CoTech Newsletter: March 2021

Hey folks!

We are delighted to announce that the monthly CoTech newsletter is back! After a discussion on the monthly circle call (see notes) a proposal was formed and voted on and now the work to produce this newsletter is funded by the CoTech fund!

The process of getting this organised shows that the democratic structures we’re collectively building up are working to allow more CoTech network specific work to go forward sustainably. Thanks to everyone involved in making this possible and we look forward to seeing more organising and use of the CoTech fund for mutual aid and solidarity work in CoTech.

Despite the ongoing intensity of the current conditions, we can clearly see that a lot of caring, thoughtful and critical work is still being done by the members of CoTech. The collective output of the members remains inspiring. This newsletter goes out once again in hopes that it will be a source of further inspiration for the network.

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

News

Outlandish work placements and new office

@Polly posted about CoTech work placements at Outlandish going on and there have been some intersting questions raised.

I think it would be interesting to talk about how we have different models for working with each person with regards to profit share which has been somewhat confusing at times but also a learning curve. Definitely would be good to get to a place where there are some clear suggestions for how others in the network can do it (I remember Factic had some good processes).

As always, thinking along and engaging in these questions via the forum is appreciated.

There are some nice blog posts with updates directly from the work placement participants here (Lucy) and also here (Doug) available to read.

Furthermore, Outlandish have been been working on an app which helps TV workers gain more autonomy over their work tracking infrastructure and they have moved to a new office!

Startin’Blox and more CoTech co-operation

@Calum has posted briefly about the partnerships within CoTech forming around the development of the Startin’Blox platform.

I’d like to share Startin’Blox - members of Code-Operative, Autonomic and Web Architects have been working on that from within CoTech, Happy Dev and CoLab Coop from outside

To learn more, see “CoTech agrees to adopt Hubl” entry on the previous newsletter.

Autonomic launches public alpha of Co-op Cloud

@kawaiipunk posted about the launch of a new project aimed at helping Co-operatives deal with questions and operations around infrastructure hosting:

Running libre software apps and infrastructure for ourselves and our clients is central to what we do at Autonomic. Now, after a year of work, we’re stoked to share our “Co-op Cloud” project with the world. We want to make it easier for others to join the party, ditch corporate spyware, and make their tools sustainable, transparent and private.

Read more via the announcement blog post.

Autonomic have also been busy publishing about their decision making processes and developing peer-to-peer protocol infrastructure.

Tanpopo crowdfunding shout-out

@KingMob let it be known that they’re working with a new Co-op called Tanpopo which is trying to build up physical infrastructure for digital cooperatives.

I’m connected with a new coop called Tanpopo that is basically trying to build the Geordie space4. They are running a crowdfunder to establish the first phase of the business and I would love to see it succeed.

Please consider supporting this important work.

Tanpopo Recipe Boxes - a Food and Drink crowdfunding project in Newcastle Upon Tyne by Tanpopo Cooperative

Blake House Co-op move ahead with CoTech film plans

After some discussion and manoeuvring around strategy and how to get things started, it looks like Animorph will work together with Blake House to make a CoTech promotional film.

Idea: Create a succinct, eye catching banner video that explains to the world what CoTech is, articulated in the spirit of the CoTech manifesto, co-created by the members of CoTech (and in collaboration with cool AI tools).

See the forum post for more.

Inspiring FACTTIC updates

We can see how Santa Fe is not only consolidating as a cooperative ecosystem, but in particular it is consolidating in the development of promising partnership initiatives in the ICT industry … Together and federated, co-ops get stronger.

See the full forum post here, thanks to @Sion for passing that on!

CoTech fund financial update

The CoTech fund is up and running and here comes a wonderful financial report from @chrislowis.

A quick finance update on the CoTech fund. We currently have £2873.07 in our Unity Bank Account. We received £3755 in subscriptions last year, up from £2964 in our first year.

See the full report here.

Agile collective working in the open with weeknotes

Agile Collective are currently working alongside CAST / Catalyst on the alpha phase of a reusable service platform for publishing guidance to professionals. The project is called Shared service platform - Guidance repositories. As part of the project-wide commitment to open working and transparency, we’ll be publishing weeknotes telling you what we’ve been up to.

See the full blog post here.

Animorph and Aurora

Animorph have released a lovely overview of their work (past, present, future) around mobile devices and AR headsets.

The Aurora prototype offered a glimpse into the unknown, a collision of natural phenomena with artistic interpretation in an immersive medium.

