Announcing One Click Orgs advisory board

By | March 19, 2010

We’re delighted to announce the formation of One Click Orgs’ advisory board and honoured that three outstanding figures have agreed to support the project by being part of it:

Oliver Goodenough is co-director of the Law Lab at Harvard University’s Berkman Center and also professor of law at Vermont Law School. He leads Harvard’s “Virtual Corporations” project and is one of the architects of the amendmants passed by the State of Vermont making it the world’s first jurisdiction to support entirely virtual corporations.

David Johnson is Senior Resident Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology. Prior to this he was Visiting Professor at New York Law School where he established the “Virtual Company” project. David (working with Oliver Goodenough) was an architect of the legislative reforms creating the Vermont Virtual Corporation. He is particularly interested in the potential of virtual organisations to enable new forms of peer production.

Matt Jones is a partner at BERG, the London-based design consultancy. He was a co-founder of the travel website Dopplr, director of user experience for the Nokia NSeries range and creative director behind the original BBC News website.

Oliver, David and Matt’s experience and wisdom will be invaluable in guiding One Click Orgs’ strategy over the coming months.

First five groups selected for beta programme

By | November 23, 2009

We’re delighted to announce the first five groups selected to participate in the One Click Orgs beta programme. The groups are:

WordCamp UK (UK)

Open Font Library (International)

Open Kollab (USA / International)

Southend in Transition (UK)

Crafting Gentleness (N Ireland / International)

We’ll be setting up platforms for each group over the coming week. In proper OCO style the final decision was made via a vote on our governance system. We’re looking forward to working with each of the groups and learning how we can best support their goals. We’ll be announcing the next batch of beta participants in the near future.

Say hallo to One Click Orgs Beta

By | October 14, 2009

At last week’s planning meeting we decided (with a One Click Orgs vote, naturally) that the platform was ready to enter Beta release. Since the start of 2009 three groups have been using the Alpha platform and giving us valuable feedback. With the new 0.5 release we’re opening an invitation to 20 groups to use One Click Orgs and help guide the next stage of development. Our partners at the Open Knowledge Foundation have kindly made hosting facilities available to support this.

We’ve already got a dozen groups lined up for the Beta. If your group would like to join them and be one of the first to run on a virtual platform write to us at open [at] CIRCUS-foundation [dot] org or send a message via our Facebook group. Meanwhile we’ve published a simple Beta FAQ answering some of the key questions from groups that are interested.

One Click Orgs at Berkman governance summit in Washington DC

By | October 9, 2009

Last month I was invited to Washington DC to present One Click Orgs at the Summit on Next-Generation Governance Models organised by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. This one-day summit brought together fifty senior academics, figures from the Obama administration and technologists.

There was a huge amount of interest in the project. It was a particular pleasure to meet Oliver Goodenough (Co-Director of the Berkman Center’s Law Lab) and David Johnson (Senior Resident Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology). They were jointly responsible for the reforms passed in the Vermont state legislature in 2008 opening the way for virtual corporations. Both Oliver and David have graciously agreed to join One Click Orgs’ Advisory Board.

One of the most interesting topics discussed at the Berkman summit was the way that virtual corporations could undermine key planks of the corporate regulation regime. Currently the vast majority of corporations are registered in the jurisdiction in which they’re located. The notable exception is the United States where the state of Delaware has a long-standing reputation for business-friendly company law which has led a lot of ventures to incorporate there.

The emergence of virtual corporations threatens to cut the tie between the location of a business and the jurisdiction where it registers. Just as shipping businesses register their fleets under “flags of convenience” such as the Bahamas where regulations are looser and multi-national firms organise their tax affairs around the laxest regimes, businesses will increasingly be free to incorporate in whichever jurisdiction in the world has the most favourable company law. This raises a host of questions about how governments will be able to fulfill their responsibilities to protect consumers and shareholders from abuses and fraud.

The invention of artificial personality and limited liability by the UK Parliament in the nineteenth century reflected a quid pro quo where joint-stock corporations gained significant privileges and protections in return for which they submitted to state regulation and agreed to place key information in the public domain. That bargain is now in danger of unraveling.

Virtual corporations pose many other questions for society. The internet has given rise to millions of online communities which will soon have an easy route to acquire legal personality. Are we ready for a world where “guilds” in the online game World of Warcraft can become corporations, own assets, have their own governance systems and enter into contracts with the rest of the world?

Important advantages are offered by virtual corporations. They will permit entrepreneurs to set up a venture in a matter of hours in response to a new opportunity and greatly reduce the bureaucratic friction involved in running a company. But we need to be sure that the regulatory regime keeps up with the challenges presented by this new world.

Org formation process completed

By | September 4, 2009

The last outstanding chunk of functionality for One Click Orgs v1.0 was the process for forming a new organisation. During the hackday held in London on 22 August we got it built. In this video Chris shows it in action.Watch movie online Logan (2017)

One Click Orgs hackday 22 August 2009 from CIRCUS foundation on Vimeo.

Hackday in progress in Charles' summer house

Hackday in progress in Charles' summer house

Video from hackday 25 July 2009

By | July 29, 2009

Last Saturday’s hackday was super-productive. All the remaining constitutional amendments were completed and work was done to make the platform easier to install. In this video, recorded towards the end of the day, Chris Mear demonstrates the constitutional modification process.

One Click Orgs hackday 25 July 2009 from CIRCUS foundation on Vimeo.

Lunchtime seminar on Emergent Democracy, Young Foundation, Wednesday 22th July 2009

By | July 20, 2009

Charles Armstrong will be hosting a lunchtime seminar on emergent democracy at the Young Foundation in London this Wednesday.

The event is free and open to guests, so feel free to come along if you are around in London!

Following is the blurb for the event:

For two millennia democratic systems have been designed to accommodate a set of limiting factors which the internet has rendered obsolete. This opens the door to substantially new models of democracy which are more fluid, more responsive to changing circumstances and more efficient at harnessing a society’s collective intelligence. The seminar draws on ideas explored by Charles in his chapter on emergent democracy which forms part of O’Reilly’s forthcoming book “Open Government”.

Charles is CEO of the social analytic software business Trampoline Systems, recently recognised by Red Herring as one of the world’s top 100 technology firms. He is founder of think tank CIRCUS foundation and Director of the One Click Orgs project, providing automating legal structures and governance tools for non-profits. Charles is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, a board member of Fondacja Techsoup and was the final person to be mentored by Michael Young.

Session at Reboot Britain

By | July 5, 2009

I’m doing a session on One Click Orgs at Reboot Britain tomorrow in London. It kicks off at 12:30 in the Mountbatten Room at the Savoy Hotel. Come and say hi if you’re there.

Video from Alpha demo at OpenTech

By | July 5, 2009

James and I had a marvelous time at OpenTech yesterday. The Alpha platform performed flawlessly in its first public demonstration and we had a huge amount of positive feedback. Here’s a video of the second half of our session covering the demo itself. Apologies for the low image quality, the auto-exposure was confused by the bright projection.

One Click Orgs demo at OpenTech 2009 from CIRCUS foundation on Vimeo.

Presenting at OpenTech

By | June 30, 2009

This Saturday I’m giving a presentation about One Click Orgs at OpenTech in London. My session is due to kick off around 12:40. This will be a particularly exciting day for the project as we’re hoping to give the very first public demo of the alpha release. There will be several of us at the event so if you’re there do come and say hallo.