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Last Modified on November 10, 2017. Please keep us updated if you adopt this model and make improvements.
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The Roadmap v.4 - 2017
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See earlier version RoadMap V.3
This is the road map of SENSORICA OVN.
In 2017, SENSORICA finds itself at another transition point: it needs to scale, therefore it needs to better formalize its structure and its processes. The legal structure of the OVN has been improved during the summer of 2014, with the creation of CAKE custodian. New measures have been taken between 2016 and 2017 with respect to the normative system and governance. For example, formal rules have been proposed for the SENSORICA Montreal lab in 2014 and new rules have been proposed to balance benefits with responsibilities. See more on the Governance page. We hope that this will have a positive impact on the confidence of newcomers and on other partners.
During 2016, we realized that the most important asset of an open space / organization is the quality and the diversity of skills and experience within the network / community. SENSORICA distinguishes itself from other open spaces (fablabs, makerspaces, coworking spaces, ...) by being able to dynamically assemble groups of individuals to tackle complex problems, to deliver complex consultancy and R&D services. Our focus was increasing the capacity and the sustainability of the network, generating revenue. We delivered a few R&D services to universities and companies, refining interfaces between the open network and traditional organisations (see more on the Interfaces doc). We also increased our consultancy activities, helping new startups and collaborative entrepreneurs to navigate the collaborative economy and build future-proof enterprises, and providing services to traditional organizations for open innovation and for building interfacing with the crowd. Before the summer of 2017 we started to formalize a sound model to extract benefits from this type of activities (see working document).
In 2016, sensoricans worked closely with OuiShare MTL on the Verdun project, to expand the SENSORICA model by creating 5 additional open spaces in Montreal. This is part of a strategy to monetize the social value that SENSORICA has generated, in terms of IT infrastructure, Governance and new Methodologies of work to support and stimulate open innovation and local economic development.
xxx Working on synergy among external projects…. xxx
We need to continue to improve our culture, our infrastructure, and to grow our ecosystem.
Role of this document
The role of this document is to generate a medium-term vision for SENSORICA, which will guide our actions and help us focus. All affiliates can contribute to this vision!
This document should make explicit an incremental development, avoiding some of the pitfalls lying ahead of us. This vision needs to be compatible with our core values and culture, with our tools and processes, with our resources and competences, with the market needs we want to address, as well as with the threats surrounding us. The goal is to build a prosperous open value network that can scale to global proportions.
This effort should be contrasted with Roadmap v.3.
In order to understand the context please follow the links below.
In order to get where we want, we need to improve the conditions underlying our development.
As an open value network (OVN), SENSORICA must deploy transnationally (ease participation for anyone, anywhere) and horizontally (increase the number and the diversity of projects), and to improve its stigmergy (ability of peers to coordinate across projects and activities). Therefore, we need to improve our tools to allow for remote collaboration and coordination, resource and process management, contribution accounting, etc. In 2016-7 sensoricans have started to plan for an improvement of our IT infrastructure (see OVNi 3.0) and sketched a budget.
SENSORICA is still functioning on an infrastructure stitched together from individuals services.
One of the main problems with our content management system is that it still hinders openness, although it enables transparency to a moderate level. In other words, people can find what we do but don’t have free access to participate, as joining the network remains has not yet been automated.
In order to increase the degree of openness (better access to participation), we need to automate the onboarding process. This requires a better website and a more secure NRP-CAS. Moreover, these tools need to be better integrated with other resource/content management tools.
In order to improve discoverability of SENSORICA projects and tasks, and to increase the inflow of participation, we need to branch into other networks and online communities.
Main hub: The main hub is SENSORICA’s website, built on Google Sites. The advantage of using Google Sites is ease of use and shared ownership. The downside of it is poor user experience, reduced functionality, and manual access for new members.
Many criticise the website for its poor design. In reality, the task of building a fully functional website for a network-type organization is monumental and requires a serious deployment of resources. Some ideas have been documented, you can find the through the Infrastructure page. The OVNi 3.0 initiative takes this into consideration.
