Creative Commons (BY NC CA) license granted by the authors. First published on March 29, 2012

Last Modified on Oct 15, 2012. Please keep us updated if you adopt this model and make improvements.

Authors: Tibi, Kurt  add your name here,

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

Value Network Dictionary



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This dictionary contains important concepts to understand value networks. SENSORICA, is an open, decentralized and self-organizing value network, designing, producing and distributing optical fiber-based sensors.

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A

B

C

Commons

External links

Contribution

Types of contributions

Continuous

Discrete

Tangible

Intangible

D

P

Project

R

Reputation system

Revenue

Role system

S

Shareables

V

Value

Value system

Value accounting system

A

B

C

Commons

For us, the commons is a shared and organized pool of valuable things. These things are immaterial/intangible (knowledge, social, cultural..).

A commons is distinct from a pool of shareables, which contains material/tangible assets (space, tools, infrastructure, material resources, ...) that can be depletable (consumed, resources, raw materials) or can wear (like tools)[1]. Maintenance might be needed for shareables, their use has costs associated with it. Items from the commons cannot be depleted. Their consumption does not diminish the commons. The commons is generative, its use might have the effect of replenishing it, like knowledge for example.

All valuable things in the commons must have the property of being sharable, i.e. accessible to more than one individuals, with access restrictions set by the community, not inherent to the thing itself. The commons is there to be utilized in value creation and value transformation processes, infrastructure and community development, including replenishing/maintaining the commons itself.

Key elements of commons:

Distinction between commons and collectives: The commons are NOT collectives (as defined in communism). It does NOT involve collective ownership, but trusteeship. See short video.

Distinction between open access and commons: Open access is about sharing a pool of unorganized and unclaimed resources The commons is not just a common pool of resources, it’s not just about access to a pool of shared resources. The commons are regulated by the community, and emphasis is put on sustainable use.

A value network focused on production and distributions of material goods needs a commons with at least one separation: a portion that can be shared with the entire world, and another portion with restrictions for non-(active) members.

Tacit (non-formalizable knowledge) group knowledge is naturally part of the inner-commons, and is a determinant factor in the all open innovation game.

The SENSORICA brand and logo is part of the inner-commons, with access restricted ONLY to active members. The knowledge developed by the network is also part of the general commons. Some of our technical documents are not public, but access to them requires only a formal request (register as a member or at least an observer of SENSORICA - see Organizational structure).  

Using the commons doesn't incur use-costs.

Social capital, as a form of value, cannot be shared since it belongs to one particular individual, even though it can be transferred into tangible value for the entire network. But because it is not sharable it cannot be part of the commons. We can bring a similar argument for reputation.

External links

A conversation on the commons

The Commons and why we need to Occupy them - James Quilligan

Commons category on p2pfoundation 

Also shared by Helene Finidori on Next Edge 

Here's a definition I suggested (https://bit.ly/Commons_sense):

"The commons can be described in many different ways and along various dimension. It is at the same time object, process and result operating at various levels and scales, from the most global -the whole system, to various nested or fractal 'local' levels -the parts.

• As objects, the commons embody the Common Wealth, the 'Assets' that are inherited or created, shared in common, and serve a livelihood (natural, social & cultural resources, genetic and biologic diversity, knowledge, etc), that people can take care of, nurture, replenish, grow.

• As a process, the commons embody the Common Ethos, a Culture, the ways of being and doing in common that epitomizes in commoning (caring, sharing, nurturing, governing the assets in relationship with others with empathy, equity, justice, mindfulness...)

• As a Result: - the commons embody the Common Good, the outcome of the process (well being, quality of life, prosperity, abundance) which is the life blood of the process and a condition for the growth of the assets.

The commons is both an input to the dynamic interactions between people and their contexts, and an output thereof. All these dimensions need each other for the world to thrive. For progress to materialize, output must be greater than input. Commons in all their diversity and all the types of value they create must grow. And ideally each of our sustainability initiatives is actually would be geared to grow a part of it."

Contribution

Is the addition of something valuable to a project, something that is recognized as valuable, either in advance or via peer evaluation. This distinguishes it from mere participation or attention (lesser modes of involvement).

