META ACTION – Create An OSCEdays ACTION Protocol


OSCEdays is about using, sharing and creating open resources that will enable people to test, implement and improve circular solutions locally.

But how to document a solution? Well. A possible format is an “ACTION Protocol”. An ACTION protocol focusses on creating and providing information in a way, that allows it to become active very quickly.

If you want to document something and you are looking for a format take a look below to get inspired.


This is about creating an OSCEdays ACTION. OSCEdays ACTIONS are simple Step by Step Guides everyone in the world can follow to build and experience ‘Open Source Circular Economy’. Basically it is a TEMPLATE for documentation with the goal to make it easy to reproduce solutions or contribute to them. Below you’ll find this template and hints how to create an ACTION protocol.


The Open Source Circular Economy Days is about growing a collection of ‘ACTIONABLE RESOURCES’ everyone can follow to build, experiment, invent and experience an Open Source Circular Economy. An ACTION protocol is a possible format for this. ACTION protocols are simple step by step guides easy to follow – for example during local OSCEdays events – without understanding any theory.

‘An ACTION is like a board game – for example chess. Everyone can play it – everywhere – when the rules are known. And produce & contribute to a global chess culture by doing this.’

CALL FOR ACTION AUTHORS! We invite people from all professions to add to the list. Create an ACTION! Below you can find a some criteria and a template for ACTIONS.

(Here is a video from an Open Labs event in November 2016 explaining ACTIONS a bit.)

#You Need For It

  • Template for OSCEdays ACTIONS (shared below)

  • Criteria/Inspiration for OSCEdays ACTIONS (shared below)

3 simple steps:

##Step 1 – Check The Criteria & Template

Study the Criteria and Template for ACTION protocols. Both are attached below.

##Step 2 – Create & Publish The ACTION

Pick a subject for your ACTION and start to write it down according to the instructions given by the Criteria and Template you studied in Step 1.

You can find some ideas for ACTIONS here to get inspired. But feel free to go with your own idea.

You don’t have to publish a finished ACTION. On the contrary. We invite you to develop it collaboratively on the forum. Please find some suggestions how you could approach that in the first comment below.

##Step 3 – Test It & Improve It

Once written down you should test the ACTION – follow the steps yourself. This might result in improvements. It will also help others to understand the ACTION because there is already a first example for people using it.


#Attached Resources

Two resources attached:

(A) TEMPLATE to use + Instructions

(B) Criteria For ACTION Protocols,

##(A) TEMPLATE For OSCEdays ACTION Protocols

Use the unified template for OSCEdays ACTIONS. Go the the green category on the forum where your ACTION belongs (for example ‘Energy’, ‘Policy’ or ‘Food’) and create a New Topic there. Copy the Template text from the grey box below into that topic and replace the Instructions in the template with the requested information. Keep the #headlines – they structure your topic.



/ > Delete this & replace it with an Image. Just pull the image via drag and drop into the topic. If you don’t have an image just delete this. / /


/ > Delete this and replace it with a Short Summary of the ACTION. Make it 3 sentences or less. Mention what people will do and what will be the outcome. / /

/ > Delete this and replace it with the name of the author(s) of the ACTION like: ‚Created by: Arya @arya & Rickon Stark @rcknstrk’ / /


/ > Delete this and replace it with an introduction to your ACTION. Provide context, share background information, answer ‚Whys’. Make it as long as necessary and as short as possible. / /

#You Need For It

/ > Delete this and replace it with a list of the resources like tools, skills, number of people, time and so on needed for the ACTION. Make it a short overview and link to external sources. Extended explanations can be shared below in ‚Attached Resources’. / /


/ > Delete this and replace it with the single STEPS of the ACTION. Use text size 2 (‘##’ in front) for the headline of each step. Give each Step a number and an individual name like ‘Step 1 – Individual Name’, ‘Step 2 – Different Individual Name’. Don’t forget to add at least one step that involves documentation. / /

#Attached Resources

/ > Delete this and replace it with extended resources and explanations necessary or helpful to run the ACTION. Or information necessary to run the ACTION should be available here or via link to an external website. / /


/ > Delete this and replace with credits/attribution to people – for example if you used images, text, code or similar stuff. If there are no attributions to make delete the whole part including the headline ‘Credits’. / /


###Suggestions For Writing:

  • Name For The ACTION – Pick a descriptive name that tells already something about what people will do following the steps of the ACTION; write a whole phrase if necessary. Instead of ‘ACTION – Sharing’ make it ‘ACTION – Creating a MAP OF SHARING Possibilities In Your City’. – Put ‘ACTION – ‘ in front of the name.

  • Add the ‚action’ tag – Add the tag ‘action’ to the topic to make it appear on the ACTIONS list. You can also add other tags to show what the ACTION is about.

  • Adapt It To The Step-By-Step-Structure – Each step should have a clear start point and end point. Sometimes it might be difficult to break down an ACTION into single Steps. But do it! You can think of the Steps as an algorithm. It can be possible to skip steps or jump back to earlier ones. Like in the flowcharts below.

  • Documentation – There should always be one or more steps about documentation and at least one of this steps needs to include the OSCEdays Forum. There are different possibilities for documentation – get inspiration here.

  • Why is there a ‚#’ in front of the headlines in the template? – It will transform the word into a headline size 1 – the forum uses markdown. (You may have to erase the empty space in front of it first).

  • Develop It Collaboratively On The Forum – You can develop the ACTION already out in the open. Have a look in the first comment below. to get inspiration how to do that.

