The Open Governance Body: Revolutionizing Governance with Grassroots Tech

In our ever-evolving digital world, governance is often left behind, struggling to catch up with the pace of technology and social change. Among the myriad of attempts to tackle this problem, there’s one that stands out for its innovative and participatory approach: the Open Governance Body (#OGB). This grassroots, federated project is more than just another tech experiment; it’s a blueprint for the future of human-scale governance.

The Flawed Systems of Old

Let’s face it—governance, as we know it, is far from perfect. Our current systems are either too unwieldy for large-scale implementation or too limited for local contexts. Traditional Free/Open Source (#FOSS) governance models might be native to the tech world, but they’re entrenched in a medieval hierarchy, reminiscent of kings, nobles, and peasants. Who needs feudalism in the digital age?

#Mainstreaming politics, with its frequent ineffectuality in the face of #climatechaos, also demonstrates that we desperately need something that works—something innovatively rooted yet freely scalable.

Grassroots Activism Meets the Fediverse

Enter the #OGB, a robust fusion of proven federated technology and grassroots governance. It’s the brainchild of a diverse group of independent thinkers who understand that, progressive social change has always sprung from the bottom up. They’ve taken the federated solution framework of #ActivityPub (think decentralized social networks) and meshed it with organic activist governance.

This blend gave birth to a surprisingly simple yet powerful platform based on sortation, where roles and responsibilities are distributed fairly, fostering efficient decision-making.

A Tale of European Success

The potential of #OGB is more than just theoretical talk—it’s been field-tested with promising results. Our band of “libertarian cats” successfully outreached to the European Union, showcasing the versatility of ActivityPub and the #fediverse. Presentations and collaborations with EU bureaucrats catalysed the setup of project outline, a prescient move that looked like wisdom personified post-Twitter’s dramatic downturn.

Market Dynamics—A Hypothetical Utopia

Think of a bustling local street market—a microcosm of society with stallholders, shoppers, and various stakeholders like organizers, trash collectors, and local law enforcement. The #OGB can empower such a community to self-govern in harmony, thereby bypassing cumbersome bureaucracy.

It’s a permissionless rollout—meaning, creating a governance community is as easy as setting up an instance, generating a QR code, and inviting market participants to jump on board with a simple app installation. From there, a sortation algorithm orchestrates the decision-making process, naturally enticing more stakeholders to participate.

From Small Markets to Society at Large

This isn’t just about one market. The beauty of #OGB is its inherent scalability and adaptability. Just as the #fediverse has grown organically over the years, OGB can proliferate from one market to others, weaving a tapestry of self-governance that could very well encompass various societal facets.

“We know the grassroots process of organizing works. We’ve seen the federated model scale times over. Combine them, and we have a DIY governance culture that could revolutionize society.”

A History of Activism, A Future of Change

The Open Governance Body is not just a project; it is the culmination of centuries of activism and social organizing techniques, proven time and again. Combined with the remarkable technological advancements of the fediverse, OGB embodies a modern solution rooted in historical success. It’s a rallying cry for those seeking to instill real, lasting change in the world through cooperative, human-centric means.

The future of governance looks brighter with initiatives like OGB. Unlike the faltering structures of old, this endeavor promises to usher in an era where technology enables democracy and human connection, not control and division. It’s time to embrace the open governance body, roll up our sleeves, and be a part of the grassroots revolution.

Remember, progress doesn’t ask for permission—it is an open invitation to innovate, participate and effectuate change. Join the OGB movement, and let’s co-create a governance model that befits our times and aspirations.

Outreach:

1. Have you heard about #OGB? It’s breaking boundaries in web governance through grassroots activism & federated tech! Get ready to govern your own communities with human-scale solutions that actually work.
2. Exciting news: The federation of #ActivityPub proves we can scale horizontally and spark real change! Combined with grassroots governance, we’re onto a new chapter of progressive social shifts. Let’s build this together!
3. Picture this: A street market governed organically by its community via #OGB. Stallholders, customers, and local services all have a say. Ready to revolutionize the way we collaborate and manage shared spaces?
4. Do you want an active role in shaping your community? With #OGB permissionless roll-outs, anyone can start making impactful decisions. Let’s grow this movement, producers by producer group, instance by instance!
5. Imagine a system where your voice directly influences your surroundings. #OGB is blending hundreds of years of activist governance with the scalable power of the #fediverse. Let’s make self-governance the norm!
6. We’re planting seeds for a #DIY grassroots culture to flourish across society with #OGB. No permission needed, just the desire for change and collaboration. Who’s ready to be part of this empowering journey?

