Can we and should we pull off an official Edgeryders organisation?

Sorry, did u post it anywhere?

The reason why I’m focusing on actions and a small local

project rather than organisation structure at the moment, is that

I dont want to get lost within the philosophical discussions too much.

Temporary structures around the one project seems to me a better start.

There are so many youth orgs around here drowning in their organisational fluff and have little time to

conduct many activities. But still if we want to be accepted within

the existing structure we better have a number, a board a protocol and so on.

Hello K,

I can understand

Hello K,

I can understand your desire to get busy.

I like to try and get organisational structure right, although when seeking input from a community, and possibly planning something slightly ‘different’ I have found it can take a frustratingly long time.

There often can be a strong case to be made for an entrepreneur registering something and getting busy with the work that they want to be doing.

There are lots of possible structures - you need to decide how your organisation will operate, and write it down (constitution/rules/articles), in order for it to be registered.

There are a number of ‘default’ organisational structures that can to be adopted (for a quick start).  Often (but not always) they are heirarchical with a board making decisions for the organisation. Often individual(s) on the board will have power above other members of the board.  This does not need to be the case.  In UK law (and I guess elsewhere) a number of named roles have to be fulfilled, generally, Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer - but these positions do not necessarily have to imply extra power within the governance structure.

I think getting the governance structure right is very important.

See Chapter 4 of this document for an overview.  Also Chapter 8 is particularly relevant to our discussion here…

I think it is worth reading the whole pdf if you are seriously considering setting up an organisation - althougfh written from a UK perspective, much of it would be internationally relevant.




not sure that the link


not sure that the link works

Mozilla Festival London

I guess you are talking about Nadias link - which also didn’t work for me.

I found an alternative

You have a point here: the default organizational structures are hierarchical. They are reproducing the hierarchical structure of the state is which the organization is a legal entity.

Without getting philosophical or upset about it: there is always a possibility to play around within the structure. More important is that there are deliverables and they are not dictatorial.

The reason why I seem to be rushing with the org is that I believe that the best way to design and adjust it is to start prototyping.

We can be brushing up the organizational structure on paper,  and it will be perfect, on paper. We can invent a new legal structure: without chairmans and secretaries, and power structures. There are two questions here:

-Will we be able to register this sort of stuff the way we want.

-Is our goal to produce more management theory or a service.

A template for a non-profit in Sweden is very similar to that in the UK:

Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer.

Organisations rules

I talk with experience of the legal situation in the UK, but would be surprised if things were not similar in other jurisdictions.

There are all kinds of structures and rules in existence.  If desired it would possible to adopt a set of rules which is designed to minimize power inequalities within the organisation without the need to invent anything new.

I’m talking generally here and am not trying to impose anything, just stating facts and expressing my opinions.

I’m not sure where exactly the discussions on this ‘mission’ are leading.  There was a desire to start an international Edgeryders organisation.  Now, as I understand it, you (K) want to collaborate with others to create a regional organisation.

I often wonder if appointing people positions of power within an organisation drives greater participation (they feel they have greater responsibility) and guess that a case can be made that such appointments can provide greater productivity.

I’m particularly interested in the possibility of creating some kind of transnational horizontal organisation, to see if it is possible to create a organisational structure that provides a space (and support) for like minded international actors to collaborate, a structure that is somewhat compatible with ‘swarming’ (people being able to join and be involved with organisational tasks and governance with the minimum of barriers).  I think that such an organisation would be an embodiment of many edgeryder properties/values (self selection, autonomy etc.)

Looking at the level of participation within this ‘mission’ I’m not sure that there is presently the necessary interest/support to drive the creation and ongoing administration of such an organisation.

You’re right. Not so many people on the platform catch on this thread.

Though, people in my local area would like to get engaged in a user driven organisation rather than in existing ones aiming at social good in all kinds of sauces.

So far I shared the idea of the flat type of org and a bunch of active people would like to start with an event. The vision of the event is: a hybrid party/conference with the focus on making a living. I’ll describe it later, when there is more to describe. I’m not controlling the process, rather watching and communicating locally.

