Open Kollab

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= Developing a Community of Practice of people and projects that are either seeking collaboration opportunities or will support collaboration.



Suresh Fernando:

Openkollab is an open collaboration environment, the primary vision of which is to develop infrastructure and processes to connect socially beneficial projects that have aligned missions. In support of this larger vision, we have three primary goals.

1. Create a community of practice around issues relating to open collaboration and the development of social ventures

2. Identify and develop innovative tools, processes and infrastructure to support the development of social ventures and open collaboration

3. Develop a technology platform to help to connect social venture organizations that have aligned missions.

You can find some details on our blog and our wiki at

Google Group:

You might be interested in the following presentations:

We are currently working on the creation of an Ecosystem Pooled Fund, the objective of which is to finance a group of related social venture projects. We are currently looking for the candidate group of investments to finance.

In the long term, our goal is to create a community, the necessary processes and the technology platform to align groups that have similar missions (super-ordinate goals). This describes some ideas for how meta-data about projects can be used to connect them.

The OK Pooled Fund focused on identifying systems of projects that both deliver social value as well as generate revenue. I believe that the world needs more organizations that are self sustaining (generate enough revenue to support themselves) and are focused on doing the right things in the world.


Draft: Statement of Collaboration Principles and Practices for OpenKollab

OPENNESS: Since this is an open space, as much of the activity should be conducted via open communication mechanisms; listservs and the IRC chat space. These mechanisms will be used to communicate with a wider audience and to engage the wider community in the OK project.

TRANSPARENCY & INCLUSION: Utilization of Open Space communication processes will allow everyone to be aware of most of what is happening as the group evolves. It is understood that in order to be maximally efficient it is not possible for everyone to participate in everything. It is, however, possible for the reporting process to ensure maximum transparency.

RESPECT FOR DIVERGING OPINIONS AND INTERESTS: It goes without saying that we must be respectful, at all times, of each other. We can, however, be more specific than this. Due to the complexity and scope of the larger vision, we must be aware that there are many ways that people can contribute to this project. The particular vision and path that we define is not the only path that can be followed. We must give everyone the space to define and lead initiatives within the larger OK project that can, in time, be integrated into the larger vision.

RESPONSIBILITY: Each of us comes to this with our own ideas. We all bear responsibility in making our ideas and intentions intelligible to others.

We are also respectful of each others' time and therefore endeavour to assume responsibility for commitments that we make to the group by following through on said commitments in as timely a manner as possible.

COLLABORATIVE: It would run contrary to our mission if we were not conscious of our responsibility to act collaboratively. I will suggest that the notion of collaboration that we should consider relates to the idea of co-creation or co-generation of content. From a practical perspective it means the following:

   * Think of your contribution as part of a group thinking effort
   * Document your thoughts and present them in open space
   * Allow others to modify your document: this means they have add, edit and delete rights.


STEWARDSHIP: Although this is an open process, there still remains the need for a certain amount of organizational structure and management. If we are to move forward, it will be necessary to identify specific sub projects, coordinate a team and resources, as well as define task and timelines around these projects. Stewardship of the OK project will emerge and be defined by those that clearly articulate their own path within the larger context and are able to execute on their plans and ideas. In furtherance of these aims we incorporate principles of both an ADHOCRACY as well as a MERITOCRACY. This will keep us focused on the reality that results are important. Our work is an invitation to Stewardship.

DOCUMENTATION: Due to the complexity of the project, the diverse backgrounds of the participants, our desire to collaborate with each other as well as our desire to expand the larger OK Community, it is imperative that all ideas be clearly documented. This serves several functions:

   * Clarifies your own thoughts
   * Crystallizes ideas in a manner that enables their communication.
   * Allows for easy dissemination of ideas
   * Enables clarity around issues of contention - we know exactly what we are debating
   * Supports collaborative process.

REPLICATION AND TESTING: Interest in the OpenKollab project is speading rapidly resulting in replication of the documentation and experimental activities. An effort has been made to make sure these copies contain attribution and linkage to here. It is important to refer newcomers to the OpenKollab Google group and make sure the documentation there is current.