An agent is an entity capable of forming Intention and acting on them.
This is also the A part of REA (or ARE: Agent, Resource, Event classifications of Value Flow objects. We are prototyping/design documenting a VF system for creating content and sharing it in a commons based production space that is meant to be self-sustaining and life supporting for participants.
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In economic orthodoxy, the ideal agent is modelled in ways that are completely inappropriate for any being who has agency. Any modelling or analysis that we do with these systems will be just plain wrong unless we account for agency and agents in a much deeper way. For one thing, the activity of modelling and analysis is one of an unbounded range of things agents can do to implement their agency. This unbounded range isn't any fixed thing that we can name, but represents a historical exploration of many agents. We call this exploration history and its current state culture. To correct this error the agent must be modelled as a combination of a particular kind of agent, and the history of experience and culture of populations of these agents.
In a similar way, we can begin to account for collective agency, and how that has been historically constucted. Too many examples of collective agency are constructed by referring decisions to the top of a social hierarchically, or to some lower point of delegated authority. Fortunatly, there are other models and they are becoming more inportant in governing collective action. Open source software development has lead the way, and we now have many other examples of the peer to peer form of production. This page is part of a system being designed to embody collective agency as a social network with digital support systems.