OVN history

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The OVN model was first proposed, developed and implemented by Sensorica affiliates to support material commons-based peer production (i.e. the production of material things by open networks). Sensorica was created in February 2011 - see the 2013 TEDx video presentation by Tibi.

Initially, the model evolved from the Discovery Network model proposed by Tibi between 2008 and 2010. During its early stages the OVN 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 and Lynn Foster, 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. The concept of 4th Sector was also introduced during 2016.

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)


About the value equation concept

NOTE that value equation is not used anymore. Instead, we use benefit redistribution algorithm.

Bob asked the question who came up with the expression value equation.


from Tibi:

Hi Bob,

I don't think it is accurate to say that Bernard Stiegler had a direct influence on the development of Sensorica. I personally discovered him perhaps a year ago.

The concepts and the language were developed in collaboration.

The precursor of the OVN model is the "Discovery Network" model that I proposed in September 2010. The term used was value exchange system, instead of value accounting system. At this moment, the concept of value equation was not formed. As you can see in the document, the allocation of equity was governed by a set of rules through a mechanism of negotiation.

The first document that described the OVN model is the Value System document. It was first created in April 2011. The expression valuation mechanism was used to name of the section that mentioned a mathematical formula for calculating fluid equity. So the idea of a mathematical formula, an equation, was there from the beginning. For an entire year, there were discussions between myself, Steve, Kurt and Bayle about how to calculate it. See the attached screenshot.

I introduced the expression value accounting system in this doc, on March 02, 2012.

On March 13, 2012 the expression value equation appears in the doc for the first time, in conjunction with a comment made by Kurt on the mailing list. The earliest occurrence of the expression value equation in Sensorica's mailing list is in early September 2011, used by Kurt again.

Kurt later proposed the concept of governance equation.


from Kurt:

Thanks tibi for noticing :-)

I have used value equation and value networks since the early 2000's in conversations about *net (after i forked the idea from my colleague's concept of 'powernet' who wanted to create a for-profit platform to take percentages of each transaction). We call something similar to *net "OVN's" (though the NRP concept is probably closer to *net than OVN is as *net is a platform with parametrized algorithms based on value accumulation in standardized value dimensions whose accumulations are determined through integration with all intermediating communications tech).

I am still not familiar with stiegler's work, though I have seen his name mentioned many times in my travels (and here he is again!).

My concept of value equations is a dimensional weighted sum of 'pure' measures of value (not 'subjective Value' or the fictitious 'objective Value', though these can be derived from pure value by inspection and interpretation). These dimensions are measures of activities that increase the probability of value creation, not the post facto priced exchange value of whatever is produced, not the subjective experience of value of participants. Exchange is a special event that triggers distribution of whatever exchange value is offered (which is either an abstract value like money or something of subjective value to the recipient such as reputation).

The term 'value accounting' came up in convos of the Sensorica mailing list. I am not sure who named it but i found it to resonate deeply with the conception of *net as a way to track relative value contributed.

Much later Michel (Bauwens) suggested 'contributory value accounting' as a topic I should write about and I like that term very much as it describes quite accurately the point of 'powernet' as it was conceived by myself and my colleague Reg Cheramy in the late 90's. The motivation for my sticking the wildcard symbol * in front instead of power is that any flow can be directed, not just power.

The new focus on the governance aspect evolved with my experiences with Sensorica and other value networks, who all ultimately hit governance issues long before distribution of revenue questions. The notion of decision making rights based on relative value contributed has always been a part of powernet (the power part) but its importance and priority over the revenue distribution piece has become clear over time and I coined the term governance equation to reflect the symmetry of this concept with the value equation. The value equation is better framed as a 'distribution equation' for revenue (cash for now) as opposed to the governance equation as a distribution equation for voting rights. One can see many flavors of distribution equation to control various flows.

I have never published formally and any ideas I have are a result of my experiences in this world, and things I have read and of course how they bounce off my unique existence. When the frog hits the water there is a splash. There is no merit in it.

I have never published and never researched what was already known in the subject area, and so I cannot complain when someone says the wheel I invented "from scratch" turns out to be highly derivative (what a shocker!). Indeed I don't even care. The point is to get a working model of OVN's, so we can all attribute better in the future.

As a matter of history though I can say that Stiegler has had no direct influence on me (indirect..who knows?).