Agency 2: Stewardship

16 min read

The Stewardship Agency is the second agency in the community. The agency is tasked with enabling participants to start, run, and succeed with a business. The agency maintains favorable conditions that boost the community’s competitiveness, enhances access to factors of economic production, and promotes fairness in trade. The agency also builds and runs specific buildings and areas in and near the community. These include: hubs and mirrored areas, industrial buildings in the industrial zones outside the community, and gardens.

The Stewardship Agency is part of the Village Bureau, with other agencies being Human Relations (agency 1), and Business Operations (agency 3). The Village Bureau represents the first point of a participant’s contact with the community, and the point where they are given the necessary social and economic/ business tools to live and work in the community.

The first 12 agencies in the community belong to the Human and Financial Capital Department. They control all aspects of capital and its access by participants.

Duties of the Stewardship Agency

With the agency’s executive presidency providing the necessary strategic direction, which is implemented by the village (operational) presidencies, the agency performs a number of duties as detailed below, with the help of its automated system and contractors. The duties include:

  • Creating and sustaining growth and opportunities
  • Improve the community’s competitiveness
  • Foster equal access to opportunities and business support
  • Developing and managing hubs, streets, and gardens

Spurring economic growth

An environment that encourages entrepreneurship, ensures access to credit, and makes intellectual property both beneficial to originate and available for others, is likely to see accelerated and sustained economic growth, which is what the community offers. However, even when all these ingredients are present, it is necessary to navigate the system to access them optimally. This is the role of the Stewardship Agency.

The Stewardship Agency boosts economic growth by helping limited partners start new businesses. It also offers constant support through consultancy services, and access to opportunities. The agency provides a channel through which businesses can receive business education, and meet consultants on individual cases to advise on how to grow their business. The agency offers data-driven services using advanced data collection and analytical tools to appropriately advise and enable sound planning.

Access to opportunities and business support

The community promises great reward and success to stewards, but only if they can access and maneuver its extensive infrastructure. Personal and professional circumstances can make some people less adept at exploiting the system than others, thereby leaving them at a disadvantage, and negating the promise of equal access to opportunity.

The Stewardship Agency ensures that stewards have comprehensive education about the community’s economic infrastructure. Through their regular interaction with stewards, village presidents for stewardship can pick out those stewards who may be having a hard time on account of their inability to navigate the system.

Stewardship consultancy

A business owner only needs to oversee innovation, production, marketing, and business transactions. The agency works with business owners to make their business viable, through such things as proper accounting practices, sound operating regulations and practices, and the ability to favorably compete in the market and commercialize their merchandise or services. Many of these services are offered in conjunction with other agencies. Additionally, some of the tasks, such as properly managing and auditing accounts will involve the services of contractors, to whom the Stewardship Agency directs business owners as per their needs.

Business monitoring

Through the Stewardship Agency, the community maintains optimal utilization of resources. To do this, the agency has to have extensive information that details current trends, and how stewards are doing, both in their capacity and in their professions, among other important elements. The system also has accurate information on how many businesses engage in each profession or trade and defines them according to the branch they come from.

The agency collects this information from data given by existing stewards to the system, which is secured for privacy, as well as its analysis. Village presidents are in close contact with captains and stewards and can add additional information to make the data in the system as complete as possible, and therefore assist in making accurate decisions. 

The information is important in pointing out any stewards who may need help to improve or restructure their businesses. More importantly, it ensures that there is no oversaturation of particular businesses or a situation where there are too few businesses in a certain sector, thereby pushing up prices and compromising the quality and value for money of goods and services. This is important when the agency is assisting new limited partners in setting up their businesses. It advises on the best areas that a steward can focus on to have better chances of success. Stewards are encouraged to have business plans in fields where they can compete favorably.

Training to be good at stewardship

Business Training

The Stewardship Agency realizes that for a business to succeed, the business owners must be sufficiently knowledgeable about the business. They must also have the necessary support in terms of infrastructure, credit, and business relationships to make it. The village presidency does not provide these things. Rather, it ensures that businesses can easily access them, through guidance on maneuvering the system, directing them to other businesses that can help them in things such as drawing up contracts, and acting as an interface for other agencies, such as the Investment Bank Agency.

