heather from ushahidi

Heather came along to a hack day eco^2 set up at the Hub Westminster. She comes from ushahidi, and she is quite a remarkable person.

If one does not have judgement, it only takes a second to tell how judgemental a person is when they engage — it is as if they introduce the division of mind, the fine line of distinction which cuts value, and thus separate you from them. And though Heather was quite pro-active, and has a decisive manner of engagement, she had no hint of this at a deeper level of being. She is remarkably patient, a rare thing for the kind of person who likes to get things done. At least, that’s my perception.

The hack day was part of mozilla’s attempt to outreach, to get kids to learn coding, for people to become more aware of what the internet can offer, as well as inform them as to its current state. Although many of us now using the internet are taking it for granted, and although the pioneering days of the net are far from over, the explosive power of the internet over the last decade has reached its limit and is now falling back into the orbit of traditional geo-politico-economics. Consider the replication of the chinese firewall by different countries seeking ways to regulate the internet, various international attempts to regulate like SOPA et al, and the domestication of the wild days of the net to the walled gardens of facebook, the compartmentalisation of OSX and the shrink-wrapped comfort of the world of apps. Like the european “pioneers” who reached the west coast of north america, coders have met met the boundaries of http. There will continue to be open source spaces, but the wild-lands will be shrunk, just like they are in the natural habitats we have in the world.

We were joined by a few hackers, Slayer from Taiwan, Nico who works in city finance and a copyright lawyer Betty, but the conversation regarding economic ecology did not catch their attention. Only Heather with her experience in crisis relief, where the crowdmapping software of ushahidi was found to be the most efficient way to align efforts in disasters such as at Haiti (check out this ny times article), whose work has brought her in contact with some of the largest global players, government bodies, ngos, csr, has had time to reflect upon and appreciate the big picture. These are critical times, and we are aware of the decisions being made. The difference between us, Heather and I, is that Heather is actively involved in attempting to engage the powers that be, whereas I wish to approach them with a methodology which converts their system to open source and the commons. To do so, I need as much proof and evidence as the crowdmapping software has had in crisis points globally, where results count way more than words, models, theories, and talk talk talk.

So, we now have eco^crowdmap though I am not sure how to integrate this with the google forms I am currently using to track mttp and see contracts. And though we had a good engagement, we chose to take a deep strategic path rather than getting down to coding anything concrete. Strategic engagement between doers requires greater presence of mind, deeper trust, and protocols of engagement that fully realises the potential between people through deep trust, despite not knowing one another personally.

Did we manage it, Heather and I? I do not know. Certainly, to produce results with companies on their leading edge of marketing and sales, will prove or not the efficacy of the eco^2 methodology.

recorded pre-gathering

Before a gathering, participants record what their intentions are and make this available to other members. These intentions may or may not be viewed before the gathering by other parties. After the gathering, participants may then compare what the intentions of the participants were with what actually happened. This allows all participants to evaluate personally how they fared and reflect upon why participants behaved in the way they did.

The objective is to develop a sensitivity to the effects of social dynamics upon participants, with the express aim to include all perspectives which may have been excluded or disturbed due to the conditional mis-management during the gathering.

local open groups

A way for people to ascertain what relative social group they are operating in, thus enabling them to align to an individual. That is, “leaders” emerge from the contextual conditions.

Think of g+ circles, and each individual is in different circles, effectively in multiple teams. What needs to be done is contextualised by which team is relevant. For example in the g+ maths circle, all members have relative positions of respect, which will be different than in the g+ design circle. A certain context arises, such as the creation of an algorithm to map subjective enumeration, and thus the rankings in the g+ math circle are more significant, and people align to help the most able to achieve the best result collectively.

action cycles

Human beings do meetings.  We must; it is the nature of our social being.  Oddly, as often as not, meetings get bogged down.

The Action Cycle is a surprisingly simple tool that helps us get beyond many of the classic obstacles and shortcomings that plug our meetings.  A few, clarity-inducing applications – render them inspiring and effective.

