CoTech at London Tech Week

Could resist setting this up.
https://fund.coops.tech/#/buckets/2

Ooh-er very fancy! Thanks everyone who’s contributed. Spread the word if you speak to other CoTech folk who don’t use this forum much. And do send me ideas if you have em.

If anyone doesn’t have a CoBudget login and would like one, they can email joaquim@outlandish.com and ask him to set you up with one.

Long live CoBudget!

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Ditto! I feel like it’s a way to get potential startups et al to realise that they should be structured as a coop. Plus I love the idea of subverting tech week and tech week lingo. Disrupt the “disruption” indeed!

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I think this is a great idea Polly. About time!

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Yes excellent idea, happy to assist with drafting the outline for the event
and the ad, if that might be helpful. And can probably get Small Axe to
throw in some cash also if needed.

Dan

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Hey everyone,

So far we have funded £181 of this fund. This is a bit of a nudge to anyone who’s not chipped in but would like to, to put something in the pot now. Thanks to those who’ve said they might be able to pitch in a bit more if required - I’d hold off for now until we can get more of an idea from across network. Also, the £300 is only the bare minimum to list the event - it doesn’t include anything like venue hire, organisational time, booze etc.

Having spoken to some people here we’re thinking we’d like to make the theme more sales-focused. So rather than something about the philosophy of collaboration, make it more along the lines of 'why you should hire a co-op rather than a normal agency. Does anyone have any reflections or suggestions on this? Or another theme that would prompt you to chip in?

I would still really love to get this to happen. I think that by advertising in TechWeek we have a good chance of attracting clients who aren’t in our normal catchment.

Therefore I’d suggest that we give it another week or so to see who can put some more money in and/or develop the theme and programme. If neither of these happen we should think about a scaled-back event to coincide with Tech Week (possibly at Space4) that we don’t advertise with TechWeek (thus saving £300).

Let me know what you all think.

Polly

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I’ve started thinking a bit about different language for why its better to hire tech co-ops in this group pitch project. Key thing I think is need to connect to actual objective realities about co-ops (or a co-op consortium), directly to qualities that we know all clients want in their agencies.

The two main ones we’re highlighting at the moment for CoTech in this project are:

  • We take ownership of the work we do, because all of us own our companies and their reputations.
  • As a consortium of companies large and small, we combine the capacity & flexibility of the largest agencies, with the focus & agility of startups.

Both need work, especially the second which is a bit of a fudge, and only relevant when hiring a group of companies. There’s no mention of lower price currently - am a bit wary about going there without knowing thats definitely true in all cases, and also because that approach can backfire sometimes in implying lower quality.

For the advert (if it happens), I would suggest some pretty direct language to grab people’s attention - along the lines of ‘Keep hiring tech agencies with external shareholders, and you’ll keep getting ripped off’. Then listing out reasons why tech agencies owned by the people who do the work are better - reliablity, honesty, transparency etc, some examples of the big companies/orgs we’ve worked with, that sort of thing.

To be honest its a bit mad that we haven’t collectively worked out an agreed line on this already! Should almost be the first priority given that we are all co-ops, all trying to sell that identity as an advantage to potential clients. And I’m sure we have lots of experience of whats worked in practice in the past.

Maybe its worth a group meeting or creative session some point in coming weeks to work on that? Would be happy to help organise if thats of interest to anyone (and Space4 can host…?)

Oh and if we don’t do the advert (or as well) we could think about some sort of guerilla marketing around the event potentially? Just a thought.

Dan

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Hey Dan,

For some reason I’ve only just noticed your response on this thread. Sorry!!

You’re always welcome to have a meeting here. I kind of thought that this is what the branding group had been working on. Where did that go?

I think that the 2 things you’ve mentioned here are generally how we try to frame it here at Outlandish. There’s a blog article here which is a little dated but still pretty pertinent:

It’s looking fairly unlikely that we’ll get the financial buy-in to do an official Tech Week event, but I’d be very up for chatting about some guerilla marketing and some concurrent events at S4.

P

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Hi Polly

Branding group met a couple of months back, but we didn’t manage to get a date for a follow up. I’ll probably have another go once we complete this bit of work looking at Co-op group - we’ve made some progress on positioning and copy in the process I think.

Have emailed you about another event, will probably call in at some point this week and we can chat about Tech Week then.

