Organizational Partnership in Peer-Production

In taking a peer-produced approach to building the Social Venture Commons and shldlss (the for-profit offshoot), I’m seeing the power of individual contributions. Peer-production is driven by interest and passion – truly personal things, and in doing things in a peer-produced manner, financial and intellectual capital aren’t as all-powerful. All this has me thinking about organizational partnerships differently and paying more attention to the fact that organizations generally have a lot of individuals working for them – the real resource that seems to make peer-production thrive.

So while specific agreements around financial and intellectual capital can still be extraordinarily valuable – I’m interested right now in organizational partnerships that free their people to peer-produce, to some level, the things they are truly interested in and passionate about.

Here’s how this might look:
– Partner identifies as a supporter of the Social Venture Commons (badge, blog, announcement etc.)
– Partner allows for employees to take some of their time for peer-production (e.g. 30% of certain staff and/or 1 hour per week of all staff)
– Partner frees employees to participate and benefit as individuals

What I think might happen:
– Partner organizations get first hand experience in peer-production
– Employees inspired by the opportunity to follow their interests and passions
– People outside the Partner Organization start making meaningful contributions to the Partner

There are also countless ‘negative’ things that might happen and I expect the results will come down to the spirit with which this is implemented. In my experience so-far the benefits far outweigh the risks. Regardless, the value of the experiment alone should be enough to have some innovative organizations give it a go.

I’m looking forward to seeing who steps up to give this a try and seeing how it goes. It may seem there is a lot to lose, but I think we’ll find we all have a lot more to give and that together we’ll have a lot more to gain.

3 thoughts on “Organizational Partnership in Peer-Production”

  1. Interesting: getting people to start using the platform is soon going to be the next step; starting by partnering with organizations might be the best way to seed the ventures and the community.

    shldlss is in itself a peer-produced organization: how much more can the team share about how the SVC and the for-profit arm was created to provide a blueprint and executable plan for people to start, construct and create similar peer-produced companies?

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