[DG-BSC] Agenda for BSC telecon Tuesday, August 30 (shortly -- sorry for the late note!)

Scott L. David sldavid at uw.edu
Tue Aug 30 11:09:44 CDT 2016

Hi folks - This wiki page provides a pretty nice overview of cooperatives.


I am NOT suggesting that we confine ourselves to these historical structures, since they are all institutions configured to address various prior governance/organizational challenges, none of which will perfectly match current challenges in character and scope.

However, exploration of the co-op form (and similar structures developed under various legal and cultural regimes) can provide insight into at least prior forms of "organic" stakeholder-responsive governance that can potentially help to reveal governance techniques that might be borrowed for our current discussions and effort.

I am guessing (projecting) that organizational surveys might suggest that we consider separating the analysis of stakeholder involvement into at least three sub-categories of governance activity, along the lines to which Jeff S. was alluding in the call.

Specifically, we might benefit from separating out stakeholder involvement in the separate activities of 1.  rule making, 2. system operation, and 3. enforcement, as helpful in mitigating the conflict-of-interest/power accumulation/etc. issues that are inherent in the centralized models (and their too-often-tempting-abuses of gatekeeping function).  For example, in 2007 when NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) converted to FINRA  (FInancial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.) they formed separate subsidiaries to separate these three functions for the SRO (self-regulatory organization) responsible for broker dealer activities (at least for purposes of optics!).  For current purposes, the important point is that they chose to separate the rule making, operation and enforcement purposes to at least reduce the appearances of conflict among the decision making in those separate spheres.

Of course, these 3 "system governance" elements are in addition to stakeholder role as system "users," which is not a "governance" role, per se.  However, in co-op and similar forms participation as a "user" is a form of quasi-governance since the use of the system by a stakeholder reveals problems and value propositions that helps the stakeholders to set the agenda for further refinement of the system in the "1. rule making" role of stakeholders alluded to above.

The current global information network organizational structure that we are looking for does not yet have a name, but that novelty should not be discouraging.  ALL forms of human organization (governance, language, belief systems, etc.) are responses to shared challenges, and all of them permit stakeholders  (both institutional or individual) to do things (mitigate risks and enhance rewards) that they cannot do (or cannot do as well) unilaterally.  Many of the shared challenges that are currently faced by individuals are unprecedented, requiring groups such as ours to search the history of human organization for clues as to what might be effective in this context.

One last thought (at least for now!).  Perhaps we shouldn't be looking for a distributed organizational "structure" at all.  Instead, we might consider what organizational "processes" would serve the interests involved, and then allow the organizational structure to reveal itself based on the observation and reification of the patterns that emerge from those processes (as "Lagrangian Coherent Structures" for you fluid mechanics geeks out there).  Our first question might be "What are the sets of processes that MUST be standardized, normalized in order for the value propositions of block chain and/or smart contracts to be effective in mitigating risk and/or leveraging value?"  After we catalog those processes, we might be in a position to assign that catalog a name.

An article "Self Regulation as Policy Process" by Porter and Ronit (2006) suggests that among hundreds of "self-regulatory" organizations, a familiar 5 stage pattern emerges for a governance feed-back loop among stakeholders (agenda setting-problem identification-decision-implementation-review).  The emergence of this similar archetype pattern in myriad disparate settings may be suggesting that there is a natural feedback process through which separate elements of human organization can be joined together to create larger forms in "information" space, where decreased Shannon entropy (in whatever context or domain) is the ultimate test of fitness (based on the primacy of information risk and information leverage in current discussions).

This latter suggestion may be confirmed by considering how many current human institutions and organizations can be accurately described by reference to their information flows and processes, variously constrained by their intended application.  Human organizations that demonstrate their usefulness "achieve" longevity (in fact human stakeholders have endowed governments, and corporations with "perpetual life," by mutual agreement, in an effort to project an external sovereignty toward these organizational forms that are relied upon to create a "solid" foundation of most (not all) human endeavor).  However, all governments and corporations are collective hallucinations of the stakeholders that recognize, and depend upon, their presence.

But I digress. . .

Kind regards,


Scott L. David

Director of Policy

Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

University of Washington - Applied Physics Laboratory

Principal Consulting Analyst

TechVision Research

w- 206-897-1466

m- 206-715-0859

Tw - @ScottLDavid

From: dg-bsc-bounces at kantarainitiative.org <dg-bsc-bounces at kantarainitiative.org> on behalf of Eve Maler <eve.maler at forgerock.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 6:50 AM
To: dg-bsc at kantarainitiative.org
Subject: [DG-BSC] Agenda for BSC telecon Tuesday, August 30 (shortly -- sorry for the late note!)


We meet Tuesdays for 30 minutes at 7:30am PT / 10:30am ET / 3:30pm UK / 4:30pm CET. We use Kantara Line A (US +1-805-309-2350, Skype +99051000000481, international options<https://www.turbobridge.com/international.html>, web interface<https://panel.turbobridge.com/webcall/>, more info<https://www.turbobridge.com/join.html>, code 4022737) and http://join.me/findthomas for screen sharing. See the DG calendar<http://kantarainitiative.org/confluence/display/BSC/Calendar> for our full meeting schedule. Previous meeting minutes are here: July<http://kantarainitiative.org/confluence/display/BSC/2016-07+%28July+2016%29+Meetings>.


  *   Confirm timeline, scope, and approach, or revise in specific
  *   Assign action items for report next steps

Eve Maler
ForgeRock Office of the CTO | VP Innovation & Emerging Technology
Cell +1 425.345.6756 | Skype: xmlgrrl | Twitter: @xmlgrrl
ForgeRock Summits and UnSummits are coming to<http://summits.forgerock.com/> London and Paris!
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