Cambridge Analytica, 5 years on

I think we face the usual problem of working on and implementing policy for yesterday’s issues.

* We are coming out of ten years of Blockchain mess

* Now we are into #AI mess, the is no intelligence in the current round, only artificial writing.

Let’s look at what actually matters

The original openweb had #4opens in this context #opendata is the issue we are talking about.

We then had 20 years of the #dotcons with #closeddata. Which you have talked about.

Coming out of this, we have an active openweb reboot happing with federation and opendata.

For example with #Mastodon, the #Fediverse, #bluesky and #Nosta which have grown from half a million to 10 to 15 million users over the last year. #WordPress building #ActivityPub support for a quarter of the internet and #Failbook‘s #threads.

You are seeing a different world back to #opendata, if you run a mastodon instance you will have a large part of the content of the Fediverse sitting in your database in plan text….

Take this into account with policy and regulation please

The mess we make of the #openweb

Our #mainstreaming problem – if you are wondering why I am documenting the devouring of this #ActivityPub #openweb reboot, it is because next time we can maybe try and mediate our “libertarian cats” for a better outcome. We cannot keep fucking up like this #XR

A project for this:

I have been through this mess more than 5 times in my 20 years working on #openweb use and outreach. So voice of expirence, we have to stop fucking up like we keep doing, at the very least fuckup differently please.

Mess.

#ActivityPub is an accidental reboot of the #openweb

#ActivityPub is an accidental reboot of the #openweb. It came into existence because the #dotcons (#mainstreaming platforms) attended a #wc3 meeting but did not find anything useful for themselves. As a result, they left the “weirdos” to build an approach based on the #4opens principles. The “weirdos” managed to keep things together long enough to develop the #activertypub standard and release it to the world. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards the normal “libertarian cats” path,  and this #openweb reboot is being consumed. While this outcome may not be what many desired, there are efforts to build real alternatives and shift away from #mainstreaming. The focus is on composting the mainstreaming approach rather than reforming it.

This is interesting because it provides insights into the dynamics and challenges of the #openweb movement. It highlights the tension between #mainstreaming platforms and grassroots efforts, showcasing the passion and dedication of communities working towards an open and decentralized web. The accidental nature of the #ActivityPub reboot adds an element of serendipity to the story, emphasizing the power of #DIY culture and the resource constraints faced by #openweb technologies. The recent shift towards a “libertarian cats” path and the potential consumption of the #openweb reboot raise important questions about the future of alternative platforms and the need for continued resistance against #mainstreaming.

 

A project outline for the OGB

Project description

The Open Governance Body (#OGB) project is a set of software tools that encode a governance model structured on traditional grassroots activism.
Further, the OGB – for which the code base is named – is a decentralized and democratic system for “governance” of any collective/community consisting of (generally speaking) #1 – Producers and #2 -Consumers.

The #Fediverse is used as the example herein.

To explore and develop better ways of having trust-based conversations and governance within the #openweb. To utilize comprehensive experience gained through greater than 5 years active, “on-the-ground” organization of instances within the #Fediverse as a technological toolkit for horizontal scaling of social
power.

The #OGB is a #Fediverse native process of working that emphasizes voluntary cooperation and collaboration with a standard #KISS approach.
The #OGB prioritizes focus on sortition and “messy consensus” in order to achieve decision-making and equitable power distribution.

The project is not about creating a single organization that dictates what protocols and standards to use within the #Fediverse. #OGB is about developing better processes for healthy, trust-based conversations and forging governance
accessible and equitable to all

Project results

Developing/creating a framework to demonstrate improved ways for “trust” based dialogue/conversation and “trust” based governance within the #openweb.
Building a true cooperative, a collaborative alliance that is native to the #Fediverse and #openweb.