The executive presidency, on the other hand, helps the village presidencies by amending policy and strategies as necessary to ease their service. The executive presidency can, through interactions with the village presidents, recommend what training needs to be offered to particular business owners.

Training is mostly conducted online. In some instances, village presidents can intervene if they are approached by the stewards, or when they see that the training is not having the desired effects on a business. This demands that village presidents be well briefed at all times about the business performance of the businesses in their village.

This may seem to be a lot of work, but in the actual sense, it is not. By properly training businesses on the key performance indicators to look out for, and how to report this information regularly, even daily, into a system that is strongly secured, they can easily pick out issues, including the non-filing of the information requested by the system. Appropriate corrective actions can then be prescribed where necessary. 

Developing and managing hubs, streets, and gardens

As the Human Relations Agency develops the apartment and district buildings, the Stewardship develops the hubs, streets, and gardens in the same way: with loans from the Commercial Bank Agency, and a down payment from the Capital Bank Agency.

As indicated above, hubs are the primary location of most commercial activity. This gives the agency the perfect opportunity to help limited partners in setting up and running their business, by providing them with commercial space and opportunities to work. Outside the community, the agency also owns and runs industrial blocks

Through its physical proximity to the stewards and village presidencies, the agency can easily monitor businesses by observing rent payments, turnover, and data from the Business Processes Agency.

The different properties owned by the agency are managed by contractors, who handle maintenance and assist participants who lease space to optimize their value. These contractors are engaged by stewardship village presidency for that specific mirrored village, such that the village presidency in village 1 will engage a contractor to handle mirrored village 1.

The Stewardship Agency builds the assets it is meant to using loans from the Capital Bank Agency. The village where an asset, such as a hub, is developed, is responsible for repaying the loan. Once the loan obligations are settled, the agency owns the assets.

Hubs, ran by the stewardship agency

How the agency works

Background on presidencies

Every presidency in the community presidency is a four-member entity whose members represent one of the four major demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D). However, a president serves the whole community in their role, rather than only their own demographic. Presidents’ diversity and commitment to serve all is provided for in the community bylaws and ensures that all access services without any discrimination.

These four major demographics are evenly split in ordinary society, with each group accounting for between 23 and 27% of the population, and with regular fluctuations as people’s status changes. The community appreciates that discrimination across all social categories happens based on marital status, other social categorizations notwithstanding; married men are likelier to dominate other demographics, especially single men and single women. Married women are also likelier to have better outcomes in careers and leadership than single women.

The community’s infrastructure promotes equal access to economic and social resources and opportunities. The composition of the community as a whole and those who serve it in the community public service is closely monitored to prevent numerical domination, which can lead to nepotism or unequal access.

Besides marital status, the recruitment to be a participant, and to serve in the public service carefully considers other social categorizations, to ensure racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual groups are well represented in the community as they are in the society in which a community operates. These considerations inform the constitution of the community public service. The diversity in community public service, which is provided by bylaws, is aimed at creating a community that is blind to all other considerations besides service to participants. The service is therefore designed to be free of discrimination.

Executive presidency, bureau board, and demographic presidencies

The Stewardship Agency is served by an executive presidency, comprised of 4 presidents from the four major demographics1), which handles strategy formulation and adjustment, as well as formulating and communicating operational procedures for the agency. Additionally, the presidency also facilitates the setting up of the agency’s automated system and adjusts it as necessary to better achieve its goals.

As part of the Village Bureau, the executive presidency forms a bureau board with executive presidencies serving the Human Relations and Business Operations agencies. The board acts as a check and monitoring tool for individual presidents and agencies, especially when decisions have far-reaching implications for the community.

Within the bureau board, three presidents from the same demographic form a demographic presidency. There are four such presidencies in the bureau. The demographic presidency performs an advisory role to presidencies and agencies regarding a particular demographic; it does not have operational or executive authority. that cut across the three agencies. The demographic presidency also plays an important role in the mentorship and training of new presidents.

