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A context of work with a set of goals and a set of benefits associated.

With respect with an OVN

A project in an OVN is an for-benefit, open enterprise that relies on all tangible and intangible resources provided by the network. An OVN project carries the OVN brand, which is subject to network-level governance. Among other things, this implies that the project must be in accordance with the general mission and vision of the OVN, respect its culture, use the network's IT infrastructure, employ the network's methodologies,...

Projects that generate tangible benefits must contribute to the OVN's infrastructure (physical and virtual) maintenance and development.

With respect to OVNi

A 'project' is a context for a set of activities that produce resources and benefits. See original definition in Sensorica doc

For example, the Mosquito Project of Sensorica (as an example of an R&D project) is the context in which the Mosquito Sensor, including all its previous versions, designs, technical documents, experiments, etc. are produced. We can say that a project is a locus of activity where agents use resources.

Projects may have different relationships with each other. For example, one project might create resources that are used in another project. Some projects can be seen as parents or children of other projects.

A project comes with a more or less defined objective/goal/mission (which can be a product or a service), has more or less defined deliverables, and comes with a set of incentives (intrinsic or extrinsic), related to the benefits that result from the resources that are created.

Within a project all benefits flow back to contributors. If a product is made (exchange value) it can be exchanged with someone that needs it (a market) for money (revenue). If a project that produces social value is sponsored (funded by someone or some organization) those who contribute share the rewards. Project is the lowest level where the notion of revenue enters the system. Therefore, the value equation is applied at the project level. The contribution accounting system is applied at the resource level, because resources are used as contributions to economic processes and the system must see them as individual units.

With respect to the origin of the project

Some projects originate within the OVN, initiated by network affiliates. These are endogenous projects. Examples are "Product-based projects" - see section below. Other projects originate outside of the network. We call them exogenous projects. Examples are "Service-based projects" - see section below. Some projects have mixed origin.

The difference between the two extreme categories is that exogenous projects establish a relationship between the OVN and another entity, [[organization] or individual, which brings with it constraints responsibilities and engagements towards this other entity, but also new forms of benefits. Examples of constraints are: non disclosure clauses, intellectual property, etc. Mixed projects can take the form of an initiative initiated by a network affiliate with some relations to external parties which can directly or indirectly benefit from this initiative.

From a social perspective

Project is the context in which individuals interact to achieve a goal. Project is a concept that everyone grasps. Projects attract people with specific skills. Can form specific cultures and specific identities. People do associate with projects.

Types of projects

Product-based projects

The Open Project

Most Sensorica projects are open.

Advocated by: Tibi, add your name



  • ...

Main characteristics

  • Transparency: information related to the project is available in a public format.
  • Openness: Since talent is acquired through collaborative platforms, these initiatives require a great deal of openness to their processes. The filters for onboarding is not done at the entrance (no job interview, or if yes, a minimalist process, especially to evaluate the values ​​of the applicant, did). Filtering becomes an internal process based on reputation, based on what we do and how we do it. No one can be refused access to add value to a project. Individuals who don’t respect the Governance of the project can be excluded.
  • Relations to resources
    • What can be crowdsourced will be crowdsourced - these initiatives use crowdfunding and collaborative platforms for the acquisition of monetary resources for talent acquisition.
    • What can be shared will be shared - use shared platforms for access to space (operate in makerspaces), equipment (use tool libraries)
    • Open Source: project deliverables are published as Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • Relation to governance: meritocratic and / or democratic, great place for individual initiatives framed by a set of rules / standards.
  • Relations to risk: we can see the contributors to collaborative initiatives as entrepreneurs who invest in the project in order to obtain different forms of benefits in the future (financial remuneration, networking, learning, visibility, ...) , sharing the risk. If the successful initiative everyone wins, if no, no one wins, everyone gets away with a good experience and let them go.

Relations to ownership: The initiative's assets usually take the form of shared resources (even nondominium type) and commons. Nobody has an absolute right over the fruits of the initiative (unlike private enterprise).

  • Internal relations:
    • The work is highly collaborative, using tools and methodologies specifically designed.
    • The organizational structure (roles and relationships between these roles) is emerging in context
    • Free initiative: You are strongly encouraged to take initiative in technical and nontechnical areas of the project, within the boundaries of commons sense. You must publicly announce your initiative and if anyone else in the project explicitly and publicly opposes your action stop and discuss. You need a group decision to continue. The decision making process can be lazy democracy, majority democracy or fluid democracy, depending on the importance of the issue.
    • Mobility: You are free to change roles within the project
    • Autonomy: No one can force anyone else to do anything
    • Empowerment: You are encouraged to rate others’ reputation. See more on the Reputation system
    • Benefits: access to benefits is redistributed according to a contributions recorded in the NRP-CAS
  • Relations with the external environment
  • Work is socialized (we share progress and results on social media).
  • We create collaborative relationships with other organizations, we build synergistic relationships, ecosystemic view.

The Open and non transparent project

This was first implemented in Sensorica during the IGC HEC project in 2013.

