Open Space Corporations

From Democratic Money wiki

The Open Space Company is a compensation and management system that can be applied to any company that's based on hiring labor to do things. It is based on Open Space Technology (OST), specifically the books by Harrison Owen. It is an attempt to implement Owen's vision of Open Spaces being a future of work that unleashes unprecedented productivity, exactly just like OST unleashed magic, but for paid labor and management of paid labor in general.

First, you start with a generic company. It can be a capitalist corporation or a worker-owned co-operative or a religious or non-profit organization or government institution with an infinite budget. That does not actually matter. It works on any kind of social setting where you have capital and labor capacity distributed in some fashion among the people. It does not matter who owns the capital and who owns the labor.

The company has capital reserves of some sort and some idea of its purpose, that is, what it wants to do with the capital. Its idea of what it wants to do guides the hiring of members.

The company has a few global settings, like its hourly rate of unconditional member income (e.g. 1 MONEY per hour) and its minimum and maximum weekly dedication limits per worker (e.g. between 4 and 20 hours/week).

All members are free to report their dedication level within the global parameters of the company. It's literally a dashboard with a slider in some internal website where they can set it as many times as they wish.

Payment of the unconditional member income is realized in real-time to all members at the global rate and at each member's dedication level. E.g. if I set my dedication to 10 hours/week and the unconditional income is 1 MONEY per hour, I earn 10 MONEY per week, or about 0,001 MONEY per minute (10 / (7 x 24 x 60)). Payments are subtracted from the company's capital pool.

The company can fire members (i.e. whoever or whatever process legally controls the company) and the members can quit at any time, just like in any company. There is no need to stay in the company if you have already decided to leave. Workers can always leave immediately.

Workers can be members of multiple companies. That's why they can set their dedication level for themselves.

The work itself is left for members to figure out for themselves (be them laborers or capital controllers). The company can directly contract members into teams or sub-companies to do specific things using traditional management (if workers like that kind of mode of work). Members can assemble and create things on their own, and then later sell it to the company or, if the company is not interested in paying for it, they can release it for free, as open-source (for physical-stuff companies, you need to be able to separate materials from labor somehow, in deciding who owns what; I'm sure something can be arranged).

In addition, the company's reserves can be mediated by something like the Greshm UBI system, or they can even be the backing reserves of an entirely new cryptocurrency which can be both used to pay the salaries and be bought and sold externally, by non-members. That currency could directly represent shares of the reserves, or have some other relationship to them (e.g. using Bancor).

Features

This eliminates the vast majority of infantilizing, objectifying, and toxic power dynamics in the business of buying, selling, and managing labor. Most power relations are undone, as everything related to actual production is now opt-in. Workers contract themselves into measured and managed labor and productivity arrangements when they actually want or need to do so.

By destroying all toxicity, we can have work lives that are much more pleasant, since to work is to live is to work. We stop giving hell to each other where we spend most of our productive lives.

Notes

OST works as a solution to extremely difficult problems. This is ideal for groups of people who have large amounts of capital, and they have a vision, but they have no idea how to manage a labor structure to get there.