CoTech Winter 2019 Gathering : Newcastle

I have added a location and dates to this the top post in thread so it appears on the map and calendar.

There appears to be a bug with adding events, however since the plugin author, @angus, is setting up a Discourse co-op that will hopefully be joining CoTech I’m confident that this will soon be resolved :-). The events button not appearing has been solved thanks to @fzngagan :slight_smile:.


Thanks so much for putting this together. Will decide next week who we will send from Common Knowledge.

1 Like

I’m coming for Cetis LLP. (Payment problem was my end.)

1 Like

Updated the wiki with some more information, notably on accommodation and working groups. I got in touch with a local housing co-op asking about space, but they haven’t got back to me yet

1 Like

One of the main issues is perhaps going to be the result of the General Election :crossed_fingers:

1 Like

I will put attending on the agenda for our next general meeting, but I hope to be able to come or if not that AC will send at least 1 person.

1 Like

Poll is live for lunch/dinner arrangements Loomio

Anyone with the link can participate, suggestions are very welcome, you have until 11AM next Friday!

Thanks for that @calummackervoy, one question, what are the facilities like at the venue for catering purposes?

Apologies for the delay, got a response from the venue… the catering facilities are as follows:

  • Reasonably large space
  • Oven
  • 4 portable electric hobs
  • Toaster
  • Hot sandwich press
  • Cast iron instrument for keeping things warm
1 Like

Really sorry but we can’t get anyone there from DOT PROJECT this time… :frowning_face:

Based on the poll results I’ve arranged with the Star & Shadow that their volunteers will be providing lunch on both days, included in the ticket price (so please buy tickets!)

1 Like

Last week we decided that to help prepare the working groups we would set a deadline for the submission of a public agenda for 1 December. I’ve contacted the people who had expressed interest in the following groups (get in touch with them if you can help!):

Present in the Sheffield gathering but missing someone to take the lead:

  • Governance and Membership
  • Website
  • Onboarding

If there is anyone who would like to run one of the above working groups, or something else entirely please let us know in this thread, and submit an agenda for 1 December

The agenda should cover:

  • Objectives for the weekend
  • What will be prepared before the conference
  • Who should join this working group
  • Who to contact to get involved with the preparation
  • Timeline (if applicable)
  • Anything missing?

Hi all,

@finn and I had a lovely day in Birmingham last week visiting Dev Society and Coop Web. We talked about the gathering a bit and things that would be good to get out of it. So a quick summary:

  • Skills Mapping: finding out who does what and also starting to analyse gaps in the network e.g. business analyst (this came up recently)
  • Creating a shared working agreement. Specifically for web development agencies initially but could be rolled out to other types of coops. Involves agreeing an internal rate for projects which are not a partnership to allow for a coop to bring in additional resources for a project.
  • Knowledge sharing and communication: Some people really don’t like this Discourse forum - too random and open. It would be helpful to have a place which has specific channels that have people in that are experts / champions.
  • How do we turn CoTech from an acquaintance to a friend?

The skills mapping initiative is going to continue at the next gathering, which is great. I’d be up for discussing the working agreement stuff as part of the business development WG.

This is really a brain dump but hopefully some of it is useful! Time to go home…


We can create private topics for groups of people here if that would help?

1 Like

4 of us from Open Data Services should be coming (it took us a while to confirm, sorry); we are looking forward to it!

We are keen to use this opportunity to share best practices and learn about how other co-ops work.

So, we’d like to propose that we can facilitate some learning sessions:

  • I can do one about open source, software licenses and contributor agreements - there has been some discussion about this on the forum recently.
  • Jack could do a session on how co-ops approach policies - things like staff policies - for example we just put in place a new parental leave policy but we struggle with stuff like work life balance so we want to know how others tackle this.
  • Kadie could do a session on general structures - how our co-ops are set up. eg We do equal pay, do others do that? [Would have to be Friday]

Is there interest in these?


Sounds really useful, to me personally. I’d be interested to attend any or all of these learning sessions if they are run, and if time allows.

Nice one @ODSCJames

What you suggest a great topics. I perdsoanlly would like to see more time on learning sessions so I’d be interested in sharing and learning about the policy and structure stuff and I reckon someone more technical from our coop would join one about the open source stuff…

@chris it’s possible. I didn’t raise the issue so not sure if it would answer the need. In general, it would be good to review our communications and make sure they are working for people and see if there are opportunities for improvement


gathering is getting closer! I’ll be attending as part of
Code-Operative and I’d like to know if someone is leading the
issues about accessibility.

not native English (as you can see in my writing, I cannot see it ;))
and it’d make it much easier for me if we have written support for
big things during the gathering. For example, writing on a big paper
the structure of the sessions (if any) or the decisions we want to
make (before making them, for having a say). Other things I struggle
with are parallel conversations (as everybody), accents, localisms
and mumbling.

am mentioning this here for everybody to be aware of it and for
anybody who may need some extra support to ask for it in here, so we
can count on it at the gathering and prepare anything in advance if

forward to being there with you all!


Hello, I have a proposal for an activity to do while hungover on Saturday morning.

My idea is that we supply the materials to make top trumps cards, and encourage people to make cotech cards with:
a) themselves on it
b) their coop and clients on it
c) their interesting connections
d) any funny ones
And then people can have a look through the cards at their leisure to get a better picture of where cotech is

In my head, it’s one card per topic, so one person can make many cards
And each card says like “John Evans, react developer at Code-Operative, likes clowning” or “Jeremy Corbyn, politician, current prime minister” etc

At the last gathering, we did an exercise where people shared their “bread, cream and dream”

So, I think the top trumps thing could fulfill the same function as that exercise.

Calum that must count as me submitting my idea right?