Emphasizing the importance of recognizing where power originates in the context of the #Fediverse and #openweb.

Developing/creating improved technological tools as a solution to problems arising through social organization enabling problem-solving in a native #openweb manner.

Removing current hard coded defaults by providing an alternative standardized set of #KISS framework tools to empower active body members a space to utilise said tools deeply and to begin proficient instruction of their use.

Developing/creating a permission-less structure that is open to and for all. One which enables the active group through organic process, a framework of tools to decide who is a part of their group/groups.

Emphasizing that there is no exclusion and that there will always be diversity, making it an organic piece for the #Fediverse.

Building governance where the “way”, “rules”, “norms” and “actions” are structured, sustained, regulated, and held with accountability

Benefits to the Community

There are challenges and conflicts that arise within grassroots organisation or #DIY governance. In developing/creating a #KISS standard such as the #OGB framework to address said problems, we will enable a more true democratic and equitable process that benefits any and all involved.

Through empowering a more diverse scope of voices, decision-making is made more collectively. These tools utilize a greater range of voice, preventing polarization from smaller groups using perhaps limited perspectives and or values.

Additionally, through a strong ethical foundation, decision-making is ensured a more progressive development. With a focus on the primary needs of the community as a whole, rather than individuals or polarized groups.

As a social coding project, the #OGB is neither a traditional top down distribution of power or project derived of a normal #mainstreaming agenda. Rather, it is a bottom-up grassroots empowerment for sharing of knowledge and power. An example of what is found in many of the 20th century social movements,
movements responsible for the birth of what is said to be today’s best current progressive mainstream.

Through the #OGB project the “we” will facilitate the forming, communication and governance.

Timeline and important milestones

Upon securing foundation funding, negotiations for immediate ICT services will begin with respected clients for future partnership to cement project longevity and sustainability.
As described above within the KPI outline, the progression of timelines is a basic and #KISS standard
project operation where in all tasks/tiers are realistically achievable to ensure project success.
The following is an initial outline – it can be extended when possible:
9 months to Alpha testing with #Fediverse
12 months to Beta testing with #Fediverse
12 months to Beta testing with offline communities
24 months to public launch

Key Performance Indicators

Tier 1 – Source code development from base developers and progressive training through the scaling of
outreach servers through the use of MOOC LMS training platforms.
Beginner – Test Community… Local Distribution – Flea Market,Sunday Market – APP Progressive Code
9 months to Alpha testing within Fediverse
12 months to Beta testing within Fediverse
Tier 2 – Test Community… #Fediverse – Web Code
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Intermediate – Test Community… Local Distribution – Boating Community,Hiking Community – APP
Progressive Code
Tier 3 – Progressive Web App
12 months to Beta testing with offline communities
24 months to public launch
Tier 4 – The below distributions are escalations through our developed outreach scheme.
Advanced – Test Community… Local Distribution – Schools/classrooms

Project publicity

Utilizing the recent promotion of approximately 10 million people encompassing 1 million active Twitter migration users to #Mastodon to further bring awareness.

The continuance of our work within #SocialHub will continue to build on the origins of #OGB Promoting publicity through the building “governance” through #ActivityPub

Why you

We would like to reboot the #openweb and the way we communicate, interact and govern as a whole.
We know what works socially… grassroots movements
We know what works technologically… #Fediverse
We are the people developing the symbiosis for all to utilise for our futures

Activities that will benefit

FOSS and open-source frameworks are facing a continual social challenge of balancing their grassroots paradigm within corporate parameters. #OGB aims to develop/create a set of tools to encourage and aide balance.

The efforts of the #Fediverse community have been successful in shifting the EU closer through our outreach to promoting a more humane internet. #Mastodon and technologies like #ActivityPub have become important players in the EU’s initiatives for a more inclusive and equitable online environment.
The huge growth of Mastodon, one of the most popular social networking platforms in the #Fediverse, due to the #Twitter migration attracted a large and diverse, vibrant community of users from across the EU and
the world. This growth helped to validate the importance of decentralized internet and its potential to shape a more humane world by relieving the community of hosting burdens so we can focus on collective
governance and the formation of a collective governing body for decentralized efforts

What is #SocialHub

#SocialHub is an online platform that serves as a forum for discussions and collaboration related to the development and implementation of #ActivityPub decentralized social networking protocols and technologies. The platform is focused on the Fediverse, a network of decentralized social media platforms that use the ActivityPub protocol to communicate with each other.

