Community of Practice (CoP) Principles


Purpose: A digital commons where we balance the wellbeing of people and planet against our own individual, organisational, national interests.

Ethos: The community is owned by everyone and everything on the planet. Ethos has bootstrapped this project and is also an organisation in its own right which as been building online communities since 1999.

Your commitments as a member:


The Ethos CoP is a commons: Put simply the commons is a public resource. Anyone can join and benefit from anything they find within on the basis that these resources must be used for a common good.  Much like a public space is used. There are some rules (don’t litter etc.) but other than that, enjoy the space!

Action for impact: Our online CoP focuses on actionable projects to uplift social justice, wellbeing, and environmental sustainability. While thoughts are valued, actions leading to beneficial outcomes are paramount.

Embrace Less: So much of our established economic wisdom calls for more, more, more.  You commit to finding areas in your life where less can mean more for everyone. You commit to strive to moderate rather than emulate those with more. 

Promote Social/Environmental Value:  You recognise that any change starts with the ability to change oneself and that starts with our own stories and emotions. Social value is not something we “do” to others in a disembodied way. Only from true empathy and experience can we truly support others needs.  Everyone has a powerful story. See examples in the Value Exchange podcast

Break boundaries: Look beyond traditional confines, whether geographic, ethnic, or organizational. Commit to boundary-free thinking and action.

Open by Default Work in the open so others can see and learn through your example. Unless there is a legitimate reason to be secret (personal security, job security, legal restrictions) we share our documents, identities, conversations, financial interests and source code widely.  You commit to be open by default not just in this space but in your life.

Trustworthy:  Treat this CoP as both a data and human trust. Trust fellow members by default. Trust that others will use the data stored in this repository towards a common good and a commons widely available to all.

Champion Collaboration: Silos hinder progress. Commit to proactive collaboration.

Moderate Self-Interest: You commit to tirelessly working to uncover your own and other’s interests.  Balance your interests (your organisation’s interests) with the world’s needs. By being transparent and collaborative, we can identify and manage these interests.

Kindness Matters: Engage with empathy and kindness.

Prioritise Wellbeing: When we are well we are all more productive. Respect and promote personal well-being for greater productivity.

Celebrate Diversity: Seek it out. Age, ethnicity, culture and diversity in all its forms: gender, LGBTQ+ and neurodiversity increase the quality of our outcomes.

Learn Actively: Instead of focusing on mistakes, prioritize learning and progression.

Permit real flexibility: Understand the benefits of genuine flexibility. Allow yourself and others to be wholly present.

Seek Joy in Action: Work should spark joy and resilience. Celebrate genuine moments of happiness.

Know When to Pause: Recognize the value of stepping back. We support taking breaks, especially given the immense challenges we face.

Value Exchange. Together these principles represent the heart of what we call Value Exchange which is an open source method of reflecting on your place in the world and what makes you tick and what you would like to do next.  You don’t do this alone but with your most trusted connections.  We ask that you commit to reflect and find your own unique Value Exchange journey.


We encourage everyone to live by these principles.

If you have suggestions for improvement, please join us and improve this manifesto 😉


Last update 06/09/2023 – Shorter. Another draft.