Project content management: Content about projects/development is managed in Google Drive. This poses some serious limitations. First, the structure of the content is not very legible. Second, the content is not stable, as people can easily change it and modify the folder structure without proper notification and easy reverse action. The advantage is that Google docs can be shared selectively with collaborators, which gives us the ability to tune transparency. Another advantage is that project related content can be easily embedded into the website, blogs, etc. Videos and pictures and digital designs are also spread on different third-party cloud-based applications.
In order to increase the level of coordination and to allow a better management of resources we need to bring the NRP in all work contexts. In other words, we need to create apps that allow affiliates to easily interact with the NRP-CAS from where they are, with very little interruption. The QR code app is one step in this direction. Other propositions are browser gadgets to share documents, pictures and videos to the NRP-CAS, in a one button click.
Network resource planning: The centralized version of the NRP-CAS has reached its end of life, and we are planning to rebuild it entirely using p2p technology. This step has the potential to generate massive adoption of the OVN model.
Add new features that are not fully implemented in the actual version of the NRP-CAS.
Since its inception in early 2011, SENSORICA has doubled its lab space in Montreal three times. The SENSORICA lab in Montreal is now located in a space of over 2000 square feet, downtown Montreal. The space is still under renovation see plan, a slow advancing process. See Trello.
In 2018, SENSORICA and Ouishare will create a new open lab in Verdun, as part of the Verdun project. In 2019 we hope to build 4 additional open spaces as part of the same project.
Open SENSORICA’s Legal issues document. See also Legal infrastructure on the SENSORICA/Development web page. See Legal framework page on the OVN wiki.
The basic legal structure for the OVN model is an open network as a non-registered association, multiple exchange firms for interfacing with the market as limited liability private commercial entities (a corporation, or a coop), and a custodian for managing assets as a non-for-profit entity.
At the end of 2013, SENSORICA affiliates created ACES/CAKE, a non-for-profit organization registered in Quebec, Canada, to take the role of custodian. In August 2014 physical assets of SENSORICA are transferred to ACES/CAKE. Open the Nondominium document.
This new development settled some very important issues related to the legal status of the OVN. Newcomers can now trust more the system. Moreover, along with the custodian structure we also created new financial tools. ACES/CAKE Canada has a bank account (Caisse Populaire Desjardins) linked to a PayPal account. This allows OVN affiliates to group around project initiatives and get funding (crowdfunding and others), without the need to constitute a legal entity around the project, thus minimizing organizational overhead. Once the project matures it can go through an exchange firm for commercialization. Affiliates are free to move from a project to another, preserving openness and fluidity within the network.
With the Verdun project, SENSORICA is interfacing with OuiShare Montreal. For that purpose, we are planning to create a Consortium that includes the Custodians of both networks. Other legal structures will be created as needed, to take on different functions of this new collaborative economy ecosystem.
Inspired from a model from Europe, we are also thinking about providing more security for OVN affiliates, giving access to social benefits. For that purpose, there are plans to create a workers coop as another legal interface (legal structure at the periphery of the network), that will register network affiliates as member workers (if they want) and give them access to social benefits. This sort of legal interface can only operate locally, therefore in the first trial it will only be beneficial to Canadians.
SENSORICA grew from a small network of individuals coordinating activities largely based on informal rules and a general understanding of core values and principles.
Towards the end of 2013, we created the first draft of the Custodian agreement, a way to implement nondominium property regimes for SENSORICA’s most important assets.
In early 2014, the network reached a critical size and grew in potential, which generated organisational problems for the lack of formal rules. A crisis was sparked by a discussion about the use of the SENSORICA brand and about its development path. See SENSORICA crisis summary document. This crisis defocused the network and surfaced other problems.
In August 2014 the first agreement on a value equation was reached by the 3D course group. This is the first time an official value equation was used to share revenue in SENSORICA.
xxx in xxx tragedy of the commons crisis, which lead to more formal rules about how the network’s physical assets are used. - the lab rules.
