Climate emergency and tech

Hi Jonathan , I’m completely unable to give this any brain space in advance, but time is noted, and i will almost certainly be there to speak a little, even if I don’t make it to the first day.

However, I will speak about what’s been happening in London this week, rather than about anything else; hope that’s ok. I expect people will want to hear about it.

I asked Nathan to contact you, perhaps he hasn’t. I’ll message him.

See you soon


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Hello Naomi, thanks good to get yr email.

That’s fine, it’ll be great to hear first hand.

I’m suffering brain space capacity issues as well, but we’ll get there :slight_smile:

Hope to hear from Nathan but at this moment I’vve lost my mobile :frowning: Aaaagh!
so don’t giv him that numbr; I’ll get sorted with this next week - Tues probably

See you soon :slight_smile:

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That the discussion about climate emergency aims to create a position statement, or better yet an agreed policy/strategy, that all CoTech members can support. In that way we not only educate ourselves about the issues, but we also create a platform that can be helpful in promoting CoTech as a distinctive offering, and drive internal planning and policy development within CoTech member organisations.

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That sounds a great idea @graham. I’ve now been in touch, and Nathan or someone from Extinction Rebellion should be attending the Spring Gathering ( to help with discussion/awareness raising, on the morning of Day 2 (Friday).

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Do you have some suggestions for content for this?

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VERY broadly, a statement might look something along the lines of: CoTech member organisations recognise the paramount importance of the climate emergency, and the urgent responsibility to take action both within their own organisations and externally to promote best practice. CoTech believes that having zero negative impact on climate change is the minimum viable position that it can adopt, and is working to become a climate-positive network.

And a policy/strategy might be something like: CoTech member organisations are working to define a shared climate policy and strategy, building on the agreed position statement. This will ensure that suitable measures are embedded within member organisations enabling them to effectively assess their organisational impact and take rapid steps towards becoming climate-positive. CoTech undertakes to publish a report annually, setting out progress in respect of this strategy.

How’s that for starters?


Sitting listening to the Extinction Rebellion talk and thought I’d throw Low-tech magazine into the mix, especially given their solar-powered server.

Low-Tech Magazine


We sat in a small subgroup of the climate subgroup to make a list of things you and your co-op can do to help avoid the climate emergency. The list is here —>

Please edit your other cool ideas in!

Especially keen to get the input from @Dot about council procurement and other stuff!

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Hello (Dot?) I wondered if there was any further news of “developing a network-based energy management tool for monitoring IT infrastructure energy use”

And is it still true that no-one is providing this technology open source?

As discussed Sheffield_2019/List_of_Climate_Actions

(Caveat: Sorry, I haven’t read full thread.)

Re: climate change and support from tech worker co-ops. Some comments – :mag: facts, :heart: feelings, and ideas :bulb::

  • :mag: Extinction Rebellion is doing massive organizing internationally.
  • :mag: Enspiral members (notably @richdecibel) have already put some weight behind supporting them.
  • :mag: movement is staying loose, and using holocracy for organizing.
  • :heart: I feel that they need the best tools for success, which might not be open source.
  • :heart: I feel that tools to help this multi-centered operation organizer are the ones that support the spirit of what they’re already doing.
  • :mag: is a tool built to support holocracy.
    • :mag: peerdom is built but a neat organisation called Nothing Agency
    • :mag: I had a call with a member of the Peerdom team this morning.
    • :mag: team members are aligned with cooperative spirit, but failed to cooperativize when it came up for discussion, as they burned some savings talking about the meta of governance.
    • :mag: the peerdom backend is already open source. (Front-end is not)
    • :mag: software like peerdom feels like it could support not only the XR movement, but also the cooperative space.
    • :mag: peerdom is not short on features ideas, but on development capacity.
    • :mag: peerdom team is open to non-monetary exchanges for service, e.g., development capacity in exchange for large non-user-restricted accounts.
  • :bulb: Let’s invite members of Peerdom to give a show and tell for CoTech or ICA networks. cc @nicolasdimarco @Neto
  • :bulb: let’s try to find a way for peerdom and co-op community to mutually support one another.
  • :bulb: let’s find out if org mapping tools like this would support movements like XR in their existing work
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Have any of you discussed participating in the Global Climate Strike on September 20th with their coops? We will probably do so, and If there are other (tech)-coops that join the strike we could create a joined statement etc.


We’re building quite a lot of stuff for it, so not working that day might be quite counter-productive!!

In general I’m not sure that striking in worker co-ops makes that much sense.

We’re planning to only do climate-related (or election related work) that day - e.g. no normal commercial clients that aren’t trying to save the world. We could set an “out of office” to that effect?


@hng @harry What about a co-operative organizing an open cowork in the negative space of the strike – targeting knowledge workers who already plan to strike, or who want to – with the premise being to build tooling for or document needs of the movement? A strike could be a great opportunity for concerted user research methodologies that perhaps aren’t commonly deployed :slight_smile:

e.g. “what feels like it’s going well here? what’s lacking? how could we all make it better?” asked to all sorts of different people who show up. That sort of thinking and conversation is the empowering core of open source (and “commons-based peer production” more generally), and might be interesting to engage with participants in that way

PS, I say “cowork” because “hackathon” has a one-off vibe that works against longterm movement-building imho. (Disclaimer: am a weekly hacknight organizer.)

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hi Jonathan,
yes it is still true that there is no network-based energy monitoring tool available either open-source or commercially … we know there is demand for this. I would be happy to come to Sheffield for a chat about this …

hi … I’m in XR and know that some others in CoTech are too, including @naomi. From what I’ve seen, there’s been little reflection by XR on its tech and how we communicate/ work/organise across the movement. There’s a mishmash of different commercial tools being used. This kind of workshop/co work sounds really useful …

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Thanks for context @Dot! Anywhere you would recommend looking to learn about this mish-mash?

@patcon What is a holacracy tool? What does it do?

I am not sure if XR is really trying to do holacracy in a formal way. But perhaps the inner core of national working groups might be. They would be the ones to pitch it to, I would say.

Tech I’ve seen being used in XR: Facebook, Wix, WhatsApp, Signal. Slack, Basecamp, Google Drive, Google Groups, Mailman lists, Gmail, Protonmail, and something called Action Network which provides email lists and other things like polls etc. I’m sure that’s not an exhaustive list

Edit: also Glassfrog holocracy software.

BTW I am only talking about UK. Different countries use all kinds of different stuff.
The Non-UK Europeans are more into FOSS apparently (twas ever thus)

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Personally on strike day I will be striking! As will the rest of Autonomic I strongly suspect :slight_smile:

Wow, thanks Naomi! Example of holacracy tool: this digital agency’s org structure (their names are pseudonyms, and they imagine their company is robots crewing a rocketship :slight_smile:)

As for holacracy in XR, I’m near certain it’s being used at some levels: A good friend in NYC is pretty deeply involved in organizing there, and they are def trying to make it work for them :slight_smile:

A few of the major articles refer to it:

Gail Bradbrook is one of Extinction Rebellion’s founders and the closest person to a leader in a movement conceived as a self-organising, non-hierarchical “holacracy”.

Though the initial RisingUp pamphlet seems to only mention it briefly.

I just asked my comrade about this and they reminded me that XR UK use Glassfrog. But they also said glassfrog is “a bit of a hack” and they might want something else.

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