GLIAnet FAQ Series, Part Eight

 

Q. So, this all sounds pretty intriguing.  How are we actually going to make this happen?

A. It will take nothing short of an actual ecosystem.

Four initial points to highlight here:

-- An ecosystem approach: all players, all sectors, all systems (markets, technologies, political, social), all network layers and functions (OSI, plus a few extra layers)

-- A complex systems approach: per Dana Meadows, understanding and working at leverage points within the various market, tech, and policy systems.  These interventions include the physical, the informational, and the conceptual.

-- A big tent approach; structured, but loosely so (Weinberger quote); organic and bottoms-up, but with tailored top-down interventions, and a certain shared direction.

– A collaborative approach: a strong emphasis on coordination, information sharing, etc.  Little can happen without that degree of teamwork.


Q. So, give us some specifics about building this ecosystem.

A. I take my inspiration from Evi Nemeth.

Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 2.28.43 PM.png

The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) seven-layered protocol stack represents basic network functions in online space, including content, applications, the IP layer, and network infrastructure.

Evi Nemeth, a well-known engineer from the 1980s, observed that the OSI stack does not include some vital context, namely those major human systems that surround and shape the seven tech layers.

She came up with new “Layer 8” to represent Finance, and a new “Layer 9” as Politics.


 

Q. So, this expanded conception of the Web can help guide us in putting together an ecosystem?

A. Yes.  Here are a few initial proposals.

Layers 1-7: Tech Systems

At Layers 1-7, there are many potential ways to build a GLIAnet ecosystem.  Here are just a few:

-- Introducing new interfaces/mediation points (open source resources and processes);

-- Creating new identity layers (self-sovereign identification, authentication);

-- Building new infrastructure elements (edge computing, blockchain, mesh networks);

-- Diversifying with new applications (public APIs, decentralized apps).

Layer 8: Market Systems

At Layer 8, there are several marketplace options worth considering.

Corporate governance (many different ownership models, from traditional corporations, to co-ops, to unions,to non-profits, even to blockchain-based systems)

Incentive structures (developing new ways to drive consent/trust/accountability)

Business models:

  • Advertising— higher relevancy? anonymous basis?  direct basis?  

  • Fixed usage fees, transactions-based fees

  • Subscriptions

  • Crypto tokens

  • Data as “new currency”

  • Data as “new oil” resource/property right

Layer 9: The Policy/Political Layer

Richard Whitt