Xxx in xxx contract and spinoff problem…
Governance of tangible resources: See the SENSORICA Montreal LabOnline rules document.
Governance of intangible assets: See the Rule for the use of SENSORICA brant document.
General governance: See the Fluid p2p governance document proposed by Tibi. This initiative is still early stage and doesn’t represent consensus yet. It still needs to gain wider adoption and to be implemented.
Documents in refinement
Other important documents to be created
Rules for a better accounting
Rules for network to network interface
Better rules for Verdun open spaces and rules at the federation level.
The development of SENSORICA and its success depends on our ability to forge strong economic relations with other entities within our environment.
In 2013 SENSORICA affiliates worked on the Open Alliance concept, which was a holistic view of OVNs and network of networks. The idea was to federate existing open and collaborative organizations into a coherent network, sharing IT infrastructure, some governance elements and methodologies. The Open Alliance strategic plan was drafted. One important idea that emerged is a 3-pillar partnership that we call PPP, or people, public and private partnership. This initiative failed and it was revived in 2016 by the Verdun project, in a different form. The difference with the Verdun approach is to create a critical mass of federated open organizations from the ground up, in a participatory manner, hoping that it will start acting as an attractor in Montreal, generating network effects on other existing open organizations to join. We believe that the coalescence of open and collaborative organizations into a more coherent and better integrated network, sharing key structural and procedural elements is necessary for the eclosion of the collaborative economy into the mainstream. Furthermore, the Verdun open ecosystem will be strongly connected to traditional organizations from the public and the private sector, building on the Interface development work done within SENSORICA, and on OuiShare’s local experience (a partner of SENSORICA in the Verdun project).
In order to plan for the future we need to understand our past experience. Our biggest challenges have been: communication about the OVN model, collaborative economy in general, open networks as organizations.
In the past, we have been very successful in convincing professors to collaborate with us on technical projects. We have encountered problems when we approached Universities from the top. We used the following 4 approaches:
Collaboration on applications development projects using ENGAGE grants. The value we provided was new applications for the new knowledge developed in the lab, and funding (examples: Philippe, Maksim). This can be seen as a tech transfer case. Only a small fraction of these projects resulted in a deeper and longer relation of collaboration and sharing of resources (Philippe).
Collaboration on new process development and cost reduction. One example is the the use of low cost 3D printer technology in the prototyping of microfluidic chips. See example of David’s lab.
Collaboration on recycling dead IP. Recycle innovation through the University’s office for technology transfer or directly through PI’s . This approach has been less successful due to lack of understanding of the OVN model and due to lack of understanding and of confidence in the contribution accounting system. The Tech transfer, open innovation, IP and academia document was created in an effort to improve this approach.
R&D services. Providing technical solutions to academic labs, see the PV Characterization project.
Our experience in dealing with private commercial entities has improved since 2011.
Our first experience in 2013 was about commercializing the low cost tape sensor through a partnership with a traditional startup. See meeting with Quatrium. Problem: the startup did not understand open innovation-based economic models. Back then, most commercial entities didn’t know how to capture value from open hardware. Quatrium was also fearful that share alike-type licenses might contaminate their IP assets.
Other attitudes observed: benefit from the network while dodging development costs.
A breakthrough was made in 2015 with the Barda periscope project, a small contract with firm of architects. Two other important collaborations followed, the Sensor Network project and the Blockchain access project, which are summarized here.
Our methodologies of work and our governance evolved throughout these experiences, making the network more responsive and more deterministic.
Over time, SENSORICA’s value proposition to the private sector improved: reduce R&D costs to 50% and accelerated development time.
As time went by, more and more traditional companies started to understand open innovation and integrate it into their strategies.
Our Project VIE experience in 2014 with the CDEC Rosemont, now PME Montreal Centre-Est, brought up issues around the formalization of relations with traditional public organizations, and the recognition of open networks. In essence we learned how these bureaucratic organizations can take advantage of open networks and grassroots organizations.
Since then, SENSORICA has improved a lot its level of accountability: planning, methodologies and resource management.
In 2016 SENSORICA was invited on the Parliament Hill / Ottawa to present its OVN model. The work on the preparations for the Verdun project started after that, a partnership with the Canadian Federal Government, which provided more legitimacy to SENSORICA in front of local players.
Recognition and legitimization of open networks is in a very early stage. The Canadian bureaucracy is still not ready to properly process open innovation and commons-based peer production initiatives, as we learned the hard way with the refusal to fund SENSORICA’s infrastructure development by the Canada Economic Development Canada for the Quebec Regions (EDC). In 2017 the EDC started to support the Verdun project.
Other approaches for building relations with academia are now in development.
Collaboration on Open Science initiatives. In 2016 Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) announced a shift to open science. SENSORICA engaged MNI in building a collaborative relationship. In November 2017 we participated in a joint panel about open science at the Canadian Science Policy Center 2017 conference in Ottawa. See more on SENSORICA’s activity in open science.
Development of private-public-people (PPP) partnerships. In 2017 we were approached by Pr Richard Janda from McGill University to contribute to a sustainable building project, which requires retrofitting of a campus building with IoT technology used in conjunction with blockchain and AI for building use monitoring systems that can induce behavioural change. SENSORICA proposed to be the open innovation side of this project, as part of a larger PPP partnership structure. This initiative is underway. This approach was first unsuccessfully tested with Pr. Fabien Durif from UQAM for its high tech retail shop project (see document).
In 2018, SENSORICA and OuiShare MTL will apply this same approach to link the Verdun project with academic institutions and the private sector at a much larger scale.
Consultancy - link
Ecosystem approach: mobility project, Mcgill project, ...
Forks from NRP and next gen NRP development
The Verdun open innovation ecosystem.
Network to network interfaces
SENSORICA, OuiShare and Praxeco.
Interface with PraxEco:
Almost every individual is busy building themselves in their own field, and do not have either time or money; or both, to move forward with their own diverse project ideas. It takes time to convince people to join your project, a lot of money to put the project idea to test, and a lot more time to learn how to do it yourself. As an example, artist, musicians, and designers have creative ideas, but do not necessarily have a good budget for the technical prototyping of it. Similarly, engineers, scientists, and technical experts have great project ideas, but could use support for aesthetic designing to market them. The interface between Sensorica and PraxEco allows those artists to have access to engineers and technical experts that could facilitate their project ideas and bring their projects to life, and vice versa.
People of different backgrounds are invited to volunteer contributions, in any form they choose, to collectively accumulate wealth for the community - based on PraxEco’s Activity-based model. The wealth accumulated by the volunteers can be invested in either an existing PraxEco project, or the volunteer’s own project that will be facilitated by Sensorica. In other words, the volunteers use a fair share of the PraxEco community wealth accumulation to fund their projects and create job opportunities for their fellow community members.
This interface encourages a sense of community support, collective volunteering, creative project ideas, diverse connections, opportunities to sponsor your project, freelance opportunities, job opportunities, self-employment...
Build partnerships with academia
xxx revise this section
Through the Verdun project, we are strengthening our collaboration with Margie Mendell from Concordia University in social innovation / economy, and discussing with Francois Coallier from ETS on IoT. We expect more collaboration to be developed during the course of 2018, 2019.
SENSORICA is developing and distributing hardware products and offers consultancy and R&D services. These activities are very resource intensive. The OVN model is not bound by budgets, limited by physical space, workforce or access to tools and equipment. The NRP-CAS is designed to allow rapid aggregation of resources around projects or economic activity. This is the essence behind the concept of an open and collaborative enterprise.
The SENSORICA LabOnline in Montreal has some limited capacity for prototyping and design. We will continue to increase this capacity, but the main strategy should be centered around growth by affiliation.
Build partnerships with collaborative communities
SENSORICA has doubled its lab space in Montreal for the second time. We are now in a 2000 square feet space. The plan is to create other labs around the world, affiliated to the SENSORICA network. Meanwhile, we are strengthening our collaboration with organizations in Montreal / Quebec and from and Europe.