#SocialHub provides a space for developers, activists, and other stakeholders to share ideas, discuss technical issues, and collaborate on the development of decentralized social networking technologies. The platform is open to anyone who is interested in contributing to the development of decentralized social networking technologies and protocols. It is a community-driven project that is based on the principles of openness, collaboration, and decentralization.

Greater cooperation and collaboration between the different communities involved in developing #openweb protocols

The state of various #openweb protocols, such as #Bluesky, #Nostr, and #ActivityPub, and the challenges they face in terms of interoperability and communication between their different communities. I am advocating for a grassroots #DIY culture that focuses on building bridges between these protocols, rather than contributing to the “messiness” of the ongoing discussions.

All of these protocols are #4opens and #openweb native, which is a positive development, but their different cultures create difficulties in communication.

The UX (user experience) of these protocols is less of an issue now than it has been in the past, and that the #Fediverse is doing well in this regard. We will need new work on moderation thinking in anticipation of the “data soup” that is coming, with potential for information overload and the need for effective moderation strategies.

A bridge to #Nostr already exists (#Mostr), we need efforts to be made to create similar bridges for other protocols, such as #Bluesky.

Greater cooperation and collaboration between the different communities involved in developing #openweb protocols, in order to create a more cohesive and effective ecosystem.

It is important for developers and marketers to be transparent about their values and business models

The #Fediverse is a collection of decentralized social networking platforms that use #ActivityPub, allowing people to communicate and share content across different networks. These platforms are designed to be community-driven and to prioritize native #openweb culture, which is inherently unfriendly to capitalism.

In contrast, many new non #Fediverse protocols are being developed and marketed today focus on interoperability and working within the framework of capitalism. This means that they are designed to integrate with existing capitalist systems and structures, such as advertising and monetization.

These new protocols need to say more about their alignment with capitalism, it is important for developers and marketers to be transparent about their values and business models so that users can make informed decisions about the technologies they use.

We need to make a clear step away from the #dotcons that have wasted our society for the last 20 years.

When a group of people come in to the #Fediverse with an imperialistic agenda and hide this agenda, we end up with lots more mess and a bad smell at best or real damage to our commoners at worst. It’s important that we catch his early and try and mediate for a less stinky and damaging outcome.

They are often trying to help, let’s try and work with them if we can. But please PUSH back hard if we can’t, keep it polite #FULFFY is best.

An example https://socialhub.activitypub.rocks/t/a-place-to-talk-about-spreadmastodon-org-and-wider-issues-that-this-brings-up/3130/17

#SSB splintering a “commons”

Another link that is pure #geekproblem but interesting for #OMN in that #SSB is splintering https://www.manyver.se/blog/2023-04-05

@rabble is involved in another splinter #nosta

How protocols die… #SSB was a protocol that they all reallyed round, a “commons”, we now have 3 “commons” on the table. The rabble one which has hidden #VC money behind it, then this individualist one https://www.manyver.se/blog/2023-04-05 which will maybe rally the grassroots, and the original #SSB which might or might not carry on.

We don’t have a cross culture “common” any more. A clean separation of the #mainstreaming and the #grassroots. To make this relevant, the same is likely going to happen to #ActivertyPub when the #W3C “formal consensuses” is captured by the #dotcons

The enclosure of commons is always a bad path. And yes not saying #SSB was a good protocol it was not, it came from the encryptionsists, but it was a rare “commons”.

#AP is a good/bad protocol, we don’t need to do the same path. Thus, the message to #socialhub, 95% chance they will ignore it or more likely see it as weakness and attack harder, cats…

“The is currently an undeclared battle going on between the rebooted #WC3 and the grassroots (#fashernista dominated) #socialhub for power. If the libertarian cats can’t herd themselves to do something useful, like we managed with the #EU outreach – currently they cannot do this, have a feeling socialhub will lose.

