OpenCoop Work Areas Plan

Introduction

OpenCoop Work Areas is a space where all participants of the FairCoop ecosystem may collaborate and build an organized work flow in a decentralized and efficient way. In addition, it includes a method of logging that work which is divided in tasks among people with the required skills, while distributing a certain value to everyone which contributed. This overall plan is mainly the outcome of the OpenCoop Work Summercamp 2017, where lot of people from around the world, involved in FairCoop’s ecosystem in various ways, gathered and worked on setting this up and kickstarting the new form of selforganizing the open collaborative work for the glocal FairCoop activities.

Goals

– Enhance and develop FairCoop’s ecosystem at greater level of participation and collaboration between people involved.
– Maintain a fully decentralized and transparent way, yet efficient and collective manner, to join FairCoop’s work tasks.
– Distribute value created inside the ecosystem to its participants by accounting their contribution in a fair and non-bureucratic way.

OpenCoop Work Areas*

The work space is divided in 5 main Areas
  • Welcome Area
  • Media & Communication
  • Circular Economy
  • Commons Management
  • Technology Development
Each of these Areas has the autonomy to organize further and choose the more suitable tools and schemes to become productive. However a certain level of coordination and coherence  must be met, as many FairCoop participants may collaborate in more than one Area or even in all of them. For instance, all Areas should still use Telegram groups as one of FairCoop’s main communication chat tool, used widely in the whole ecosystem (until we might decide collectively to move to another chat system). Furthermore, these areas may as well divide into Subareas, according to the specific work and tasks each one has to deal with.
However, we must keep in mind, that these Areas do not substitute, in any manner, the importance and function of the existing FairCoop’s groups that are previously there. There might be cases where e.g. a specific assembly of one group might decide to integrate inside an Area, but still the meaning of the group remains. Each FairCoop’s group must serve as an open and democratic space where everyone is able to participate equally to its decision process, while may cooperate freely with other people that share the same group’s interest.
Moreover, there might be cases where an existing FairCoop’s group doesn’t relate to any Area specifically, rather than serve a more wide goal. e.g. FairCoin Economy Strategy group.

Sub-Areas

A subarea should be characterized by having its own autonomous activity, organized by a separate assembly, while still being part of the common activities of the area to which it belongs.
A subarea then has to cover certain minimums related to its link with an area:
– Proposals of fixed income needs the consensus of the area
– Tools used for project management need to have consensus of the area, as also in the case where sub-spaces should be created inside these tools
– People involved in a subarea should be actively involved in the discussion of the area too.
A subarea which does proper and transparent assemblies, also has some level of autonomy from the area. Its assembly may:
– Determine the priorities of the subarea and which tasks can be funded.
– Choose its own facilitators and details regarding the methodology of work.
– Create sub-spaces in the management tools

Coordination between Areas

The OpenCoop Work Telegram group is the main integration space for inter-areas communication, sharing work and discuss related topics, as also to organize the accounting and the value distribution needed to each Area every month. No regular meetings have been decided so far, but on-line assemblies may be held whenever the group finds it necessary, for coordination or accounting purposes.
Each Area has also decided to have a Backlog for logging and prioritizing its tasks, that may be used by any participants of the OpenCoop Work space. That feature is very useful for the Area’s plan to consider its next steps, but also constitute a common ground where participants from different Areas may log preferred tasks to be done.

Area Facilitators

It is a role incorporated in each Area and its main purpose is to facilitate the work and the people involved, in a way that the whole Area’s activities are fluent and smoothly accomplished. This is not a role that creates any kind of superiority over other participants, but a role which comes with the responsibility of having an overview of the Area’s work and people involved in each task, while providing any assistance needed to progress.
The assignation of this role of a Facilitator to a specific participant  is proposed by the Area’s assembly and then decided by FairCoop’s General Assembly. Other aspects around it, like its duration or possible evaluation, may be proposed as well, depending on each Area’s needs. Such a role is only valid inside its specifically assigned Area and doesn’t have any other kind of responsibility or right to act as such outside that. The need to keep this OpenCoop Work Areas space clear of any hierarchical structure is essential. Moreover, only the assembly of the Area may take decisions that affect its organization and work plan, while the Facilitator should encourage the realization of any collective decision.