Img1: Diagrama de flujo del consenso; (CC-BY-SA, by frymaster ); Img 2: LampFlowchart.svg; (CC-BY-SA, by Booyabazooka)


  1. A Precise & Reproducible Activity … It should be very clear, precise and easy to understand what people will do in the ACTION. It should be possible to understand the steps without any upfront knowledge of ‘Open Source’ or ‘Circular Economy’. The more universal and reproducible everywhere the better the ACTION. Necessary information like building plans, data sets, guides etc. should be available openly available and come with the ACTION.

  2. … On Open Source & Circular Economy … What is ‘Open Source Circular Economy’? This is a broad and philosophical question. There is no clear practical answer. So what ACTIONS fit then? In general every ACTION about (1) sustainable circular economy solutions that use (2) open and transparent collaboration methods that can be reflected with the open definition should fit. The scope is broad! We are exploring.

  3. … In The Form Of A Clear Step By Step Guide … The structure of a clear STEP by STEP follows from the template. This is supposed to make it as easy as possible for people to follow the ACTION and achieve the outcome of it.

  4. … With A Clear And Defined Outcome … An ACTION has a clear outcome. This can be something tangible like a built machine or implemented solution but also something intangible like a written down documentation or methodology. This outcome marks the end point of the ACTION. – For this some projects should be broken down into smaller steps. A large project like ‘A Database Of Circular Materials’ is not a very clear endpoint for an ACTION. So in this case the ACTION could be: ‘Adding ONE Material To The Database’. This simple ACTION can be repeated many times with the result of building a database.

  5. … Achievable In A Certain Timeframe … There should also be a clear starting point. Together with a clear end point it is foreseeable then how much time is needed to complete the ACTION. The shorter the timeframe is the better. OSCEdays right now is event focussed. So ACTIONS that can be completed within 1 to 3 days are more likely to be taken on. If you include preparations for the facilitator it can be more. But for some ACTIONS really long time frames might be necessary – if your ACTION involves growing plants for example. But shorter might be more appealing. Very long ACTIONS could be broken down into several smaller ones.

  6. … And Always Includes Documentation. Documentation should always be a part of an ACTION. The documentation can happen in the OSCEdays forum or somewhere else. If the documentation is placed somewhere else at least a link to this this external website should be shared in the OSCEdays forum. – There are many ways how documentation could be included into an ACTION, many of them very simple. Check out this topic about documentation to get some inspiration or see what is possible.


Illustration by (Jenni Ottilie Keppler), CC-BY-SA


Questions regarding ACTION Protocols. Post your questions below in the comments or contact the ACTIONS Overview Team.


#How To Work Collaboratively In A Team On An ACTION

You don’t have to write the ACTION all by yourself. In fact posting it on the forum is always a first step to get feedback, suggestions and help and invite others to collaborate on it.

Develop the ACTION publicly on the forum. Here are some suggestions how you can invite others to collaborate on the ACTION.

###(1) COLLABORATION SETTING – Think About How People Can Contribute/Help

What do you need help with? And how can people contribute what you need? Here are some suggestions for tools and techniques you could use:

  • Comments: Invite people to post comments under the topic where you develop the ACTION. You can update the topic with the progress you make. Ask specific questions for example on content or for feedback and opinions.
  • Give Access: Share files. For example a document with the current version of the ACTION so people can download it and upload a new version. Instead of sharing a document you can give people access to the topic by making it a Wiki or set up a Pad. In both cases you have version control – meaning you can always restore earlier versions. The Wiki requires people to sign up to the forum and be part for it for a while before they can edit the text. The Pad allows contributions by everyone without signing up first.
  • Invite Them To Other Tools: You can also use other tools for the collaboration. Just set up an open room for people to look at and join and share the link to it.
  • Offer Calls: If more complex planning is necessary you can open yourself up for an online video call. Ask people to send you a personal message here on the forum or email to exchange Skype contact details and schedule a call. You can think about having a public and recorded call using Google Hangouts on Air if your project can benefit from that.

Once the final ACTION is finished you can open up a new topic with the final ACTION and close the development topic. Or if there aren’t to many distracting comments under it just change the Headline and body text.

You can give the ACTION a version number. So when you do major changes over time people can still find out that there were earlier versions and find them by clicking on the yellow pen on top of the topic. ‘ACTION – Creating a MAP OF SHARING Possibilities In A City Vs. 1.2’

###(2) Provide A Proper INTRODUCTION

Some people will find your topic without any context. Provide some by adding some general Readme like information at the start. Let people know who you are, what the ACTION is about, where the idea is coming from and how they can contribute. Be as short and precise as you can.


Hi, I am @Lars2i

I am developing an ACTION on Open Source Business Models for Circular Economy.

The idea comes from a discussion about ‘How To Make Business With Open Source’ that started here.

I need help with finding examples for Open Source Businesses and with the English. I am also happy about every general feedback. Does any of that makes sense? Please post your ideas and contributions below in the comments or DM me. If you want to help with the language leave a comment and I’ll upload an editable document with the current version.


#Text Draft:

. . .

###(3) Advertise It – Ask For HELP – Guide People To It

Send the topic with the invitation to collaborate to people you would like to help/feedback. Oftentimes this can be other experts from the field or people that are supposed to benefit from the ACTION.

Share the link to your topic on the website or in the thread where the idea for the ACTION was born along with the specific questions you got.

Post it on social media (for example on the OSCEdays Facebook-Group or on Twitter using the hashtag #OSCEdays)

Related Topic: HOW TO BUILD A COMMUNITY – How To Gather People

1 Like

it would be good to use the flow chart tool to design the protocol. I tried in writing only but so far it’s too linear, looks like the CHALLENGE category we have used so far. I’ll try to redesign that the next days…

Hi @transitionmica . Can you specify please your comment. What flow chart tool do you mean? (This one? And if so, how does it relate to the META ACTION Protocol on creating ACTION Protocols?

Sorry, yes, I only specified it in the ACTION experiment on the circular food system policy paper I’m currently running. I tried using