OMPlanet is An Initiative to Co-create a Self-Governing Multidimensional Network Ecosystem of interconnected social, economic and ICT systems owned and governed by its members:
- to help people to self-organise, co-create harmonious living environments and thriving communities,
- to support continual interaction between people, spaces and activities at local and global scales,
- to gather a new Flower of Life - an interconnected global matrix of people, groups and collectively contributed resources from many different dimensions.
This is both a revolutionary ICT and a revolutionary societal project incorporating new solutions from both fields:
- In the ICT field it is an effort to create a network ecosystem of interoperable platforms to provide a decentralized medium for free communication, exchange of social media, participatory decision making, activity planning, collaboration and value exchange. An open source distributed software with open protocols that is developed and managed by its owning members. Focus on federation of ownership, interoperability between different dimensions of services and careful consideration of users' privacy preferences. As a result to trigger a seamless flow of free interaction.
- In the Social field it is an initiative to create a new organization owned and governed by its participant members, with chaordic principles. It has the practical goal to interconnect all independent intentional communities worldwide, youth/spiritual/ecological NGOs, non-formal educational institutions, caring and inspired individuals with a new, holistic vision of life, people dealing with innovative solutions for global civil society, sustainable co-living, holistic human well-being, and other related areas.
This project does not promote one particular philosophy or vision. The creation of favorable conditions for solutions to emerge is the essential goal, and it therefore does not try to influence the decision-making power of individuals. This only aims at providing free tools of interaction, cooperation and sharing, to increase the visibility and connectivity between the ordinary and caring people free from command-and-control organisations and acting spontaneously, guided by their common sense, to let them self-organize and find the right vector of growth.
While this is a clean slate design and there is much space for creativity, many similar projects are emerging in the scene. Some examples of this include: federated/decentralised/p2p social networks, p2p file sharing tools, real life transport/ride sharing web sites, p2p couch/garden/garage/car sharing and renting web sites, participatory democratic decision making platforms, eGovernance platforms, crowd-funding/micro-funding platforms, non-monetary value exchange systems, virtual currency or bartering, in the social field: sustainable eco-villages and communes, experimental settlement projects, etc.
The OMPlanet Organisation
OMPlanet has the principles of chaordic organisation owned and governed by its participant members. It is initiated by an independent team of volunteer researchers who are working to implement participatory democratic processes of self-organisation and distributed ownership through the use of ICT solutions.
The OMPlanet organisation is entirely transparent or open source. By design it will guarantee that there will be no profit-driven company owning or controlling OMPlanet in a centralized way. No one will become a single shareholder to receive direct credits or provide direct goods on behalf of OMPlanet. The ICT systems will be based on free software platforms with interoperable protocols open to all communities, organizations and individuals. To organize itself it will need an administrative core that will act transparently and rely on its members' voluntary contributions and will take into full account their decision-making power. The free will of people will keep the project running for as long as it is useful.
The informal purpose of the initiative is to project a vision of fair and just human affairs into all areas of human activity, to empower individuals to self-organize into sustainable communities and to live in harmony with themselves and with the environment: Together, we have the ability to transform societies and governments by putting them into the hands of many more individuals, by providing them the freedom to self-organize and co-create sustainable and harmonious life on this wonderful planet Earth. And we are not dreamers, we want to live it during our lives and we offer rational solutions for it.
The OMPlanet Network Ecosystem
The OMPlanet Network Model
The OMPlanet network offers the genome of natural organisations: fractal stacking and intercommunication of networks at different levels to grow an ecosystem of interconnected self-organized social networks, in simple words a network of networks.
We will use the planetary system analogy to help explain the architecture of the network ecosystem.
Here, the nodes that constitute the network are the OMPlanet platforms, represented as the planets. Each user, organization or community can have its own hosted planet and it will belong to its community. On their collectively owned planet the users can control their private data and applications of interaction.
Users will be able to interact with each other within their planet as well as with users of other planets. Planets support 1 to 12 different dimensions of interaction that include social networking, file sharing, offering services, banking, etc. Users can also interact across different dimensions of interaction, wherever such interoperability is possible.
The advantages of the OMPlanet planetary system is that it is community-centric - each group of users controls its own planet with its data and services, it is poly-centric - all the ecosystem is federated between different communities/planets, and it is interoperable - there are agreements between different dimensions of interaction within and between the planets.
The OMPlanet network has a distributed model of interlinked data systems that expose, exchange and share data among different systems in the network and outside of its boundaries based on decentralized standard descriptions.
The decentralized standard descriptions enable data portability and toolchain interoperability among different database systems, web services and applications. Describing the OMPlanet network ecosystem is similar to an ontology modelling using the RDF specification recommended by W3C. It specifies a set of 12 dimensions each of them representing a specific group of social objects (e.g people, places, events, etc.):
- 12 Dimensions - the 12 dimensions of the OMPlanet network ecosystem.
