Organizational Development 2012

I would like to announce that I am now officially a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow. This is a major development for Open Source Ecology, as the Fellowship provides a total of $360k of direct funding for the project.  I have blogged about my application 3 months ago, and you can see my application on the OSE wiki for reference

I am also a 2012 TED Senior Fellow – which I mentioned previously only in passing.  I am now one of 12 individuals selected from  the pool of 40 of the 2011 TED and TEDGlobal Fellows- to continue their TED Fellowship for another 2 years. This is important because TED provides major publicity.  My talk was featured as #6 in Best of TED for 2011, and the talk already has 671,000 views. The TED Senior Fellowship offers further speaking opportunities at the TED Conference. I am invited both to TED and TED Global, for a total of 4 conferences over the next 2 years. I am planning on giving a TED talk on the GVCS developments at TED Global.

These 2 distinctions are largely responsible for our ~$560k budget for first quarter of 2012, with which we intend to produce 12 further prototypes. See the Status Brief on the wiki for continuing prototyping updates. Aaron Makaruk, our resource developer, is working on $10M of grant applications by mid-year, from which we would like to see a 10% success rate. The goal is still to finish the 50 GVCS tools up to beta release status by December 21, 2012.

This requires a much more robust organizational infrastructure to manage a significant parallel development process. It seems to me that we will build up to that slowly, such that by mid-year, we will really accelerate. This is a rough Organizational Map that we are currently developing, and the next step will be recruiting.

I think that retired professionals with experience in business management, engineering management, and construction management will be key players in our effort. I think that we can find good candidates from SCORE. Shuttleworth Foundation is helping us find a Recruiter. I will continue to work with Shuttleworth Foundation, the TED community, and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation from Kansas City, and others on getting the proper structure in place – while remaining true to our core.

We need to recruit an Executive Director to run the overall organization, Factor e Farm Director to manage the on-site efforts, and a Project Director to work with Project Leaders for the 50 technologies.

With the Fellowships, resource development, Kickstarter, and True Fans support – we are well on our way – helping the world evolve to freedom.





  1. A.J.

    Marcin and crew, this is great! It’s good that you are getting funded, you are doing perhaps the most important work in the world.

    I worry a lot that you are going to screw it up though. Through ego? Through mismanagement? I don’t know.

    For some reason you chose to do this in middle of nowhere west Missouri… another world-historic enterprise from your region is Jack Stack’s Spring Remanufacturing… I really want you to check out their story and see if you can learn from / co-opt / join their success. Business structure, how to invest money, leveraging engineering know-how into global products.

  2. A.J.

    That’s “Springfield Remanufacturing Co”, sorry…

    There are so many parallels between your stories, this can’t be a geographical coincidence.

  3. JW

    I realize an organizational hierarchy is a standard business operating procedure. But if you are striving to use an open source model, shouldn’t you consider a flatter model? Hierarchies imply dominance, open source implies partnership.

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  5. Philip Reuchlin

    Congratulations Marcin.
    This sounds like a solid plan and like a good possibility to really upscale the good ideas you have been working on!
    I cant wait to see what comes next!

  6. LucasG

    Many things are opening up, which is both good and bad.

    I know of people in Europe wishing to build themselves a CEB Press. I’ve looked at the documentation for them, and it’s still not “frozen”. I know it’s an extra layer of complexity, but could the pages be copied to a “frozen” subtree and then keep the developement branch as fluid as you like?

    Anyone knows how that could work? Is there a real need to use a stabilised version to take to the workshop?


  7. LucasG

    Not exactly “bad”. You know, “a concern”. 🙂

    And I’m not sure things can be stabilised just yet. But there may be a need to focus on a certain degree of stabilisation at some point. Or, as I wrote above, two branches, maybe even with different background color to make it clear to users. The “release” (or even “release for developers”) branch would be the different one.

    I for one won’t even think about translation until – when – the Summer?

  8. Franz

    Congratulations first, and then also the concern that there is a fundamental decision to be taken now between a multi – locational p2p workgroup model (including a workgroup on integration of all tools) and a traditional hierarchical company model.
    It seems that several locations in Europe are going to be founded this year, and the question is: how easy will it be for them to enter the process? This is a crucial moment in which a true example for a P2P movement can be set.