Organizational structure

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Affiliation is a relationship between a particular agent and the ensemble of other agents that interact within an OVN, considered as peers. It denotes the decree of involvement with the other agents in common projects, in shared processes, using shared tools and methodologies and respecting a self-imposed set of norms and rules.

OVN affiliates are entities (individuals or organizations) who have logged contributions in the NRP-CAS. In the NRP terminology they are Agents.

NOTE: In a p2p context it is not advised to reduce agents or affiliates to users, as it is used in discussions about online centralized platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. The difference is that users in that context have no control over the platform.


Individuals or organizations that do not take part in activities in any way, but might have access to public information about the OVN and observe it from a distance. These are individuals who have heard about THE ovn or who are susceptible to respond to information about the OVN. The unaffiliates are anonymous or unknown by affiliates of the OVN. But they can be recognized as a class/population and their general characteristics can be revealed by a survey and statistical analysis.

  • Privileges and permissions: Only have access to public information through the OVN's website and social media channels.
  • Obligations: OVN* Integration process: Anyone out there is a unafiliated

close affiliate

Individuals or organizations that have not contributed to the OVN's projects in a tangible way, or their contributions are not concrete enough to be taken into consideration by the value accounting system, or have contributed but do not want to be involved directly. If the individual or organization records a contribution in the value accounting system he/she/it becomes an active affiliate (see below). Close affiliates follow the OVN's activities regularly for different reasons and are recognized by active affiliates (see below) within the OVN. They are close affiliates, i.e. are known by some affiliates, they are not anonymous.

  • Privileges and permissions: Can have access to the OVN's database, to the OVN’s main communications channels, and to some activities like meetings and presentations.
  • Responsibilities and obligations: Respect the OVN’s assets and its affiliates.
  • Integration process: Anyone can become a close affiliate, or an observer. The individual or the organization must only talk to at least one affiliate or active acvite of the OVN. The entire the OVN's community must be informed of new close affiliate. To becomes a close affiliate one needs to contact the community or one of its affiliates. The close affiliate can also follow activities on wiki, and social media.

active affiliate

Anyone who contributes to the OVN in a tangible way to increase the market value of products designed and manufactured by the OVN or to help sustain and improve the OVN's community, its image, its infrastructure, etc., AND is recognized by the OVN's affiliates for being able to do so can become an active affiliate. More formally, active affiliates are individuals or organizations that are contributing to the OVN in a meaningful way, defined by a network-wide decision or by a governance equation. This requires logging of contributions in the value accounting system and documenting work.

  • Permissions: Have access to the OVN’s infrastructure (physical and virtual) by the nondominium and the custodian agreement, to the OVN’s production and distribution assets, to governance and decision making.
  • Responsibilities and obligations: Active affiliates need to adhere to the principles behind the value accounting system. They must agree with the affiliation conditions.
  • Integration process: To become an active affiliate contact the community or one of its affiliates. All active affiliates have a profile and are listed here (the members registry). You only become an active affiliate based on the conditions above.

NOTE: this section needs improvement, reference to nondominium and custodian agreement, on top of NRP-CAS.

inactive affiliate

Individuals or organizations that have already contributed to the OVN in the past (meaning that their contributions have been recorded in the OVN’s contribution accounting system), but have become inactive, or that have expressed their willingness to contribute to the OVN's projects but have not contributed with anything meaningful/tangible yet. Inactive affiliates have more potential for value creation for the network than close affiliates, in that they have been or will be involved in some value creating activities, and maintain strong relations with active affiliates.

  • Privileges and permissions: Have access to nonpublic information about the OVN. Can participate in some activities like meetings and presentations. Have access to some or all the OVN's communication systems. Participate in decision making.
  • Responsibilities and obligations: Respect the OVN’s assets and affiliates.
  • Integration process: To become an affiliate one needs to contact the community or one of its members. All affiliates have a profile and are listed here.

Formal affiliation

Becoming an active affiliate within the an OVN formally consists of a mutual and explicit agreement to the principles, guidelines and rules of the OVN. These can be considered a "Terms of Participation" (ToP) of the commons of the OVN. This Terms of Participation currently consists of:

  1. reading and acknowledging the Affiliate Handbook - see Sensorica's handbook
  2. reading and acknowledging the Nondominium & Custodian agreement - see Sensorica's template
  3. signing the "Acknowledgement of (knowledge) commons" agreement for contributions
  4. signing the Value Equation Agreement - see Sensorica's template

inspired from metamaps

Affiliate registration

Prospective affiliates will be invited to:

  • engage in conversation with multiple active affiliates, collaborate with other active affiliates to provide background information, work samples, written documentation
  • review the public knowledge base(s) about the OVN
  • fill out a request to join the OVN as an affiliate
  • create an affiliate profile page

One becomes an active affiliate only by recording valid contributions into the NRP-CAS.


Since Sensorica’s inception in early 2011, we have observed different types of involvement and contributions, which can help us define different types of affiliation. On passive involvement Some individuals that are on our mailing list and have access to our private database (most of them only View access) have been very passive. It is hard to know if they actually follow us regularly and if they absorb information (todo: do a survey). It is also hard to know if they propagate this information through their social networks. In fact, it is hard to know what they do with the information they absorb. On negative involvement We have NOT observed yet any deliberate destructive action of tangible property.

In the spring of 2014 Sensorica had a first crisis around the use of brand and around its core values and principles. Bob created this document to help the community analyse this crisis and learn from it. In the summer of 2014 Sensorica went through a second crisis around the question of sustaining the commons. Tibi created this document to help the community create new norms and rules. Some individuals engaged in negative publicity about Sensorica. Involvement and time

  • Intense: almost daily contributions, very committed
  • Availability driven: contributions are sporadic, based on availabilities
  • Interest driven: almost certain of a response if the right topic arises (Ex. Kurt, whenever there is an issue about value systems, governance,...)
  • Unpredictable: difficult to know when and why a network affiliate makes a contribution
  • propose others...

Sources - open Sensorica's doc on Organizational structure


Projects are considered contexts of activities. They are also seen as independent/autonomous and open enterprises (can be business units).


Other OVNs


Suppliers or partners.

Relative to NRP-CAS

The NRP-CAS treats affiliates, projects, organizations and networks as agents.

Get inspired from SENSORICA.

See Metamaps membership

In the value accounting system

See Difference between member and user.