- Network and values
- Structure and operations
- Roles in the Network
- Collaboration on projects
- Value and Revenue
- Disputes and resolution in the network
- Culture and behaviour
- Relationship to the outside
- Legal compliance
- Data protection and Intellectual Property
- Join the network
Network and Values
This documention is the collaboration agreement, code of conduct and guidebook for the Swarm, the new way human beings use their collective intelligence for the greater good. In this function, it is meant to be a more detailed and understandable addition to the Terms & Conditions of the COBIOM platform which keep being the legally binding agreement between users and the platform. It applies to the Responsible Innovation Network with all its units, in particular COBIOM and the Biomimicry Academy. The framework is explicitly under constant developed to allow for adaptation to changing conditions and the interest of its members. Updates will be sent directly to all members and posted on the respective communication channels, namely Slack and in the COBIOM collaboration space.
The Manifesto of the COBIOM network
I) Our vision is a society that exists in a harmonic, mutually beneficial relationship between humanity and nature. We do this by educating thought leaders that inspire and empower people to take responsible and conscious actions to smoothly transform society into an aware and meaningful part of this world.
II) All our work and activities are defined and directed by the values we strive to establish in society, companies and organisations. Our success is measured against these hallmarks and every action towards the outside of the agency has to be in alignment with them. The highest quality in all processes and products we deliver, is key to our success.
III) We believe in our ability and trust in our potential impact to work towards this goal as a community based on mutual trust and reliability according to the values of the coworking manifesto: collaboration over competition; community over agendas; participation over observation; doing over saying; friendship over formality; boldness over assurance; learning over expertise; people over personalities; value ecosystem over value chain.
IV) All our actions are driven by the desire to achieve a sustainable existence, be it ecologically, economically, or personally. Thus, we value individual needs, personalities, diversity and exchange as the highest human goods where they are in accordance with a sustainable state of the comprising system. Health and well being of every member, as well as the balance of life and work desired and required by every participant, is the goal of the internal work.
V) Monetary value obtained by the work of the network shall be distributed fairly. Data acquisition, storage, application and change is transparent and debatable. Additional payments and agreements have to be documented and made fully accountable.
Who we are
COBIOM is a network in the true sense of the word, an ecosystem that provides conditions in which cooperation can grow, individuals can develop and ideas ripen to economically viable solutions that have impact for a better world for people and planet.
The network serves to create conditions in which society, nature, economy and governance can thrive. To achieve this, it strives to create self-regulative, regenerative systems by following the principles outlined below, based on the Life’s Principles and Nature’s Unifying Patterns:
- Optimise rather than maximise
- Build on abundance
- Be responsive and adaptive
- Leverage interdependencies
- Design for resilience
- Fit form to function
- Use information over material
- Be locally attuned
- Reduce consumption and devaluation
- Use cyclic processes and harmless substances
Apart from these thorough guiding principles, the world starts to agree to the framework of the Sustainability Developmental Goals of the United Nations. The Network selected the following SDGs as its goals:
Mission for the community
The aim of the network is to help its members provide their services to clients in order to create, propagate and promote responsible innovation and development on all levels. The network functions as an enabler to create and pass on profits to its members in accordance with the aforementioned premises. It is explicitly not the goal or purpose of the network to maximise and extract profit.
The Responsible Innovation Network is built as a Swarm organisation with decentralised assets, value creation and distribution. It is led by an inner core according to the levels of responsibility and the risks involved in them. In essence, the core guides the organisation's general direction to synchronise diverse preferences and perspectives of stakeholders by providing a framing structure of which this document is a central part.
The Network explicitly does not intend to work with employees but with free, self-motivated, responsible individuals and organisations. Value created by individuals shall benefit them, the network and externals, human and non-human alike.
Operational work is done through project-based relationships in the community according to the principles of the "gig economy": Network assets can be used, requested and grown based on project agreements. Stakeholders propose projects to the core including the following information:
- Main goal
- value created for the project
- involved network and client
- roadmap with timeline and milestones
- required resources
- expected outcomes
- financial projection.
The Core decides about allocated resources, brand use and support. The project is led by a representative (project lead) in direct exchange with the Core.
Leadership is an attitude, not a position!
Leadership is understood as taking responsibility to establish a context in which other capable and self-motivated individuals are willing and able to innovate a path through ever-changing and multifaceted challenges. The role of a leader is not a position but a dynamic task in relation to the involved stakeholders. The Network explicitly encourages its members to take up this role. Leaders are expected to drive cooperation and strive for synergies. Competitive behaviour is not accepted.
