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Hi Helene -- I have just seen your great proposal in the Knights News Challenge. I have been prototyping a platform that does something similar at www.engagingtopics.com (you can see my KNC submission here: http://newschallenge.tumblr.com/post/19480673706/engaging-topics).

The focus of my prototype is similar to you "Common's spaces" and aims to facilitate:
1. information gathering (facts, news, opinion, resources, solutions..)
2. crowd sourcing the best information
3. creating a structured discussion environment that keeps debate focussed and can be easily summarised

The next step in my platform and the strength in your outline is getting the appropriate stake holders involved and help organise groups of people into collective action.

Twitter: @tahpot
Web: www.engagingtopics.com

Frank Verschueren

Dear Helen,

I wish you lots of success.

Warm regards, Frank

Frank Verschueren STW-member

Tom Atlee

Dear Helene,

I haven't been able to fully grasp what this actually is or how and why various players would use it, but I get occasional glimpses, flashes of sunlight through the clouds of my incomprehension. In those momentary glimpses, a number of related ideas and initiatives pop into my mind, which I offer here:

1. Citizen deliberative councils - face to face deliberations among randomly selected citizens ("mini-publics") to draw conclusions about solutions for public issues, especially recommendations for public policy. http://www.realitysandwich.com/empowering_public_wisdom

2. Crowdsourced funding for issue-related action = e.g., http://indiegogo.com

3. IVCS - Interactive Voter Choice System - http://tom-atlee.posterous.com/are-we-changing-the-game-yet

4. Social system pattern languages like http://reliableprosperity.net

5. http://WiserEarth.org = social change individuals, groups and organizations that might want to use (and get involved in designing) the social change space you are designing

6. Deliberapedia - an envisioned online space for "framing issues for deliberation" - a wikipedia for issues - crowdsourcing the articulation of clear argumentation for and against 3-5 top approaches to each issue (details in my forthcoming book; I can send you info on it if you like). http://www.realitysandwich.com/empowered_public_wisdom_rising_grassroots

7. The power of "concerns" as a way to frame what else needs to be addressed. See consensus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making and Dynamic Facilitation http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-wisdomcouncil.html#facilitation

Finally: So much of the problem in social issues is imbalance in social power. http://co-intelligence.org/CIPol_democSocPwrAnal.html What incentives exist for power-holding self-interested stakeholders to get pulled into the issue-addressing ecosystem you are designing?



Thank you so much, dear Tom for your advice and valuable examples of modules or networks to integrate. This comes quite serendipitously at a moment where I was considering the fact that yes indeed, this platform and pull/push mechanism could well serve existing networks such as Wiser Earth... I am honored by your attention, especially knowing how busy you are with your new book. Keep up the good work, while I cross my fingers about the Knight grant and further unfoldings of this project!


Thanks Frank for your support! This is actually where the long conversations on the STW group have lead me to. I really hope this can take off.

Chris, I have posted a comment of your Knight submission. Our projects are complementary. I like the simplicity of your interface. We could collaborate at some point! For the moment I'm concentrating on the pull stakeholder engine and the engagement mechanism which is at the heart of the system and what differentiates it from the existing initiatives. Let's keep in touch.


Tom Atlee, I am thrilled to have you as a member of the advisory team for this project alongside Michel Bauwens, founder and lead researcher at the P2P foundation, and David Price, founder of the Debategraph. I will incorporate a few of your examples in my article to make it more documented. Thanks.

Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

Hello Helene, I like this very much. It articulates with a number of things I've been working with over the years. Here are a few comments

First, thanks to Tom, for keeping IVCS in mind and mentioning it.

Second, I had the thought that it would help the framework if you broke out learning dynamics from power dynamics. I know they're closely connected, but it seems to me that learning, action, and power are all important enough to be separately modeled and also so interdependent that they need to be related.

Third, the relationships between action, learning, and manipulation have been a continuing concern of George Soros. So, there are connections between his long-term thinking and your view here.

