Using Metagov to integrate Slack, Airtable, PubPub

This is a stub use-case inspired by a potential collaboration with Nested Minds Network (NMM), led by Felix Schoeller, a project to design and build new digital institutions / incentive systems for research and academia, especially ones that emphasize collaboration over competition. The collaboration would be more of a research project targeting a research proposal (e.g. geared toward Horizon grants) + eventual paper articulating the use of active inference in order to design a scientific organization.

NMM is currently organized (in a top-down way) into various research groups organized into disciplinary tracks. Each group has members and advisors. Right now, each NMM group has 5-20 members who tend to come and go as well as 3-4 core members headed by a PI. The groups help researchers working on similar topics to connect with each other’s work. The groups are captured on Airtable.

Whenever a new member joins in, everyone gets notified on Slack.

In the future:

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It took me some time but I managed to map pretty much everything. Black is what already exists, red is what we intend to build.

The network performs 3 functions:

1) social/collaboration (meet new people/new ideas) structured around AirTable that keeps track of people and groups working on specific topics,

2) publication of research outputs through our PubPub platform that allows for retributed authorial, peer-review and and editorial work

3) mutualized funding through a shared wallet that allows researchers to capture funds, allocate them via bounties, and pay members that realize these bounties.

Function 1 is currently operational, we are in the process of building Function 2 and 3. It would be great to target a grant with Metagov to build 3 specifically in a way that is replicable across scientific communities.


Looks very cool Felix!

A few ideas and questions

  1. How can the design and lifecycle management here be integrated with best practices in Systems Engineering and the emerging field of Active Inference? We explored some of these ideas in our 2020 paper “Active Inference & Behavior Engineering for Teams”

  2. Right now the diagram is specified with some closed-source platforms (e.g. Slack). How can we ensure that system design is specified along functional lines? This would ensure that open-source alternatives could be selected eventually, escaping the uncertain incentives/constraints/motivations of proprietary software as infrastructure. Then if a current/future/other organization wanted to use proprietary software elements, this would be possible but not locked-in.

  3. It makes sense to pursue (collaborative) funding to deploy a minimal “MetaSci” or “MetaComm” or “MetaCOP” (Community Of Practice). How could we promote an ecosystem of participation and collaboration, so that other communities could benefit from these efforts?

  4. Where do we see Governance and Meta-Governance occurring in the NMN system (or in any? How are decisions above the team level made, and what is the meta- for changing the governance structure and fundamental communication structures? Who gets to participate in governance and how do they get on-boarded into that process? How does Active Inference provide us a framework for exploring these essential topics related to Participation?

Lots more to say here, and I am happy to collaborate / provide more information as an individual or representative of ActInfLab as needed!

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