CoTech Space4 gathering 29-30th November 2018


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?


Thanks @asimong!

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


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?


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?



Hey everyone,

Please could you confirm your attendance by signing up here:



I think there is an error in the URL above, this URL works for me:


That’s weird. Thanks @chris for posting the correct one. I’ve updated in the first post on this thread too.


@polly I think that sounds like good approach to making decisions that are blocking us during the gathering. It’ll also be a good opportunity for teams to share their progress.

I think if we have to make “member decisions” (new members, changes to the constitution, changes to the membership criteria) we should try and follow the process we agreed on last year (in the constitution) - or change the constitution in advance of the gathering!


Hi guys!

Sylvain from Happy Dev & Startin’blox here! I’m very excited to join you for your hack.

Happy Dev is a French network very similar to CoTech and we’re looking forward to discussing with you how we can join forces to conquer the world together! We’re going to have a session during the hack. I think we’re working on the same issues and we’ll present you the solutions that we think solve them.

See you then!


Hey so I’m trying to timetable the shorter sessions (discussions, mini-workshops). If we are kicking off at 10am, I imagine the morning of the first day will be taken up by getting settled, getting the hacks set up, and then most people will break for lunch. So I’d suggest not running any of these in the first morning. And we’re breaking at 5 each day for decision-making.

So I would suggest that the mini session slots are:
4-5 (this one would need to finish promptly, assuming participants want to be in decisions)

4-5 (again, finish promptly)

Most people I’ve spoken to have suggested an hour is about right. But if you think your session needs more, I’d suggest either blocking out 2 hours, or else, you could always move to a separate room if the conversation is so heated that you want to continue (you may even decide you want to turn it into a hack that you continue with throughout the rest of the event).

If you’re running a session could you let me know which slot(s) you’d like? @chris @sylvain @shaun @liam I know you’re all getting involved in sessions, I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten too!

People who think spontaneously of sessions they’d like to run during the event can fill in any blanks.

If you can think of a better way of doing this, please chip in now!!


CoTech Gathering 2018: Shared Hosting and Infrastructure

Thanks Polly! We haven’t taken our train tickets yet so I’d rather take them before confirming a slot.

It’s in our top priorities so I’ll let you know real soon!


Hello Polly,

We have the tickets! I suggest we take the Thursday slot from 2 to 3, if that sounds good to you.



@KingMob are you coming to this event?

Happy Dev will be there and I’m planning to convene a hack team on what the “CoTech as a service” site would look like. E.g. “type what you need in this box to search out database of 372 technologists” - which is, I believe, what you and happy dev both have in mind.


Yep I’m coming to the event, really looking forward to talking about how we can work with cotech and happy dev.

We’ve been imagining quite a low tech system for matching technologists to projects so far, but that might just be because we’re quite small and can do it with just talking to each other.


Gateshead council assigned us a business adviser to help constitute us legally, and through our discussions with him, we worked out that what Code-Operative (our org) does is provide teams of people for projects in a transparent way.

So, I’m coming in with the view that the web service aims to put together teams of people with the right skills for the project, who already know and like working with each other.

At the moment Code-Operative is just 4 people, but we’ve been talking about if we had about 30, maybe we could have affiliations within the co-op e.g. a group that goes mostly for political projects, a group that wants to work on games and VR, a group that likes working with experimental tech etc. The idea being that these groups will arise naturally, so we can harmonise it with the goals of the co-op.


There is now a timetable-in-progress on the CoTech wiki: