Authors: Tibi, … add your name

Only SENSORICA logo is copyright. Content on this document is Creative Commons (BY NC CA)

SENSORICA critical report

(summer 2014)

All SENSORICA affiliates are invited to contribute to this report.

This report is public! Anyone can get it from the website

GOAL OF THE REPORT


Have a critical look at SENSORICA, as it stands towards the end of the summer, 2014.

NOTES ABOUT THIS REPORT


LINKS



Contents

Capacity

Resources

Space

Equipment

Affiliates

Financing

Revenues

New initiatives

Structure

Governance and normative system

Legal structure and financial tools

Legal documents and agreements

Infrastructure

Value accounting

Information and knowledge management

Reputation system

Orientation and integration

Culture

Brand and social capital

Communication

Projects and products


Capacity

Resources

Space

SENSORICA has doubled its lab space in Montreal for the second time. We are now in a 1000 square feet. The plan was to create other SENSORICA labs around the world. Although there is some potential as we are strengthening our collaboration with people from South America and Europe, there is nothing concrete yet.  

Another plan was to expand our Montreal lab space and operations, but the collaboration with the CDEC for project VIE didn’t go well. See Tibi’s communication. We are continuing our natural organic growth, and the Open Alliance group continues to grow at a slow pace, after a stall moment caused by the SENSORICA crisis.  

We are now in proximity with a group designing drones, APRUS.  

In August 2014 SENSORICA was moving from a grant-based model to sustain its physical infrastructure to a self-sustaining model. As discussion started around how recurring bills should be payed, a new crisis developed, which is documented in the Sustaining the commons document.

Equipment

We increased our 3D printing capacity in 2014. See 3D printer project. Other than that, everything is similar to 2013.

The 3D printer project was affected by the August 2014 Sustaining the commons crisis when Serge decided to quit SENSORICA. At the same time, we are connecting with other groups and networks and thus gained a privileged access to other resources. For example, in September we started to collaborate with District3/Concordia. Our interaction with CS-fait grew even stronger.

Affiliates

The influx of new affiliates continues at almost the same rate. The outflux was momentarily increased during our  SENSORICA spring 2014 crisis, and during the Sustaining the commons crisis, but the network seems to regenerate pretty well.

We also expanded the way people and organizations can interact with and within SENSORICA, by adding the FabLab and TechShop modes. See more on the Participate page.

Financing

Francois and Tibi still remain are by far the largest contributors in cash to SENSORICA’s infrastructure and projects. This places a large financial burden on only 2 affiliates and it is unhealthy for the entire network. Towards the end of the summer 2014 there were signs of change. Others have stepped up to pay for recurring bills and materials. We are trying to increase this tendency. Unfortunately, in August 2014 we also noticed that some SENSORICA affiliates were in a logic of extracting from the community without giving back. This developed into the Sustaining the commons crisis.

Although we are pressing ahead with a few crowdfunding campaigns, by the fall 2014 we still haven’t delivered one yet. This is a major problem, taking into consideration that this funding scheme is compatible with SENSORICA’s model.

Most important crowdfunding campaigns under development

See more on the crowdfunding main document.

Revenues

During the summer of 2014 SENSORICA started to register revenue. The 3D course was a great hit, but the  Sustaining the commons crisis stalled is. Daniel continued to offer private 3D modeling services. Daniel started also to generate sales from 3DHubs and other local channels.

See more on Revenues page.

Other SENSORICA affiliates have been solicited to deliver services. The problem is that some of them are not so willing to give back to the community. Tibi has put steady pressure on those individuals who use the infrastructure and SENSORICA’s visibility to give back to the community. He proposed the 5% rule, which seems to get wider adoption. We’re not out of the woods with this one… Tibi needs others to step up to help defend the principles behind the governance for the use of the commons. See more on Sustaining the commons crisis

New initiatives

Tibi initiated new activities to increase SENSORICA’s capacity.

Structure

Governance and normative system

Lab rules

After the SENSORICA crisis in the spring of 2014 Tibi proposed some concrete initiatives to put in place more rules for the use of SENSORICA lab in Montreal. Open Montreal lab rules document. These rules seem to get wide adoption.

Governance

Tibi proposed the P2P Governance in early 2014, but this system was not implemented yet and there was no network-wide discussion around it.

Open governance and decision making folder 

A new webpage was created by Tibi to list all important agreements and governance documents.

Legal structure and financial tools

ACES/CAKE Canada was created at the end of 2013 and became the official SENSORICA Custodian during the summer of 2014. Administrators are Tibi, Francois and Serge.

Open governance and decision making folder.

Legal documents and agreements

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.

Towards the end of 2013 Kurt advanced the Custodian agreement document. It still needs some adaptation and to be signed by the Custodian’s administrators.

As our commercial activities intensify towards the end of the summer, we need to solidify our legal foundation.

Documents in work

Other important documents to be created

A new webpage was created by Tibi to list all important agreements and governance documents.

Open governance and decision making folder, see more on the legal issues doc.

Infrastructure

Value accounting

In order to make the extrinsic incentive system operational we need to create better user interfaces. If this plan is accepted we can bundle work into a workflow recipe.

UPDATES [August 15]: Tibi catalyzed a group for crowdfunding OVNi after the OuiShare Fest. Ethienne facilitated development. The momentum diminished after some discussions on open source vs closed source. This project was revived in November.

UPDATES [August 15]: Some progress has been made with Workflow recipes. see Tibi’s announcement.

Lynn and Bob are working on virtual accounts for SENSORICA affiliates and others.

Most of efforts towards the end of the summer went into the value equation.

Information and knowledge management

All the attempts in 2013 to adopt a new knowledge management system have failed. We tried Cyn.in (open working document) and Tikiwiki. We now are still running on Google Drive.

This has an impact on the level of transparency and influences speed to market and growth. We need to chose a better platform that responds to the p2p nature of the network and its long tail mode of operation: open, user friendly, stable in time, media rich, captures contributions, modular, open source...

Reputation system

The lack of a formal reputation system linked to the value equation generates a dispersion in behaviour. For example, some individuals have problems with commitment and are somewhat inconsistent. People would be more in line with good practices if their reputation and revenue were at stake.

Also, the need for a reputation system becomes important to avoid the tragedy of the commons, as some individuals use the commons for personal benefits but are not willingly giving back to the community.

Orientation and integration

This influences the process of network growth.

Allow newcomers to understand the value network, to navigate it with ease, and to find why where and how to contribute.

Requires better content management. Improvement of the website, visibility into the value accounting system and ability to assess risk and benefits, ...

Culture

SENSORICA still struggles with its culture in order to favor p2p processes. Tibi has discussed this in length in the SENSORICA crisis document. Basically, very little progress has been made on this front from the last summer report in 2013.

Brand and social capital

In 2913 we made good progress on this front with IGS-HEC case and the TEDx presentation.

In 2014 we presented at OuiShare Fest, and before that at Mosaic and Point.

Communication

This affects how people perceive SENSORICA, at the first glance. Branding, identity, outreach, content, communication channels, etc.

Projects and products

SENSORICA still struggles with its products and hence with revenue. We still need to develop our distribution. Ideas please!

Updates on old projects

New promising projects