GreenNet's application to join CoTech

Today (30th November 2018) at the CoTech Gathering, a number of representatives from CoTech member coops sat down with Ed from Greennet to discuss their rejected application last year to join the network.

After some initial recapping of events and Ed restating who Greennet are, why they want to join and what is hindering them from becoming a worker owner and controlled cooperative, a proposal was made and using the consent process we worked through a number of critical concerns before passing the proposal.

A detailed, and hopefully accurate, account of what happened can be found on the Wiki.

For simplicity’s sake,I’ll restate the proposal here:

We accept Greennet as a member of CoTech providing they resolve the issue of worker ownership and control by becoming a coop within 2 years. CoTech will provide support to enable them to do this, by offering Sion Whellens skills and expertise and by supporting an application to Solid Fund to get funding to help them with the legal costs.

Moving forward, we agreed to use this thread to keep members updated of progress.


So please allow me to introduce GreenNet:

We were founded in the 80’s and have been providing connectivity in various forms to activists and campaigners ever since. As the internets have evolved, so has GreenNet.

Some of what we bring to Co-Tech is:

  • We’re an ISP (we reckon UK’s oldest), so we can hook up ADSL, FTTC etc, and we’re ISPA UK members. handy for telco issues, contacts, etc
  • We founded the APC in 1990 it’s grown into a thriving international network of progressive tech orgs and gets us into gigs like the IGF
  • With Privacy International and others,we’re challenging GCHQ at the ECtHR on hacking
  • But we’re also a non-hierarchical collective of 8 friendly, knowledgable & political geeks with deep links in UK and international activist networks and dedication to FOSS and internet.rights

You can find out about what services we offer at the moment on our website
and a few tales from our illustrious storied past can be found on wikipedia GreenNet - Wikipedia (feel free to update - especially if you can track down details of the GET/BNP dispute in the '90’s?) as well as on our website.

We’re so pleased to be formally joining Co-Tech, and looking forward to contributing and collaborating


I’ll be more than glad to assist Greennet.


Good news on Greennet, thanks @aaron. It makes sense, to me, to have a flexible approach to membership rules in unusual cases like this.

On the process, though, is this a proposal which was voted on and is it now considered binding - or is the proposal now going to be taken to Loomio for a decision? I thought the latter was how membership decisions were made according to the constitution.


Hey @jack

I’ve added the update to the Loomio thread, I meant to do that last week but it got hectic.
You’re right re consitution so have asked the question there… personally I think it’s overkill but then I was there!


I’ve just deployed @edmaw’s merge request to add GreenNet to the CoTech website:

I’m also after some other people to come to the CoopHack to help with some more website updates :slight_smile:.


Woohooo! :clap: :clap:

Thanks Chris!


Welcome aboard GreenNet. Are you already in touch with @Sion and do you need any other support from us in completing you full transition to Worker Co-op? Also, as we’re in the same city we should have some welcome beers. Do you guys want to host, or maybe co-organise something at Space4?


We are indeed talking - some knotty legacy things to sort out, but confident we will resolve. Meanwhile I can confirm Greennet is a ‘de facto’ if not quite yet ‘de jure’ worker coop … (don’t know where that came from, I didn’t do Latin or law at school)


Thanks Sion and Harry!

We recently moved into a new premises (near Sion) at the amazing and have some plans for some small-ish events here, our newest neighbours are XR, who moved in last week.
But we’re definitely up for being involved in CoTech London events - hosting, helping or attending, with or without beers!

We’re due to reconvene with Sion soon


Is there any progress to report on this, I think it is around five weeks before the two year time limit runs out?


Hi Chris,
Yes we can report some progress, though we are not yet registered as a co-op.
I can do a quick write up on where we’ve got to.


hey @edmaw I’d personally love to hear how you are getting on. And also perhaps we should run a new proposal to extend your membership if you don’t think you will have converted by the end of the 2 years? I think it is important we respect the membership criteria and previous agreement. What do you think?


Hi Aaron,
That sounds good, we could convene a remote meetup to present our update?
Hope you’re all keeping well at the moment,

We usually have monthly CoTech calls on the last Wednesday on the month at 4pm — would a presentation on Wednesday 25th November 2020 give you enough time to prepare — we might have a better turn out at the regular meeting than a special one.

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That sounds good Chris, I won’t have a formal presentation, but will come along and provide an update.