Community governance protocol
The Data Commons will need a constitution in which its members agree how decisions will be made about the operation of the commons and by whom. The constitution should reflect the principles we have set out in this paper: collective ownership, participant governance, and participant design. An important idea that has emerged from the project to date is that of a “community of practice”. This suggests that leadership and governance for the commons should come from the people who are actively involved in developing the commons.
An important idea that has emerged from the project to date is that of a “community of practice.”
This group provides the decision-making and community boundaries for the commons. They are responsible for making rules, managing community assets (e.g. standards), and ongoing co-design. We think that this approach has the best chance of avoiding the project becoming extractive over time. We are proposing a commons-based co-ownership model that supports better self-regulation, including agreed ethical standards and clear sanctions.
We suspect that the governance model that will emerge from discussions will be one that is common in clubs or incorporated societies: a general membership that votes for an executive.