A contribution must leave behind something that can be shared, someone else can build upon.

Some activities don’t naturally leave material/tangible traces. For example, if I spend some time reading a book about sensors all the value generated during this activity is only for myself. Others cannot benefit from it, because they don’t have access to the knowledge I gained by reading this book. So the only act of reading the book should NOT constitute a contribution to the value network.

Some can argue that by gaining knowledge I become more efficient and I will be able to add more value to the network. But in that case, the gain in knowledge one gets from reading will pay off later when this knowledge will be turned into a concrete contribution. Consider what value remains if the member quits the network after reading, and never contributes to it again?

If I decide to write a summary and share it I provide real value to the network. Someone can read the summary before getting into the book and save time. The summary clearly has value, because it allows others to absorb the same knowledge faster and to turn it into tangible value for the network. Another example would be a literature review on a particular subject. A document synthesis of all the material read represents real value for the network. But if nothing is shared by the member who performed the literature review no contribution can be claimed, because others cannot build on this work. A contribution is something that can be shared, and other can build upon.  

Types of contributions

Continuous

Daily work, regular work, devised in tasks and subtasks, ex. participating in meetings, doing office work, programming, performing experimental work... A continuous contribution is evaluated at a later time with other contributions in the context of a project. [2]

Discrete

Usually a tangible contribution, something that can be easily recognized by others, ex. someone contributed with a new technology, someone invests cash money, someone shares an equipment. A discrete contribution can be evaluated at the time it is made.  

Tangible

Intangible

D

P

Project

Definition has been moved on the wiki, if you want to make updates go there.

A container or context for a set of activities that produce a family of SENSORICA products.  For example, the Mosquito Sensor project is the context for producing Mosquito Sensors, including all versions of product and product designs, documents, experiments, member contributions, processes that create Mosquito Sensors, etc.  In other words, the project potentially contains everything that ever happened related to Mosquito Sensors.

In a traditional company, Project would be something like Product Line.

Projects may have different relationships with each other.  For example, one project might create components for another project; for example, the Mosquito Sensor and Joint-Type Transducer projects create components for the Mosquito Scientific Instrument System project.  Those relationships are formed when process designs call for outputs from one process in one project to be used as inputs to another process in a related project.

R

Reputation system

See the Reputation system document.

Revenue

Any form of value that might come back to contributing members in a value producing enterprise. We are used to think in terms of financial contributions, but in the context of value networks we don’t limit ourselves to this only. Revenue can come in the form of recognition (a form of social capital), increase reputation, tangible value like something to eat for example, etc.  

Role system

See the Role system document

S

Shareables

Is a pool of tangible assets that are shared among members of a group. Sharebles are distinct from commons. The difference between a pool of sherables and a commons is that the commons cannot be depleted or destroyed. Sherables may require maintenance. Items of a commons do not require maintenance.

Ex. the whole of scientific knowledge is a commons. A shared working space with tools is a pool of sherables.

Using things from the pool of shareables, doesn't incur use-costs for members of the value network, or rent, but the use of some things must be sanctioned and/or rationed by the community. The commons must NOT be monetized. It is about shared value. Active members should NOT compete for the use of shareables in order to co-produce more value. The focus should be on the preservation of shareables, rather than on its consumption/depletion.  

V

Value

see the What is value? document

Value system

see the Value System document

Value accounting system

see the Value accounting system in the Value system document.


[1] [Tibi 02 Sept 2012] I think we need to make the distinction between shareables and commons. The tragedy of the commons was in fact a tragedy of shareables. Shareables is a pool of shared tangible assets, which can be depleted and/or destroyed if not well managed. Commons, in its modern sense, is more about assets that cannot be destroyed: software, knowledge, etc. The scientific knowledge shared across the planet is a commons. It can only grow. Using knowledge from this pool will not diminish the pool. The commons is also generative, in the sense that using it can increase it. Items of a pool of shareables require maintenance. Items of a commons usually do not require maintenance.

[2] Presently, this type of contributions are logged in Google Spreadsheets using their associated Forms.

[3] One proposition (see Kurt, Bob and Tibi) is to estimate ONLY the use value of a material contribution. See discussion.