Coordination problems are at the core of our inability to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Currently, our efforts to construct effective responses towards the threats of climate change, mass migration, technological disruption or pandemics prove insufficient.

Corporations whose operations affect our daily lives have neither transparent, participatory governance, nor incentive alignment with humanity and the ecosystems that support us. Nation states trigger tribal identities and isolationism, leave populations feeling disaffected, and suffer capture by monied interests and autocratic leaders. Nonprofits and NGOs struggle toward effective operation, and are quite often fraught with fraud. The open source ethos remains a tactic employed by few industries, while open source projects lack the tools to coordinate and fund contributions from a workforce sufficient to their ambitions.

How can we improve our coordination abilities while working to solve systemic problems? How can we embrace the new trends in organizational governance and redefine the corporation? To these questions, we at Autark offer a possibility. Not a solution, and certainly not The Solution (as we strive to avoid the techno-utopian fallacy that "we have new technology and new technology solves everything"), but a possibility. With great excitement, after more than a year of effort, we announce the launch of a new application suite for Aragon - Open Enterprise, available today for organizations on Ethereum’s mainnet.

Open Enterprise is a direct response to the onset of digital projects and businesses that are owned and governed by users and workers, instead of concentrating power in the hands of founders and CEOs. Built on the Aragon technology framework, we offer an end-to-end suite of tools for management of open organizations, including bounties, work prioritization, dividends, budgeting, and multi-recipient financial allocations. With these tools, the possibilities for how to reward and incentivize a network of contributors has been expanded - contributors will be able to earn project tokens for completing tasks, and will also be able to reap future dividends or profit share based on token holdings.

Rapid growth of blockchain technology opened up new possibilities for creating sets of interconnected organizations, linked through distributed systems via decentralized ecosystems. Cryptonetworks, a form of digital cooperatives, are redefining the way we collaborate in the modern economy, enabling all stakeholders to voice their opinions, vote and strengthen participation - thus, creating an urgent need for a new generation of coordination tools and applications. This need is also evident now when local communities and activists worldwide mobilize forming movements, taking action together - in a collaborative and decentralized manner.

Open Enterprise exists at the intersection of all those various trends in organizational dynamics coming together: a transition towards decentralized governance, the advancement of digital cooperative economy movements, as well as more coordinated grassroots actions in the face of bureaucratic organizational failures. We believe we have the humble beginnings of a new way to organize and are taking steps towards an evolution of Open Source. We want to serve organizations that operate with the transparency and participatory spirit of open source projects, with the efficacy and scale of a transnational enterprise. We want to create collaborative futures.

Getting started with Open Enterprise

You can now create your Open Enterprise-powered organization on Ethereum’s mainnet today or create a test organization. Whenever you create an organization with this template, it will come with the five new apps that we have developed at Autark, which we are naming “Open Enterprise”, in addition to core applications of Finance, Tokens, and Voting.

The governance for the current Open Enterprise template is based on an organization that is governed by members who hold transferable tokens. In the future we will have a few more options — such as a two-token cooperative template, that we are very keen on for our own organization’s operations. Meanwhile, for more flexible governance control, you can follow the step-by-step installation guide to learn about how to install each individual app using the aragonCLI. This is especially important if you want to install the applications to an existing organization.

Below you can learn more about the functionalities of the Open Enterprise application suite.

Projects

The Projects app is a project management app that synchronizes GitHub repositories to your organization, enabling bounties to be allocated to issues and issue curation to determine priorities.

Features

  • Synchronize any of your GitHub repositories with your organization.
  • Fund issues by placing bounties, either following hourly or fixed pricing models.
  • Coordinate application and work reviews on bounties.
  • Curate a set of issues, forwarded to Dot Voting.

Rewards

The Rewards app is used to compensate token holders with dividends, which can either occur on a one-time or recurring basis.

Features

  • Create one-time or recurring dividends that reward members of your organization based on holding a certain token at specific disbursement dates.
  • Create one-time merits that reward members of your organization based on accruing a certain non-transferable token over a specific period of time.

Allocations

The Allocations app allows you to set up budgets to keep your expenses in check with your organization’s financial requirements, providing greater transparency for your use of funds and ensuring limits are not overpassed.

Features

  • Create and edit budgets that set spending limits on allocation categories.
  • Create multi-recipient allocations, whose values are determined based on a vote.
  • See details about past allocations, such as the portion of the allocation each recipient was awarded.

Dot Voting

The Dot Voting app allows members of the organization to cast votes for proposals. Members can vote on how to distribute an allocation across distinct entities or prioritize a list of GitHub issues by specifying a percentage of votes per option. The Dot Voting app currently supports financial proposals from the Allocations app and issue curation proposals from the Projects app.

Features

  • Participate in the allocation of funds from proposals originating from the Allocations app.
  • Distribute allocations dynamically, based on the results of the dot vote.
  • Participate in votes for curating GitHub issues from the Projects app.

Address Book

The Address Book app makes it easy to assign human-readable names to Ethereum addresses. It acts as a new Identity Provider for Aragon Organizations, so your assigned names are displayed in all of your Aragon apps in place of the address (this still requires an enhancement to aragonSDK, scheduled for an upcoming release).

Features

  • Add, edit and remove new entities to your address book.
  • Label your address book entities as individuals or organizations.

Community Rewards Program

We recently kicked off a Community Rewards Program, which allows you to get rewarded with ANT for testing out apps, pointing out bugs or fixing them too. Thank you for all those who participated so far — the feedback has been very useful. The rewards program is just the first step toward more decentralized and community-driven operations of Autark. We are still looking for more testers in this program to ensure cross-browser compatibility, read up more here if you’re interested in joining.

Security notes

The contracts for the five Open Enterprise applications have been audited by MixBytes and you can review the full report and certificate of compliance. The following is stated in the MixBytes certificate:

This certificate confirms that the organisation named was assessed as meeting MixBytes Blockchain Lab requirements at the time of testing and does not in any way guarantee that the organisation defences will remain satisfactory against cyber-attacks. For full details visit MixBytes Audits Registry at the following Ethereum address: 0x04798662A6938772e5D2e006AA10a5f2B2AE9869

The contracts that are deployed to Mainnet are in the master branch in the open-enterprise repo. Please note that at the moment, there are slight discrepancies between some of the commit hashes in the certificate of compliance and the code in the repo. These discrepancies are due to 1) enhancements to the commenting/radspec and 2) one change to a default value of the hourly rate for bounties, which is only used optionally for front-end estimates of bounty values (this has no security implication). In the future, we will have change logs clearly documented in our repo, and we do plan on making a few radspec enhancements down the line.

If you have concerns about our claims above, we recommend that you spend time reviewing the contracts and the reports linked — and that’s good practice, regardless — don’t trust, verify!

Feedback & contact

If you need help launching a customized organization and setting up Open Enterprise refer to our guide, join our Keybase chat, or fill out this form and we will get in touch with you!

If you'd like to stay up to date on new features and enhancements that we aim to release every month, follow us on Twitter.

Thank you

Many thanks to the Aragon Network for awarding us multiple grants to help push the Aragon mission forward; the founders for birthing and executing on their vision; the Aragon One team for developing and designing the crucial building blocks for the future of organizations; the Aragon Association for providing support and guidance along the way; and our early adopters and community testers for providing us with valuable feedback. We wouldn't have launched this without you and we are very grateful for the support. ❤️