In just 1 hour, the selected group is asked the question: “What can be done by next week?” and then led through the process of discovering a) consensus on a “just-beyond achievable” goal, and b) what each person in the group can do to help achieve this goal.  In one week, it will become a reality.

Most meetings are hampered by a combination of individual egos, preset assumptions about how issues are resolved, unnecessary role delineations and a lack of inspiring objectives to keep people motivated.  The Action Cycle begins to break all of these barriers down, emphasising some of the profound human strengths that are often buried by/in organisations, such as passion, resilience and creativity, while focusing the group on a task collectively deemed important.

More at the archived actioncycle blog.

social traffic lights

The simple use of traffic lights, using red, orange (or yellow) and green, to indicate our current social state. This is used at different levels of scale, from the individual, to meetings, to collective projects. In a shared business space, it is often difficult to determine what state people are in, or the openness of a meeting, and the social traffic lights offer a way to avoid needless interruptions and establish a working environment that is receptive and friendly.

A general rule of thumb is to recognise the traffic lights are not to indicate the internal state of the organism, but an outward declaration to others of their social openness. That is, although implemented by the individual, it serves a social purpose, hence it is a social ligament. Red means closed, and it is not advised to engage for whatever reason. Green means open, and engagement is welcome. Orange means engage, but do not interfere or contribute unless asked.

People indicate the state they are in using coloured badges, the traffic lights. When people gather, and are forming some kind of decision space, their individual colours will determine the state of the collective. And the social traffic lights could indicate various projects are underway at different periods of completion. It is important to emphasise the colours do not indicate the health of the project, or how far along it is in its process, but simply how open it is to others to contribute.


Subjective-enumeration-algorithm (sea) adds a qualitative step to dmp. When each participant receives their equal share of the surplus (as per dmp), it is immediately redistributed to co-creators by the personal ratio each individual determines.

Basically, this is weighted money, where money is distributed according to the subjective evaluation of each individual. sea enables each individual to influence the flow of surplus money through them to reflect their personal values.

If Anna distributed her value as 7 to Barney and 3 to Charlie, and she received a surplus of £100 from dmp, £70 goes to Barney and £30 to Charlie. In turn, if Barney has distributed his evaluation as 5 to Anna and 5 to Charlie, his £100 surplus would be split £50 to Anna and £50 to Charlie. And if Charlie distributed his value as 2 to Anna and 8 to Barney, his dmp surplus would be split £20 to Anna and £80 to Barney. In the end, although each should get an equal £100, the distribution has been filtered through each individual’s sea values; in this case Anne gets £70, Barney gets £150 and Charlie gets £80.

There are several ways that people could monitor their subjective evaluation. A useful one is to evaluate each and everyone’s contribution as they happen. One easy procedure at the end of a meeting is to simply think of a number (0 to10) to express the value of that meeting. The running total and distribution of these subjective enumerations can be recorded as a numerical expression. When surplus is allocated, it is immediately distributed in the accumulated ratios with no extra thought applied.

The central benefit of sea is that the process of allocating money is divorced from the evaluation of value, much like mttp, freeing people to honestly evaluate others’ contributions relative to their own values. No argument, no fighting over who deserves what. In the above example, perhaps Barney was recognised for the greater input in the production of their picture. In this way, money finds itself arriving at people who exhibit the most value.

Check out this working sea sandpit on gdocs:

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 00.22.38


note: google page rank algorithm

If we wish to track subjective enumeration, google page rank algorithm may be a near-perfect off-the-shelf calculation, complete with arrays of adjacency functions as individuals rate one another. Consider the initial starting position:

(where V is the value of any person i at time 0, N the total number of people)

And the iterative equation which tends to a relative value of any person to any other person in the entity, much like google’s algorithm with a little minor tweaking, namely ∑V(Pj) :


(where V is the value of any person i, d is the “damping factor”, N the total number of people, M the set of people who evaluate person i, the value of person j at time t)

A fair starting point, and one which may not only interest google, but may also give some credence to the insight that mttp and eco^2 may provide a better economic structure than their current legal “incorporated company” since it is designed for networks. We may one day see google transform its entire operation through eco^2 protocols.


