Section Co-Authored with Verna Allee, ValueNet Works
Living systems require exchanges with the environment in order to continually renew themselves. These exchanges are of two basic types: matter and energy and (or) cognitive exchanges that express the intelligence of the system.
From a living systems perspective, the molecular level of business economic activity also is the exchange. In traditional business thinking we have thought of economic exchanges only in terms of goods, services, and revenue – the “value chain” transactions. One can think of resources and money as roughly equivalent to the living systems exchanges of energy and matter in living systems.
In addition, as living networks, communities, companies and business webs engage in more than material exchanges – they also engage in cognitive exchanges. Sustainable business success depends on exchanges of information, knowledge sharing, and open cognitive pathways that allow good decision making. These exchanges not only have value, but are essential for the success of the enterprise, so they must also be considered as economic exchanges.
The Identity Ecosystem, as a human techno-societal system, operates as an ecosystem that has many roles. Between these roles value flows that is both tangible and intangible (things that are recognized but not easily quantified) deliverables.
The value network modeling approach would model this ecosystem as a value network of roles and interactions that are involved in specific system-level outcomes. Roles can be played by organizations or individuals. In value network modeling, specific deliverables between roles are defined as a way of describing the creation and dissemination of value, and to understand how the innovative exploitation of technology and knowledge take place. When the interaction between the different players works well – new, valuable knowledge is generated which is quickly put to practical use. This creates the foundation for innovations and attracts investments.
Any Value Network ecosystem analysis typically addresses three levels of assessment:
- The roles, products, services and knowledge – including data flows – that work within the value network.
- The enabling technologies that support role execution and deliverables.
- The conditions, enablers, and constraints that influence the ecosystem
It is a proven method for mapping diverse industry network ecosystems with decades of practice and application. It provides a visual model and analytical structure as foundation for defining the emerging identity ecosystem and exploring possible scenarios and policy models. It is a dynamic approach to business modeling that scales from shop floor to industry ecosystems.Before sharing how I think this process can be used as part of speeding up the time it takes to make the NSTIC vision real, I want to share an example from where I applied this process to build shared understanding between two very different professions developing a map of the traditional industry and look at how the whole system shifted when the future was envisioned together.
Example of Applying VNA to the Changing Journalism Ecosystem
I (Kaliya) was invited to join the facilitation team for an interactive ongoing series of conferences called Journalism that Matters for their 2008 conference Silicon Valley event. They were interested in my expertise convening interactive conferences for professional technology communities because they wanted technologists and journalists to consider how new technology tools and new journalist roles were emerging in journalism. When the other facilitators talked about the ins and outs of journalism they kept mentioning “the news room.” It was clear to me that if technologists were coming to this meeting that they would need more background about the ins and outs of what happened in Journalism. But there was no clear ecosystem map or picture for this core activity of the news room.
To bridge this gap I brought in Value Network Mapping as a process to both map out the roles and value flows in the existing ecosystem. It gave all who had never worked in the journalism industry a clear picture of how journalism happens via the various roles and value flows centered around the news room. Here is the map we collaboratively created with journalists.
* Intangibles play such a big part of the overall value flows a choice was to make intangibles are solid lines and make tangibles are dotted lines.
Value Network Mapping gave us a process to consider how roles from the traditional journalistic roles changed when new value flows enabled by new technologies happened. Below is the map of the future that was put forward as a straw man at the event for all to consider and contribute to.
Applying VNA to NSTIC Vision for an Identity Ecosystem Framework
For a future Identity Ecosystem as envisioned by the NSTIC document to emerge it is vital to gain a clear present state understanding of the many industry ecosystems and consider how they can converge into a more integrated Identity Ecosystem Framework. Just as the polarities in an ecosystem can be named and mapped collaboratively by diverse stakeholder groups,the roles in the ecosystem and the value flows between them can be mapped collaboratively by diverse stakeholder groups.
Stakeholder groups have very different points of view about what is most important to them. A collaboratively developed Value Network Map can provide a common visual and analytical tool to talk about issues as they are expressed in the real flow between entities rather than just abstract ideas. A range of use cases can be explored and different constraints could be applied, including using the maps to develop regulation and liability scenarios.
The risk for not doing this kind of foundational work is high. Most ecosystem models do not address the gap between a high level landscape view (such as a few PowerPoint slides of stakeholder groups), typed lists of issues and proposed solutions or policies. The risk of jumping from high level views into policies or accountability frameworks without actual models of those policies as implemented is very high, particularly in the case of NSTIC.
