CoTech Meetup - penultimate Wednesday of the month


At Wortley Hall 2017 we decided to start getting the word out more about what we do and why we do it. We will therefore be hosting a monthly public meetup at Space4 in London. Each month a couple of coops will present an aspect of what we do in an attempt to widen our network - where possible we’ll also invite an external speaker.

The meetup series will kick off on January 24th, 6.30pm. Outlandish and Go Free Range, two founding members of CoTech, will be discussing the most interesting aspects of their work and their co-op structures. There’s room for another organisation to talk too if you are interested.

If you’ve ever wanted to find out more about co-ops, or CoTech, or if you’re already a member, or if you’re considering starting one then this is the event for you! This event will be appropriate for people interested in cooperatives across all sectors, not just tech.

More info and sign up here:

Please spread the word!

Reminder of address:
1st Floor,
149 Fonthill Road,
N4 3HF


Next Wednesday Feb 21st, 6.30pm-9pm, is the second CoTech meetup hosted at Space4, London. This month we will be discussing how we can harness the power of (and buzz around) Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies to support the Co-Operative movement. Please come along from 6.30 to hear some talks and participate in the discussion. Talks this month will be from Oliver Sylvester Bradley, Bill Olivier, Jaya Klara Brekke and Griffin Hotchkiss.

Find out more and sign up here:

Please spread the word!

Additionally, Bill Olivier has invited Arthur Brock (creator of CEPTR and Holochain) to come along in the afternoon from 4-6pm to chat with CoTech members. This will be more of a closed session for CoTech people (as opposed to the evening session which is a public event), and will be the launch of a CoTech Holochain Group. This session will also be at Space4. Get in touch with Bill Olivier (CETIS) or Fabian Thompsett (Digital Liberties) to find out more.



Can’t get to either event sadly, but keen to be in the loop, expecially with the Holochain thread.


Application of Holochain both by tech co-ops… and for co-ops

Unique opportunity to work with Art Brock the Holochain co-founder and lead!

Fabian Tompsett and I are starting a CoTech Holochain group. We propose to launch this in a 4-6pm session immediately before the 6:30-9pm CoTech Meetup on the 21st of Feb, at the Space4 venue.

We are very fortunate to have Art Brock give a brief intro and support a hands on session - for which only JavaScript is needed.

Opening - what and why (30 mins?)
Inspiration - What was/were the vision/ideas and driver/s behind it?
Motivation - What kinds of things can you do with it that you couldn’t do before?
Progression - Metacurrency -> CEPTR -> Holochain
- Where has it got to now, and what is the road plan?
Cautions - Reliability? Security?
Understanding - How does it work? A mental model for developers
(largest part of this section & intro to next)

Main course - Hands on (1 hr 30 mins?)
Application - What do you need to get set up? How do you use it?
Example walk through - Jason Sackey? (Web developer working on Holochain Fractal wiki?)
Work towards a CoTech Mutual Credit/Timebank?
(first step towards a Co-op Mutual Credit system + offers and wants)

For the draft proposal motivating this session and to be discussed in the follow-on, see: Growing the Co-operative Economy

Holochain looks set to fulfil the now fading promise of Blockchain. Blockchain was a great development, inspiring a lot of innovative work, but shortcomings are becoming apparent, from the massive compute power and concomitant energy needed to operate it, leading to a huge centralization of a few massive mining setups, that in turn potentially threaten its key security feature, through the time delays needed to confirm transactions, the increasing costs of transactions, to the ever growing single blockchain ledger that would have to record all the world’s transactions if a Blockchain currency is ever to become global.

Holochain addresses all these issues and already builds in equivalents to some of the proposed blockchain additions such as SegWit (Segregated Witness) and side chains (with their own yet to be resolved issues). Instead each chain is agent based and the verifying DHT (Distributed Hash Table) nodes mutually verify and secure transactions between parties. Similar to BitTorrent it provides distributed storage, and similar to SETI at home it provides distributed processing using the massively unused cycles available on all our machines - and it’s small enough to run on mobile phones on. It thus makes truly co-operative distributing computing possible, with the potential to serve up to Facebook scale applications, but with no centralised servers and no monopolistic corporations needed to run them.

It therefore seems much better aligned with co-operative principles and values.


@Graham - very sorry you can’t make it. I’ll keep you posted.


Sorry I can’t make this event either, it does sound like it’ll be great, I haven’t had enough spare time to look into Holo / Holochain in great detail but did put my name down for a HoloPort Nano… any chance someone could record a MP3 or video of the talks?


@Chris - recording is a good idea. I’ll see what I can manage.
@Polly - is there a tripod at Space4/Outlandish? Or even a video camera?
It would be good to record both sessions if poss.


Thanks everyone who came and contributed to the event last week. I’ll post the slides up here once I’ve collated them all.

Next month the theme we would like to explore is ‘Building Co-Operative Communities’. We have Linda Wallace, talking about housing co-ops, I’ll talk about Space4, and hopefully someone talking about Land Coops. It would be good to have another 1-2. Does anyone from this forum want to speak? Or do you have any recommendations of people who you think might fit well?



Here’s also a link to the Google Slides version of my ‘Growing the Co-operative Economy’ presentation at the Cryptocurrency CoTech Meetup, 21 Feb. Many thanks to those there for your positive and encouraging remarks!

A number of the diagram pages have speakers notes, and, for those interested, I’ve expanded the notes on the final slide mapping the proposed system to Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model as I didn’t have time to present it.

And a link to the longer proposal notes in Google Docs.

This is evolving and hasn’t yet fully adjusted to a) Mutual Credit, as opposed to a token, and b) HoloChain as the potential carrier.

If I’m right about the ability to carefully create additional credit without causing inflation (I believe I read that the WIR system in Switzerland found they could create new credit at 15% of the amount in circulation) then, while the initial development of the system would need pump priming with ‘sovereign’ funding to get the system off the ground, once going, its expansion should become self-funding and, although it’s always helpful, would not be dependent on further government or other funding. If it creates new, stable, reasonably well paid employment, then overall government costs would instead be reduced.

The new co-op startup process should also be accompanied by a focus on innovation, and increasing co-op productivity, to counter, and even take advantage of, the current trend of low productivity and even lower wages, and enable co-ops to compete effectively in the current market while still paying their workers a reasonable wage. I believe CoTech has a big role to play in this.

I’m aware that this whole thing can only be successfully done if co-developed with the wider co-operative movement and that that in itself is a big task!

So, as a start, I’m looking forward to further co-operation!



Next CoTech Meetup is next Wednesday. See details here:

Is there anyone who would like to speak? We’re just doing 5 min talks, with an emphasis on networking and discussion rather than talks. Please get in touch with me directly if you’re up for it.

We are also hosting another event the following week about mapping (this is an Outlandish thing, not the Monthly CoTech Meetup, but obviously we’d really love some CoTech people there!):

The April CoTech meetup event will be around ‘Finding the next generation of digtal co-op activists’ again, give me a shout if you’d like to contribute or if you know someone who would be good.