Hello from Pavilion

Hey all,

Pavilion is a new tech cooperative, primarily providing services to folks running Discourse installations (the software powering this forum). We build customisations and provide site administration and hosting for a wide variety of online communities.

We’ve built, and maintain, a large library of open source plugins for Discourse, including the Events and Locations plugins used on this forum. (p.s. you can submit feature requests and bug reports for those and our other plugins on our site).

We’re currently looking to register as a cooperative in the UK. Most likely as a multi-stakeholder cooperative under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. We’re currently finalising our rules (I’m writing them). We considered a number of different legal fora for registration (including Australia and the US) and settled on the UK for the following reasons:

  • Permissive legislative environment
  • Decent industry support (including CoTech!)
  • Relatively cheap registration
  • Useful legal structures like the “Asset Lock”
  • Multiple members based in the UK

I’m actually based in Australia, but so far haven’t encountered any barriers that will cause with respect to registration and compliance.

Anyway, glad to find a community of like-minded folks here, and looking forward to spending more time here!

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Hi @angus that is awesome :star_struck: it would be great to meet up if you every make to around to this side of the world and I’d be interested in exploring if we could work together at all on the DevOps / provisioning / hosting of Discourse servers.

I’d strongly suggest that rather than writing your own rules you should start with a set from Co-operatives UK or Somerset Co-operative (Webarchitects uses these and we are members of both co-ops) and amend them to suit (you can also extend them with Secondary Rules, Seeds for Change have some example secondary rules linked from their resources page), this would be a lot cheaper, simpler and quicker than writing your own from scratch as your own set of rules would need FCA approval.

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+1 that this is brilliant and for adopting/ adapting Somerset Rules if you want to be a multistakeholder co-op!

However, re “Asset lock” - a statutory asset lock is not currently available for Co-operative Societies, only for Community Benefit Societies. But a CBS cannot distribute profits to members (which lots of co-ops want to do). Co-operative Societies can have Common Ownership though, which in effect amounts to much the same thing.

Also note that an asset lock only really applies if/ when you’re winding the co-op down and debtors still get first dibs. It’s only residual assets that get locked and handed onto a similar org. Whilst you’re a going concern an asset lock does nothing to protect assets from being sold off (sadly this happens all too often).

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@chris @jdaviescoates Thanks for the welcome guys!

Yes, I’ve been using the multi-stakeholder model from Co-operatives UK. After reading about them on this site I took a look at the Somerset rules.

I do like the proportional voting structure the Somerset Rules has, however I feel that, overall, it’s a bit too “opinionated” (in the software sense) for Pavilion’s purposes, particularly in sections 5, 6 and 7.

Currently, I’m looking to tweak the multi-stakeholder model from Co-operatives UK slightly to give it a proportional voting structure, conscious of the fact that more tweaks of the model = a higher registration fee.

@chris Yes, I’m sure there will be opportunites for you to meet up with our UK members, Rob and Marcus.

Seperately, we’re batting around a few ideas for a UK-based Discourse event next year. Early stages, but you might be interested:

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The DiscourseCon idea sounds great, perhaps Rob and / or Marcus might be able to come to the next CoTech event in Newcastle in December?

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Yes, they may well be interested! I’ve invited them to join in here.

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Hello Angus and welcome! So I’m actually the same person who’s been bothering you about ID’s in ICS export on GitHub https://github.com/paviliondev/discourse-events/issues/51 - and the reason I want it is so I can export co-op events from this very forum into my own personal event system :slight_smile: Best of luck with your co-op and thanks for the plugins.

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There is a form of “Asset Lock” that can be incorporated into the Articles & Memomranda/Co-op constitution.

I first came across this method, when i was lving in Sanford Housing Co-op as it is used in their Articles/Constitution.

The basic menchanism is to have a rule that states that “If the Co-op is wound up, then the assets have to be transferred to another Co-op having exactly the same rule-set as the original Co-op.”

A few years ago, when i spoke with one of the original members that set up Sanford in 1972, i asked him about this, and this rule-set was specifically designed to stop bad actors from joining the Co-op just to vote themselves the rights to loot the co-op’s assets.

There was an attempt to do exactly this a few years ago, but when one member pointed this out, the members of Sanford decided that it was a bad idea.

When we set up a Co-op, we plan to use this form of mechanism to block similar behaviour. :smiley:

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@ODSCJames Thanks for your help on that issue James; we’ve now merged a solution for that: https://github.com/paviliondev/discourse-events/pull/65

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@ODSCJames I updated this Discourse instance yesterday afternoon so this fix should now be available.

I also added DKIM signing of outgoing email and this might help somewhat with deliverability of email messages from this server.

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I see stable ID’s, yay! I have re-enabled my importer for this - thanks all

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