Demographic presidency ADemographic presidency BDemographic presidency CDemographic presidency D
Executive presidency, Human Relations (1)1A1B1C1D
Executive presidency, Stewardship (2)2A2B2C2D
Executive presidency, Business Operations (3)3A3B3C3D

 

Limited partners and branch presidencies

Limited partners and group council

A limited partner is the basic unit in the community. A limited person, usually above 18 years old, but sometimes as young as 16, has been admitted into the community and has invested $20,000 as partnership interest, for which they earn a return. This is regarded as one unit of partnership interest. Over time, a limited partner can add more units of partnership interest, as their business prospers. The more partnership interest units a limited partner has, the more the return they receive from the agency.

A dependent is a minor, or a person living with a disability, under the care of a limited partner. In some instances, a dependent may be a fit adult, who for various reasons is supported by community agencies, and assigned by contract to a limited partner.  Limited partners are responsible for any legal agreements that their dependents enter into, either with community agencies or other participants. Together, limited partners and dependents are referred to as participants.

Participants who are dependents, because they are still minors, can start a business when they reach 12 years of age. This allows them to save up and invest USD 20,000 into the community by their 18th birthday, and possibly as early as 16. Limited partners and their dependents reside in apartments (village buildings). Each apartment has 4 floors, with each floor containing 16 apartments.

Each floor has floor has 7 – 12 limited partners, with each limited partner having 1 – 3 dependents. Each floor therefore has around 25 residents. With four floors, each building has approximately 100 residents. An apartment building also forms a branch.

Captains and branch presidencies

Of the approximately 100 residents in a branch, around 40 of them are limited partners. Each group has around 10 limited partners and forms a group council. A group council is diverse, containing different social groups that are reflective of the society within which a community operates. Additionally, a group contains members of the four main demographics: married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D).

The council meets at least quarterly and provides limited partners with a platform to interact and discuss common interest matters to their demographic within their branch. One of the members of the group council serves the group as a captain. Four captains who serve the four groups in an apartment building (branch) form a branch presidency. A branch presidency’s membership is drawn from the four main demographics, for the purposes of representation.

Captains are responsible for recruiting limited partners into the community through their council and by extension, branch. A captain does not recruit limited partners only from their demographic. Instead, they work to ensure that their recruits are diverse, considering social categorizations, gender, and social status, in addition to demographic groups.

Captains work in concert with their fellow captains in the branch presidency, and other presidencies in a village and district to ensure that the district is as diverse as possible. They are guided by present data on how diverse their district, village, and branch are, and what needs to be focused on to improve. They are also guided by community bylaws, which expressly require diversity as shown by demographic data about a population from which the community intends to recruit limited partners.

The captain serves as a service extension of the Human Relations Agency, though they also act as an interface between participants and other community agencies. For agencies that do not have operational presidencies, such as those in the Economic and Public Administration Bureaus, captains come in handy in helping participants navigate the agency’s automated system and other relevant tools used by the agency to deliver services.

10 branches form a village. Each of the branch presidencies also belongs to a specific branch board. Branch boards provide an additional check and balance for captains and branch presidencies. Branches are numbered based on the village’s hub, in the direction of the breezeway one-way traffic direction.

Branches' numbering
Numbering system for branches

A hub is formed at the intersection of breezeways between villages. Hub buildings are used for a range of commercial activities that need to be closer to residential areas, such as daycare centers, grocery stores, and emergency centers, among others.

A branch’s number determines with whom its presidency will form a branch board. Branch presidencies 1, 2, and 3 form one branch board, as do 4, 5, and 6, and 7, 8, and 9.

Four villages make a district. The last branch presidency in each village in the community (branch presidency 10) combines with three others in their district or cluster of 3 districts to form additional branch boards. The last branch presidencies in villages 1, 2, and 3 in each district make a board. The last branch presidencies in village 4 of each of the 3 districts in a cluster also form a board.

Branch boards play an important advisory role in the recruitment process. As a captain recruits, he is advised by their board to ensure that their recruitment takes into consideration diversity, and utilizes available data to ensure balance in demographics, profession, social class, and any other relevant consideration.

Branch board formation can be illustrated as follows:

Branch boards and presidencies

Besides belonging to a branch presidency and a board, every captain belongs to a demographic presidency of 3. A demographic presidency is made up of 3 captains within a board, and who serve the same demographic. The demographic presidency mainly serves an advisory function, safeguarding issues common to the particular demographic, and helping in mentorship and support for incoming captains.

