An “action”, as defined within the CoGov framework, is something that happens within the system that makes a change to parameters, values, or records. Ultimately, with the immutability of the data storage layer provided by Holochain, all critical records that pertain to a collective's actions are recorded permanently in a way that there is no possibility for a “system administrator” or another privileged role that could make arbitrary changes to the historical record of the actions of a collective.
An important distinction to be aware of is the difference between an “action type”, and an “action instance”. Each type of action has parameters that will be applied as the default value to the actual instances of those actions that are created later. Each actual action that is created, then, also contains parameters which can be modified for that specific action only, but won’t affect future actions of that type. Changes to the parameters of the action type will, therefore, affect all future instances of that action type subsequent to the action for which the action-specific parameters have been changed.
One of the underlying goals of CoGov is to help create an environment that allows for a greater degree of “flattening” to occur within an organization. Flattening is the idea of replacing standard hierarchical structures with more egalitarian ones in which there is a greater distribution of power. CoGov creates an environment where novel social innovations can be experimented with, that facilitate the empowerment of individuals and teams while avoiding the pitfalls and inefficiencies of relying on full consensus for all decisions. In order to supplant old ideas of “management” and titles, we propose that a governance interface must provide a means by which decisions can be made relatively rapidly.
Since decision making processes must be able to work with respect to uncertain and highly unpredictable scenarios, the true challenge will be to design and construct the user interface layer to be both functional and usable with respect to current requirements and be flexible and adaptable enough to deal with the broad range of possible and potential situations that could occur. Since the specifics of the user interface are not within the scope of what CoGov proposes, the best we can do is provide a base from which a user interface can have an intelligent means of offering different decision making models. If flatteningemerging human centric excellence is the goal, then CoGov helps make that possible. The exact approach can be decided upon and developed through the analysis of the benefits and trade offs of the available approaches. To accomplish this in CoGov, actions can be recorded as a result of one of two processes: Privileged Action Execution or the Proposal Initiation/Iteration/Resolution process. When these practices are holistically embodied and understood, self-governance truly emerges. When we take responsibility and are trusted in support of our highest service, the need for iteration will become absolved—; moving into a less formal initiation/resolution process, –the act of which simply becomes a formality in service to posterity, making transparent operations of highly functioning societies.