POSTPONED: CoTech gathering at the Worker Coop Weekend 2020 - now late July?

hmm that makes more sense! Glad to hear it wasn’t just a mistake as it was discussed quite extensively last time it happened.

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Hi all,

Some sad, but unsurprising news, I’m afraid. See comms from CUK:

Dear Cath
I hope you are keeping well. As I am sure you will understand we are cancelling Worker Co-op Weekend due to the social distancing restrictions.
We won’t be able to get a refund from the venue but are looking to see if we can roll the booking over to next year - this means that we are also supporting a small business during this tricky time.
I just need to let CoTech know but I am sure they will also be doing the same.
Will you please be able to let the rest of the Worker Co-op Council know.
We are focusing our efforts towards supporting the wider coop movement through this tricky time and I know Zena has just sent round an update to the Board.
Take care, Wendy

This was to be expected, I bumped into @leedscath in person in Sheffield yesterday and we knew it would be the case, I unpinned it from the top of the front page of this site some days ago in anticipation, I’ll update the top post now… we must have a mega one next year! :heart::fist:


Hi all. I asked Wendy how much the venue was, because it seems to me that getting the same venue free next year isn’t likely to be that helpful for a small business trying to recover from this year.
" It’s just over £5k and more expensive than our usual venues. I will ask Michael to look at implications of writing this off - he’s reforecasting budgets now".
My guess is that it’s more expensive than the usual Worker Co-op Weekend venue because it was a joint event with CoTech.
My thoughts on this are pretty hazy, along the lines of

  • no one should have to absorb that whole cost - not Co-ops UK this year, not the venue next year.
  • Co-ops UK was already trying to work out how to pay for hugely expensive essential structural work on Holyoake House and I doubt they’ll be willing/able just to write it off.
  • The Workers Co-op Solidarity Fund will (I hope) be inundated with proposals for emergency help from some of its members and I would prioritise those over sponsorship for next year’s WCW.
  • Everyone is going to be facing existential challenge, but I wonder if there are any more secure co-ops that could put in £100-£200, so we could raise perhaps £2000 for the venue for 2021 (on top of any standard sponsorship) and ask CUK to commit £1000 or £1500 as well.

This means we can pledge the venue £3000-£3500 next year, which they can accept if they want.
Is this reasonable under the circs? Are there actually co-ops in a position to commit to that money now/within their next meeting cycle?

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I’m assuming that every organisation involved in this and who may be exposed to loss as a result of the cancellation - including the venue) will be able to take advantage of the government grants that have been announced? Assuming so, then perhaps that will be adequate?


I think the venue has already been paid and it’s non-refundable - Coops UK are trying to roll it over to next year.

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@polly mentioned the news during our CoTech circle call on Wednesday… Could we have a digital gathering?
We would probably need to ramp up our Nextcloud instance, what do you think @chris?

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The best options from this thread appear to be:

  1. Paying for the Nextcloud Talk High Performance Backend service.
  2. Setting up a Jitsi server.
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I think it’s a really nice idea to do some kind of remote event. I wonder whether we could just schedule a day of small working groups/master classes/talks? We could open it up to the wider co-op community as well. @chris do either of these services have ‘breakout rooms’?

I feel like actually making any decisions virtually might be a logistical nightmare, but others may disagree!

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I’m afraid to say that in the absence of any funding to host and configure open source video conferencing systems I’m not sure how we can avoid using commercial closed source solutions such as Zoom, Whereby or House Party.

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From the Talk link you shared:
The High Performance Back-end offered by Nextcloud partner Struktur includes a Selective Forward Unit (SFU) which solves this bottleneck by receiving one stream from each user and forwarding it as needed. This allows scaling a single call to about 30-50 active participants.
It’s 4k Euro per year for 50 users, which seems a bit expensive, but then if all CoTech members were to rely on the service that probably wouldn’t be excessive… I wonder how much we all jointly pay for Zooms, Wherebys and alike each year…
Is there a possibility for us (WebArchs?) to host such a ‘High Performance Back-end’? Presumably this will require more investment than running it via Nextcloud’s partner?

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I think that is a very good question and if there was support for all the CoTech co-ops pooling our resources for this now would be exactly the right time to do it. It would be nice to be supporting a company that is a strong supporter of Free software rather than the assortment of capitalist corporations that I expect we are supporting at the moment…

EUR 80/USD 90 per user per year at 50 users

That works out at around £78 per year per user or £6.50 per month per user…

Would it be worth asking them for a quote (I’d be happy to complete this form if there is support for investigating this further)?

I’m afraid not, they haven’t published the source code.


I note that the next version of is going to come prepackaged with a coturn server and very likely a jitsi app will follow soon after :smiley:

ie it’ll soon be very easy to set up a jitsi server

The main thing I like about cotech weekends is the drinking, so something organised around that would be ideal for me.

LOL. I mean, there’s still the darkweb right?

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A post was split to a new topic: Nextcloud Talk High Performance Backend is being open sourced