Not a big problem, but a dangerous outcome for #ActivityPub as #WC3 is formal consensus which is easy to capture and control for the #dotcons – where socialhub libertarian cats have failed messy consensuses so less open to capture.

But from my view the libertarian cats are being prats as cats are… so WC3 is stepping back in to CONTROL… how to herd cats – should I try? Or keep focus on #OMN codeing is a question am asking my self?

@xxx @xxx@xxx, have tried building bridges, but no foundation stones laid on this building work. Honest question are we helping or hindering in this grassroots space?”

There is a small chance they act, we did herd cats on #socialhub for the #EU outreach. This is why I bring it up, though, think people can only see the power politics and not what am saying when doing this. Agen 5% chance of a good outcome…

Maybe this helps to make the “mess” metaphor clearer. For the #geekproblem they likely have no idea about the damage they do. Because in their terms they are mostly right. Step back to look at the wider picture, and it’s obviously adding to the mess to be composed.

The #geekproblem

Storeys of our tech http://hamishcampbell.com/2023/04/05/ssb-splintering-a-commons/ a post that give background on #SSB and its splintering as an example.

Why this matters, the #openweb is the most powerful tool for change/challenge. The mess we are in The moral depravity of virtue signalling solidarity at this time of mass murder – Roger Hallam The moral depravity of virtue signalling solidarity at this time of mass murder

 

A native path out of the mess people make on the #openweb

The Open Governance Body (#OGB) describes a permissionless process/structure that is open and allows the group that forms using the tools to decide who is a part of the group or not. This process can divide into a web of connecting instances of governance as a natural human process of group formation. The #OGB emphasizes that there is no exclusion and always diversity, making it a natural fit for the #fediverse.

The #OGB also shows that if people are stupid and focused on individualism, each governance instance will have one member and no power. To gain power, people have to work together, which is built into the code. The #OGB emphasizes that hoarding power is limited, and it flows through the community, energizing and solidifying the community and building horizontal power to challenge/change vertical power.

The #OGB focus is on the importance of keeping things simple (#KISS) and that some people will try to push for existing power structures before democracy. However, as the process is permissionless, it is not possible to stop them from doing this. The #OGB emphasizes the need to do better, and that being native to the #fediverse is a big help in this regard.

The #OGB emphasizes the importance of recognizing where power comes from in the context of the #fediverse. The fediverse operates differently from corporations, governments, courts, and police, and it is important to think and build with this difference rather than trying to drag the fediverse back to the #mainstreaming path.

The #OGB builds from the #fediverse works because it is different, and it is easy to forget this important thing when #mainstreaming agendas grab and hold. The #OGB suggests that the missing question in almost all conversations is “who are we empowering,” and emphasizes the need to do better in alt-tech.

The #OGB notes that there are problems in alt-tech and suggests that starting with the #4opens would remove 90% of the mess, revealing the real potential for good outcomes. The #OGB highlights that doing better in alt-tech would involve using shovels to make compost and planting seeds of the world we want to see.

The #OGB describes the process scaffolding for the governance body as a default effect, where the decisions on how things work will be up to the members of the body. The power of the governance body is only the power of default, and the #OGB is about removing all hard default choices and building in a small number of KISS tools, then letting the body members work out themselves how to use them.

The #OGB uses the example of #Couchsurfing, where the website redesign removed the #DIY tools active Couchsurfers had used to self-organize, leading to disappointment among members. The #OGB argues that letting members make their own process, open vs. closed, is necessary to overcome the #geekproblem and have hope for alt-tech.

The #OGB builds governance with the way, rules, norms, and actions are structured, sustained, regulated, and held accountable. this is to mediate that the #Fediverse currently has a “herding cats” governance, denoting a futile attempt to control or organize a class of entities that are inherently uncontrollable.

The #OGB codebase is not just a tool for the #Fediverse, but it can be used to democratically run any structures that have stakeholders.