Another important project is the Verdun project, which aims to adding 5 more open spaces to the network.
In order to increase our capacity, we need to build bridges with open communities around us, in order to gain access to material resources. In Montreal, we need to establish a better presence in local fab labs, makerspaces, and coworking spaces. Through the Verdun project we are strengthening our collaboration with OuiShare Montreal, Helios, La Fabrique and Espace Fabrique.
Build partnerships with academia
MNI, McGill sustainable building.
We expect more during the course of 2018, 2019 through the Verdun project.
In the past, we have been successful attracting classical startup funds (entrepreneurship prizes and grants as well as research and development grants) and research funds like ENGAGE. The main problem is that classical funding requires classical methods that are incompatible with the nature of our OVN model. There is a possibility that activities around classical funding have had a negative impact on SENSORICA’s identity and culture development process. Moreover, in Canada the effort/benefit ratio is not very attractive, due to the lack of funding. Nevertheless, the funding that we got helped develop the SENSORICA lab in Montreal. See more on Revenues.
In 2015, 2016 we pursued different funding opportunities dedicated to social innovation with no returns. The problem here is the same, organizations in the social innovation space are just starting to recognize commons-based approaches. In early 2016 SENSORICA was refused a grant from Canada Economic Development for the Quebec Regions for infrastructure development, with the aim to stimulate local innovation and economic development. see presentation.
In 2015 Tibi’s initiative targeting unemployment organizations, to put forward our work with students, unemployed, underemployed and emigrants. ENSORICA also offered help to local entrepreneurs building open ventures. All this was unsuccessful, organizations and entrepreneurs were not receptive, although this situation seems to be changing.
See the funding plan
In 2015-2016 we decided to leverage the social value that SENSORICA creates, in terms of IT infrastructure for open innovation and peer production, Governance and Methodologies for collaborative economic activity. The Verdun project is a great example of how such assets can attract funding dedicated to stimulate Canada’s innovation and boost local economies.
Talk about corporate social responsibility
Execute some of the funding plan
We have implemented a continuous crowdfunding campaign that hasn't paid much. One reason is that the community hasn't contributed much to these efforts.
We have a few dormant crowdfunding initiatives that can be revived, for projects, infrastructure development and network development.
SENSORICA enjoys a good international reputation for having pioneered what is now called contributory accounting and fair benefit redistribution systems, tailored for commons-based peer production networks. SENSORICA has been presented in many national and international public forums and conferences. Moreover, SENSORICA and its model is the subject of many publications. In 2016, SENSORICA has been featured in A New Economy documentary film.
Xxx List of conferences: … 2016 and 2017
Xxx European commission contract.
The sustainability of SENSORICA depends on what we produce and on our relevance on the market, or for society. Our project list demonstrates skills and sustained commitment for some projects. Unfortunately, our value creation process is still not well aligned with our OVN model. Tibi believes that this is mainly related to a deficiency in open and collaborative culture and the processes that go along with it, as stated in the SENSORICA crisis summary document. Only a very small percentage of network affiliates have experience with open and collaborative projects, open innovation and new economic models. This is a demographic problem, most contributors to SENSORICA activity come from classical organizations, operating in traditional settings.
Strategy - create relations with traditional companies and have them produce. In the short-term, focus on innovation. This strategy has been first proposed in the Design Global Manufacture Local presentation made at the p2pValue conference in 2016.
SENSORICA has a few products and services to offer, see SENSORICA’s products and services page. 2015 and 2016 has been the years of R&D and consultancy services, a shift in our focus which seems to work (read the Interfaces doc).
SENSORICA still has marketing problems, we haven’t been successful in attracting enough individuals with marketing and sales skills.
Problems based on past observations
In the SENSORICA crisis summary document Tibi advocated that SENSORICA’s culture is still not fully developed to sustain development. This is probably still the case, as people take time to adapt to a new economic paradigm.
