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Principles for Conscious Leadership

  • Feel free to make suggestions to leadership. Protocol is to submit these on the Suggestions page. To vet - pass your suggestion through metrics that relate the suggestion that you are making. If the suggestion is a new initiative and not an existing project, metrics first must be created as filtered through the OSE Vision and OSE Priorities.

2019 Summary

"Gummit which governs least governs best." However, this places more responsibility on the denizens. With this said, the role relegated to governance is keeping bad actors in check. That allows the flourishing of prosperity in face of unethical behavior.

OSE Proposal for Application to New Microstates

  • There are no professional bureaucrats. They must be productive, and commit extra time to bureaucracy. It is critical that bureaucrats understand Production.
  • Model could be similar to OSE's growth model of bootstrap funding via Extreme Manufacturing, which funds innovation, but must be done to provide a Neosubsistence based economy
  • Ultimate philosophy of governance is provided by a Board of Elders, who subscribe to generally accepted principles of not killing, stealing, and otherwise being responsible and ethical.
  • Natural laws apply equally to everyone. Administrative laws do no apply equally. Those who demonstrate responsibility may replace legal compliance with voluntary compliance. As such, the law is granular in its application to detail. This system must be designed to be just, and may be an algorithm for administration via artificial intelligence


Sound governance is absolutely efficient production coupled with transparency. Note that the assumption here is that true freedom is based on material abundance - see talk from Bioneers East Conference for logic thread. Everyone is expected to contri abute to an economy. People do things out of internal motivation. When internal motivation is aligned with responsibility - material abundance exist. This is a core message implicit in open source ecology. This is a rigorous condition of skill and wisdom. Factor e Farm is intended to be an experiment to show this. Question: what organizational model allows people to thrive under the conditions of a Development Center - if the project positioning is shifted away from a community to an g?

Julia Valentine Comments

  • Should pay volunteers. NB - the proper terminology here is thus not volunteers, but hires.
  • Interns should pay for an education program.
  • Staff is paid, but that means for x by y.
  • Permanent people should be paid.
  • One model: not egalitarian, but pay for education.
  • Finance committee - should take $ out of my hands.

Isaiah Comments on Structuring

On Product Lead: They'll be responsible for hiring the makers underneath them, people that they believe in. They'll manage the team's daily work and ensure delivery. They'll need to be able to let people go or reassign people that are there right now. OSE can't rely entirely on volunteer Makers. You will be evangelist CEO and high level boat steerer – to make it a healthy organization. You'll be responsible for securing financing and setting direction. You'll need the money to do this right and attract the right talent.

Q: Who do you think will take care of other functions - such as managing our video guy, managing site, managing the farmer, managing programmers, or any other volunteers? Would this fit also in the Product Lead role? I am trying to delegate those tasks as well - I need to get away from managing these. A: You should have a Media/Creative Chief who can handle the video and front facing website. The product/technical chiefs should manage the prototyping and the code and the serious contributors. A third person should manage Factor E Farm as a test site. The Farmer should be good enough to do that or you should replace him with someone who can manage themselves.

Fellowup Thoughts

  • Francois - A bit out of the box: Johan Roos - head of a business school in Sweden, close ties to LEGO and a background in agricultural science. Did an amazing LEGO serious play brainstorming session with us in China in August. Very high EQ. Has worked with all kinds of start-ups and giants...
  • Arthur - Is it possible to give people autonomy within very specific areas? "Functional authority" it's sometimes called. I.e. "do whatever you like as long as by Feb you have a prototype hyperdrive built."
  • KB - Helene would be perfect, but a little out of the way for her i think. Practically speaking i think you need to separate general trajectory and specific manufacturing sessions

Natural Law

Primus Inter Pares. It means "First among equals." Somebody always has to go first. Someone is first to get some money and hire people, but not as an overlord but as a voluntary servant to the goals... which the first guy is held responsible for achieving in another domain--one in which the following people do NOT participate. They have the social privilege of working with each other and with the one who goes first, not a right they can demand or control unilaterally. Production is altogether NOT a privilege. It is a contract...I will do this and you will do that in return--terms are arrived at by dialogue but once done then somebody has to check off performance--the first among equals is IT. Then the First is then checked off by outside people, not by co-workers. There is no up down hierarchy here just different roles and expectations freely accepted. Complexity is a sign of maturity and health. This is the complexity required at OSE, and if not followed, the others have to find another organization, no big deal.

Workshop Team Leaders

Your responsibility would be that you would work with OSE leading up to the workshop - and prepare a detailed procedure document. Can you commit to completing a spotless step-by-step instructional on the complete _____procedure? That includes the interface design - how we address doors, edges, trim, insulation, windows, corners, up to the bond beam. The procedure would be to continue as we are, and then OSE would sign off on the final version - after a bunch of back and forth refinement and review that makes sure that we are all on the same page. The absolute cutoff for procedure completion should be Thursday night - one week before the event - so that we can focus on process integration

As far as governance, OSE needs to establish clear boundaries. The GVCS was formulated in 2008, and it has a history of continuous development. You can help, but OSE's Technical Director will make the final decisions - of course with everyone's input. There will be many ways to do things, we will all get our heads around them to make sure we come up with the best solution. OSE loves feedback, especially from those with experience. There are cases when we can't make a good decision because of insufficient data, overwhelming complexity, lack of time, emergency situations, lack of experience, etc. There will also be cases where we use procedures different from what they would look like normally - this is guaranteed - because we redesign standard procedures for swarm builds and to accommodate the principles of Extreme Manufacturing and OSE Specifications. So if a certain procedure gets you out of your comfort zone of how you typically do things - that is ok. OSE would like to be clear, however, that if there is any controversy that we can't settle - for whatever reasons - we just ask you that you respect that the Technical Director will have the final say in how we go forward on the design/process decisions. We have observed that this leadership role is important for the project to move forward peacefully, or even at all. We have also observed that this has historically not been clear to a number of participants, and that's why we bring the governance issue up explicitly. We love constructive feedback, but we have also seen that there are many people, typically younger people - who are not good at assessing their skill level, and think that they are knowledgeable about something when they really aren't. We've had too many non-constructive experiences with 'know-it-all' personalities.

During the event, you will be expected to take an active leadership role in teaching people hands-on, to take as much responsibility off me as is possible on the teaching duties. The lead worskhop organizer will run most of the evening lectures, but we will also have other assisting organizers fill in as relevant. One of the goals of the event is to push the limits of collaborative development, so that when the event actually happens, we have well-prepared leadership to offer - to a prepared audience. The instructionals will be key to that preparation. We would also like to ask you to be flexible - just like in XM - and do whatever is needed to make for a smooth workshop. For example, if it turns out that you could help out in another task instead of what was agreed on before - then you would also be willing to do that as well - just in case we need to shift people around to make the best event. This is part of our agile approach.

Also, do you have the flexibility to arrive a day early? Right before the workshop will be a critical rush time to make sure everything is in place. We would like to have all the leaders arrive 1 day early so we can make the final prep for workflow layout. Then, we could give you an orientation and training session. The general pattern is that we prepare people for the next day the night before - so when we get out there in the morning, we are rocking and rolling from the start.


  1. Kansas city / Portland: Kelly Gerling -
  2. Kansas city: Fowler Jones
  3. CA Bay area: Arthur Colman
  4. CA Bay area: Alan Briskin