Weekly Co-working on Karrot - 1/5/10 statements

Coworking 28-06-2023
Participants: Bruno, Vas, Nick

- 1st bold sentence…ideally show us agreement…formulate it better…it is not very clear
-why do we put an outcome as an agreement as a Karrot group?
-Last points: guidelines: unclear after we make a decision or during the whole process?
-what is the role of the guidelnes? where do they fit in the process? What happens if we make a decision?

-would approve it as it is, safe enough to try, we could refine it further, loads of little, put a review date on it, atm stops us.
-principles and guidlines are overlapping, could be combined in one section
-agreement within the Karrot team, a decison log, not though set on that, space in the forum to be discusses, not necessairy to have it as an agrement.
-low motivation to continue to work on it. Happy if someone else do it.

- seems useful to have a place to store decisions, either as agreement, or elsewhere
- don’t believe ability to act without moral judgement
- put more focus on “it is more likely we take action if we have a clear understanding of the governance structure the group uses, and how this request fits with that”

quick 2nd round:
-accept it and reviewing it later
-we trust that the evidence is accurate, maybe we dont need to take a stance on the details
-it is a decsion that was made through their own processes and cannot do it through Karrot so we step in
-take away guidelines and leave the principles

  • make some small edits now

  • draft of document about vision, strategy, finance (everyone)

  • framing

  • one question: where would you like karrot to be in 1, 5, and 10 years?

Karrot in 1 year

I would like for Karrot in the next year to have accomplished at least one new design process which would lead to the development of 1-2 new features. Maybe in the direction of a more general purpose tool. I would like that we have produced some articles (I can help in that) which go on blogs e.g. Medium. Maybe that is a good way to make Karrot more visible and share some thoughts on the model we are developing to make Karrot socially, financially, design-ly sustainable. On the latter, I am expecting that by next year Karrot has a ‘concrete’ vision supported by a series of steps and a timeline that support it. Would be happy if Karrot gets another small precarious funding -yeah I know funding fatigue- before implementing a more internal hybrid model.

Karrot in 5 years

Karrot in 5 years has new features that can fully support other communities beyond saving and sharing food. It is financially sustainable at least providing a ‘wage’ to 2 persons. Karrot is more convivial and easy to use and has no ‘silly’ bugs. Karrot is part of a bigger ecosystem of projects that share similar values which better interoperate. With regards to foodsaving Karrot is more flexible and can be used by shops and collaborators as well. In the context of foodsharing but also other contexts Karrot interoperates with IoTs (i.e. a smart soli fridge, sensors found in a garden etc). It is also richer in governance templates that can support varying community organising models.

Karrot in 10 years

I can imagine how tech and esp community tech will look like in 10y from now. Maybe Karrot is on a blockchain? Or has its own blockchain? Maybe its other ppl involved and not us (nick, bruno, nathalie, myself)…10 years is too far in the future to think of…

  • nick

1 year

I did “10 years” first, then I got dreaming-overwhelm, and thought a short term tangible focus is what I want to think about next, I ossiclate between the two

We have re-invigorated a method to define a roadmap, including input from the whole team, and from groups. There is a strategy agreement that makes clear our intentions for the next period of time (perhaps a year or two?) that includes considerations of visions, principles, governance, money.

We have found a situation regarding a legal entity that makes sense and works for us, allowing us to receive income from whoever wishes to contribute, and contributors to the project are able to receive a useful amount to support their lives.

We have deepened connections with other organisations, projects, and people that are aligned with our intentions.

Our governance, both within the team, and across the project as a whole, is still evolving, but has a direction.

5 years

This one is kind of scary, as “1 year” is ok just to be working towards things, and “10 years” it’s ok as dreams, but “5 years” is kind of like, we should have some tangible results, things that we wanted in “1 year” should be up and running right? … then the fear that they would not be

We have a defined governance system that includes how our team works, and how our team relates to the groups.

There are a number of other instances running, and there are people that take care of running the original instance too that are not nercesarily involved in development.

There are features that support more complex relationships between groups (e.g. subgroups, federations of groups, friendly groups, etc…). There are features that allow “external” users to interact with the group as they wish.

It is clear to everyone what Karrot is, and what model of organising it supports.

There are aspects of technical federation working well, both between instances of karrot, and other software.

Core contributors feel quite stable with the needs of their daily life being sufficiently met by their work on Karrot, where desirable.

10 years

In some way this is the easiest as it doesn’t have to be realistic or practical right now. Painting pictures in the sky.

A broad, loose, but coherent and effecient co-operation has emerged, and developed interoperable data and communication standards that support economic and social activities to be co-ordinated via commons principles.

