The Coalition of the Willing11Developing a ‘Dating Site’ for the Climate Action MovementA summary description of ‘Project Matching’ infrastructure and processesSuresh Fernando and Tim Rayner<br />The following is a summary description of the underlying concept and the associated process for developing an infrastructure to enable climate action projects to identify each other and align in a swarm like fashion. There are many projects with similar objectives that would be better served if these projects connected with one another. By coordinating and converging on common goals, climate action projects could achieve the critical mass necessary to bring about massive social and systemic change. <br />The proposed infrastructure rests on two simple principles:<br />Project Visibility: making projects visible to each other in the same way dating sites make people visible to each other.<br />Alignment: Identifying information about projects (referred to as meta-data or ontology) that helps projects to identify others that might be working on similar or related goals or might have synergistic resources.<br />Why Do We Need a Dating Site for Projects? … What problem does this solve?<br />Market Fragmentation/Redundancy: There are many different, but related, projects that could create critical mass and leverage by collaborating<br />Inefficient Deployment of Resources: Financial and human capital resources are scarce and therefore efficiency considerations are paramount.<br />Inefficiency of Mission Alignment: Due to lack of visibility into what other groups with similar objectives are doing, opportunities for increased alignment, and thereby critical mass, is lost.<br />What is the Solution? <br />Develop an infrastructure and associated processes that assist projects to identify other projects anywhere in the world that they might collaborate with. This is accomplished by Project Matching.<br />How Does Project Matching Work?<br />We gather meta-data about projects and identify projects that might be aligned in some way.<br />What is Meta-Data and What Sort of Meta-Data is Useful For Project Matching?<br />Meta-data is information about a project that describes it in certain ways that make it possible to understand how the project can be connected with others. We believe the following meta-data will be very useful:<br />
Organizational Mission: eg… ‘We will reduce CO2 emissions in Canada by 40% within 10 years!”
Specific Goals: ‘We will organize a conference on reducing CO2 emissions in Canada in September 2011!”
Needs: ”We need… $10,000, a drupal programmer, a graphic designer…”
Offers: ”We can offer 1 desk in our office and we can host and manage websites….”
How Can Meta-Data Help To Connect Projects?<br />Projects that have aligned missions and goals would be able to find areas of synergy. Organizations that have specific resources to offer would be able to enter into barter agreements with organizations that have specific needs.<br />THE PROCESS<br />Identify Relations/Matches Revealed By PlatformIdentify Meta-Data DiscrepanciesMake Project Meta Data AssumptionsGather Project Data(ontology + qualitative)Identify Manual MatchesModify Project Meta Data AssumptionsGoalsNeedsResourcesCommence Collaborative Dialogue<br />How Do You Make Projects Visible?Represent the Project on a ‘dating site’ like platform in a way that makes it visibleMission: 'Developing a Technology Platform to Support Creating a Swarm of Climate Change Projects!'.This would be associated with the following project structure:· MissionGoalsLeaderTeamMilestonesAgeSexHeightInterestsHobbiesPROJECT ONTOLOGYPERSONAL ONTOLOGYNote that Visible Personal Ontologies are a recent phenomena. Why not Visible Project Ontologies?<br />IMPLEMENTATION PLAN<br />The following represents a series of tasks that we need to take on in order to move this project forward.<br />Preparation Phase<br />This consists of two tracks that we can work on in parallel<br />
Technology/Platform TrackOutreach TrackDevelop Project Ontology: What information do we want to collect and why? We need to remember that the function of the information is to facilitate matching.Develop Project Selection Criteria: what sorts of projects do we want to approach and why?Develop Supporting Collateral MaterialExecutive SummaryPowerpoint PresentationShort VideoDevelop List of Suggested Projects: Develop central list to identify contacts we have that can assist usWhat databases do we have and what projects have we been tracking?Develop Web PlatformBasic websiteInput form: some custom fields based on project ontology that we develop as well as mechanism to solicit natural language inputUpload all associated collateral materialEnsure that project information that we collect is visible. This need not be complicated at this stage. Maybe a simple online spreadsheet is enough.Identify Supports/PartnersWhat organizations can we work with that can support our efforts?Wiserearth, 350.org… etc.
Information Gathering Phase: target information from 100 projects. More generally we need to develop an outreach strategy that might look something like the following:<br />Identify Information Gathering Team: those within the COTW project that will commit to forwarding emails about the project to prospective projects and conducting follow up to solicit the required information.Subdivide Database Amongst Information Gathering Team: Clearly it makes most sense for those to contact people with whom they have an existing relationship. Those that we don’t have a relationship with can be divided up amongst the groupSend Out Information Gathering Emails: the Outreach Team can forward emails to the various projects with a description of the processArrange Web Conferences: Conduct weekly web presentation on PMS in order educate interested parties; partners, projects etc.Conduct Follow Up: actively solicit and engage projects in order obtain project information<br />