Another thing is that no one wants to get on the original er platform to discuss, which is comprehensible for those who haven’t been to #lote and also overwhelmed by communication channels already.

So far I want to see what happens and which form the org will take here without imposing my vision of it.

I think my task in local ER’s sprout is to connect to the larger community those points which are connectable.

Has to do with how we highlight it

I think the discussion about what organisational form is relevant requires a context. So here’s an idea that has been growing for me since we produced the first Edgeryders Community paper.

In order for the community to have time to iterate it’s way through different initiatives and projects we need a resilient setup that can cover the costs of keeping it going, managing it and scaling it. From my experience this work is a full on commitment that takes up pretty much all waking hours of the day and a lot of passion. It is simply not feasible for it to be run on entirely voluntary basis as it is too time and energy consuming imho. So we need some source of revenue and a structure that reconciles our wish to not recreate broken models of coordinating and managing collaboration between individuals.

I think we could maybe generate revenue from selling high quality knowledge work around issues and topics that matter to us and that we think are important, but that require input from lots of different people with lots of different kinds of knowledge and experiences. Look at the quality of the paper generated in 2 weeks with relatively little effort. With a bit more thought put into this we could feasibly turn Edgeryders into a practical think tank for and by citizens. I’d be willing to try to get the ball rolling on this, anyone else interested?

Hello Nadia,

I am

Hello Nadia,

I am interested.  I guess some kind of think tank function is something that coul have good impacts + raise money for other Edgeryder stuff.

I dont know anything about how we could expect to get regular revenue from this although I guess the previous work and contacts will be most useful.

I’m interested in how to structure such an organisation.

I would be particularly interested to see if tasks could be effectively massively distributed - which, with enough interest, could provide the possibility for work to be completed on a voluntary basis…  but could also provide income streams for numerous people acting when they have the time/energy/experience necessary.

This is one aspect for sure

I wholly agree that this is one aspect of the orgs possible practice. Somewhere between a consultancy service and a think-tank. I find that there is a lot of Eu-heavy thought going on, which is great, but the other streams of activity that are very very emergent right now inn the social finance sector require as much thought and attention as the EU.

Hello K,

Sounds like a good

Hello K,

Sounds like a good path.  Watch the crowd and identify channels of least resistance for engagement also those that have a ‘buzz’ to them to gain the most partiipation :slight_smile:

Some clear directive here

Reading through all of the above and below it is very clear that the current structure of ER is too difficult to navigate for most people coming in later in the game. The idea of chapters sounds great, like a local node specific to a locality, just like the empty slate of ERv.1 but with a few extra organizational touches.

So individual-local-glocal in terms of info additive categories, then a projects log and best practice wiki, with additional thread-themes that hold it all together…perhaos this last is inaccurate , the others should be catered for though…

PS. InternationalVSLocal

The ideal is international org, but I’m not sure how they are registered nor run, nor I have anyone to buddy up with on this matter.

I thought of setting up regional ones and connecting into the international association. Or embracing other orgs and projects into the association.

I’m not sure that it matters it it goes global-local or local-global as long as it is user driven and produces meaningful services.

“Participatory” is challenging for my inner control freak, but it’s the only way to go I suppose, otherwise it will be recreating hierarchical structures.

The funny thing with hierarchical structures is that they recreate themselves.

We need both to get the job done…

Rather than ‘international’ we. Could start to adapt the ‘transnational’ moniker, as in, not representative of countries individually, but of processes running across many countries…

(its only slightly pernickety of me , just sayin’, words are important for what develops of them)

“Limited Liability Partnership” ?

May be interesting to investigate, under UK law,

a “Not for loss” approach,

especially if resources need to be put together,

in the form for partnerships with limited liability,

although this kind of approach may be less ideal then a international not for profit

wat concerns “Grants”.

