Edgeryders Governance - commons or enclosed spaces - differentiate and identify

I congratulate the crowdsourced contributions of each to what currently is called “edgeryders”.

I wish to bring forward a governance thread,

so that more of us can bring forward their own interpretations,

and how they position themselves in relation to potential for action.

I understand Edgeryders in itself is, from my point of view, a dynamic conception evolving over time.

note : this is a message that may be edited over time


What I currently notice, 

is a central, closly knit bunch of people who are very actively engaged into coordinating.


I wish to bring forward some examples I witnessed in the past, with other organizations / networks.

- A first important point I need to underline - is that often “network” and “organization” are used interchangeably, while I believe they need to be seen as different - with several organizations and projects being able to be supportive of an intentional network, yet being very aware of NOT letting one or more organizations end up taking control or assuming to “represent” the network.

  • A second very important point, is for such organizations to support an intentional network without enclosing it, I see the importance in the organizations and legal frameworks supporting infrastructure that can serve as a commons for the ( non enclosed ) intentional networks.

The organizations can choose who they want to govern themselves and operate, and their support in resources is aimed at intentional commons.

The big risk I see is in having organizations and individuals taking conrol on a commons.


Some more specific examples,

From my personal past experience with other networks / organizations over the last 12 years ( including european youth movements related to green political parties , but also hospitality networks , … )

I noticed patterns of a few very motivated people concentrating all the work in their own hands over time.

By doing so, I realized that defacto the power ends up centralized.

I also realize this can lead to burnouts, by making processes dependent on specific people.

I realized such people would be very competent workaholics.

I could see a progressive dissempowerment of the community because of the centralization of contextual information.  Political games would be played, enclosures created that would be shared only with a few political allies and collaborators.   These would often, in my personal experience, be related to specific priviledges , that would range from covering costs for attending meetings ( this is likely the most acceptable form in my view, as long as it supports a commons ), to specific priviledges of paid positions , or power positions within a specific organization.

A common patterns I also noticed in my past experience, is that a small minority would build on the enthusiasm of community, and end up representing such community, or rather, a networked intentional community.  In the case of the young greens, just a few individuals claimed representing over 20 000 people, even though most of these people where inactive, or did not even know they where being represented.    

In the case of hospitality networks, I noticed progressive developments which in the case of couchsurfing, lead what initially was a network into evolving into a not for profit organization, and then into a corporation.     I witnessed developments and migrations of volunteers, who actually made the success and developed the networks , move from hospitalityclub to couchsurfing and then later to bewelcome.   I will be happy to detail some of the underlining dynamics, related to power and governance, for those who may not be accustomed to these networks and their underlining forms of organization and development.

I wish to discuss on this thread, ways to focus on supporting a commons in the form of an intentional network, eventually through using or partnersing with organizations or institutions, while at the same time defending such commons. 

I also wish to invite us to have a look at this thread :


where I raised a few questions about branding, or more exactly identifiers.

The identifiers, and diversity of identifiers, imho also has an influence on understanding the agencies, and potential liberty of internal modes of organization of such brands / identifiers

( for example, Nadia suggests the following social contract draft - which may apply for a specific space, identified with a specific brand, but for me can not apply to the commons created : http://www.scribd.com/doc/114752294/Edgeryders-2-0-Social-Contract-proposal )

and the potential differentiation between the understanding of a commons and an enclosed environment.

I also wish to understand the social contracts related to each of such “spaces”, as to enable each to understand expectations and potential outcomes of each of such spaces, and make better judgement and choices regarding participation and support.


To have a better understanding of what I mean by empowerment, this scale / ladder of empowerment can be useful : 


- See more at: /t/edgeryders-governance-better-identifiying-networked-commons-and-enclosed-organizations/524-enclosed-organizations#sthash.oj1ueZRx.dpuf

Hi Dante,

I fully understand where your concern comes from, and i take it as a warning and also a proposal for a shared commitment to continue to build it into something that makes us always accountable to one another, as i think we currently are. Can we agree that the organisation is now consisting of a space where well-intended people are putting in a lot of time and effort to be able to turn it into a “brand” precisely to help as many as possible in the network, both at individual level and as a group? actually, the organisation is trying to support the networked commons as you put it because part of building the brand means telling funders : “hey, there is great expertise lying around, why dont you put some money into it and support the people offering that expertise?”

