At the last event we really avoided having many whole-group sessions. We did a very short kick-off at the beginning (which as I understand it will now be a bit longer, thanks to @chrislowis doing a presentation on where CoTech has got to so far).
We also did summing-up and decision-making rounds at the end of each day, which were facilitated by @PeteBurden, @aaron and myself. These gave the working groups a few minutes each to share what they’d been doing, and bring sociocratic proposals to the group.
I liked this format, because we’re a really diverse group of people and so trying to find thematic or philosophical sessions that everyone feels are relevant to them is tricky. Meanwhile if people are up for running sessions that they think are interesting (such as how CoTech can help with the climate crisis, or what open source projects are going on), then it’s great for them to be able to do that. However @jonathan, I really don’t think that you need to propose these sessions or feel any responsibility for recruiting people to them - if someone wants to run a session then they should also take responsibility for making sure that people go.
In some ways the Question Time format is something that we are trying at Space4 - having nights where we get panels and audience in to discuss subjects related to the tech co-op sector. I think those are great and they get more people to know about CoTech and what we’re up to. However, I mainly see these CoTech Gathering events as being about how to get CoTech to be more successful, rather than looking at the wider issues around technology.
In short, I am basically saying that I think that if anyone wants to discuss the questions that you have outlined here, that would be great, but I don’t think it should be a compulsory group session.