The automated system is designed to help participants with all the help they need in matters related to various agencies, including the Stewardship Agency. However, should they run into problems, captains, who are a service extension of the Human Relations Agency, assist them in navigating the system or direct them to relevant contractors who help them at a fee.

Village presidencies

Each village is served by three village presidencies. Each presidency serves an agency in the Village Bureau, such that there is a village presidency for human relations, stewardship, and business operations. Village presidencies are the operational presidencies in their agency. They implement the agency’s policies and strategies, as set by the executive presidency. They also report back to the executive presidency on issues that they deem need to be changed in the agency’s operations.

The three village presidencies that serve a village, each comprised of four presidents, come together to form a village board. The village board helps individual presidents in decision-making that impacts the whole village, mentorship, and orientation of incoming presidents. Three presidents on the board who serve the same demographic also form a demographic presidency. This is better illustrated in the table below, showing an example of village 1.

Married men (A)Married women (B)Single women (C)Single men (D)
Village presidency, human relations1(1)A1(1)B1(1)C1(1)D
Village presidency, stewardship1(2)A1(2)B1(2)C1(2)D
Village presidency, Business operations1(3)A1(3)B1(3)C1(3)D

Where: 1 – village number

  • – agency served

A – demographic group

Automated system

The Stewardship Agency uses an automated system to perform the bulk of its duties. Much of the recruitment process is conducted online. Contractors who engage with the agency also do so through the system. The automated system is designed to maximize the abilities of cloud and big data computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to synthesize information and help the agency make accurate observations and decisions.

The agency collects vast amounts of economic data from other agencies, participants’ businesses, and even the environment within which the community operates. All this information is relevant and is not mutually exclusive. The agency relies on the system to make sense of this information, while also offering important services to participants. These include training sessions and guidance on navigating the community’s econosystem.

Contractors

The Stewardship extensively works with contractors, who are limited partners working as consultants, so perform many of its duties. Contractors help build the agency’s assets, including buildings. The agency also contracts experts to set up and maintain its automated system, and to draw its strategy and policies. Training modules that the agency recommends to incoming and existing limited partners are also developed by contractors engaged by the agency.

Limited partners may find difficulty accessing the agency’s services. In instances where the automated system is unable to assist them and the captain or village presidency has not found what they need from the system, they are referred to contractors who are experts in specific fields relevant to the agency’s duties. The contractors are paid by the limited partner for assistance. They are accredited by the agency, to ensure professionalism, and to enable the agency to improve its operations and have the system offer more holistic services to the community.

Inter-agency cooperation

The 24 community agencies form three columns of 8 agencies each. There is loose collaboration between the agencies in a column. The Stewardship Agency is part of the second column.

The Stewardship Agency works with the Life Planning Agency (5) to advise limited partners, who insure their businesses with the agency. The Stewardship Agency also provides information that the Life Planning Agency uses to price insurance policies. The Capital Bank (agency 8) grants the Stewardship Agency the loans and capital investment it needs to develop assets and initial operations.

The Marketing Agency (agency 20) works with the Stewardship Agency to develop marketing plans that stewards use to run their marketing operations. The Stewardship Agency also collaborates with the Legal Affairs Agency (agency 14) as two or more limited partners prepare agreements to define their business relationships.

Community agencies
The 24 agencies are organized in rows and columns. Beyond working in their bureau (row), agencies also interact extensively within their column. An overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Human and Financial Capital Department is here, and an overview with links to the 12 agencies in the Process and Property Department is here. A more detailed version of this graphic with some historic background is posted here.

Conclusion

Presidencies’ offices, meetings, and quarterly conferences

Offices

The Stewardship Agency’s executive presidency has offices in District Building 2’s first floor, on the western side. Facing them on the eastern side are the offices for trustee presidency and Regulatory Bureau’s operational presidency serving the agency and District 2.

Trustees and the regulatory operational presidencies alternate their offices. Trustees have the offices in building 2 on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the operational presidencies use the offices on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as shown in this timetable:

Building 2/ StewardshipBuilding 14/Legal Affairs
MondayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
TuesdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency
WednesdayTrustee presidencyRegulatory Bureau Operational presidency
ThursdayRegulatory Bureau Operational presidencyTrustee presidency

The first floor’s layout is as follows, including other public servants who serve District 2.