Karrot is part of this ecosystem and has evolved to be a modular toolkit for commons-based community organising. Karrot doesn’t exist as an individual, indepedent standalone software platform, but more as a continuation of the spirit we have nurtured, and it’s translation into modular tools for organising.

The core focus is still specific organising, how we can organise resources, meet needs, and do that in community, but there is a seamless flow between that and the social world beyond.

Contributors to the project are able to meet their own needs through a combination of money and direct provision of resources through the network that it exists within. It is not a software project, but a social and economic project.

Round of comments:

-pretty compatible actually
-didnt read anything that I m hmmm that’s not I want/imagine
-can imagine that bruno and Nathalie write sth that can lead to a vision document
-short term tangible
-try and get a harmony of wider vision and features
-notes from unity: two cultures, getting stuff done, other one was utopia, revolution: I am not interested in that but that changed…the harmony is the beautiful potential

  • vas:

  • good to have dreaming part first

  • 10 years was hardest, e.g. are smartphones going to be around

  • local instances makes sense

  • interoperability and broader ecosystem, very much aligned

  • pretty good :slight_smile:

  • maybe nathalie has some good knowledge to bring in other interesting questions to us to reflect on here

  • poke Nathalie to check the agreement (Vas)

Co-working 05-07-2023
Vas, Bruno, Nick

reflections on Bruno vision: Where would you like karrot to be in 1, 5, and 10 years? - HedgeDoc

- I like it :slight_smile:
- compared to me and Nick look more professional, perhaps utting more energy/thinking in? I wrote it perhaps more intuitively. easier to share brunos texts with others.
- quite a lot of overlaps
- clarifying question: how do you see the “livelihood” model, seems a bit vague
- and “urban ecosystems”, why only urban?
- 1 year plan sounds super nice, but maybe optimistic
- resonated a lot, so not too surprising
- year 1 formalizing and structuring it
- year 5 take it further
- year 10 diffusing and becoming part of an ecosystem
- nice to get input from Nathalie and start putting it into a plan
- dealing now with what Karrot is, how is it different to other things? what makes it interesting in a practical level
- thanks for the more professional comment :slight_smile: a lot is visioning with more open questions
- livelihood model → not clear what it is yet, we have tendencies towards community supported, less dependent on seeking funding, seems good vision
- distributing money and resources, discussions around notions around how karrot can be parto f support our livelihoods if people want to contribute rather than some other work just to make money, trying to leave the patterns and norms of work and jobs
- urban ecosystems… yeah, why urban… could be regional, rural, … thinking how people organise in cities with groups and networks of people relating to the wider part, breaking the silo, etc… beyond the group boundaries. a lot of resources in the city. doesn’t mean limited to urban context though.
- a lot of research focused on the urban
- powerful to have a document, or set of them, visionary aspect, and strategy/practical aspect of it, and revisit vision from time to time
- also research institutions
- like the direction/idea of the municipality, collaborating with an institution

where we go now?

- poked nathalie to chip in and write a 1/5/10
- maybe coming up with some categories, e.g. vision, ethics/values, 1 year plan, 5 year plan, 10 year plan, strategy/tactics to bridge micro/meso/macro vision
- one of us bringing them together? or another conversation all together? trying to find most important/central thoughts we shared across all our documents, kind of like a manifesto… maybe another word
- something we can refer back to, also make public
- like the idea of a tangible next step, maybe one person writing a synthesis document, supported by others
- likes the idea of the visions as destinations, and then map out the journey to get there
- year 0, ackowledging the reality of where we are to plan the journey to the next destination

  • have only been thinking of whether it will take a lot of time and energy, will it feel like we’re stuck in the planning and letting go of the doing, so wondering how big of a process it should be
  • like it, and should move forward, if anybody feels motivated to do a synthesis, that’s great, if not, also ok… depends on motivation
  • hopefully can include nathalies contribution, good to check how she’s feeling about the whole thing
  • agree with what’s been said, acknolwedging the reality of the state of things right now should be included
  • synthesis, then work on steps/strategy
    • happy to work on synthesis
    • would suggest work towards a one-pager, overarching visions and practises
    • would be nice to include 1/5/10, micro/meso/macro thing there

Adding the text from @bruno 's 1/5/10 linked above at Where would you like karrot to be in 1, 5, and 10 years? - HedgeDoc

Where would you like karrot to be in 1, 5, and 10 years?

Bruno’s take…

1 year

There would be changes both internally and externally, that is, how the team/project/organisation is structured and how the wider community of users and groups using it would look like. I think we will be on an upward slope of a growth curve, meaning that it will begin to affect the size of the team and contributors and the number of groups and people using Karrot, and of course how they relate.