The #OGB provides an example of how the codebase can be used to run a local street market, with each stallholder as a stakeholder, people who shop at the market as users, and the local council, events company, and shop owner’s association as affiliate groups. The #OGB approach and codebase will scale sideways, with street markets governed city-wide, and each of the markets becoming a stakeholder, users as users, and city-wide orgs and groups as affiliate groups.

The #OGB shaping of the “body” comes from a long history/experience of horizontal activism, where “those who do the work have more say.” noisebridge.net/wiki/Do-ocracy

The #OGB pushes that the bulk of the voice comes from those who run the #Fediverse, the people who run/support the instances. The people who build the tools also get a say, as do support orgs and events, and the users who will be spread widely get a say, but their power is diluted by the much larger numbers involved.

This working practice comes from 30 years of building from The Tyranny of Structureless tick box list https://unite.openworlds.info/Open-Media-Network/openwebgovernancebody/wiki/03.-The-Tyranny-of-Stucturelessness That code being quite “anti-human” is an interesting challenge, and it’s important to figure out how to get the humane “mess” in a coding process that is based on being “exact” and in control #OGB

The #OGB project is grounded in lived experience, and it’s a way out of this mess. We cannot keep using traditional institutions. We have to stop the #techcurn if we are going to use #openweb tech for social/ecological change/challenge, and we need to think about this now.

The #OGB project is about developing better ways of having “trust” based conversations and “trust” based “governance” in the #openweb. The project is built from hundreds of years of on the ground organizing that has shaped every “freedom” we enjoy and is done in a #KISS approach. The #OGB is a #fedivers native way of working, NOT a #mainstreaming way, and it comes from directly working, setting up, and solving recurring problems at hundreds of direct action protest camps.

The #OGB focus on what we know works, as at the moment, almost nothing works for social good. The #OGB project is what is needed, a voluntary cooperative and collaborative alliance that is native to the #fediverse.

The thinking is that we need to put a stop to the #techchurn as we have piles of #techshit already to compost, that #nothingnew is a hashtag for this.

It’s not the goal of the #OGB project to create an organization that tells everyone what protocols and standards to use in the #fediverse. The #OGB project is about developing better ways of having good “trust” based conversations and “trust” based “governance” in the #openweb

To sum up, the current working models of “governance” in open-source projects are monarchy, aristocracy and oligarchy. This is the rock star developer, the coders and the funders. It should be obverse to anyone that 99.99% of people are missing from this feudalistic ideal of “governance”.

Democracy is the basic foundation of our shared modernity.

WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH THIS MESS IN TECH?

Let’s take a different path, please #OGB

Q. that is an optimistic projection

A. I have no illusion that the normal shitty behaver of fucking people over and being a prat will happen, but the codebase is designed to mediate this crap behaver for better outcomes 🙂

#OGB “permissionless” is an important word that needs some thought. The body is made up of three different, balanced groups: stakeholders, users, and affiliate stakeholders. Anybody can become a stakeholder by setting up and running an active instance, and users are self-explanatory. That affiliate stakeholders are a little more complex and are treated differently, and it’s up to the body itself to decide if they play an active and useful role.

That nothing in this is top-down, elitist, discriminatory, or undemocratic, and it’s #KISS and looks safe to the “normal world” while being native to the #fediverse and its roots. All the coding is #4opens, based on #activertypub.

With #OGB, it’s important not to get lost in the #processgeeks and their dogmatic love of #formalconsensus, as that’s a dead end and has been for the 30 years of activism and coding tech. It’s important to keep the #OGB both #KISS and human, understandable. The #OGB is native “governance” and federates in the same way as the projects it “governs”. That this approach is counterintuitive to mainstream ideas and “common sense,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

This approach has worked to some extent, as seen in the “#Fediverse” as a living example, working to scale small to bigger. There will be lots of “smoke,” and help is needed to keep the project clear of this mess. We have to overcome our #stupidindividualism to have a hope of a better world.

#OGB To remind you that the need for “governance” came out of a practical problem where the #activitypub community is made up of “cats” who were doing seminars outreach to powerful #EU Eurocrats on why they should be interested in #activertypub. #OGB is designed to be messy and not tidy, and it’s a “governance” of a disorganization, not a traditional power structure. “governance” can cooperate with more formal models of governance like traditional cooperatives.