Dan

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We got inspired by Wave and instead of initial £10 we chipped in £31 (hoping to keep going/growing for at least 31 years!)… 88 quid to go!

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I think this is a great idea and would chip-in too if I’d gotten around to making United Diversity member of CoTech and had a CoBudget login! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey everyone,

Richard Edwards (Outlandish), Dan Stanley (Small Axe/various), Szczepan (Animorph) and I have been having some chats to move this along. Our preference for the event would be to host it at Newspeak House (swanky, Shoreditch), advertise through Tech Week promo, have a couple of short talks, but mainly try to sell CoTech by having lots of our people in the room, chatting with the guests that we hope to attract through Tech Week.

However, we’ve also been pricing up the above and it would come out at something like £2.6k - we’d recoup about £1k from ticket/drink sales so total cost would be £1.6k roughly. We currently have £222 in the CoBudget pot and even though I know some people have kindly offered to put it a bit more, we’re still way off the mark.

Therefore we’re proposing to host the event at Space4 which saves us a lot of money since hosting at Newspeak was one of the larger costs. We’d still advertise through Tech Week and we’d still brand it as a CoTech event, so hoping to bring the benefits and exposure to the whole network. We’d have a few short talks, followed by a knees-up (talker slots open, let me know if you’re interested).

The bizdev case for this event is that it’ll get our name in front of lots of people from big companies, who are commissioning tech projects: they’re interested in ‘disruption’, may want to learn more about flat structures, and may want to have more social responsibility - we can sell CoTech businesses both in terms of our tech work and as thought leaders in the field of non-hierarchical governance in the teach world. We’d also see this as a networking and socialising opportunity for CoTech members who can get to London.

Bare in mind that we’re seeing this year as a foot-in-the-door, making a name for ourselves so we can attempt something bigger next year - along the lines of ‘The Alternative London Tech Week’.

What do people think?

Is anyone else up for chipping in to such an event? The more people who can chip in, the cheaper the tickets will be!

Ta.

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Hosting an event as part of London Tech Week sounds great to me.

Thanks for keeping the discussion going, Polly.

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We’ve had a bit more of a chat about it and have agreed to cover the cost of the advert (£300 + VAT).

So it sounds like we’ve got a space (Space4), some ad copy (Dan?), an organiser (Polly?) and financial support pledged from Autonomic, Agile Collective, Animorph, The Dot Project, Wave, Go Free Range and Outlandish. It’s coming along, team :slight_smile:

Polly - Let me know if you want us to pay for the ad directly or whether you want to invoice us.

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Wow this is great news. Thanks GFR (@chrisroos)

Got a Outlandish team meeting this afternoon so I’ll get back to you a bit later with progress.

:):grinning:

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When you put it like that @chrisroos is sounds AWESOME. #CoOpsRuleOK

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Hey all, sounds great to me. Although have to admit I struggle to envisage how it might generate sales for CoTech members?!

I also couldn’t notice that the copy so far mentions neither the word co-op not worker ownership which personally I think is a mistake.

Could we perhaps add words similar to those found on the website?

Cooperative Technologists:
Building a tech industry that’s better for its workers and customers through co-operation, democracy and worker ownership.

Think the CoTech logo and url should obviously be on the fly/ graphic too.

Newspeak House nice (and I really like the outside terrace for smoking etc) but hosting at Space4 does seem to make most sense.

Also: do we really need to pay a DJ? Surely together we could just play a few records/ playlists/ whatever. I’d actually rather like to bring a few random records along (funk, soul, reggae, that sort of stuff) if they’ll be decks to play them on? (or is that really why we’re getting a DJ? so they’ll bring their decks) And/ or my laptop which has loads of music on (as I imagine does everyone else’s) :slight_smile:

Smiles,

Josef.

Hey all, sounds great to me. Although have to admit I struggle to envisage how it might generate sales for CoTech members?!

I don’t know whether it will generate any sales but I reckon we should give it a go given how relatively cheap it is to get CoTech in front of people that probably wouldn’t hear about it otherwise.

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United Diversity is now a member just waiting for @joaquimds to sort me a CoBudget login… :slight_smile:

Absolutely! Certainly worth doing imho.

Now wondering if proposed CoTech hack days are before or after this… (Hopefully before so we can have more in place prior, especially better handle on skills and capacity within network)

/me goes to check