OGB (Open Governance Body) building federated futures

  1. What is the existing target protocol you are hoping to improve or enhance? Eg: hand-washing, traffic system, connector standards, carbon trading.

Governance, using initially ActivityPub but also looking at #dat for p2p application, at the #OMN we are agnostic #4opens protocols, will support and use them all in different applications. Data is just data, people are people, we need to get past the #geekproblem of hard protocol definitions in data coding and transport.

  1. What is the core idea or insight about potential improvement you want to pursue?

After working in this for 3 generations we know what works, and we know all current approaches do not, the formal consensus that underlies the current codebase failed in activism for 20 years before it was hardcode, where its failing agen, no surprise but much repation.

  1. What is your discovery methodology for investigating the current state of the target protocol? Eg: field observation, expert interviews, historical data analysis, failure event analysis

Have worked in the #openweb for 30 years on meany applications and media projects, have been involved in the ActivityPub world since the early mastodon days. For 5 years the #OMN run 5 instances with thousands of users, we recently shut them all down to focus on coding.

  1. In what form will you prototype your improvement idea? Eg: Code, reference design implementation, draft proposal shared with experts for feedback, A/B test of ideas with a test audience, prototype hardware, etc.

We will do a working application and roll it out as a test in real communertys, this can then be iterated and improved by subsequent funding work.

  1. How will you field-test your improvement idea? Eg: run a restricted pilot at an event, simulation, workshop, etc.

We have meany groups to work wilth both online and offline.

  1. Who will be able to judge the quality of your output? Ideally name a few suitable judges.

The fediverse was created at least partly as a reaction to huge platforms like Twitter and Facebook that sell their user’s behavior to advertisers etc. It has no center, or rather many independent centers, many hosts, many software creators, but somehow it all hangs together. People have been thinking it needs some kind of governance, among other reasons, to keep it all hanging together through many changes, and also maybe to fend off takeover attempts from surveillance capital. The typical approach to governance is a centralized body, which would be culturally alien. The OMN crew intends governance methods that fit the fediverse form and culture. This approach is worthy of trying and improving in practice.

I have always seen the internet as a tool for democracy and freedom of communication. As a long-term internet citizen, my perception has shifted as large Internet companies now have centralized the space where activists can post.

OGB (OpenWeb Governance Body) has come out of a collective need on the fediverse for some form of governance on mastodon and other apps in the fediverse.

While it is a decentralized federation, a few large networks can dominate the space. While the internet has standards bodies like the IETF and W3C, these bodies are seen as remote. The average citizen on the fediverse has no access to these processes. The creation of these standards and governance are open. However, there are barriers to this as these are technical standards.

On the larger social networks, citizens on those networks have less ownership of what they put on that network. As well as how much change they can enable on that network.

What OMN is proposing is a system of governance and collective ownership of the fediverse. A system of support for activists and instance owners alike.

Esther Payne

  1. How will you publish and evangelize your improvement idea? Eg: Submit proposal to a standards body, publish open-source code, produce and release a software development kit etc.

use the code/apps with real groups solving real issues.

  1. What is the success vision for your idea?

Real groups and real governance playing a increasing role in building alt and #openweb culture.

Full project here Open-Media-Network/openwebgovernancebody: ON STANDBY due to waiting for funding - (OGB) This is a space for working through Governance of horizontal projects - using #KISS online tools. - openwebgovernancebody - Open Media Network

Requesting funding for the Open Governance Body #OGB project, which is being developed by the Open Media Network (#OMN. OMN is a collective that builds and hosts #4opens standards-based socio-political software. Our mission is to provide communities with the tools they need to organize, communicate, and make decisions.

The[#OGBproject is a grassroots initiative that seeks to empower communities by giving them a stronger voice in decision-making. We believe that traditional social coding projects that are based on a top-down approach to power are not effective. Our approach is different. We are developing a bottom-up solution that is based on the principles of sharing power and collective decision-making.

