Federating CoTech with European Tech Coops?

Hello! I started a proposal for organising a CoTech gathering in Europe (likely Brussels or Amsterdam)

I proposed this scope:

  • Helping organise the next steps towards CoTech-esque organisations in France, Netherlands and Germany (the people we’re in touch with so far)
  • Taking on the task of European federation, i.e. duplicating CoTech, but on the next scale up (for now this might just mean putting a bunch of faces, committing together and making new tools (website, forum, loomio)… and that’s already a lot)

I wanted to spin-off a discussion here to get initial thoughts on starting a second CoTech - but the next layer up - for a Europe-wide federation of federations of tech co-operatives?

I defined CoTech loosely as:

  • A federation of tech co-operatives in the UK
  • Useful for new co-operatives (like mine) who exist in part because of the support and contacts of CoTech, and certainly learned our sociocratic processes from CoTech and Outlandish in particular
  • Useful for the social connections it provides (e.g. Co-Op Cloud came into existence from CoTech connections)
  • Useful when using CoTech as a brand to apply for work from large organisations (it has happened once or twice)

And I would define the ambitions of this organisation would be more or less the same, on a larger scale

What am I looking for?

Critical concerns, thoughts, interest… testing my definition of CoTech…


Provocation: cotech becoming IT industry circle of workers.coop AND a unit of European tech coop federations? Dual loyalty? Voting in both? Sending money and people to both?

Provocation: cotech describes both a tightly clustered core and a fairly dispersed periphery; the core is attempting to intensify itself with a paid coordinator and the periphery is as ever somewhat invisible in the process. Core separation imminent?

Encouragement: if you want something to happen and you do something to make it happen consistently, eventually something happens. Maybe not what you wanted but probably in that direction. European federation isn’t an insane thing to want.

Boring but necessary to say: language friction, financial friction, legal fiction, cultural context friction, cost/hassle of long distance travel.

Mystical sayings: as above, so below. Ship your org chart. We are what we repeatedly do.

Attempt at applying mystical sayings: a European federation requires at the least that Europeans be communicating. They have names and Matrix addresses. Maybe we could build something fun/funny to get their attention? Is the conversation happening at our place or theirs? What’s the best way to make new friends? And what about our old ones*?

Pithy conclusion: I can think of worse ways to spend your time than trying to get various national tech coop groups to cooperate. A big task for the right person.

*FACTTIC for one.

@Sion may have something to say on this as i believe there is an initiative to setup a new tech sector network linked to CECOP the European worker and services coop federation

Workers.coop will be joining CECOP