PLANET is an evolving project to design an operating system for a collaborative, regenerative economy.
The project aims to demonstrate how collectively governed online systems could facilitate collaboration at scale by providing a decentralised coordination system to manage our collective endeavours.
how does planet work?
You can think of PLANET as a club, which is owned and managed by it’s members.
Everyone who joins gets access to a collection of tools to help them participate in the regenerative economy and collaborate with everyone else.
PLANET is built on a series of protocols, which define the procedures and rules at each layer of the system.
Defines the ontology on which PLANET is built.
An ontology is a set of principles, or assumptions, about how the world works and the fundamental nature of reality.
Core Policy layer
Puts the Planetary ontology into operation.
The shared purpose and principles on which PLANET operates.
Converts the Planetary purpose and principles into code.
The Membership Agreement and systems which define how PLANET works.
Provides the tools members use to participate in the new economy.
Everyone who joins the PLANET commons get access to the following tools:
Self Sovereign Identity
Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is an approach to digital identity that gives individuals control over their data. SSI addresses the difficulty of establishing trust in an interaction.
Your multi-currency wallet can hold both ‘conventional’ (e.g. GBP or USD) and other currencies, including Crypto and Mutual Credit.
Read more about Mutual Credit.
Conventional currencies, such as GBP and USD are created by central and investment banks as interest bearing debt.
When money is created as interest bearing debt it fuels the extractive nature of our economy, by requiring we extract even more value from nature in the future in order to ‘balance the books’.
Find out more about how the global economy is the core driver of environmental destruction.
Currencies should provide a measure, or store of value, or a means of exchange which is appropriate to the context in which it is being used. A collaborative regenerative economy will need multiple currencies for different purposes for example, you might ‘pre-buy’ deli-dollars in return for a discount on your lunch from the local deli, which in turn provides the deli with upfront capital for expansion.
Groups within PLANET would have the ability to create their own currencies, according to their own specifications, from within their multi-currency wallet.
The profile system within PLANET enables Members to set which of their details to share publicly, which to keep private and which data to license to third parties.
Public profiles make it easy for people to find others with shared interests, but nobody likes being spammed. With an appropriate permissions system which allows Members to reveal only what they want, to who they want data exploitation can be minimised – plus, by enabling Members to license their data to third parties on their own terms we can flip the ‘standard’ advertising model on its head and enable people, rather than big corporates, to benefit from the use of their data.
When you sign up to a new service or app you license your data to the service provider on your terms. To create a Data License you set permissions for the data you are willing to share from your private profile.
These licenses form the terms on which you participate with a service or platform and you can revoke a data license at any time. So, for example, you might allow your local pizza restaurant to send you promotions once a week, but you might charge your local supermarket 50p to send you a promotion.
Your reputation is an important metric in PLANET, which works throughout the economy – so when you sign up to a new service or app you don’t have to build a new reputation from scratch.
Reputation is a key means of tracking, rewarding and recognizing contributions which support the development of the collaborative, regenerative economy, which can help establish trust.
Reputation metrics can be complex to get right. So the reputation algorithm used by PLANET would be an open, and evolving, formula which Members define together.
Initial designs for PLANET’s reputation score have been developed to incorporate several ‘dimensions’ including:
- Identity – based on which aspects of your identity you have verified
- Claims – your own ratings of your various skills
- Reviews – based on ratings and feedback from others, per claim
- Honesty – based on your Claims and your Reviews
- Wisdom – how valuable your contributions are to others
- Ecological footprint
Read more about the initial designs for the PLANET reputation system.
To support decentralised collaboration at scale.
A space for you to share updates about what you have been contributing to the economy (not posts about your cat!) – every post requires:
- A title
- Some main text
- And local relevance
If posts have ‘local relevance’ as well as @mentions and #tags we create richer data which can be highly filtered to help reduce ‘noise’.
For example, by selecting one of the following options for every post we can direct our messages better.
Local relevance options:
So, if you’ve shared your location publicly, only your followers on your street see your question about bin day, and your followers in other countries get a richer feed.
This is just one example of how improving the quality of the data we publish we can create higher value data within the PLANET commons.
Achieving our full collaborative potential requires networks that can help small groups to connect more effectively with each other at larger and larger scale.
PLANET provides a specific set of group tools to encourage co-creation, collaboration and ethical trade.
A space for you to file your private work and share folders and files with other members.
The Docs system is closely connected to Groups, to enable simple sharing with other collaborators
In PLANET groups have 3 possible modes – All groups must be in one of these modes.
Chat groups are just for chatting, like a forum or WhatsApp group.
The PLANET chat tool enables Members to send private messages (DMs) and to form ‘open’, ‘restricted’ or ‘private’ groups, much like we already offer using the open source tool Mattermost via Open Web Systems.
Working groups are for members who have agreed to work together on some specific purpose e.g. an open source software project, or other creative endeavour.
Working groups come with the same chat features of chat groups, plus shared document storage – to enable collaboration with other group members,
shared calendars and
project management tools – much like we already offer using the open source tool Nextcloud via Open Web Systems.
Trading groups are for teams that have developed a business or other idea, to present a commercial proposition. A trading group is like a ready-made business and comes with all the tools that are needed to trade, but without the hassle of setting up a conventional business.
Trading Groups come with the same features as Working Groups, plus a CRM – to manage customer relationships, accounting and budgeting tools to keep track of the groups finances, and an online payment system to enable the group to make sales or receive donations.
The design of Groups is a central component of PLANET’s collaboration framework, which is designed to help small teams evolve by supporting them with the essential online tools they need to flourish. By providing the features above ‘out-of-the-box’, as soon as a new group is set up, or as its mode is updated, groups can bypass the tedium – and cost of tool selection, installation, and integration, and focus on their core objectives.
Every open group comes with a public profile, which explains the purpose of the group. These profiles make it easy for other Members of PLANET to find and connect with groups and include a link to their RSS feed, which provides a chronological list of their progress updates.
Groups blogs are just like personal blogs – but for groups. They provide a chronological feed of updates from the group, to which any Member of the group can contribute.
Group wallets provide a way for Trading groups to transact with other Members and Groups within PLANET. Instead of needing to incorporate and register a new bank account group wallets provide Trading groups with a simple way to send and receive funds, in multiple currencies, as soon as the group is established.
The collaborative tools within PLANET are supported by a range of services, including:
RSS feeds provide an automatically updated list of posts which Members make on their personal or Group blogs. See The Open Co-op’s RSS feed as an example.
Processors ingest, process and output the data within PLANET to provide specific information and services to PLANET’s Members. Aggregators, matching, transaction and notification services are all examples of processors.
HELP us make PLANET a reality
The Open Co-op is a collaborative endeavour to develop the various layers protocols, components and microservices to bring PLANET to life.
But, as you might appreciate, this is no small challenge!
So we need your help.
The original PLANET concept was designed in 2004. We designed a series of screenshots and cartoon story to demonstrate how the concept would be used in practice.
The cartoon story was developed in 2004, but was set in 2010. The designs might look old now but bear in mind that Facebook did not exist until February 2004 and Google Earth was not launched until June 2005, so the screenshots were quite forward thinking at the time.
We updated the PLANET concept in January 2017, as an open source operating system for a collaborative, sustainable economy with a new series of phone-based screenshots to illustrate how the various concepts and ideas would work.
Like before, the purpose was to illustrate some of the key concepts of a collaborative economy and what it might be like to interact with this new economic system via PLANET.
PLANET was, and still is, envisioned as an open source project which is owned and controlled by its members, giving them complete control over how it works.