More details :

a "not for loss" ?
"Limited Liability Partnerships" ?
using a model proposed by Chris Cook, of Equity Shares ?
If I understand properly, are you trying to set up a LLP in support of a specific commons ?
Further references on LLP :
full version :

On the contrary…

it seems to be creating itself. I am fully with you on this, a transnational horizontal organization is exactly what is developing, and by integrating all of these threads we find that that is what we have.


-local nodes-local projects -local education (reflecting and growing glocal

best practice)

-incubation and enacting socent solutions

-accelerating young initiatives


-a pan-european specialized crowdsourcing platform

If we have in this community everyone from filmmakers, to artists, policy makers, project developers, social finance heads, hubbers, hackers, permaculturalists, open sourceors, p2p-eople and so on, then we clearly run across any lines that one or other of us may wish to draw around the group as a magic circle of organization. This is a distributed body both locationally and also in terms of valus and skills. ‘Distribution’ as an organizational aspect, or as a value, may be the very thing that links us all.

Then there is community building, if we are new, then (and we are already making great headway here) we need first explain our position to the elders (Lote1) then, with their consent, we educate the community with the most structured educational form being for youth, as they will be the future creators and so need at least some basis in an informed notion of the present as percieved by people who live and work here.

I see YY (Yunus Youth) as being very interested in this. Then there are other social investment companies who will fund the nodes locally once they understand the model. Such as the ‘Business in the Community’ foundation and the ’ The community foundation for Ireland’ here in Ireland who fund seed initiatives with small startup grants. These must exist in every country surely.

For placemaking we need an integrative strategy, looking at locale’s and figuring out the best way to operate within them. Take my hometown for example, we have lots of single mothers, so childcare is important, and it just so happens there is a social enterprise in Ireland focussing on childcare, so we team up and go find a building from local council and approach a social investment company for startup funding based on clear measurable metrics.

This kind of organization can only be done by local nodes, whereas it requires the authority of a transnational organizatioon with EU backing to overcome the local bias (in Ireland this is a defininte must…v.conservative)

Hierarchy is environmental

In a way… Like the difference between reading a pdf of a book or reading the book itself, the environment of the screen makes you enjoy and retain less because of the ‘environment’ created by the screen. In the same way the environment of these hierarchic modes makes a certain replicative tendency develop, and so I agree, getting the structure right on paper (also an environmental thing) will have little effect on the activities other than coralling people into the percieved ‘steps’ associated with the ‘dance’ of a particular position.

Learning by doing as a methodology is great, but yet this has a problem too in that the way policy is structured means that there is not the requisite fluidity to accomodate developments in a birthing organizational form.

Luckily, thats what this VP-2012-007 call is all about, participatory policy experimentation. To get this aligned we need governmental actors at local national and regional levels on board. I meet my town council next month, who else has integrated local council/government in their activities?

hybrid profit/non profit org?

  1. Like a hybrid between non profit and for profit. Revenue is generated to cover admin costs and to fund non profit projects.

Are there ors like that? Some sort of sustainable non profit? It rings a bell when I think of this sort of structure. At the sae time it does feel a bit utopian.

At the same time, it is always useful to try out old utopias under new circumstances and with new technology and different emerging mindsets.

  1. Should ask #socent #socap crowd!

Not for profit

That is a not for profit.  Not for proit does not mean you arent looking to make money, just that the profit is reinvested in order to achieve stated aims. (or if the company is wound up passed to another organisation with similar aims)

Some not for profits are slightly questionable, creators / controllers pulling out big salaries.  I’m not entirely sure about the legal situation around this - I guess there must be a case for extreme cases to be legally questioned - but then again looking at the pay of senior executives in the private sector (and even some outside the private sector) executive pay levels possibly have no identifiable ceiling?

Social enterprises are a further layer of confusion - a for profit company, with social goals.

There are definately cases where the social goals of Soc Ents are very wooly / poorly defined and performance on the goals could be described as lacking.   The Soc Ent identity being used as a form of ‘green/social washing’.

Dante mentioned an interesting form

Apparently here in Belgium there is a form called “International not for profit”. Dante mentioned it earlier either in this or another discussion and I think he’s knowledgable about it…