CoTech Space4 gathering 29-30th November 2018

Hi Everyone,

The moment you’ve all been waiting for…

We would like to invite everyone who belongs to a CoTech coop to spend a couple of days here at Space4 on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th November.

Please sign up here:

This event is intended as a gathering for us to review the last year and create plans for the coming year, make important decisions, work on projects that will advance CoTech, and get to know each other and each coops work better.

We intend for this event to be structured enough so that there is lots covered, and loose enough so that people can vote with their feet about how to spend the time.

Some people have put forward ideas for sessions already. I’ll follow up with those people individually. We also envision that there will be some key decisions/discussions to be had that will probably be of interest to all members to participate in. These may require some facilitation and a few people in the network have already put themselves forward for doing this. Currently we are not planning to pay for formal facilitation for this event as a whole.

As well as work sessions, I will also be organising some opportunities for people to socialise over lunch, dinner and drinks. I will also look into local hotels to see who has the best prices and will inform people accordingly.

You can see the responses to the questionnaire I put out here:

I know there are some people keen to organise events outside of London, and more residential etc. All that would be great to see happen. My personal feeling is that a Northern/non-London event would be better at a different time, so that people have the option to attend both if they wish to. However, I think that decision is ultimately up to the people taking on the organisation.

I’m also aware that we have had some responses from people who are not in a CoTech co-op. My initial reaction is that as long as people have skills and ideas to contribute, that they are welcome to attend some hack or info sessions. However, it would be inappropriate for those people to be participating in any decision making. Please chip in here if you have more ideas about that.

Please watch this space for more details as I start to shape the agenda, and get in touch here or on if you would like to input more or have questions etc.

Looking forward to hosting you.



Amazing, thanks @polly! I agree with the participation vs decision making for non CoTech members.

Looking forward to it and seeing all those who can make it.


Glorious indeed, can’t wait! We’d be definitely interested to develop some web VR on/pro co-ops but open to join other groups!


Nice one @polly ! really looking forward to this


Yay, we’ll be there, see y’all soon :slight_smile:


Thanks sososo much to all the people involved in organising this.

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Sounds great, thanks @polly, see you there!

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Hey everyone,

Quick update…

I have today sent an email round to people who have volunteered to ‘lead’ a session. The aim is for them each to get back to me with a quick description, so that everyone else can organise themselves into groups and arrive on the day knowing what they’d like to participate in. I am hoping to have you all the information about the different hack teams in the next week or so, so that people can start preparing. I will put them up here, and am planning to add a page to too. Each hack will be happening throughout the 2 days and we very much hope you will join one.

I have also emailed those who have said they will lead a discussion. I imagine that most discussions will take about an hour, and these will be timetabled. There’ll be some open time for people who want to do other discussions which aren’t yet scheduled. We’ll also find a way for people to give updates about their co-ops, as this was a popular option.

There will be a decision making session at the end of each day. This will be for CoTech members only, and will be high-level decisions, and decisions that the hack teams need answering to progress. We plan to use sociocracy to make these sessions focused and quick.

Other stuff:
We’ll open up each morning with a quick briefing and update.
I’ll update you soon re socials etc.


Yo! I read this back last night and it all sounds a bit dictatorial :japanese_goblin: Of course, please do chip in here if there’s something you’d like to add or discuss. And it’s not too late to take on running sessions etc. You can also email or message me directly :slight_smile:


I really REALLY want there to be discussion and decisions about CoTech members systematically pooling resources as I think that is one of the keys components of pretty much all successful co-operative networks, see e.g. my comment here as an initial proposal (i.e. that we should all pool 0.00125% of revenue and 5% of profit):

@jdaviescoates current thinking is to have slots for people to run discussion groups (discussions running alongside the hacks). Maybe you could write up a quick description of the discussion and then we can timetable it and people can sign up? Initially thinking to give an hour or so to each discussion but obviously if people want who are in that discussion want to continue it they can do so to their heart’s content.

