Platform specification/architecture

From Organic Design wiki

This is the architecture of the system that platform members work within. The trust group is the concept which forms the foundation of what a platform actually is.

trust group: A trust group is a group of people, called members, who all trust each other to a certain degree across a particular spectrum of resource access and responsibility. This division of responsibility will often divide membership into distinct categories which get given names like roles, departments or divisions and gives and overall organisational structure to the group. The most fundamental distinction between kinds of members is into those who are engaged in the group's governance aspects and those who are involved in a passive sense such as subscribers of the group's information or consumers of it's products. [more]

But more specifically, the group doesn't have just members, but also is a collection of resources such as documents, procedures and tools all working together in accord with a system to become an organisation, the details of which are defined in this specification.

Portals & structure

Each of the items mentioned above have a portal for the members to organise and govern these resource together, usually with the aim of achieving a shared vision. The portal acts as an entry point for the members to collaborate together on knowledge and tools so that they can engage in group decision-making and self governance together. Since the groups can be further divided within into a hierarchy of trust-groups, it follows that all the groups forming this use_casesinternal structure should work the same way and therefore also act as portals of organisation and governance.

Alignment to values

We must ensure in our system design the alignment with our values so that all Platforms based on it always evolve toward a more and more aligned direction over time. Alignment is not just statements made that "we promise to care about this and that", alignment to something is a process, it needs to actually exist as part of the system so that work is performed on a regular basis that ensures that the direction of the organisation really is maintaining alignment consistently throughout time with what it says it is. To really achieve this we must look carefully at the mechanism we're creating with our system description to see what its bottom lines really are; whether it will still be maintaining alignment to these values some time after it's been set free into the economic bottom line environment which is hostile to it. So we define here a structure which is primarily aimed at supporting this alignment, the top-level categorisation of our system is into departments.

Platform departments

We're initially basing the departments on Thomas Robertson's "seven great mechanisms" described in his 1948 book Human Ecology. This is not to say that these departments need to be fixed to number seven, or that they should be the same names or same amount of them at different scales of operation. These details can evolve through self governance just as all aspects can change. But the two key ideas here are:

  • We start with departments that we know can cater for the needs of the global scale of operation
  • We ensure that the principles of their operation remain consistent across all scales even if their names change or they split into more or merge into less of them in different scales of operation or specificity.
Direction department: Direction department [more]
Management department: Management department [more]
Networking department: Networking department [more]
Administration department: Administration department [more]
Alignment department: Alignment department [more]
Production department: Production department [more]
Trading department:
Legacy.svg Legacy: This article describes a concept that has been superseded in the course of ongoing development on the Organic Design wiki. Please do not develop this any further or base work on this concept, this is only useful for a historic record of work done. You may find a link to the currently used concept or function in this article, if not you can contact the author to find out what has taken the place of this legacy item.
The Trading department maintains tools such as payment methods, invoicing and subscriptions management for its Platform which allow it to trade products and services with untrusted customers in other Platforms or outside the network. This department also handles the financial reporting, invoicing and notifications, budgeting, cash-flow and stock management. [more]