Karrot organisational structure, Community Supported Software?

We’ve started having some discussions about how to structure the Karrot project. This thread could be a place to share various thoughts/perspectives/ideas as we go through this process.

I’ll write some initial thoughts here off the top of my head, and let’s see where we go. I imagine the process has a fuzzy bit at the start, and gets clearer as we progress.

I like to think from needs-perspectives a lot, and here I could imagine 3 categories:

  • needs of the contributors
  • needs of the groups/users
  • needs of the software and/or project itself (not quite 100% sure about this category yet…)

My needs are changing, basically, my current and future life has more need for money than my old life. I did some separate work to get some money, but would prefer to work on Karrot if possible, and am actively planning my financial flows for personal stability.

I would like to hear more from other contributors about their needs :slight_smile:

The needs of users and groups is the core of what we are actually doing here. I love our work we’ve done so far on community design processes, and the work in the #karrot:feedback-ideas category.

I love the approach to seek out needs within existing and potential communities, and work out which of those needs it makes sense to support (balancing with all the other needs).

The needs of the software and/or project is quite interesting. The software needs to be kept in good health, which means receiving updates, bug fixes, security fixes, hosting, backups, keeping up with changes to external interfaces, being developer-friendly, creating/maintaining ecosystem connections, staying relevant with wider social-technical changes…

… and the project itself needs to keep a certain kind of energy alive (the weekly meetings have been great for that). We also need to stay relevant, have a certain identity, etc…

The paradigm that we’ve started discussing is CSX (from Gemeinschaftsgetragenes Wirtschaften – Aus Produzierenden und Konsumierenden wird eine Prosument*innengemeinschaft), which takes the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model and replaces the A (Agriculture) with Everything Else (X).

One aspect of this idea is to break down the consumer/producer divide and support the emergence of prosumers who actively co-create the product. This fits a lot with how we’ve been working with the community design process (e.g. Breaking the Silo - 1. Defining the Challenge - #3 by nicksellen - see “consumer culture vs participatory culture” image). Seems great!

We didn’t discuss it so much yet, but another aspect is a legal entity, which at some point might become something that is useful. I see legal entities for situations like ours kind of like a “legal double”, where the organisation exists under it’s own terms, but also maintains a legal entity, which may not encompass the whole essence of the organisation. Ideally legally entities would be able to encompass everything about the org structure though, so would need some exploring. As a sort of multi-country, multi-language, kind of federated, non-hierarchical project/network/thing though that could get complicated!

How I have been operating for a while is as if my dream economy existed, where you simply do work you think is useful, and the magic of the gift economy will provide for you in return, without doing direct transactional exchanges. It used to work more like that in yunity/kanthaus times, but it’s not the reality for me now.

I’ll keep this as my initial starting point, and can get a bit more specific later :slight_smile:

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I asked around about other federated organisational structures and was pointed to CoopCycle - which I think relates. Although they are more of a network of co-operative businesses than communities.

For me, it also opens up the question of karrot identity, as we are almost all foodsaving/sharing projects, but have been aiming to generalize… and I notice the food-focused part is often mentioned in relation to karrot. So the question is what is the karrot organisation actually about in it’s essence…