Invitational-protocol (ip) is a variation of mttp, used specifically to outreach to new participants. When Anna meets Barry at a conference, they conduct ip by Anna inviting Barry to come to the next in-person gathering, and offering £10 to be matched by Barry. The conditions are very similar to mttp:

  1. bring both £10 to the meeting
  2. optionally invite others to the meeting

If Barry turns up to the weekly meeting, he is welcomed warmly. He brings with him £10 and has invited Chuck, who himself turns up with £20.

In this way, trust becomes transitive, and new participants are genuinely welcomed for turning up for the first time having been attracted to the person who engaged them, the value that was seen in them, or the financial protocol that beckons a completely new economic social contract.

Money can be traced through the trust relationships formed through ip before the meeting has even occurred. Mathematically, the money that is brought to the meeting is at the fringes of the network of trust that has cascaded through ip relationships. There is no money at the centre: the “regulars” have given away their money, and in this process it doubles as ip propagates through a population. (For those interested in the detail, mttp can create equity cycles where a chain of invitations create a closed loop as the initiating inviter is finally invited; this is linear, whereas ip takes this into a two-dimensional radial pattern.)

This is not a straight linear relationship, variations evolve. For example, Dave, Charlie and Barney “nominate” Anna, a particularly effervescent and active member who has time to talent scout over the week. They invite her at £10 each to the next meeting, so Anna starts the week with £40 which she can use to invite four people using ip. If she fails to invite anyone, she can return with £40. Perhaps she invites four people and none turn up, perhaps eight do with £80 in total.

Seen in this way, invitational-protocol is a kind of test for the strength of the social fabric. Not only a social bond between regular participants who attend weekly, but a test of the environment “out there” as new people are approached with eco^2 protocols of trust.

30% eco-time

Google has 20% Google time, where employees are encouraged to work on their own projects for 20% of their paid time. This fosters an incubation process within the company itself, generating a sense of genuine co-working and has given rise to several in-house developments.

Looking at social business hubs, whose business plans are usually based on renting out of desks or space or membership, there is a tendency for such spaces to become like hot-desking, no matter the social engineering techniques employed. Hence the need to introduce 30% eco-time, where participants are invited to give 30% of their time to others.

If people are working at 70% capacity as a norm, then there is always an openness to conditions, to opportunity. It means the collective is capable of dealing with extenuating social conditions, can respond more quickly to surprise events, and suitably structured with social ligaments can co-ordinate themselves to achieve objectives that are collectively more pressing.

The economics for this depends on the conditions. At the Hub Westminster, for example, members are charged £95 for 30 hours of use over a month. Hub Westminster could ask for 10 of those hours to be given to other members, or to add an additional 10 hours for this purpose. In fact, if eco^2 is healthy enough, these additional 10 hours could be paid for at £10-hour, which means members could make back their membership fee by being paid to offer their services for free. Members could then evaluate both economic models: the traditional model where they pay for space and services to further their own objectives, or they are paid to create value for others. The second may appear to be like a company, and indeed it offers the security and working conditions for productive output, but the combination of mttp and dmp have already established that eco^2 is not a company.

In terms of eco^2, 30% is a round figure. Participants may scale themselves on how much “free time” they are working on, from 0 to 10: simply square this number to determine the percentage of their time is eco^2. David Pinto, aka happyseaurchin, is currently 10 as all his time is devoted to eco-time.

XQ the subjective side of math

XQ is the exploration of maths in terms of the subjective world. It is the other side of mathematics, the human side. XQ establishes mathematics as a minimal language. XQ reflects mathematics as the model of the mind: mathematics is the territory.

The implications are quite, quite breath-taking.

Could XQ contribute a missing link to the development of an artellect, a conscious computer? Could XQ help validate buddhism in the eyes of western scientists, and establish it as a science of the subjective? Could Applied XQ work as a kind of therapy, where appropriate mathematical operations exercise certain mental processes that lead to the correction of a mental aberration? (Definitive proof, perhaps, that maths is good for you..?)