The core team

The core development team lives among the woods and small farms of rural southwest Wisconsin, USA. We don't have much cell phone coverage, but we do have very good internet! We are helped by a few others located around the world.

Here's a recent mention in the P2P Foundation's Top 10 P2P Trends for 2015. See #6, although the whole thing is interesting.

The networks who use the software also help us create it. For example, the Value Network Software (NRP) was designed by Sensorica as much as the programmers.

We are trying to use the skills we have to respond to the times we find ourselves in, with crises in the economy, climate change, and peak resources.

There are lots of experiments going on all over to address the problems we all see. We want to help groups of people who are trying out alternate economic forms that are more fair. These economic groups tend to be networks, or at least they want to network with other similar groups.

They also usually need some operational infrastructure to make their work more productive, and existing software options don't really work well for these groups. We think we can help out.

We have quite a few decades of software development experience, in all kinds of industries, but especially in manufacturing supply chains. Supply chains, in fact, are economic networks. They are just not yet next-economy networks.

How we work

We develop the software only in close collaboration with groups who are working on the ground. This means the software supports these groups very well. As we work with more groups, the software gets more able to support different kinds of groups, and also just better.

The software learns as we do.

We've found that if we consider the networks we work with to be equal partners and contributors, we make lots more progress. One example is the Sensorica concept of a value equation, which is democratically decided and used to distribute any income to those who contributed. We made this work because it fits really well with our model of resource flows in a network. But the idea was Sensorica's, coming out of their desire to define a different way to work and get rewards.

It is a commitment for people in a network to spend the time showing us how they work, making suggestions, testing, participating in feedback loops, all of which are necessary for this type of software development to work. We are tooled for speed of development, which helps us keep up with people who are themselves figuring out how their network should operate in real time. For example, we've probably thrown away half of the pages we have created with Sensorica. It is very dynamic and possibly not the way people are used to developing software, so if our users can embrace that, we can jointly be very productive.

How we work

We work off a hypothesis that has 5 parts:

  • We as a species are headed into a systemic crisis. That is, the current global economic system is failing.
  • The next system could be much better or much worse.
  • The much-better version will be networked, and will require better software.
  • The REA (Resource-Event-Agent) model (aka the ISO standard Economic and Accounting Ontology) is an appropriate base model for such software.
  • We don't know in detail how such software must work, so we will learn how by working with existing economic networks that are trying to change the economic system. We look at this as a series of semi-scientific experiments.

Examples of such experiments here

Open source software

Our software is open-source from top to bottom, and we are committed to maintaining that. We would like to expand our open source community, and welcome people to work with us.

For potential collaborators

In addition to new user networks, we're interested in collaborating with other software projects who see themselves as part of the same set of solutions, and would jump on opportunities to do so.

We are working with a team of collaborators towards a common vocabulary to support inter-operability between next-economy software called ValueFlows. The more the merrier.

And we are also interested in working with other programmers, designers, writers, whatever, on the NRP software. Here are some of our current needs for direct help. The software is written in Django, a Python framework. We also need lots of javascript help for new UI features.

If you want to learn more about the NRP software, check out the github wiki, or wander around the Sensorica Value Accounting / NRP System, or read Sensorica's writings about Open Value Networks.