Fourth, there are close connections with the fields of organizational learning and KM. Do you know about the Knowledge life Cycle (KLC) framework? It's about learning dynamics at all level of interaction. Here's a link to some frameworks developed at KMCI by some colleagues and I: http://www.kmci.org/media/Intro_to_KMCIs_Frameworks.pdf Here's another to a paper explaining some elements of the framework a bit more: http://www.kmci.org/media/Doing_KM.pdf This book goes into things a lot more deeply: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0750676558/qid%3D1054138077/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr_11_1/102-6734139-9384918 And this blog series translates the KLC framework into problem solving language: http://kmci.org/alllifeisproblemsolving/?s=%22The+Problem+Solving+Pattern+Matters%22

Finally, the IVCS is envisioned as a platform creating a meta-layer that will enable a continuous bottom-up self-organization of voting blocs strengthening democracy by introducing constraints on established interest groups and political parties preventing them from falling prey to the iron law of oligarchy. I've written a lot about that sometimes with IVCS inventor Nancy Bordier and sometimes alone at correntwire.com, FireDoglake.com, DailyKos.com, and ourfuture.org. A link to the conclusion of a recent series of posts on IVCS is here: http://www.correntewire.com/enhancing_democracy_or_strengthening_the_emerging_oligarchy_which_will_it_be the primary IVCS site (a placeholder for the system in development is here:http://www.reinventdemocracy.net/ A new three-part series on the CAS, KM, and IT aspects of IVCS, co-authored with Henk Hadders, will be appearing in the next few days at the blogs listed above.


Dear Joe, than you for your comment.

You are right I need to distinguish the learning dynamic from the power one in the diagram, and the knowledge component is a critical one too.

Actually, there is a learning dynamic at the commons scale expressed in the central loops of my dynamics diagram, emerging from the action/reporting/evaluation/challenge cycle. I need to express the individual learning cycle or discovery journey. Such as what I have represented in an earlier work: http://bit.ly/wDMN4t. The whole document is available here: http://menemania.typepad.com/helene_finidori/2012/02/my-entry.html

Thank you for the documents on KM and learning. There is a whole wealth there from the first reading I made. I will take the time it needs to go through everything thoroughly and see how it complements my own framework. I will keep you posted.

And reading the reinvent democracy description of IVCS, it seems the platform is an ideal place to run the steps that are described. This could constitute a good user case. Let's examine further somewhere along the line how this can work together.

Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

Dear Helene, Thank you for the link to your earlier graphic and document. I really like your graphics very much. They're very suggestive of system dynamics models or mixed models using system dynamics. Thanks also for the link to your We Move presentation. It's beautifully done. I'll look forward to keeping up and collaborating on transformations. Since making my comment I've posted the first two parts of my latest series on IVCS at Correntewire, FireDoglake, DailyKos, and ourfuture.org. Here are the Correntewire links:




Thanks a lot Joe for those two links. Apologies for taking some time to respond.

Our pull platform is a human political CAS indeed.

It seems these conceptual foundations and requirements have been written for our Pull Platform. I take it as such and thank you for this timely contribution as we will be designing a concept and prototype for our platform.

I am looking forward to keeping in touch and collaborating with you in the process. I will reach out in the coming days.

Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

Thanks Helene, I'll look forward to it!


I'm so glad I'm a part of this beautiful humanity. Thanx Helene :)


Oh, I almost forgot, silly me :} I hope U accept propositions and ideas for Ur great app.

Don't know about others, but I'd like to see this kind of search of knowledge base:
Silly example used, but I'd like U to apply it on social uses databases and projects. Notice mutability of left-side tree reference. It can be reordered by "use" first, then by "scape type" instead of current setup. This way each record can be indexed by several categories, according to current search of database. I also wish to host our projects on Ur future app, so I am gladly looking towards future, whatever approach U choose.

Tx for Ur patience.


Hi Ivan, I'm glad you like it :). I need to get this project moving! I am yet to understand your idea, how it works and where it fits (as I am not a geek, I may be a bit slow, so your patience is required too!). Let's keep in touch. It seems we are connecting on another platform as well.


Maybe a wrong place to post such technical stuff, hope to not to polluting area. But what a heck, maybe U'r colleagues could find this tech stuff inspirative.

Tech stuff:
I propose for resources, at least, not to have them branched by plain folders uniformly. I propose each resource to have possibility to fit in several folders parallely, so users when searching for the right stuff can make query such is:
I need a book that belongs to "Genre: Adventure" and "Language: Indian"
To have this kind of folders, they have to be categorized like category "Genre" can have folders "Adventure", "Kids", ... Even with this kind of organization, even mutable eye candy trees could be built, so U can compete with i.e. Google Drive classic folder view.

More tech stuff:
The best part is that each folder can have its own specific set of categories, so users aren't tied up to initial category set. A little bit more complicated than classic uniform tree of folders approach, but more searchable to users. I have updated original image from previous post to make it more readable, but basically it contains the same stuff as original one.

I hope not to wasting U'r time, but it's an idea, right. "There is no such a thing as a stupid question", someone once said. At least when we are not in hurry.

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