Oh I very much agree with the danger of making processes dependent on specific people, which leads to burnout and can make us weak - both the network and the organisation. What do you think would be useful to have in place in order to enlarge the responsibilities and have more people involved? So far the solution I’ve been experimenting with is engagement: strive to push as many things happening or starting from 1 person out there so that more in the community take ownership. The simplest example is twitter rotation (more people taking ownership of what is communicated about Edgeryders and share the responsibility), the more complicated example is making sure that more of us are involved in the process of generating paid work for ourselves.

Enclosed Organizations Vs Networks and Commons

Hi Noemi,

I do not requestion people’s good will and good intentions.

I want to understand more precisely what is what, and want everyone to understand it.

Please process and take into account in your replies the arguments I put forward, including in terms of governance, and branding.

Thanks for the link - although unfortunatly it is enclosed / hidden / accessible only to some people ?


It says, for me “Access denied - You are not authorized to access this page.”

One of the main issues I see, is that there is an attempt to define Edgeryders not merely as a forum ( this forum ),

but as a hierarchical organization that can speak in the name of networks of people.

This is, in my opinion, an aspect that needs to be corrected in priority.

The branding needs to become less fuzzy, and more precise.

I suggested potential approaches and solutions on this thread : 



I personally have no issues about people doing what they want to do, as long as it is not in the name of others who did not consent to it.

I personally suggested in last posts to differentiate between organizations and networks, and suggest, if there are enclosures, that they be clearly defined and branded, while enabling transparency as to what exactly such enclosures support and in whose or what interests,

and then understand if they support certain intentional commons, or not.

If there are enclosures, I would hope they would feed the development of intentional commons without attempting to enclose commons.

From my point of perspective, the objective is the intentional commons.

If the priority of some people is to earn money, it needs to be clearly expressed in what way they intend to earn money.

Imho it is important this is done in their own name, or in the name of an entity that clearly expresses its intent.

The organization that converges facilitators, a core group of people who get paid, can imho be called differently then the networks.

The organizations of people who attempt to develop infrastructure, while being paid for it, can seek recognition for their contributions,

while making the infrastructure they develop available to a commons.  Yet it is good to clarify that such entities do not represent such commons, and the networks active in such commons.

Governance, the UnMonastery and Scripture

I’d like to pick up on this thread about governance. It’s a core interest of mine, and it is something I plan to pick up on with regard to the forthcoming UnMonastery Residency. I presented the Liquid law project I am involved with at lote3, and I’m one of the founders of Liquid Democracy mayhem - though my focus shifted to the problem of facilitation and space a decade ago. I think we have a chance to investigate these issues now in the context of the UnMonastery without rocking the boat too much with regards to the existing EdgeRyders constitutional forms.

First a personal note - I fell in love with EdgeRyders literally and figuratively. I’m dead keen on the people and the aims. The method is pretty damn fine as well. There are a bunch of reasons why I have not been as involved as I would have naturally liked to, and one of the big ones is the legal form. I may be a nerd in this area, and yet I firmly believe that the structure is both a major philisophical problem, a significant and subtle community problem, and is damaging to creating a sustainable business plan for EdgeRyders.

I’d like to provoke a discussion about these issues, in a constructive, and facilitated way throughout the unMonastery Residency in Matera - from March till end of May, and structure these discussions in a creative format of live radio, and live TV discusssions, coupled to a coding excersize that we call liquid law - or scripture. If there are any EdgeRyders interested in this space - and I am sure there are - decision making, constitutions, law, and facilitation then please comment here, and we can get in touch to structure a series of live discussions?

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Where can I learn about ‘coding excersize that we call liquid law - or scripture.’?