In early 2016 we experienced another phenomena, a spinoff extracting resources from the network by taking away a commercial opportunity. This is the case of the Blocksense spin off lead by Jim Anastassiou, after a Blockchain project in collaboration with a private company that turned sour. The creation of Blocksense absorbed a new lucrative blockchain contract lead that was developed within the SENSORICA network (without providing a reward to sensoricans that were involved in generating the lead, after the contract was granted to Blocksense), and took with it a few sensoricans that had been trained within the network for blockchain skills. These type of incidents erode confidence in the network, generate emotional distress for some network affiliates and deprive the network from commercial opportunities and talent. Reflections are underway to reduce the occurrence of such problems in the future, while preserving the economic freedom of individuals affiliated with the network.
In mid 2016 some Sensorica affiliates took on a service based contract to develop a functional blockchain application prototype with little to no expertise in service contract management. The project was delivered successfully but went through issues of scope mismanagement, multiple change orders and vague functional requirements. The success of the project was to lead to a contract for a minimal viable product. Unfortunately the evident lack of managing software projects put a dent in the relationship with the client and, a final heated email argument where a Sensorica affiliate acted unprofessionally and threatened the client in an email with his staff C.C.’ed in the thread, terminated any possible future relationships and contracts with the client. This caused great stress within the Sensorica network especially for those who had participated on the project and were anticipating the second contract and especially to Jim Anastassiou, an affiliate who had dedicated most of his time researching blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Jim foresaw early on, in late 2015, the application of the technology in an IT setting and as a database replication technology, and as the technology matured, saw the increase in demand for specialization from various industries. This was reinforced by an approach from another potential client in the fall of 2016. Unfortunately, due to certain specifics around the contract requested by the client such as non-disclosure and non-compete clauses, the project did not fit with Sensorica’s ethics or project guidelines. As such, Jim decided to create a company specialized in blockchain solutions, and offer positions and co-ownership to other affiliates in the company, most of whom were unemployed at the time. Tibi expressed his opinion that Blocksense should not be affiliated in any way with Sensorica due to the nature of client projects it might undertake, and that he himself does not want to be affiliated with the brand due to his reputation as an open source advocate. Blocksense was officially founded in January of 2017 by six Sensorica affiliates and took on as its first client the project that Aces-Cake was unable to fulfil. During a General Assembly meeting of the Blocksense worker’s cooperative, it was decided to give an ethical contribution to Aces-Cake once the company’s future is secured, and without jeopardizing the salary of any of its employees.
Social value is value provided to society in the form of open source technology, help for students, unemployed and underemployed, the OVN model with the NRP, our governance and methodologies, etc. There is no doubt that SENSORICA creates social value, and this claim is supported by the number of third party publications about our network.
We are learning more and more about how we can leverage the social value that we create. The Verdun project is a perfect example, where SENSORICA is recognized as a leader in open innovation and collaborative economy, and asked by the Canadian Federal Government to implement a pilot project to boost local economic development in Montreal.
Use value is the value that the network creates to sustain itself. It comes in the form of tangible resources (physical space, tools and equipment, etc.) and intangible resources (brand, virtual spaces and digital tools, etc.) used by network affiliates.
In 2016-2017 SENSORICA has been struggling with use value creation in the context with the new lab establishment downtown Montreal: Lab renovations have been slow, very few affiliates are eager to invest financially in lab improvements, very few are motivated to take part in lab building activities. New governance is under development to stimulate use value creation and make our shared assets more sustainable (i.e. to stimulate engagement towards their maintenance). This new governance links benefits to responsibilities, or the ability to extract benefits from the network to the history of participation and taken responsibility.
New lab in Verdun
Generate activities and events - Hadi.
Better monetize the lab. Implement and fully develop the plan: the lab store, sell incubator space, fablab membership and techshop services. see more on these spaces
Xxx Mobility project
Xxx McGill Sustainability project
Xxx Metal detector project
Revive most promising projects: eComminity Garden, iPot, Manipulators, Micro 3D printer, PV project, ...
Data extracted from NRP, see here.
Data extracted from NRP, see here.
 Principal investigator