See the blog post here.

Common Knowledge on General Intellect Unit

A really solid podcast update from @alex and @gemmacopeland came down the pipes.

Hey all, Myself and @gemmacopeland went on the General Intellect Unit podcast to talk about our work and being a co-operative etc. We explained the process of becoming a worker cooperative, with shout outs to CoTech in general and some CoTech members in particular. We also talked about our work building tools for organising and the general approach in doing so. Hope people enjoy listening!

Catch the episode over here (super recommended listening!).

Founders and Coders doing just fine

A short update via Twitter is enough to spread the good news!

We’re about halfway through a :sparkles: new, supported :sparkles: pre-course, and have a lot of exciting things coming up this year! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Media Co-op and international co-operation

Media Co-op were tweeting about their exciting work going on with the Climate Justice Coffee morning and a new animation being published.

We’re so excited to be attending this Climate Justice Coffee Morning :coffee: :coffee: Currently hearing exactly how to make and ‘cup’ coffee - and later we’ll be watching our latest animation!

See the animation over here.

Open Data Co-op launch d-preview

Open Data tweeted about a new project launch.

We’ve just launched d-preview :rocket: It’s a tool to help organisations publishing @IATI_aid data to see how their data might look to the world tomorrow.

Read the full blog post here.

We Are Open publish a new edition of The Learning Fractal

Authored by our very own @laura.

Welcome to another edition of The Learning Fractal. Here’s your monthly dose of inspiration, updates and events from the badging, credentialing and learning world.

See the latest edition here.

Web Architects and Meet.coop

In case you missed it, Web Architects have been busy helping setup meet.coop.

Webarchitects have been involved discussions about setting up a co-operative of co-operatives to co-operate on the setting up and maintenance of a BigBlueButton 3 server in order to provide an open source co-operative alternative to Zoom

See the forum post here.

So You Want To Build A Platform Co Op

Our own @polly was in the mix for this PCC stream on building platform co-ops.

About practical advice for building cooperative platforms. The short presentations covered recommendations on hosting your project, models of co-op ownership, and more, by - Hugo Pimentel Felinto (Coopersystem), Juho Makkonen (Sharetribe), Polly Robbins (Outlandish), Joseph Cureton (Obran Cooperative).

See the video here. Featured in the PCC newsletter.

Events

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.

Yes, there is an events category in this months newsletter! Good luck to all the organisers and thanks for your energy and determination despite all the remaining uncertainties around organising events right now.

Date TBD: CoTech Gathering Spring Break 2021

Those who have attended any of the CoTech hacks/gatherings know the beauty of connecting to fellow co-operators in person and jointly contributing to strengthening CoTech (e.g. by drinking beer). Understandably, there has been a limited appetite for online gatherings since we communicate on this Discourse instance and other channels for years now. However, we do have new members (as well as long-standing ones) who might have not experienced any gatherings as of yet.

Join in on the planning here.

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.

24th March: London CoTech meetup: Why are co-ops relevant in a time of political and economic crisis?

Prior to 2020 we were already witnessing growing levels of inequality and precarious work. Now, with the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic colliding with the UK’s exit from the EU, we seem to be entering a period of massive economic and social change. This may well lead to spiralling levels of unemployment. But then again, there is also an opportunity for people to experiment with new ways of organising, and for us to question our old assumptions about the economy and social hierarchies more generally.

You can still sign-up over here.

(PS. sharing this event around would be much appreciated, see this announcement post for more. You can re-tweet this via Twitter).

April 14th: Sociocracy 101 workshop

One of the many CoTech collaborations to come out of this year has been myself and @aaron joining @PeteBurden and @Abi at Outlandish in delivering Sociocracy and other workshops. This new development has definitely been the highlight of my crazy year! And we’ve got another fully remote consent based decision making workshop coming up on Wednesday 14th April 10 - 3.30pm. We offer a 241 discount on CoTech members so bring along a friend or 3 and bring it back to your co-op where you can support each other to practise. (£250 for 2 tickets including the offer).

See the announcement post here and the event page itself.

There is also an accompanying blog post for further reading.

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This is awesome. Thanks for putting it together ! :slight_smile:

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So good! Thank you for putting it together :heart:

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Brilliant work indeed, thank you so much @decentral1se !
Looking forward to also hearing your CoTech highlights on Thursday 8th of April :wink:

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Great stuff :clap: :clap:

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