Message sent to the Sensorica network to set up the project (using the Sensorica mailing main list):

Hi all,
We are moving forward with the project at HEC (see below). The University asks us to sign a document of non-disclosure, to make sure that all the participants (grad students) in case competition don't get access to the info in advance. Moreover, the University wants to establish 3 individuals as primary resources in this project, who commit time to the project. Mai (the HEC prof in charge) suggested myself, Francois and Ivan.
1 Before we move forward we need to sign the non disclosure document, which also establishes that we can represent Sensorica in this case ONLY. We need you to grant us that power of representation, for this case ONLY.
NOTE1: We are using Sensorica logo/brand in this case, which is part of our commons, therefore you all have a say in it. Granting us the power to represent Sensorica in this particular case basically means trusting us that we will work in favor of our value network, that we will serve the network well, that we will only add value to the brand, not damage it.
NOTE2: The non-disclosure agreement ends on 15th of May 2013, the date of the case competition. Until then, the process is non-transparent, BUT OPEN to all members of Sensorica: any member of Sensorica can decide to get access to the entire process by signing the same document (see attachment) we are signing. A member of Sensorica is defined in this case as an individual who has access to this mailing list. Those who don't sign will not have access to all the information. All the information will be released after the 15th of May 2013.
NOTE3: We are struggling to build an interface between an open and transparent structure like Sensorica and a classical institution, HEC. This is the best we could do after a week-long negotiation with Mai (the HEC prof in charge). In the end, this is part of the bureaucracy of HEC, because Mai is using some grants for this case competition, which takes months to setup, and many people involved.
2 We also want to know if any of you has any problem with any of us (myself, Francois and Ivan) acting as primary resources in this project, points of contact, as suggested by Mai.
The docs that are attached are the two forms we need to sign.
Let's apply lazy democracy 1 If you are against or have other suggestions please reply to this message. 2 If you agree you don't need to reply 3 If you don't care you don't need to reply

The semi-closed project

   {need a better name for it}

Advocated by: Ivan Pavlov, add your name

Advantages: Disadvantages:

Formed by a group of individuals who cluster themselves along the lines of

Main characteristics

  • Transparency: Not all documentation is made public
  • Open Source: Some open source license - not determined yet
  • Free initiative: You are strongly encouraged to take initiative in technical and nontechnical, within the cluster, within the boundaries of commons sense. You must publicly announce your initiative and if anyone else in the project explicitly and publicly opposes your action stop and discuss. You need a group decision to continue. The decision making process can be lazy democracy, majority democracy or fluid democracy, depending on the importance of the issue.
  • Mobility: You can engage in other clusters of the project, but most affiliates work within their cluster
  • Authonomy: No one can force anyone else to do anything
  • Empowerment: not defined yet

Service-based projects

Recently, Sensorica established service-based projects and this experience sparked new discussions about value accounting. Service-based projects are, in general, less resource-intensive. Therefore the initial costs (initiation contributions) are lower. Most important are rolling and support contributions. The first prototype of a value accounting system with a value equation was implemented by Tibi and Daniel for the FabMobile project. A better version was created for the 3D course project.

Infrastructure projects

The goal is to build infrastructure, physical (a new lab) or virtual (a website, the value accounting system, a forum, etc.). the deliverable is a tangible resource, material/physical or immaterial/virtual.

Funding projects

The goal is to raise funding for capacity development (infrastructure, equipment, events) or for product-based projects.

If some individuals collaborate on a funding campaign for a product the funds will NOT belong to them, because they use the OVN's brand, its capacity and an existing project to which others have contributed. So the funds must belong to the project or sub-network. But the activity involved in organizing the funding campaign must be rewarded.

A simple way to deal with incentives and redistribution is to give a % to the team who drives the campaign the moment the funds are delivered. The group can use a way to account for their contributions to the funding campaign, which can make use of the value accounting system.

Social projects

Aim: provide value to the local community and/or to the society as a whole.

Rewards: Apart from reputation (social capital), if these projects bring something positive to the SNESORICA network (by increasing visibility, by improving the image, etc.) contributions to these can be logged as "Building Sensorica" in the NRP-CAS, and rewarded from Infrastructure development and maintenance funds. Social projects can also be funded by foundations, government agencies, NGOs, private organization, or even through crowdfunding. They can even generate their own revenue, by offering small paying services.

Examples from Sensorica: FabMobile, events.

See also

How Tos

How to create a new project?

See Sensorica's HELP document on how to create a new project and how to kickstart a new project.

Create the project in the NRP-CAS

  • Go to the agents page and click on "Create New Agent" button.
  • Fill the form. Everything is kind of self explanatory, but don't forget to chose "project" in the Agent type box, and don't forget to click the "is a context agent box".
  • After that, you need to "Maintain associations". From the agents page, lick on Projects and find the project that you just created in the list. Click on it and open its page. In there, you'll find a link to "Maintain associations". You need to set up this project as a child of Sensorica project. Save the changes.

Important discussions about Projects