Category Archives: Unions

Van Till’s Principle (VTP) of Maximum Well-Connectedness

The Connectivist

Public domain photo Today, July 14, marks the celebration of the start of the French Revolution in 1789 by the storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris. The population started to turn (revolve) the tables on the aristocracy and the power of the roman catholic nomenclatura. I have the honor on this day to announce my guiding principle to help us get into an era of synergy and wealth creation. This principle may not start a revolution but at least it may change the mindset of many people, away from pure inward looking & self centeredness.

I define my Principle of Maximum Well-Connectedness as: “Connect and cooperate with the most extraordinary, the maximally different and unexpected, because the Vitality of an Entity (*) depends on the Quality of its EXTERNAL Relations, which can make it part of something bigger with shared unique contributions in scope and scale” ~ Jaap van Till, July 14…

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Firefox OS: What it is – and what it means for you and your union | Eric Lee

Firefox OS book cover.Back in 1993 I was asked to look into how unions were using computer networks and email.  

The result was my 1996 book on the labour movement and the internet — and after that, LabourStart.

Twenty years on and I’ve been looking into how we in the trade union movement use the new communications tools — smartphones and tablets — and the result is a new book I’ve just co-authored with Jeremy Green, “Firefox OS for Activists“.

Firefox what?

Chances are you’ve heard of the iPhone and iPad, and probably Android phones and tablets too. Maybe you even own one of these devices.

You may even know about Blackberry and Microsoft phones and tablets — though they haven’t made much headway in the fight against the two giants, Apple and Google.

Firefox OS is part of a new breed of alternative, open source mobile operating systems that aim to take on the big corporations.  

It’s been created by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation and in our view, it’s a very big deal.

Firefox OS phones are already available for sale in a number of countries (Spain, Germany, a few Latin American countries) and will soon be available where you live.

They’re extremely cheap, and making apps that run on them is cheaper and easier than doing them for Apple and Android products.

Firefox OS is part of a broader open source revolution that includes such things as the Ubuntu Touch project — and even Fairphone, the first attempt to create an “ethical” mobile phone that, among other things, respects workers’ rights.

You can read more about our book, see the full table of contents, and even read a sample chapter here:

http://www.labourstart.org/firefoxos

Continue reading Firefox OS: What it is – and what it means for you and your union | Eric Lee

How Stigmergy challenges representation

“A new system of governance or collaboration that does not follow a competitive hierarchical model will need to employ stigmergy in most of its action based systems. It is neither reasonable nor desirable for individual thought and action to be subjugated to group consensus in matters which do not affect the group, and it is frankly impossible to accomplish complex tasks if every decision must be presented for approval; that is the biggest weakness of the hierarchical model. The incredible success of so many internet projects are the result of stigmergy, not cooperation, and it is stigmergy that will help us build quickly, efficiently and produce results far better than any of us can foresee at the outset.”

Brilliant text which explains why peer production is hyperproductive. A must read.

Excerpted from a longer text by Georgie BC:

Continue reading How Stigmergy challenges representation

INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCE | The Network Thinkers Blog

Infrastructure is an increasingly popular term these days.  Whether we are talking about our failing infrastructures because of the current economic crisis, or we are worrying about targeted infrastructure when discussing cyber-war and terror attacks.  All advanced societies depend on infrastructure, and the more advanced the society, the higher that dependency — and the consequences of failure.

Social Network Unionism | New Unionism Network

facesspacerIn 2010, Network member Örsan Şenalp coined the term “social network unionism”* to describe the shift towards “a peer to peer, transnational, common, and hyperempowered labour class movement“. Since then,Örsan has worked hard to bring us “tales from the typeface” of this new world of organizing. See: SNU Blog, Scoop.ItUnionBook group.

The deeper implications of social network unionism are only just starting to dawn on many of us. All of a sudden, workers have the ability to build huge open networks on their own, with or without the involvement of their union. They have begun to do so already, and we can expect a cumulative curve. Networks are cropping up in workplaces (Google+ “circles” encourages this, almost by default, as do FB’s new “smartlists”). Networks are appearing across organizations, and within occupations, industries and sectors. They are developing across borders (especially within transnationals). These chaotic groups make no distinction between union members and non-members, or between full-time and part-time employees. They discuss wages and conditions along with everything else, because that is what working people do, but Robert’s Rules do not apply. In fact, leaders come and go without even seeing themselves as such. This may be the deepest challenge yet to bureaucratic centralism and “business unionism“. The network is now the vanguard, as member Dan Gallin has put it). This transformation will make its way into every aspect of economics and production. Unions can be part of the steamroller or part of the road.
Continue reading Social Network Unionism | New Unionism Network

Organizing P2P organizations

Social Network Unionism

April 7, 2011 — Poor Richard

overlay network
Image via Wikipedia

I probably should have titled this “Hacking the Organization”.

What follows is not a primer of organizational design but simply a back-of-the-envelope sketch of how a number of organizational design and management ideas might be applied to peer-to-peer (P2P) organizations. My intention is for these ideas to be adapted or “hacked” for P2P applications without getting hung up on ideology or terminology, much of which has historical baggage. The idea is to ignore the baggage, take what you can use, and leave the rest. However, if this gets picked apart and criticized from top to bottom it may still have served some purpose.

I recognize that many p2p activities may be amorphous, fluid, informally organized, or conducted by completely autonomous  and independent individuals. My own preferred lifestyle is agrarian and communitarian. I’m not a particularly good team player. But I would…

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Open Organization | P2P Foundation

An open organisation is an organisation open to anyone who agrees to abide by its purpose and principles, with complete transparency and clearly defined decision making structures, ownership patterns, and exchange mechanisms; designed, defined, and refined, by all members as part of a continual transformative process. (Source: http://uniteddiversity.com)

URL = URL = http://www.open-organizations.org/

See also: Open Company ModelsOpen Entreprise

Continue reading Open Organization | P2P Foundation

Workshop on Freedom of Association in the Networked Workplace

There is a workshop taking place in Brussels on 26 January that will look at issues important to understanding the effects of new technologies on workplace organisation and trade unions. There is a particular focus on the surveillance of workers, and what this means for union organising. Details below: Freedom of Association in the Networked Workplace: discussion workshop

Thursday 26th January 2012
1pm – 7pm
Rue Gallait – Gallaitstraat 80
1030 Brussels
Belgium

Participation is free, but places may be limited. Please contact us to reserve a place.

Contact for more information or enquiries.

Website

Continue reading Workshop on Freedom of Association in the Networked Workplace