestation on the public scene, they are just lurking beneath the surface, unseen by the untrained eye. We've witnessed surface waves in the past, starting with the End the Fed movement in 2008, which sparked the TeaParty movement, to the so-called Twitter revolution in 2009 in the Republic of Moldova, to the 2009-2010 Green Revolution in Iran, to the Arab Spring, and to the 15-M movement in Spain. Is the #occupy everywhere the last wave able to tip the establishment over? I don't think so. But every one of these waves leaves permanent marks, which will affect the next wave, and the way the establishment will react to it. If we are not at the tipping point yet, it doesn't mean that change will not happen. The transformative forces introduced by the new technology are extremely powerful. Change will eventually happen, but when and how?
There is no doubt that the #occupy wave has left a permanent mark on the Multitude. I think we are more aware now of the power that the new technology conveys to us. #occupy is the first global movement coordinated almost in real time through the Internet.

Define #occupy? Are you serious?

How focused and defined should be the #occupy movement?

There are a lot of voices within the #occupy movement calling to define the movement, to come up with a clear list of claims, or with a clear action plan. I have also came across a lot of articles arguing that the #occupy movement doesn’t need more structure. In this post I am going to give my opinion in support of a broad and only loosely defined movement, relying on my own understanding, which was built over the last 6 months of active involvement with the movement.

A deal for the elite.

The Multitude movement has gone beyond the critical mass. We are building alternative ways of creating and exchanging value that escape the systems of control put in place to insure the stability of those in positions of power. The infrastructure of the new world is coming together. It acts as a new vessel that contains masses of disillusioned individuals quitting the actual system for various reasons, from economical to ethical. The metamorphosis process is already under way. It has gone beyond the point of irreversibility.

Moreover, the power of the well-informed and well-coordinated Multitude has already surpassed the ability of those in power to contain us. There are many ways we can destroy the establishment. I hope we'll not go down that path to create chaos, but the possibility is there. It is REAL! See for example:
I define the point of irreversibility of this massive socio-economic transformation as the point in time after which it becomes impossible for the global elites to oppose the change, to keep the status quo, without taking radical measures that can jeopardize their very existence.

I am now talking to YOU, man and woman who profit from the actual system taking advantage of the Multitude. YOU are now facing the dilemma of choosing between two futures that don’t belong to you. Taking radical measures is NOT the smartest way to go. Help us to develop this new world and you might have a place in it. Push us further back to the wall, keep us hungry and we’ll become radicalized. YOU are losing your ability to lead, save yourselves before your ship sinks.

In case YOU don’t understand what we’re talking about, help transfer resources from the present-old system to the new. Found projects that are going in the right direction. Help those involved in them by providing access to various other resources, adopt our new institutions…

By AllOfUs