Openness, learning, growth and agility are integral parts of the Network's philosophy and the strength of the community. Any member of the network is thus open for feedback and constructive suggestions. This framework is hence subject to iterations and advancements through the input of the network which is herewith explicitly invited.
Roles in the Network
The Network is an ecosystem that provides conditions in which cooperation can grow, individuals can develop and ideas ripen to economically viable solutions that have impact for a better world for people and planet.
Anybody can work with the network according to this Community Framework in its current version. Collaborations are highly individual like in any personal connection of human beings. Nevertheless, we consider it useful to outline the major aspects of possible collaborations here. In essence, anybody who identifies with the values and goals of the Network can collaborate as
- an expert in the network,
- an associate for COBIOM,
- a professional user requesting the services of the Network.
These options are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, transition between them is fluid, i.e. the Network is build as a Living System with a gradient of interactions that in turn define the roles, not the other way around!
To join the Swarm follow the procedure outlined here.
It should be noted that throughout this document the male form is used for simplicity; this shall not imply any form of discrimination and explicitly honours and includes all genders beyond the classical biological definition; it rather acknowledges the current developmental stage of language as we do not tend to occupy ourselves as linguists but actors between business and sustainabile development.
The following document serves as a collaboration agreement valid for all members. However, it can be modified individually in an additional bilateral agreement. Such a separate agreement is signed and dated by the collaboration partners and this binds both sides to this agreement.
1) COBIOM expert
a) Expert in the digital community
By agreeing to this Community Framework in its current version, an individual joins the COBIOM Community as an expert. Experts can use the network for knowledge exchange or work on personal or non-profit projects for free. They are expected to actively participate in the exchange in the network according to the guidelines in the Community Framework. If the Network is used in any other way, the relationship between the user and the Network is that of a Professional Network User.
Revenue is distributed to the Network members that actively participate in value creation. The distribution of incoming value is described in "Value and Revenue". Contributors are primarily remunerated in this way except, if agreed otherwise in a separate bilateral agreement. All transactions are to be made as transparent and debatable as possible under the data protection guidelines.
Experts in the network can be booked by COBIOM or other partners in the Network for a defined project. All engagements are agreed upon and remunerated on a project basis, no employment status is sought by any of the parties. The project engagements are clearly defined in a written agreement that describes timeframe, tasks, rights and remuneration. The agreement is valid when signed by both parties. The work as COBIOM Project Manager is remunerated as described in "Value and Revenue", if not agreed otherwise. An additional bonus can be added to the agreement in the form of a percentage of the net project value.
c) Content creator
Experts in the Network whose content is used by COBIOM are eligible for a financial compensation if required. They also keep full ownership over their Intellectual Property.
If content is co-created by an expert in collaboration with COBIOM, both can use it in any way and both hold 100% of the Intellectual Property. For more information on Intellectual Property see the respective chapter. Revenue created by using the content is shared equally (50:50) between the co-creators, if not agreed otherwise in written form. The shared revenue is determined and paid quarterly.
2) COBIOM Associate
a) Associate roles
The role of an Associate with COBIOM is defined by the strengths and preferences of the associate. The associate is encouraged to propose any of the following roles to the Core and can adopt any of them until explicitly revoked by the Core. However, it is not possible for any of the parties to demand any of them.
Most common roles:
b) Free project acquisition
The Associate networks and communicates on his own account. He is supposed to do this under the brand of COBIOM as much as possible according to the agreed status as an Associate. This aims to reduce a potential conflict of interest and maintain the objective of a mutually beneficial collaboration in the long run. The associate is free to do his work in any way as long as the values of the Network and the communication guidelines are respected. He is allowed and encouraged to use all available material and resources of COBIOM and the network for his work.
As outlined in the chapter on revenue, it is possible and feasible for an Associate to work exclusively in acquisition for Cobiom and earn 4000-6000 € per month.
c) COBIOM support and management staff
Additionally to working in acquisition, Associates can work with COBIOM by supporting backend development, e.g. in communication, UX or business development, or as project managers. All engagements are agreed upon and remunerated on a project basis, no employment status is sought by any of the parties.
Associates or the COBIOM Core can propose a project in the form of a written proposal including: Main goal, value created for the project, network and client, roadmap with timeline and milestones, required resources, expected outcomes, financial projection. The Core decides about allocated resources, brand use and support. The project engagements are clearly defined in a written project sketch that describes timeframe, tasks, rights and remuneration, and signed by both parties. The financial benefits for the associate are outlined in "Value and Revenue".