District 2 offices

Village presidencies have offices in the district building of the district they serve, on the third and fifth floors. Villages 1 and 2 use offices on the 3rd floor, while Villages 3 and 4 use the 5th floor. The office layout is as follows, in this case, district 2’s 3rd floor.

Village presidencies' offices

Working hours and meetings

All community public servants work from Monday to Thursday, from 8:00 to 8:45 in the morning. The Stewardship Agency’s executive presidency uses this time to interact with other public servants and in some instances, contractors. On Thursday, each presidency (four presidents serving A, B, C, and D) meets for a 45-minute meeting from 9:00 to 9:45 in the morning.

On the last Friday of each quarter, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, each demographic presidency meets. The three-member presidency discusses common bureau matters that are of interest to the demographic they serve. On Saturday, again between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, the whole board meets, where the presidents present their input from the previous day’s demographic presidency meeting, and prepare for the quarterly conference. The aim is to have a cohesive presentation during the quarterly conference but tailored to specific demographic interests.

Quarterly conferences

Quarterly conferences are held on the last Sunday of each quarter, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, with a lunch break in between. During quarterly conferences, each demographic presidency sits together in the same row.

Quarterly conferences are held in District Buildings 5 and 17. Each building has a lower and higher assembly court. The different demographic groups use the assembly courts as follows:

BuildingAssembly courtDemographic
5Lower courtMarried men (A)
5Higher courtMarried Women (B)
17Lower courtSingle women (C)
17Higher courtSingle men (D)

Each of the four assembly courts has seats for 480 presidents representing the respective demographic. In the diagram below each of the 4 courts is illustrated. The ceiling of each court has an elliptical arch that enables executive presidents, who are the only ones who make a presentation during the conference, to speak without the need to amplify their voices. The 480 seats are easily rotatable to enable presidents to face whoever is speaking.

Assembly hall

Each of the four courts has an identical arrangement and number of seats. The exact arrangement of each court can therefore be illustrated using one court, in this case, building 5’s lower court that is used by married men (A).

Assembly hall seating

Within an assembly court, the 480 presidents are arranged in terms of demographic presidencies of 3. The Village Bureau’s demographic presidency for married men (1A, 2A, and 3A) sits in the highlighted seats. Various villages’ demographic presidencies also sit on the same row as indicated.

demographic presidencies' seating in assembly hall

Representations of hierarchical- and matrix-type organizations.
The structure of a hierarchical-type organization is shown on the left, and that of a matrix-type organization is shown on the right.

Some additional notes/definitions from an earlier version of this page:

  • The Individual Stewardships Agency uses web-based consulting to enable participants to quickly access the information they need. Research has shown that this mode is similar to, if not more effective than, in-person or classroom learning and consulting (see Means, B., Tokoyama, Y., Murphy, R., & Baki, M. [2013]. “The Effectiveness of Online and Blended Learning: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature.” Teacher College Record, 115, 1-47).
  • In modern human resource management, organizations prefer having automated systems that give the personnel the lead in processing their issues. The community’s systems are geared with such a concept in mind (see Seethamraju, R. [2014]. “Effectiveness of Using Online Discussion Forum for Case Study Analysis.” Education Research International).
  • For the economy to be at full capacity, there needs to be a perfect mix of conditions. These include accessible and operational financial and physical infrastructure, access to quality human capital, and the opportunity for participants to acquire the skills needed to take advantage of available economic conditions. The Individual Stewardships Agency facilitates participants’ access to economic opportunity and assistance, as well as to opportunities to improve themselves to compete favorably (see Mishel, L. Here’s How to Achieve Full Employment. 2015).
  • Industry experts have increasingly highlighted the importance of attitude and values, sometimes even over skills. When accepting a participant into the community, it is important that they have the right skills required to increase their chances of success. More importantly, however, they must be ready to use the chances provided to them by having the right attitude and work ethic (Davis-Staffing. Value Attitude over Job Skills).
  • A credit rating usually shows how financially responsible a person is. This measure is employed in the community because financial performance is one of the main requirements for success in the system (see Sanghvi, D. Credit score could impact employment prospects. 2018).
  1. These demographic groups are married men (A), married women (B), single women (C), and single men (D []