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ATTENTION: We are going through another systematic revision cycle of the OVN model. See more on OVN 3.0 page.


Open Value Network (OVN) refers to a new organisational framework. This organisation is by nature and from birth transnational (i.e. operating beyond the influence of states).

OVNs rely on technology (digital infrastructures) to support their operations. They have no (or very few) formal mechanisms of power to allow centralization of control over the platform (the technological infrastructure) that enables the activities of the network, although it is evident that they exhibit informal power structures. Examples are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Sensorica, etc.

"... blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology in general can facilitate the establishment and management of open value networks and value networks in general." [1]

"It is thanks to a platform on the internet that individual workers, motivated by the values of the peer to peer (P2P) or participative economy are involved in creating together innova-tions on distributed projects. In the context of participatory economics, this network illustrates new forms of cooperation, ways of managing collaborations based on the model of P2P, based on a partnership of shared values system." [2]

OVNs are open, they are also called permissionless, i.e. access to participation is unrestricted, which means that anyone can become part of them without the need to go through a hiring process or to sign an employment contract.. The term network refers to a set relations between autonomous agents, which define their respective roles, including duties or responsibilities and rewards. Agents are called affiliates in the OVN model.

These organisations attract attention and resources to sustain themselves through gamification, i.e a set of incentives that are formally and directly linked to contributions and performance.

"Our thesis is that in order to reward all the participants in p2p [peer to peer] economic activity, and thus to incentivize contributions and make participation sustainable for everyone, we need to do contribution accounting: record everyone's contribution, evaluate these contributions, and calculate every participant's fair share. This method for redistribution of benefits must be established at the beginning of the economic process, in a transparent way. It constitutes a contract among participants, and it allows them to estimate their rewards in relation with their efforts. We call this the contribution accounting system."[3]

The OVN model has been applied to open source scientific hardware development [4].

"Open value networks, or OVNs, are voluntary, consensus-driven systems for measuring and valuing the in kind/ energy and financial contributions even the smallest ones (to make them visible) of each of its participants. Such systems are a growing trend among digital communities, according to a 2016 P2P Value study, which found that 86 percent of the 300 digital communities it studied use open value accounting systems.19 An “open value network” – a term first introduced by Verna Allee – describes “the connections between companies and the channels through which intangibles move between them.” An open value network is more distributed than conventional value chains, and not necessarily hierarchical."[5]

"The organizational model of Sensorica has been identified as an ‘Open Value Network’ (OVN). An OVN has been developed as a generic organizational and business model apt to enhance and support CBPP. It is highly adaptive, fully de-centralized and governed through distributed decision-making processes and resource allocation. Inspired by the practices exemplified by free and open-source projects, it supports open participation, with low barriers of entry and is designed to empower permissionless individual action through open knowl-edge and transparent processes." [6]

"An OVN is a generic organizational and business model, apt to enhance and support commons-based peer production. It can take various forms and can be adapted according to each context (Siddiqui & Brastaviceanu, 2013). OVNs allow individuals and organizations to create common value in an open environment, while keeping account of the different contributions in a common ledger system. All assets are commonly held by the network and the co-created value is distributed equitably within and beyond the network."[7]


It is the network that is open.

See more on What is an open value network?


The model was first proposed, developed and implemented by Sensorica affiliates. Sensorica was created in February 2011. Initially, the model evolved from the Discovery Network model proposed by Tibi between 2008 and 2010. Between 2011 and 2012, the model was developed in collaboration by Tibi, Steve, Kurt, Bayle and others, and drew from the work of Verna Allee, Yochai Benkler, Michel Bauwens, Clay Shirky, and others. After the summer of 2012, the network resource planning and contribution accounting system (NRP-CAS) was influenced by Bob Haugen who has been working in this area since 1995.

From May 2013 to May 2014, Yasir worked on a framework for open value network in collaboration with other Sensorica affiliates. The OVN model was extended to network of networks, in the context of the Open Alliance initiative also lead by Sensorica, an attempt to federate open organizations in Montreal. In 2016 the NOICE/Verdun project built on the Open Alliance initiative, as a second attempt to bring the OVN model at a larger scale.

See more on OVN history.

Other organizations have adopted a model similar to Sensorica

It should be noted that the OVN work will input directly into international ISO standards development, namely, ISO/IEC 15944-15 "Information technology - Business Operational View - Part 15: Ope Value Networks(OVN): Integrated perspective on Open-edi, eBusiness, blockchain and distributed transactions". The lead international ISO Project Editor : Prof. William McCarthy, with Jake Knoppers as one of two Co-Project Editors. The international ISO standards committee responsible here is ISO/IEC JTC1/SC32/WG1 (where JTC1 = Joint ISO, IEC = Technical Committee on Information technology, SC = Data Management & Interchange, WG1 = eBusiness)

Important sections

Examples of open value networks

Go to

Types of open value networks

Initiate an open value network

Current issues the OVN model and proposed solutions

Interesting links

Interesting papers

Important categories

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