Is the project a revenue project, i.e. a project involving a paying third party, contracting, legal representation, payment and revenue is handled through COBIOM. In case a project manager is required, the associate can propose or be asked to act as the COBIOM Project Manager. The COBIOM Project Manager is the face of COBIOM to the client, handles classic and agile project management, and the representation of the rights and responsibilities of COBIOM to the outside. It is advised to share the roles of account manager and content manager to always have
d) Contracting, legal representation, payment and revenue
Contracts between COBIOM and a client or other third party are handled by the Network as the legal entity behind the Network. Associates have to be authorised by the Core to initiate theses contracts that have to be signed by a managing director of the Network to be valid. The associate then acts in the name of COBIOM and the Network which are legally responsible for his actions. All elements of legal compliance in the Collaboration Framework of the Network in its current version apply.
Payment from clients for the services of any of the contracts described above are handled through COBIOM and the Network, and add to its revenue.
e) Reimbursement of expenses
Associates can advance to Core members after a given time in agreement with the owners of the Network. As a Core member, they leave the status of Associate for the most part, unless agreed otherwise. Instead a Core member receives an individually determined share (percentage) of the quarterly profit before taxes generated by the business of the Responsible Innovation Network GmbH. Conditions and profit share are defined in "The Core".
3) Professional Network User
The collaborations in the Network build on mutual benefits. If a stakeholder wishes to use the services of the Network without actively participating in the creation of value for the Network itself, he can join the Network for a monthly membership fee of 499 €.
This document shall be used as the framework for any collaboration agreement between collaboration partners according to paragraph 1, 2 or 3 and the Network. It thereby serves as Terms and Conditions (Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen). If a provision of this agreement is or becomes invalid or unenforceable, that shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision.
We promote and incentivise COLLABORATION OVER COMPETITION. Many challenges that humanity faces can't be solved alone, because there is way to much knowledge for any single person or entity to be aware of and use effectively; moreover, perspectives, priming and biases influence the evaluation and choise of pieces of and connections between knowledge.
Collective cognition and intelligence are key. This is why only the combination of content and methodological expertise and personal background of human beings will yield true, lasting change and a desirable future for people and planet.
"Competition is an old-fashioned, inefficient way of doing business. We call leaders and coworkers to work in mutual symbiosis, where everybody benefits. It is possible, if we only try."
The Radical Collaboration Manifesto
- We believe in the emerging power of WE.
- We believe our current crises ask us to step-up, by reuniting and re-connecting with each other in a more conscious way.
- If business can be a force for good, networks of business collaborating together can be a force for greatness.
- We are Nature, we thrive in communities, and communities build societies from bottom up. Nature is interdependent and thrives through connectedness.
- Trust emerges from intelligent and simple agreements of collaboration. Mutualisms emerge from a purpose larger than any of us alone.
- We believe in deep listening, in respecting each other´s boundaries and in having patience with other´s sharing capacities. Vibrant organizations put ‘relationship before task’.
- Inequality design is not acceptable, but equality is the only condition for healthy relationships. Answers lie in minorities, they have to be considered.
- You and I, We, are being part of a new collective awakening of business people who want to co-create the answers… by living the questions, and design for emergence.
- We see a future where networks of networks of businesspeople intentionally co-create for wealth, abundance and expansion of all life. There is no room for hidden agendas and competitive profit maximisation on the expense of others.
- We invite each other to radically collaborate more, in a radically more responsible way. For a radically better future.
We call the network, in which we collaborate to cocreate, the Swarm. The goal of the Swarm is to create and leverage collective intelligence. In our work we always aim to fuse expertise, methods and perspectives. This means that wherever possible, an efficient, agile dialogue is initiated. Services that result as the products of the network shall resemble this process and the best possible solution precisely because it is not just one out of many but a hybrid of the best.
Use of the platform requires active participation. A member is required to participate with at least one question and one contribution to a question of another member per month. If this is not the case, member accounts are hibernated for two months before suspension after a total of three months of inactivity. This measure is meant to keep the quality and activity of the community and thus cooperative value creation high. It is possible to use the platform passively to extract knowledge and contact for a monthly membership fee defined in "Roles in the Network".
Value inside the Network
Generally, monetary value is distributed in the Network according to the participation in the value creation.