Further, NSTIC must be inclusive about shaping the conversation around models and standards or regulators can easily fall into knee-jerk policy making that will constrain the market in unhealthy ways. With private sector leadership driving NSTIC it is vital that viable market models exist for services that choose to adopt enhancing technologies for verified anonymity. However, this conversation needs to include a diverse range of stakeholders, not just large companies. This means engagement conversations needs to include multiple stakeholders at a level that avoids insider jargon and engages people in pragmatic models of how proposed changes would actually work in implementation.
As a stakeholder engagement activity, the process of developing value network maps of present and future potential Identity Ecosystem states with a range of stakeholders can foster a much higher level of support and agreement amongst stakeholders with interests. Diverse stakeholders with seemingly unresolvable points of view could collaboratively work to find value flows that bring value to business (they make money) and protect people’s by limiting the flow of personally identifiable data and sensitive metadata and data sets. It may be that new roles are needed in the ecosystem for these two goals to be achieved. Any proposed roles, new services and regulations needs to be understand in terms of their systemic impacts on the existing system to manage both risks and opportunities. One thing all stakeholders share is a goal for the overall system and individual identities within it to be trusted. Trust is an emergent property of a healthy ecosystem that serves all stakeholders: individuals, organizations, businesses and government that play different roles in the system.
There is widespread agreement that new accountability frameworks are needed to grow trust. How these get accountability frameworks are created, listed, complied with and audited is still being worked out. This issue area is an ideal “test” scenario for using the value network as a common analytical framework. Using Value Network Mapping and Analysis in a collaborative process to understand how these new frameworks fit in at a system level could increase understanding of their uses and the roles associated with them, illuminate risks and implementation issues and increase trust in them through this higher level of transparency. The mapping and engagement process can be done periodically as the ecosystem evolves to ensure that value and trust are growing.
Value Network Mapping and Analysis is an invaluable tool to clarify specific roles, value flows and key activities within the ecosystem. It will provide a way for people to contribute coherently to the larger conversations about the ecosystem as a whole. The value network models will provide a common visual and analytical language to integrate discussions that will take place in meetings across different jurisdictions and industries and increase transparency for critical decisions.
Applying VNA to the Personal Data Ecosystem
The first Industry Collaborative Project of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium (which Kaliya founded and serves as the Executive Director for) is using this method to gain shared insight into the overall market model and consider how it will evolve differently in different industries.
Here is part of an initial map from the first collaborative mapping session Personal Data Ecosystem Map that took place June20-21, at the Cloud Identity Summit. This section of the map shows the flow of implicit (blue dotted lines) and explicit (green lines) value flow between an Accountability Framework Creator, Accountability Framework Auditor and an Attribute Validator. This very early view illustrates how important it is that these roles and flows be integrated into the larger Personal Data Ecosystem mapping effort. See an example of a map in progress around Accountability Frameworks.
Maps collectively made by stakeholders from particular industries that are involved with NSTIC could be developed and then shared with other industries who also made maps. In sharing maps of existing industry value flows. Insights into how things could work in the future when two industries work more closely together.
This map in progress for the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium focuses on how value flows between Accountability Framework Providers, Accountability Framework Auditors and Attribute Verifiers.
Benefits of Systems Mapping Processes
Section by Kaliya Hamlin
Value Network Mapping and Polarity Mapping and Management are system level sense making and future insight. These processes give vastly different stakeholder groups the opportunity to come to broad agreement, consensus if you will, about the nature and shape of the ecosystem. What organisms are in the ecosystem? How do they interact? What are the inherent tensions that need to be managed for the ecosystem to thrive?
They are complementary because early warning signs for the down side of polarities could be identified for particular roles in the ecosystem defined in the value network mapping process. action steps for particular roles could be anticipated and put into action when particular warning signs emerged in other roles.
Stakeholders with seemingly opposing points of view or with very different emphasis of what is important can see how their perspectives fits with others in a holistic way. They can also come a shared understanding of overall ecosystem health and work together to proactively maintain it. These maps should be updated regularly and remapped every 3 years.
Having shared maps of the roles and polarities will go a long way to having productive dialogue between all the ecosystem stakeholders. The next section goes on to cover options for having effective systems level dialogue among self identified stake holders and perhaps most importantly regular people who are doing transactions in the ecosystem.
Value Network Maps and Polarity Maps are not the only to process tools that could be used to help bring shared language and understanding to the NSTIC stakeholder community.
This post is from pages 30-35 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.
This is the section before: Ecosystem Maps – Present, Evolving, Future
This is the section after: Questions of Governance