Value Distribution

This is a plan to distribute a certain common budget among participants of the OpenCoop Work space, in a fair and transparent manner, while avoiding centralized or bureaucratic processes. Accounting for all these tasks and sharing of the budget will be performed through the Open Collaborative Platform (O.C.P.) which FairCoop has intensively used during the past year, e.g. in FreedomCoop, while seeking its further development and enhancement. A tool like that may well provide us all the necessary transparency and decentralization, at all steps of the process, while providing valuable reports to easily track and arrange FairCoop’s budget and participant’s effort.
The steps that are generally proposed to fulfill this plan and account for the work done, are the following:
  1. An assembly of the Area designs and publishes which are the tasks that are eligible for people to work on.
  1. Anyone may choose a task related to its skills and perform the required work needed, no matter the Area that is involved.
  1. Task completion is checked and validated by any two participants which are involved in that specific Area. Time spent and quality of the work needs to be verified in order for the work to be considered in the value distribution.
  1. Tasks that are validated must be logged in O.C.P, under the corresponding Area’s project, in a way that show the necessary details (short description, hours of work, participants involved etc) and are transparent to every member of the platform.
  1. A monthly assessment of the tasks done and validated, performed in the OpenCoop Work group, will trigger the corresponding payment to the people involved.
No other payment, regarding FairCoop’s common budget will be valid from now on if it doesn’t comply with the above procedure. In that sense, anyone that has been receiving any kind of salary or wage so far, needs to participate in the task’s management of the Area involved and log its work accordingly. No need to say that each participant of this value distribution process needs to have an OCP account prior to receive any payment.
The suggested wage per hour of work may range between 5 to 10 €, as may depend on the amount of total work hours accounted or in the type of the work provided. Furthermore, the total amount of monthly income per participant should not exceed 1.200€ at any case. Also, for participants that would like to collaborate on such paid work, but haven’t contribute to the ecosystem so far, it is advised to propose at least five hours of voluntary work first before fully integrate to this value distribution plan.
In addition, the role of a Facilitator and their monthly fixed wage are proposed  by each area‘s assembly and may vary, as also change in time.

Donations

Donations to an area should not be a reason for an individual or an area to receive more money than the rest of areas and participants. On the contrary, donations could be a reason for more tasks being done or everyone been paid better for each hour of work.
If donations could be aimed at a specific task that motivates this action (for example someone could donate for a specific wallet developed), this could make the task have greater priority, over others decided by the area’s assembly, without changing the way value is distributed. So, for this reason we decided to have a certain methodology to deal with donations, as described below.
– Each area’s OCP Faircoin address is made public to receive donations in Faircoin. This way it would be easier to identify the task that relates to each donation.
– The person who donates can link the donation to a specific tasks that wants to support, influencing the priority that this task have. Nevertheless, still the priority of each task remains at the area’s assembly to decide, which can take in account or not that donation in terms of prioritizing the tasks. So, this means that if  the donation is linked to a specific task, we should wait until the area’s assembly decides to execute it.
– Every donation is re-directed to the Open Coop Work (OCW) space, in order to increase the amount available for task management and the value distribution for the whole OCW, thus affecting the payment by hour of work that every participant could receive.
– Donations received by a certain area are accounted there and, while not change its value distribution, they give a reference of the support that an area is receiving.
Of course, if someone still wants to donate to a specific person, we have nothing to say, but this should happen outside of the area and the OCW task management system. This could be done in a p2p manner, in personal, for not creating confusion and inequality on the overall process.

Conclusion

The above overall plan is considered as a breakthrough, in terms of organizing FairCoop’s work on a more stable basis, which will provide free and willing collaborations, empower commitment and sharing of a common budget. It is a plan that will provide a significant boost to the ecosystem, especially now that our common value is raising consistently and we need to take advantage of that by expanding to a whole new dimension. The challenge is out there for all of us to grasp and participate even more actively now to this amazing journey that’s being going on for 3 years now, full of achievements and success.