SEAMS (Social Enterprise Asset Management System) is an open-source platform that connects individuals and enterprises to projects and tools, unlocking latent community resources. It is an information base that assesses local situations, places skills, and resources where they are needed, provides specific project guidance to the people on the ground, and archives best practices into frameworks.
On the micro level, SEAMS connects someone with extra lumber to a carpenter to a storefront that needs its front stairs repaired. It could put out a call for twenty people to clean up a vacant lot and build beds for a community garden in an afternoon. On a macro level, it has the capability to organize large-scale efforts, such as green energy technology and web development, by helping people from different cultures and localities to coordinate on their own terms.
The greatest barrier to efficient community-minded economies is the problem of coordination. Through SEAMS, we facilitate interaction within and between smart micro-economies by simplifying and systemizing resource management. Simply stated, moving tools from the places they are to the places they’re needed. This applies not only to the movement of physical resources, but also intellectual and human resources.
I. Skills Inventory
A database of all members’ skills, expertise and experiences, as well as the things they’d like to learn or are able to teach. The start of a new accreditation and merit-based resume system.
II. Resource Inventory
A database of available physical resources (from communities, businesses, city partnerships, etc.) that can be effectively deployed across a web of initiatives. Simplifying accessibility to latent community goods and resources.
III. Project Management
The think tank: analytic tools, financials, virtual education, project management guidance and collaboration tools. The ability to account for variables such as number of volunteers, amount of money available, political climate or local environment. Increasing the ability of the community to seize opportunities and become more efficient at utilizing them.
IV. Knowledge Base
Open-source learning platform. How-to guides for individual elements: how to hang drywall, how to build a website, how to bioremediate industry-polluted soil, how to grow a tomato.
V. Initiative Frameworks
Simplifying and systematizing entrepreneurial education. Putting the elements of the knowledge base together into repeatable frameworks and social franchises. An ever-growing archive of completed projects showing members how to rehab an old house, how to create a restaurant out of a shipping container, how to start a social enterprise and so on.
Greener Where It’s Watered
Grassroots-initiated projects emerge from and are driven by the community.
For example, if a community member sees a building they want to make into a daycare center, they can use SEAMS to look up a building rehab framework, which outlines the process from Start to Impact. What is the square footage, what is the condition of the roof, is the HVAC working, what does it cost? Once the community member (or group of community members) gathers the information, they submit the template and their specific project proposal back to the network, where it is subjected to a community vote; the best ideas that fit within the framework will aggregate to the top and be pushed forward by the members ready to do the work. Once a project is decided, both skills and resource inventories may be utilized. Local volunteers and resources are called on first; any voids in the skillset or inventory are filled by the broader network.
Beyond organizing projects, volunteers and resources, SEAMS is an archive of information. Participants can draw from the successes, lessons and analyses of past project iterations to guide their work. Likewise, as they record their own experiences, feedback and narratives, the knowledge base grows.
SEAMS is a living cultural artifact created in real time by its members to archive the actions and knowledge of the collective network. In addition to traditional success metrics of projects, participants may also record how they felt, what helped them, what hindered them and what core values or self-knowledge emerged from the experience. UA is focused on managing people, their health and their growth, and not solely on bodily efficiency over the short term.
As the community scales, SEAMS will make new connections, adding to the global aggregation of knowledge, education, skills development and personal growth.