Our team has years of experience in grassroots social tech projects. We have been directly involved with #UnderCurrents, #indymedia, #VisionOnTV, #LondonBoating, among others, and have a firm grasp of what does and does not work within organizing both social and technological communities.

It is important to note that foundation funding agendas can have a negative effect on the agendas of #openweb projects. A brief look at some existing projects highlights this issue. For example, decidim.org, which is an NGO process similar to loomio.org, Formal processes can be a bad tool for “herding cats” in social challenge or activist groups. And has been imposed numerous times in activism but has always failed.

After reviewing loomio.org, it is clear that the same ideas and workflows were pushed onto #climatecamp, #indymedia, and #occupy. In the first two cases, it ossified the projects, and in the last case, it was a mess. The #processgeeks behind these projects have not changed, and their projects are a bad fit for life and a terrible fit for the fediverse and activism. However, they may work for some NGOs and more formal cooperative organizing.

It is important to note the differences between formal and informal governance structures. Both use “consensus,” but the Open Governance Body is more like a do-ocracy than a formal governance structure.

Introduction: The Open Governance Body #OGB represents a beacon of hope in the ever-evolving digital world, where governance often lags behind technological advancements and societal changes. In a landscape cluttered with flawed systems and ineffective mainstream politics, the OGB offers an innovative and participatory approach to governance—a blueprint for the future of human-scale decision-making.

Problem Statement: Traditional governance models, whether in the realm of Free/Open Source (FOSS) software or mainstream politics, suffer from inherent flaws. They either struggle with scalability or are too rigid to adapt to local contexts. The feudalistic hierarchy embedded in many FOSS governance structures is ill-suited for the digital age. The need for a more effective, scalable, and adaptive governance model has never been more apparent.

Solution: The OGB emerges at the intersection of grassroots activism and federated technology. Leveraging the proven framework of ActivityPub—a decentralized protocol powering platforms like Mastodon—the OGB creates a platform for organic activist governance. Through a blend of federated technology and grassroots activism, the OGB introduces a simple yet powerful platform based on sortation, ensuring the distribution of roles and responsibilities and fostering efficient decision-making processes.

Proof of Concept: The success of the OGB is not just theoretical; it comes from field-testing with promising results. Collaborations with the European Union demonstrate the versatility of ActivityPub and the fediverse, showcasing the potential for real-world impact. The OGB’s ability to empower communities to self-govern, bypassing cumbersome bureaucracy, is a testament to its potential to revolutionize governance at many levels.

Vision: Imagine a bustling local street market governed by its community members—stallholders, shoppers, and local service providers—all having a say in decision-making processes. The OGB facilitates such self-governance through a permissionless rollout, allowing anyone to set up a governance community with ease. A sortation algorithm orchestrates decision-making, naturally encouraging more stakeholders to participate and fostering a sense of ownership and collaboration.

Scalability and Adaptability: The OGB’s impact extends beyond local markets; it embodies scalability and adaptability. Just as the #fediverse has grown organically over the years, the OGB has the potential to proliferate across various societal facets, weaving a tapestry of self-governance that transcends traditional boundaries.

Call to Action: The OGB is not just a project; it is a culmination of centuries of activism and social organizing techniques, combined with remarkable technological advancements. It offers a modern solution rooted in historical success—a rallying cry for those seeking real, lasting change through cooperative, human-centric means. As we stand at the precipice of a new era, the OGB beckons us to embrace a future where technology enables democracy and human connection. It invites us to join a grassroots revolution, co-creating a governance model that aligns with our times and aspirations. With the OGB, progress doesn’t ask for permission—it extends an open invitation to innovate, participate, and effectuate change. Join the movement, and let’s shape a future where governance works for everyone.

Budget Justification: Funds are needed for technological infrastructure development, community outreach and engagement, research and development, and operational expenses. Detailed budget breakdown available upon request.

Conclusion: Thank you for considering our funding application for the Open Governance Body. Together, we can usher in a new era of governance that empowers communities, fosters collaboration, and creates a more inclusive and equitable society.

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