Profit obtained by the commercial work of the network has the primary objective to support the Network. This includes mainly community support, business development, technological development, outreach activities, operational, functional and administrative requirements.
At least 1% of all revenue is dedicated for natural protection and climate change mitigation projects.
|Swarm Lead||20%||facilitator, account and content manager that deal with the client and manage the project on the Swarm|
|Swarm||30%||One third of the project value is distributed directly among the co-creators who participated in the solution of a given challenge according to the COBIOM point system|
|Acquisition||15%||for full deal, 5-10% for contacts; if several associates take part in the acquisition internal distribution has to be negotiated|
|Platform fee||34%||Platform costs include maintenance, development and service|
|Impact offset||1%||The environmental impact of the project is set off by investing 1% of all revenue into sustainability projects and/or initiatives|
A part of the revenue is distributed to the network members that actively participate in value creation. Contributors are primarily remunerated in this way except if agreed otherwise in a separate bilateral agreement. All transactions are to be made as transparent and debatable as possible under the data protection guidelines.
Disputes are solved by the Core and a provided neutral mediator. These are possible additional members form the dispute tribunal. Parties involved in the respective issue must not be part of the tribunal.
Discussions involved in the dispute resolution are confidential; however, the tribunal can decide to make information public if this serves the interest of the network. This is especially the case, if a party is found guilty of wrongdoing against the here stated framework and the interests of the network. Publication of the wrongdoing then serves to support the integrity of the Network and avoid repetition of wrongdoings.
The tribunal can decide with two-third majority to expel a wrongdoer from the Network.
Our guiding vision is to help create a society that exists in a harmonic, mutually beneficial relationship of humanity and nature. We do this by educating thought leaders and actors to innovate, inspire and empower people to take responsible and conscious actions to smoothly transform society into an aware and meaningful part of this world. All our work and activities are defined and directed by the values outlined in "Network and values" as well as throughout this document, and which we strive to establish in society, companies and organisations. Our success is measured against these hallmarks and every action towards the outside of the agency has to be in alignment with those. The highest quality in all the processes and the products we deliver, is key to our success.
We believe in our ability and trust on our potential impact to work towards this goal as a community based on mutual trust and reliability according to the values of the coworking manifesto:
- Collaboration over competition
- Community over agendas
- Participation over observation
- Doing over saying
- Friendship over formality
- Boldness over assurance
- Learning over expertise
- People over personalities
- Value ecosystem over value chain
Language is strictly English to be as inclusive and transparent as possible.
All our actions are driven by the desire to achieve a respected and respectful existence, be it ecologically, economically, or personally. We thus value individual wishes, personalities, diversity and exchange as the highest human goods where they are in accordance with a sustainable state of the comprising system. Health and wellbeing of every member, as well as the balance of life and work desired and required by every participant, is the goal of the internal work of the network.
We value any ethnicity, gender, orientation, opinion and condition. Discrimination and assault of any kind is inaceptable. It is a violation of this agreement and will be persecuted through measures inside the network and, if necessary, has legal consequences.
Everybody acting in the name of the Network is accountable for their own actions and those of every other member. With freedom and ownership comes responsibility. Everybody is responsible for reputation, legal integrity, and data security of the network.
Communication should always be friendly and professional. We use first names and the professional “you” (professionelles “Du”) in the network regardless of titles or professional background.
To build up trust with coworkers and clients communicate as transparently as possible within the limits of data protection and confidentiality agreements.
Be open and welcoming to feedback and criticism. Integrate as many opinions as possible. Communicate your feedback and criticism constructive and non-violent.
It is understood that every member of the network warrants and represents that the services to be performed shall be performed in a prompt, efficient, professional and ethical manner in accordance with that standard of skill, care, and diligence normally provided by a professional and shall cooperate with the network core.
Additionally, you warrant and represent that you will comply with all applicable laws and regulations including those laws prohibiting trading on insider information with respect to companies about which you have received information through the services. If any changes to your status or vows occur you have to inform the network core immediately. Otherwise, your membership is terminated (including all outstanding schedules) immediately, in its sole discretion, depending upon the information provided by you pursuant to this paragraph.
You will take all necessary precautions to prevent injury to any persons or damage to property of the Network, clients or members. Any act resulting from omission or negligence on your part, any fraudulent misrepresentations made by you, or third party claims for intellectual property infringement or inadequate delivery under your services will lead to indemnification claims against you.
Damage to the Network
Any breach of this agreement that shall result in serious and irreparable injury to the network for which it cannot be adequately compensated by monetary damages alone. You agree that, to the extent permitted by law in addition to any other remedy it may have, the network shall be entitled to seek injunctive relief.