We will have established a good financial model (what is the best word or expression for that?). Maybe we can start describing it as a livelihood model, that is, a model of income and distribution of money/resources that supports the livelihood of Karrot contributors. Whether we call this model CSX or whatever, the core of it is that of crowdfunding, supported by the donations from users, groups and whomever wants to contribute, individuals or organisations. We might seek out sponsors, but then we will also have clear guidelines on what kind of organisations Karrot would be willing to take money from and under which conditions. I believe there will still be room or need for seeking more traditional forms of funding.

In one year we will have a much clearer concept of what Karrot is for, what kind of collective organising, and way of being in world it wants to support. What is the concept(s) underlying Karrot, which is related to the long-term vision and also to communication strategies and relationship we would like to establish with other groups, projects and collectives. Maybe here we are clearly profiling ourselves as a digital tool that supports practices of commoning and sef-governance in wider urban ecosystems. Whatever it is, we will have a clearer conceptual vocabulary and start working together with other organisations and people that share the same or similar conceptual outlook.

We will have strategy of organic outreach, creating connections and establishing relationships which will lead to more groups using Karrot, not only doing food saving. A greater diversity of use cases will give us better insight in how to design a tool that is useful for different purposes within our conceptual scope and the things we want to support/enable.

5 years

By then we will have a larger team, more structure and keep on working in a open and transparent way. We will have established more connections and formal collaborations both with groups working on a more conceptual level and those directly supporting initiatives and community organising.

The base of income and livelihood is quite consolidated, the number of groups and users is much bigger than before so that there will be other instances running and also a much looser network. Perhaps we will start having interesting experiments, collaborating with progressive municipalities that want to implement Karrot on a regional level as part of a more ambitious program for civic engagement and communal stewardship of resources.

We have made Karrot interoperable with other tools and striving towards federation, both on a digital and governance level. The challenges we face here is how to keep it true to our core values while reaching a broader audience. How will governance (moderation) look like and operate in different instances? How is that embedded or not in the software?

10 years

Karrot is now maybe a thing of the past, in a sense. Many of the original groups that started using Karrot still exist and are still going strong, maybe even morphed into something else, but all still using a tool that was initially conceived as Karrot. Now we have instead a fully customisable suite of tools that are easily deployed and federated. It’s something kind of similar to the vision of Bonfire, but instead of a smörgåsbord of digital tools that groups can just pick according to their own taste and needs, it will be much more intentional, accompanied by a very well thought guided process that is aligned to our conceptual vision and values of how people organise collectively. In other words, it will be not only the most convenient option for people to get together, organise and do something, but it will also be embedded in the values we cherish, like openess, transparent, democratic and participatory governance. Organisationally, Karrot took a new form and is part of a broader collaborative ecosystem.

Where would you like karrot to be in 1, 5, and 10 years?

1 year

Karrot forms an understanding of membership and team and is growing cohesion. We started to actively look for new people and we are now a group of 8 from which 3 are actively developing. We are working on collective structures for the project. We have clarity and transparency around legal aspects e.g. where our money is stored and who owns the website and started to take measures. Regarding the user side, we provide a data privacy policy where all relevant aspects are covered.

In the software itself we keep improving usability and functionality. New governance features are added, in particular aligned with the theory of commons and ideas from sociocracy. We work towards a new position of Karrot as a self-governance tools. We identify core features and have clarity what makes Karrot unique. We make the approach how to deal with admin structures more clear in our outreach.

In the team we get on well and also there is a good vibe towards Karrot groups. We do at least one event which brings us closer together, either in an in-person or online way.

5 years

Implementing sociocracy led to several circles where an increasing number of people from the community is engaged. We notice tensions between paid and volunteer activities, but hold on to a money agreement that sees money as a common resource. We distribute it needs based. Money comes mainly from the community as we finally launched an open-collective group. It was slow at the beginning but by now it serves as a solid income for around half of the team members who generally live a money-reduced life.

The software moved towards a more configurable approach, where it is possible for the groups to configure their own policies which have a direct effect on how certain features work. This stands in clear contrast to most of the other software around, wich is still highly admin and hierarchy dominated. Karrot can be used for sociocratic groups and support these organisations to have clarity over their circles and governance. There is an easy integration to take the data from a Karrot group and have a powerful display (map) of the group’s structure.

Karrot is known besides the foodsaving community and several CSS, community kitchens and bike repair places started to organize with Karrot.

10 years

Free and open-source software has a breakthrough that was never expected. The trend towards collaboration instead of competition is strongly moving towards mainstream and the future is hopeful. Karrot is embedded in a new wave of digital organizing, pioneering a way to shift governance from ‘permissions to procedures’ (as the PolicyKit project expressed already 10 years ago). There is a trend that many communities hold their own capacities for navigating tech. There is a great pool of modules communities can choose from. A group within Karrot is providing a few modules, but the majority of its members spread out and is working towards a transformation of society.