Charles and Chris will be launching a brand new platform at the Co-operatives United event in Manchester on 31st October. Come and say hi if you’re there.
For more details see the Co-operatives United website.
Charles is in Manchester today to talk about digital governance and One Click Orgs at the Co-operatives UK Autumn Summit. This annual event brings together leaders from the UK’s largest co-operatives along with other movers and shakers from the movement.
The co-operative movement is founded on the principle of democratic member governance so it will be fascinating to see whether there are applications for One Click Orgs in this sphere.
Today One Click Orgs announces release of version 1.2.3. For this release the team focused on enhancing security across the platform. A formal vulnerability test was carried out to identify all potential security issues then a series of code changes was implemented to remedy them. The v1.2.3 release includes the following security fixes:
- HTML was not properly escaped in proposal descriptions and comments. This is fixed.
- Users could be redirected to an external site by abusing the URL used for registering a vote. This is fixed.
- Members could set their email to that of an existing member and new members could be added with the same email as an existing member. This is fixed.
- Browsers were permitted to cache login credentials. This is fixed.
- The password reset system allowed a non-member to determine whether or not an email address corresponded to a valid user or not. This is fixed.
- The organisation’s name was not properly escaped for the ‘From’ field of emails. This is fixed.
- Some invalid characters were allowed in members’ email addresses. This is fixed.
- Users could be redirected to an external site by inserting special characters into the organisation’s subdomain. This is fixed
In addition to the security fixes the following enhancements are also included:
- A vote taking place under the ‘veto’ voting system now closes early if
- all members vote in favour.
- Rails is upgraded to version 3.0.10.
- Members can now specify what role they play in the organisation.
- Proposal comments are now displayed in date order.
Particular thanks to Andrew Black and Darren McDonald for contributions, testing and reports for this release.
Source and downloads are available at Github.
On Wednesday 27th July the members of London Hackspace gathered at the Trampery in London for the organisation’s Annual General Meeting. The main item on the agenda was a proposal to adopt a new set of corporate articles virtualising all procedures of the Board of Directors on a platform created by One Click Orgs.
Russ Garrett, Co-Founder of London Hackspace, proposed the motion for vote and it passed unanimously at 20:16 BST. Therefore this was the moment when the world’s first virtualised non-profit corporation came into existence. The vote is captured in the photo below.
London Hackspace is a Company Limited by Guarantee, the UK form of a non-profit corporation. The One Click Orgs virtualisation completely removes Board Meetings from the organisation’s formal procedures. Instead a board member can put forward a proposal for vote at any time on the One Click Orgs platform and proposals that pass will be legally binding on the corporation. The platform also provides facilities to record minutes from offline discussions and register Directors’ conflicts of interest declarations.
This is just the first step in a larger process to virtualise all governance processes for the corporation. The next step will remove the requirement to hold an Annual General Meeting and enable members to elect Directors through an electronic vote on One Click Orgs.
Thanks to Francis Davey who did a lot of work drafting the virtualisation elements for the revised Articles and Chris Mear for his herculean effort preparing the platform. Many thanks also to UnLtd for supporting the project and to London Hackspace for being such an excellent partner to work with.
We’re delighted to announce that One Click Orgs has received its first ever grant funding in the shape of a Level 1 Award from UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs. The grant has been provided to support One Click Orgs in its project to develop a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) platform. As the British equivalent of a non-profit corporation this is the most widely-used legal structure for larger non profits in the UK.
As we announced last year we’re working with the London Hackspace to create the first example of a virtualised CLG before making the solution available to all non profits. Our research suggests the platform will be of great appeal to organisations wanting to minimise time lost to bureaucratic processes and also larger organisations seeking to keep their membership engaged with decision making.
Our sincere thanks to the team at UnLtd for their support. It is greatly appreciated.
At an event in London this evening One Click Orgs officially launched its free public service. The version 1.0 platform helps community groups and fledgling non-profits organise themselves with a legal structure and voting system.
One Click Orgs Associations are compatible with English law. We think they can be used in other countries too. However in some places an Association must be registered with state agencies. We’d welcome input from lawyers who can tell us exactly what’s needed for different jurisdictions
In countries where a One Click Orgs Association isn’t recognised as a civil society organisation groups are still welcome to create a One Click Orgs constitution and use the voting system with their members.
Today we’re hugely excited to announce that Joi Ito has joined One Click Orgs’ advisory board. Joi has contributed to a succession of ground-breaking internet ventures as an entrepreneur and investor. His current role as CEO of Creative Commons puts him in the thick of the collision between established legal concepts and the internet which is One Click Orgs’ home territory.
It was a fireside discussion about emergent democracy with Joi at Foo Camp 2008 that planted the seed for CIRCUS foundation’s Themis project and the chapter on emergent democracy I contributed to O’Reilly’s “Open Government” book. The Themis project gave birth to One Click Orgs so there’s a poetic circularity in Joi getting involved with the project now.
In joining One Click Orgs’ advisory board Joi is in the distinguished company of Oliver Goodenough (Co-Director Berkman Center Law Lab, Harvard University), David Johnson (Senior Resident Fellow, Center for Democracy and Technology) and Matt Jones (Partner, BERG). Joi has some far-sighted ideas about how virtual corporate structures will enable changes in financial and organisational models. We look forward to working with him to turn some of these ideas into reality.
A month ago we posted the first part of the video introducing One Click Orgs’ collaboration with London Hackspace. Now here’s the second part in which Chris Mear walks through the current codebase. If you’re a developer thinking of getting involved in the project this would be a useful place to start and get your bearings.
Merb has served us well since One Click Orgs’ first commit, back in December 2008. We’ve produced a solid beta release on it. But with the recent release of the Rails 3 beta, and with the One Click Orgs 1.0 release not a million miles away, it was time to make a decision on how we move forward.
Although some standalone version of Merb will probably continue to exist in the future, Rails 3 will be getting a lot more attention, as the official successor to Merb 1. Rails itself is already a more popular framework, and with that comes more developers who are familiar with it, and wider community support for hosting and troubleshooting. If One Click Orgs wants to attract more developers to the project, and be straightforward to set up and install, then moving to Rails makes sense.
If those were our only goals, of course, you might ask why we don’t switch to something like PHP, which everyone knows and which runs everywhere. We did consider this, but the Merb/Rails way of doing things has let us produce quality results quickly, and we’d like to continue with a similar set of tools. Merb 1 and Rails 3 are more similar than they are different, and moving to Rails is more akin to switching dialects than it is to rewriting the entire codebase from the ground up, which would be a major undertaking.
So, with a bit of effort now, we’re able have confidence in future support for our platform, retain our existing investment in experience and code, and potentially open up One Click Orgs to a wider audience of developers and users.
Our work to move to Rails 3 is now substantially complete. We’ve just had our March Hackday at The Trampery, where Charles, Colin, Jan, Martin and myself tested out the latest work on the Rails 3 port. We managed to fix a lot of the glitches with it, and just a few issues remain to be sorted before the Rails version of One Click Orgs becomes our next official beta release.
As well as the Rails 3 work, David Bovill (who, through LocalEyes, is also one of our beta users!) worked on prototypes of a mobile voting interface and a system for graphing the distribution of proxy votes. And, finally, we were joined remotely by Russ Garrett of the London Hackspace, with whom we’re working on the early stages of our 2.0 roadmap.