As a member of the Network you enter the status of an independent contractor to the Responsible Innovation Network and will exercise independent judgment while you perform the services. You are not authorized to create any obligation, express or implied, on behalf of the Network towards third parties. While the may provide you with general guidance, you are ultimately responsible for controlling the performance of the services. You are responsible for paying all taxes resulting from the services that you or your employees or agents perform. The Network is not required to pay any unemployment, worker's compensation or any other insurance on behalf of you or any of your employees or agents.
Place of jurisdiction
This Agreement shall be construed, interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of Germany. Any legal action taken by either party shall take place solely in the courts located in Germany.
If a provision of this framework is or becomes invalid or unenforceable, that shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision.
Creation of Intellectual Property
The Intellectual Property created in the work with Responsible Innovation Network remains with all parties, the creator(s) and the Responsible Innovation Network. The creators allow that the Intellectual Property is used inside and by the network under the latest CC-BY-SA license. All parties have the right to use the content outside the Network (i.e. public) with proper reference according to CC-BY-SA. However, first public use or publication is reserved to the Responsible Innovation Network.
Import of Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property brought into the Network is treated with utmost prudence by all stakeholders under consideration of the interests of the creator. The creator allows use inside the Network under the latest CC-BY-SA license.
Use of Intellectual Property
If Intellectual Property is to be used outside the Network, the creator is to be informed. He or she then has the right to veto against the outside use. Any resulting dispute is resolved as stated above.
Tracking of Contributions in the Swarm
Any conversation and interaction on the Swarm platform is stored in the platform's database to be used for analyses and queries at a later time point. The value of storing and tracking this information its use and relations, is the value that the Swarm creates beyond the immediate interaction on a topic or challenge: Information can be used by anyone in the Swarm at a later time point and thus create and increase in value for both the Swarm and the creator over time.
Tools we use to store and analyse data are described in the Data Protection Policy.
It is important for the Network to develop and grow organically with trusted experts and providers that offer high quality services and expertise while sharing a mindset of cooperation, abundance and purpose. These prerequisites for joining the Network are represented in the onboarding process outlined here.
1.) Join the network
You can join the network as Expert to cocreate with and provide value to the Swarm while earning rewards on the platform. Or you can join the pool of service providers that work on specific tasks in Swarm projects of COBIOM and its partners while on a contract basis. If you want to become an associate to support the business of COBIOM, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To have information on how you and your service can benefit projects and the development of the Network community, please provide some data in the short forms below.
In general, no costs are associated with becoming a member. There are services provided in the Network and on its digital platform that require a fee. They are optional in any case, though.
2.) Get to know each other
For Experts, we will conduct a quick background check online to assess if your profile and value system fits the purpose of the Swarm. You will then receive an email with the admission to the Swarm; or otherwise stating the rejection.
For service providers and associations: With the information provided, a COBIOM Core member will contact you via email and schedule a 30 min video call with you to get to know each other.
It is important for us to understand:
- What are your strengths?
- What do you want to do in or provide to the Network?
- What do you want to get out of your cooperation inside the Network?
3.) Be on the list
As member of the Network you will be automatically on the extensive list of Experts and Service Providers. This passive membership allows you to be matched with projects, challenges or service requests. You will also receive the newsletter of the Network and be invited to exlusive events and formats for professional, personal and community development.
4.) Participate in the Swarm
The heart of the Swarm is the Swarm Innovation platform. While it is currently under construction, it will allow active participation in innovation projects to drive sustainability and positive impact into every strategic and operational decision and action. Network members who show extraordinary skills and dedication will be invited to join the Swarm on the platform. This requires active participation in projects or exchange with the community. For participation, Swarm Experts will receive tokens that can be exchanged for services on the platform, invested into community and service development or remunderated by a share of the revenue acquired by business projects on the platform. For more information see Value and Revenue but also the chapter on Intellectual Property.
5.) Use the Swarm Intelligence
If you do not wish to actively participate in the value creation on the platform but still intend to be part of it, you can be a member for a monthly membership fee of 10€. For information will be available on the platform website. This passive membership in the Swarm does not allow you to post or participate in activities on the platform. Active participation makes you an active member who benefits form the token system. Agencies or companies have the option to use the Swarm platform to post challenges or acquire experts, or a Swarm of experts, for a company fee.
Responsible Innovation Network 2020. All rights reserved.