CoTech Newsletter: June 2021

Dearest co-operators, it is a few days late but here is another edition fresh out the door. :trumpet:

Happy Monday! To help kick it off, here is some solarpunk imaginary from our man @trav:


Yours in co-operation, The CoTech newsletter team.

PS. If you want to know how to subscribe, we’ve written instructions over here.

Contributing To The Newsletter

Get involved with CoTech

  • The next CoTech Circle call is on Wednesday 30th June at 4pm UK, see the forum post here. This is a general decision-making and network organising meeting that needs your participation!
  • If the CoTech Infrastructure group were able to offer a VPS service - co-operatively run, co-operatively owned hardware, in a co-operative data centre running on renewable energy, would you want in? It’s an open call for input to all CoTech members (UPDATE: there is a follow-up survey available here, please consider also consider participating in this call for input in order to help the group have a more concrete idea of the network needs.)
  • Join in on the discussion to decide whether CoTech should continue with Loomio or consider other options for online decision making (Loomio thread here).


Outlandish: CoTrack and more!

We spent much of lockdown developing a tool that tracks Covid-19 samples for the @sangerinstitute . The tool we helped build – CoTrack – allows scientists and business managers to track samples as they progress through the analysis pipeline.

Catch the tweet here and the full post there.

Furthermore, Outlandish are keeping the fires lit and have a bunch of new inspiring posts:

Media Co-op: Co-op Fortnight 2021!

At a time when we really need to build back better, co-ops are ideally placed to boost the economy and create a fairer society. media co-op is incredibly proud to be part of this community. We hope you enjoy the film and remember to #JoinACoop this Co-op Fortnight 2021!

Media Co-op continuing their wonderful work, as always. They’ve tweeted about a new post showing them on the scene for a Cooperatives UK event. See the post here.

A look at sociocracy amongst UK co-operatives

We are experiencing a rise in the interest in sociocratic governance in the UK co-operative sector, particularly amongst worker and multi-stakeholder co-operatives.

Calverts tweeted about this new article which looks at Sociocracy being increasingly used within the network of UK co-operatives. See the full post here.

Democracy, you’re on mute: A co-op alternative to Zoom began as a collaboration between three tech co-ops in May 2020. It is set up using open source software (BigBlueButton) and runs on co-operatively owned hardware powered by renewable energy. It currently has 105 members across Europe, Asia and South America, including brands such as Friends of the Earth International and The Tor Project. in the news! Catch the entire post here.

Autonomic secure funding for The Co-operative Cloud

Co-op Cloud is a public interest infrastructure: it makes self-hosting open source apps (e.g. Nextcloud, WordPress, Jitsi) a reliable and cost-effective alternative to “Big Tech” services. The platform is made for co-operatives, non-profit groups, and individuals. With the support of the CoS Fund, they can release a polished “Beta” version in 12 – 18 months.

See the funding profile page here. More coming soon!

(PS. are still also in the running, fingers crossed!)

Agile Collective: LocalGov Drupal Beta Sprint Notes

The sprints continue! Sprint Notes 3 and 4 have been published this month. For more background on this work, see this post. Solid stuff!

New podcast episode from We Are Open Co-op: The Tao of WAO

The Tao of WAO is a podcast about the intersection of technology, society, and internet culture — with a dash of philosophy and art for good measure. Hosted by Laura Hilliger and Doug Belshaw of We Are Open Co-op.

Get listening over at SoundCloud.

See the CoTech forum post here and the official announcement blog post there.

CoTech Outeach, Website and Propaganda WG

After some very off-topic rambling there has been a few rumblings around getting the focus back on improving our wonderful website! It is still an open discussion as to what the website could be and how it could help CoTech and CoTech interested people do nice things together. If any of this sounds interesting to you, please join the discussion on the next CoTech Circle Call!

Jobs on the Go

Looking for work in the network or in network-adjacent groups? Here is a helping hand!

And if all else fails, you can post in the People looking for jobs thread and subscribe to the Jobs category on the forum. Good luck!


Did you know our wonderful forum has a Calendar feature? If you post under the events category then they will automatically appear in this calendar. You can subscribe to it using iCal or RSS. The Agenda also gives a linear overview of upcoming events also.

Good luck to all the organisers and thanks for your energy and determination despite all the remaining uncertainties around organising events right now.

30th June: Co-ops Fortnight - How cooperatives are driving community innovation

Polly Robbins, community builder at Outlandish, will be giving an overview of new innovations in the cooperative sector.

See the events listing here.

30th June: CoTech Circle Call

A network wide general “decision-making” circle that meets virtually on a
synchronous basis once per month - if you’re part of CoTech, help organise it!

See the event post here.

All notes and previous call posts are listed on the forum CoTech > Calls category.

5th July: CoTech Shared Infrastructure Call

A new group has formed within CoTech to try to provide a co-operative alternative to corporate server providers. If that sounds interesting to you, please join in!

See the event post here.

All notes and previous call posts are listed on the forum Hosting category.

23rd - 25th July: Worker Co-op Weekend

The Worker Co-op Council agreed to make a firm booking for Worker Co-op Weekend at Selgars Mill 3 near Tiverton, Friday 23-Sunday 25 July. The day before - Thursday 22 July - we are mooting a pre-event Solidfund 1 strategy session, which may run alongside a face-to-face gathering for the relaunched Young Cooperators Network.

See the forum post here.

TBD: The Next CoTech Gathering

There is a poll setup by @Lucy to try and put some dates and figures on the next face-to-face CoTech meeting!

The idea is that CoTech (perhaps in collaboration with Solidfund/Young Co-operators Network) will extend the booking by a day, so that we can arrive Thursday evening and carry out our CoTechh sessions on the Friday. The total cost of this would be £1500.

Weigh in on this forum poll here.

You can also join the discussion on this separate thread.


Thanks @decentral1se - and for mentioning the podcast! :star_struck:

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