Governance & Ownership


(Caroline Savery) #1

See: all documents under Membership.

Quite simply:

Members own, control (through formal governance and through distributed, horizontal and circle-“stacking” processes of constructive co-creation/participation), and benefit from Cosmos.coop.

Membership is accessed through completing a membership application and paying a low-level “entry dues” (which secures your “ticket” to enter Praxis Park [another name/metaphor for Cosmos]), making it accessible to most everyone. Toward further enabling broad accessibility, entry can be gained and sustained by mechanisms of peer sponsorship.

Being granted membership entrance (i.e., how many people can be in Praxis Park at once) would be constrained (if & as needed) to platform, community & co-op capacities, which may result in a selective process at the point of the membership application. For example: if the system, through reflexive analytic mechanisms, is aware that it can only structurally handle another 1,000 members in a given category (before further critical developments are made), yet there are 1,500 applicants, selective mechanisms some kind (potentially: a lottery, merit-based, sponsorship-based, etc.) would be applied to permitting new members entry, with those not getting in held in a lobby or on a waiting list.

The ideal is that membership be widely accessible (within reason of Cosmos’ capacity) because, once “in the Park,” members have a wide range of ways to “play” the game. (On the other hand: consideration, via membership application, to the actual or potential quality of a “player” is important, as members very much are vested with the power to co-determine Cosmos’ destiny and makeup). We want to let as many people in as possible because there are so many options that they can experiment with, through self-directed play, once on the platform—that ultimately enrich Cosmos. There are abundant and diverse opportunities for investors once within Cosmos—so, any prospective investor to Cosmos must also become a member before being able to invest.

This equalizes engagement—all members have the same opportunities to engage in Cosmos governance. Formal voting, such as on matters affecting all of Cosmos, is on the basis of one member one vote per cooperative norms. Constitutional voting opportunities on matters of significance would be facilitated through notifying members and integrating easy-to-use voting interfaces into members’ dashboards.

Executive governance will likely become vested in a “wisdom council,” board and/or working circle of highly-engaged, highly-trusted members of Cosmos–at least at first, and by functional necessity. There would be many “lower level” circles of lower governance powers stacking up to this “top level” ala Holacracy (the “top level” being one level before the ultimate “bottom line” threshhold of stakeholder decision-making: the entire membership). (See also: Spectrum of Engagement.) Being in said empowered council is a privilege—one’s performance in this role is monitored transparently by the members; a person in this role is said to represent members (therefore, is closely watching feedback and trends/patterns in Cosmos as a whole), albeit the individual is empowered to act on a loose “sense of the room” basis (and their own intuition). Members can remove people from this council by collective vote.

Over time, decision-making power would be successively relinquished from this executive team to the broad membership to autonomously, distributedly govern themselves through their dashboards, (in the direction of a distributed autonomous organization). This would occur progressively as Cosmos “levels up,” meaning: the system’s capacity matures (including: greater distributed capacity in the broad membership through increased levels of training, education, information, and upskilling across membership and increased numbers of, and connectivity/sense-making capacities, of members as a whole.)

Limited available capital, on the part of individual members, may be a constraining factor to individuals’ ability to access certain desired “plug-in” apps, services or tools on Cosmos (which generally are accessible by a fee in addition to the member dues–just like games or rides costing tokens once inside an amusement park). However, there would often be opportunities for work-arounds that consider the members’ alternative forms of capital, including sweat equity… not to mention, the Cosmos framework by design & function should enable low-capital individuals to seek and obtain greater measure of capital through collaborative additions of value on the platform in general (see Membership Docs). Participation (measured not only in terms of financial capital, but considering multiple forms of capital including social and trust “multipliers”) is acknowledged via Cointribute, a specialty patronage coin that functions similarly to a “generation vote” or a “void vote” on optional (i.e. Playbook) proposals currently in research & development in Cosmos. This is reflective of the ethic that those who most meaningfully participate in Cosmos are entitled to a higher degree of influence (which they may or may not choose to exercise) in the direction of potential directions in which Cosmos’ platform development could move. However, this is not the same as formal voting on Constitutional matters affecting the entire co-op—that is always maintained on the basis of one member, one vote.

See also: Financial Structure. Here are the vectors of economic AND governance, activities in Cosmos (how value is created, transfigured, and circulated, and relatedly, how power flows):

  1. Cosmos to members (delivering products & services; maintaining platform framework; communicating & facilitating communications; collecting & stewarding funds; creating jobs/gigs for members by resourcing work-to-be-done; providing both optional and obligatory participation pathways to members)
  2. Members to members (gifting, trading, buying and selling goods, services and time/energy/love from one another; collaborating on co-productions; conversations; giving and receiving feedback and validation; mutual witnessing & discovery, problem-solving, inspiration & communion, and celebrating accomplishments)
  3. Members to Cosmos (informing priorities through autonomous engagement & investment processes, e.g. Praxis Process, using assets incl. Litcoin, Cointribute, and other forms of capital; participating in formal decision-making about co-op-wide matters; providing feedback in numerous ways that feed into Cosmos’ strategy, direction, and development pathway; contributing funds & other forms of capital into the system).

Cosmos may be thought of as a coordinated, complex response to members’ inputs and interactions, which constitute Cosmos. Members (and none but members) profit directly from their contributions, which makes sense, for those contributions directly constitute Cosmos.