Open Governance and Learning

Context and background

Where we might want to advertise the course:

Week 1

Shaping the course together

- Getting to know the other participants
- Review the course syllabus and extend/update as a group

Week 2

First, let's clarify some terms: Governance or Government?

Why are we using the term "governance" here instead of "government"? Why are we talking about open governance and not open goverment?

The two terms seem to refer to two different concepts. For example, it has been said that "open government is [like] opening your home to the general public.  Open governance allows them to rearrange the furniture as they see fit". Find readings and look at definitions of governance and government, how they differ, and some examples of applications. Question the definitions you encounter by asking: "In which contexts do the terms apply? are they the same or not?", "what is the goal of governance and what is the goal of government?". The questions asked during week 3 of the previously-run P2PU course "Open Governance" also stimulate thoughts and reflections --

Possibly good to clarify the distinction between "open" and "transparent" at this point.  Many governments have some variant on the "freedom of information act".  But many also have state secrets.  Similarly, a governance model like "rough consensus" may be perfectly open, but not completely transparent as to how it works.

The task will be to discuss in the group the differences between the two terms and the different situations to which they apply.

Possible guests: Suggestions: Michel Bauwens??  Someone from the Piratpartiet?  Joint session with P2PU's Open Government course?

Recommeded readings:

Week 3

Let's start to examine how open governance works in P2PU. Browse the Internet and look for documents about P2PU history and its current governance strategies. In alternative, you can choose another relevant organization of your choice, ideally another peer-based and open online educational community such as,  for example. 

Start a blog to write your thoughts. You can work on the  task individually or with other peers.  Finally, we can assemble the various contributions to generate a group report in EtherPad.

Week 4

Building on what we found in week 3, we will now widen the scope to ask: How does open governance (or related systems of horizontal governance, self-governance, or commons management) work in the various places that it's currently found?

Let's discuss in the group and update the report in EtherPad with the comments that emerge from the discussion.

Some examples:

Week 5

Let's  use the input from the previous weeks to design a course for P2PU  (anyone can design and run a course on practically any subject!).

Either design a course based on what you've learnt here so far, or create some organizational patterns to help future course designers.

Week 6

Guest Facilitator: Phillip Schmidt?

Let's focus on the relationship between open governance, organizational learning, and peer-based learning. We think that P2PU is a special blend of   peer-based learning and peer-production, and open governance supports   the interchange between individual learning and organizational  learning.  By having access to information, resources, and opportunities for  participation, P2PU course participants can influence the way  governance  works "locally" in their courses, both at the level of the  course's  social contract and its syllabus.  

Focus  on what you have learnt in this course and/or interview willing  participants from another course and report back about what they feel they have learnt.


CRISTIANO ANTONELLI, Models of knowledge and systems of governance,
Journal of Institutional Economics  (2005), 1: 51-73 (non-subscriber download "working paper" version. Same?)

Paul B. de Laat,
Governance of open source software: state of the art                 
Journal of Management and Governance         
Volume 11, Number 2, 165-177 (non-subscriber download)

Loubser, Max, Governance Structures in Distributed Problem Solving  Networks (November 17, 2008).  Available at SSRN:

Elinor Ostrom:
Beyond Markets and states: Polycentric Governance of complex economic systems
From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 2009, Editor Karl Grandin, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 2010

Benjamin Rosenbaum:
The Guy Who Worked For Money (July 12, 2010)
[science fiction - it's odd, but meshes well with Ostrom and the writings on peer production]

* Want to add that I'm intending to sign-up for the course, and I think this might be relevant

Agenda for the webbased meeting: topics

- expectations