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See you all there! Thanks for organising!

With encouragement and help from @jdaviescoates I’ve put together a suggestion for a skills mapping activity at the gathering. See the Google Doc. (We did try Nextcloud but it frequently has horrible lags.)

I’m concerned that we try to get good bottom-up input, so I wonder if people might allow us 30 to 45 minutes for everyone near the beginning, to do the Exercise 1? Then a self-chosen group could move ahead with the rest, and prepare a clear plan to include absent members as well…

We’re saying that this would be a really helpful contribution to our collaboration in terms both of putting together cross-coop teams for projects, and simply for cross-referral, clearer and more fine-grained than what we have at present under services.

What do you think?

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Thanks @asimong!

Yes, in short, knowing who in each co-op is good at what would be really useful for a multitude of reasons.

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I’m sorry about that, was this on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 at around lunchtime? There was a issue with the kernel on the server at that time which required it to be rebooted. I’m unaware of any other issues with the server, was the lag you experienced when using the web based WYSIWYG editor or with the DAV syncing when using a Nextcloud client?

For documents of this nature you might wish to consider using the CoTech Wiki rather than Google?

Thanks for getting back on this @chris . For me, it works really nicely (editing .odt) then inexplicably freezes for say 30 seconds…

Good idea to use the wiki … How would we link in and signpost such a page?

I’m not sure I fully understand the question, wouldn’t it simply be a matter of creating a wiki page and then using a hyperlink to link to it?

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Hey everyone,

Thanks to all of you have been participating in discussions here and emailing me / chatting on the phone.

I’ve asked people who have volunteered to lead/steer the main hack sessions to create separate threads for each one, so that people can start to participate in the issues they want to be involved in. These are the hacks that will be running throughout the two days. These are as follows:

Please think about which of the above teams you join during the hack, and how you can contribute.

We also have other talk sessions running, which will last and hour or so (depending on how many people want to participate and how long they want to talk for!). So far these are:

  • Shared Hosting and Infrastructure, Shaun Fensom (CBM)
  • Shared business protocols to facilitate better b2b relationship, Fabian (Digital Liberties)
  • Getting more collaboration between CoTech members, Tom Lord (Aptivate)
  • Starting Block, Happy Dev - this is a session that will be run by our guests at Happy Dev introducing how they are going about mapping their networks skills. It’ll be an informative session, and will probably feed into the Skills Mapping Hack.

@shaun @toml @Leutha - It’d be great if you could set up threads for these if possible.

If anyone else wants to run a session please do, and please start a thread.



@jdaviescoates are you up for leading this session? If so, can you start a separate thread about it, to tell people what you want to get out of it and so they can start shaping. Can you also let me know what time and day you’d like to do it?

Hey all,

I’d like to get your input about decision making processes during the hack (please also let me know if you think this should be a separate thread). I’ve been emailing a bit with @toml and chatting to people here about it but would like to include more people and let everyone see how the plan/timetable is developing.

My idea as it stands is something like this:

  • During the day, each of the hack groups tries as far as possible to make the decisions around their work independently.
  • Each group is responsible for minuting/recording the main headlines of their work
  • Throughout the day each team notes down decisions that they think need approval from the rest of the network. For me I imagine these to be decisions that would need financial input from others, or are likely to have reputational impact etc
  • I imagine most of these proposals will come from the hack groups, but some may come from the discussion sessions also.
  • At 5pm we stop the hacks and come together to make decisions / sign off proposals from the working groups. Each working group nominates someone to give a brief report of what the group did that day and then goes through their proposals.
  • Proposals would be run sociocratically (ish?!), whereby there is a round of clarifying questions (followed by possible amendments and refinements to the proposal), a round of initial reactions, and then we test for consent (critical concerns). As long as there are no critical concerns the proposal passes.
  • I’m hoping that this session would last no more than 1 hour or 90 minutes.

What do people think? Do we need to set some parameters for what decisions are taken to the whole group etc?


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