The GeoSocial Real-time Radar
The migration of web services from the PCs to mobile devices brings in new dynamics into interaction. A new dimensional parameter has entered the scene - real time location information. To use the full potential of spatial information, OMPlanet is developing its own social radar called FreeSonar, it connects the dimensions of People, Places and Events in the OMPlanet network ecosystem.
FreeSonar helps to link the virtual world of the Web with the real world, encouraging to interact in real time at real places based on shared activities
- it is a GEOsocial network with new user interaction scenarios using GEOmetric pattern projections onto a GEOgraphic map.
- it has selective visibility features based on tags/keywords which provide better ways to solve user privacy concerns (users can choose to become visible to each other if they are sharing common interests for example).
- it is interoperable with a maximum number of web services - sharing places of interest, events in near proximity, organizing gatherings, transport sharing, etc.
- FreeSonar website, Development wiki page - Free Software Mobile GeoSocial Networking Application of OMPlanet network ecosystem.
The Starwheel Community Integration Framework
OMPlanet offers a concept of new taxonomy system of collaborative tagging (a folksonomy) called Starwheel based on Flower of Life geometry. One of the aspects is that each user or community creates a user centric tag-cloud of its own domain called Seed of Life which is then integrated into the main taxonomy called Flower of Life. This is a new way for content organisation, visualization and navigation:
- integrated Flower of Life taxonomy is a combination of all smaller "Seed of Life" taxonomies. Such organisation of tags provides cross-domain linking of people, places, events and other dimensions across the various web platforms in the network.
- Flower and Seed of Life user interfaces are interlinked tag-boards containing selective content contributed by each member or a group.
- it has ontology-oriented content navigation and search of people and open social media with intuitive content visualization arranged in geometric 2D and 3D patterns.
The Starwheel structures will be the common intuitive interfaces to serve as a link between different dimensions throughout OMPlanet network ecosystem.
- Starwheel web site, Starwheel wiki page - describing a new type of taxonomy system with geometric user interfaces.
Potential Member Groups, Dissemination
Consistent evolution of the OMPlanet ecosystem and collaboration of people and communities through its means can be realised only if 1) the technical platforms are properly developed 2) several target communities are actively involved using key applications and services and 3) a process has started to interconnect more actors from different domains across different platforms to bring a seamless flow of interaction.
As initial planets and inhabitants of the ecosystem we have selected to involve the following communities:
- World wisdom councils - The WorldShift Network initiated by The Club of Budapest which already connects plenty of organizations and individuals worldwide with the focus on "unity of humanity and nature", "global subsistence economy", "participative civil society", "salutogenesis" and other progressive fields.
- Sustainable communities - The Global Ecovillage Network with more then 3000 sustainable co-living settlements worldwide.
- Intentional communities - Rainbow Gatherings temporary gatherings of up to 30 000 people several times a year held in outdoor settings, people all over the world connected by the ideals of peace, love, harmony, freedom and community.
- NGOs and constructive activists - EU Youth in Action with over 110 000 young people organizing activities with subjects of non-formal learning, active citizenship, solidarity, tolerance, etc.
- Libertarian ICT communities - LibrePlanet, Lorea, Diaspora, etc.
Collaboration and Related Endeavours
The key challenge of the OMPlanet initiative is the adoption of already existing open technologies and creation of possible synergies and interoperability.
Achieving the interoperability of such complex community-based ICT platforms is a complicated process that involves various actors and challenges far beyond technical issues. We propose the following actions: 1) create the environment and conditions for such initiatives to start 2) keep the space open for experimentation 3) invest in creating stronger and neutral coordination and standardization bodies within the ecosystem and externally (e.g. W3C, ISO, etc).
Keeping the analogy with the planetary system, the central standardization body is the sun. The sun holds all the planets in the system in right orbits (provides the standards and common protocols of interaction). Just as the sun is 'only giving and not taking', similarly whoever has power in decision-making and creates rules should not be the one who benefits from it. (In contrast the rules of existing major social networking or cloud services are made differently for each service provider by itself and competing companies are not motivated by the creation of rules that are beneficial for all parties, they rather create closed markets with rules for their own benefit).
We see the possibility to establish a neutral international body - "Network of Social Networks", which will catalyst the efforts of all member organisations or individual initiatives sharing the vision, opportunities and challenges of interoperability.
This approach will make possible an alternative trend of evolution for the global Internet ecosystem which is now threatened to become a government censured and corporate owned oligopolistic market centralized within few key service providers (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, etc.). For example with the emerging cloud computing models all the personal user data, applications and services are being increasingly swallowed into the clouds. Millions of users will be reduced into powerless clients unable to do their own computing and completely dependent on commercial cloud service providers. In contrast we offer new models of distributed local/personal clouds each one managed and owned by its community members.
We are open for collaboration with other groups and projects dealing with similar/complementary endeavors.
- Related ICT Endeavours - currently existing projects and organizations that develop similar platforms, protocols and policies.
- Related Social Endeavours - social organizations and institutions doing similar research.