Stage 2 - Sketching Solutions

This is the second stage of this process to design governance features to Karrot. Now we try to sketch some ideas, based on the insights gained from the previous stage. Next up is prototyping and testing, but until we get there we have probably a few meetings left to have the final sketch (although I suspect we will need less meetings than on the first stage).

So far we’ve had two and a half meetings (one short after Karrot’s weekly meeting) since we started discussing and brainstorming solutions (see meeting notes). In the second one we actually started sketching some ideas previously brought up in the one before.

We’re also trying to bring in more participants now that we have a concrete question to work on. See call for participation

Summary 2nd Meeting

We started by discussing 2 ideas:

  • How to make explicit the group’s vision and values and connect them with “rule-making”, or arriving at collective agreements.
  • How to make a rule library of things that worked well in other groups, promoting exchange of ideas and experiences, and how to add, review, change, remove and discuss these rules.

Then we had 15-20 minutes to work on our own sketches (will upload them later). After that we presented our respective sketches and commented on each other’s sketch.

Finally, we checked again the long-term goal and process questions and concluded that we did not diverge and are still pretty much aligned with them.

Next Meeting


We will choose which are the most interesting aspect(s)/feature in each sketch we would like to focus on. Then another round of sketching…

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Here are the sketches from our last session (see Governance Meeting Notes for the meeting notes).

Summary 4th Meeting

Now we’re getting somewhere! Katie, Vasilis and I got together a bit earlier to work more on the sketch from the previous meeting (above) and Nick joined later. Some kind of final sketch is slowly starting to take shape. And we have a feeling we’re still aligned with the mission and discussions we had from the beginning on Stage 1 defining the challenge.

Next meeting 2020-12-10T12:00:00Z we’ll be finishing this sketch and start planning the prototype.

So far we based the sketch on 2 main ideas:

  • to facilitate for groups to elaborate their visions and values and connect them with rules/agreements that are collectively discussed and decided upon, with a feedback mechanism and still undecided procedure to approve proposals
  • a rule/values library that groups using Karrot can contribute to, to enhance exchange and learning between groups.

(I wasn’t sure where to put this, as it’s kind of like going back to sketches again, but seems more appropriate place).

Me and @bruno had a co-working session on the prototype yesterday, and aside from some more direct practical bits, we also chatted a bit more about how the agreements could work - as we found in our last governance meeting it was not very clear to anyone how to proceed.

One of the key questions for me was whether the agreements should be lots of little one line points, or a big wall of text document. We realised it would be useful to look at existing examples of agreements so we can better come up with a model.

… but as we chatted during the co-working session, an idea emerged from between us that feels quite promising (we can see how well it might fit any of the docs we find).

The idea is:

  • you can have any number of individual agreement documents
  • each one has a title, a summary/overview, the full text, and maybe some values tags (“sharing is caring”, etc…) that loosely apply to the whole text
  • at one time there can be one approved agreement and one proposed agreement (either or both)
  • editors can edit the proposal (there is only one proposal at a time for a given agreement)
  • non-editors can view the proposal, and participate in the chat, but not edit it
  • there is a chat that is connected specifically with the proposal (will be archived afterwards)
  • the proposal has a “reason/context for change” field that explains why the change was made (e.g. “the neighbour was complaining so we had to limit the opening hours”)
  • the proposal is approved by somehow asking all the members (“consent of the governed”), but probably not consensus (as inactive members won’t do anything), so more like consent, kind of as we discussed before I think, maybe if no sad faces then go ahead after a time, … not sure on the exact mechanism though, maybe when the proposal is started it has a duration? needs more thought…
  • the value tags are the things like “sharing is caring”, it’s a bit less granular than being able to put them for an individual line, but maybe a reasonable middle ground? gives a flavour of the vibe of that particular agreement?
  • then a history view that let’s you see a list of all the reasons for change over time and a view to show those changes (like in discourse when you edit your post, you can see a view of the changes), and keeping track of who did the changes, and who approved them, and maybe a view of the archive of the chat from the time

So, I thought there are 4 main screens to think about here:

  1. list of agreements
  2. agreement detail
  3. agreement history
  4. agreement proposal

… and some idea of what might be on them (not refined UI concept, just a general idea):

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