Presentation on the current state of CoTech - I need your help!

At the CoTech gathering next week I’ve volunteered to give a presentation on the current state of CoTech, some of our achievements in the last year and where we’re hoping to go next.

I need your help!

Could you answer these questions:

  1. What are some key highlights from your co-op in the last 12 months? Things you’ve done alone are great, but even better are things you might have done with other CoTech members. Links to posts you’ve written are fine!

  2. What do you think is going well within the CoTech network?

  3. What do you think the network should concentrate on in the future?

Even if you aren’t able to attend the gathering, please do contribute if you can - I’m hoping to share the presentation as a blog post on the CoTech site after the event.

Could you send me things by this Thursday (18th April) please? I’ll then have a week to put the presentation together.


Hey Chris,

Thanks for taking this on. Sorry not to have sent anything over for this yet. Here is a quick overview of what CoTech has meant to us so far (I’m sure this list is my no means exhaustive!). I hope to add some more detail to this tomorrow in terms of the ££ value of work, as well as the lessons learnt etc from the client projects we’ve collaborated on.

Client Project Collaborations:

  • WashData, with Agile (2016-2019)
  • School Cuts, with Small Axe (2016-2019)
  • Start Network, with Agile (2018)

Space4 (etc)

  • Set up Space4 in order to have a place for coops to meet and locate in London.
  • Colocating with other co-ops means that we can provide adhoc advice and support, in terms of tech projects and in terms of setting up and running a co-op
  • A regular programme of events means that we are providing more publicity for teh co-op movement and raising awareness of it. We have given a platform to numerous CoTech members and affiliates
  • Most co-ops have used it in some way, particularly:
    ** GFR having 3 desks in year 1
    ** Digital Liberties having desks in year 1 and year 2
    ** Animorph having desks in year 1 and then moving upstairs to locate with Outlandish after 1 year
    ** Founders and Coders becoming anchor tenants at the end of year 1 and running their programme from the space
    ** Aptivate using the meeting room once per month in year 2
    ** InFact starting as students in FAC and then taking desks in Space4 and now in Outlandish offices

Other stuff

  • Do some hosting through Web Architects, and hired Chris to do some sys admin work
  • Bringing GFR in to do some specialist work on the School Cuts site (we didn’t have the capacity or specialism needed to do this)
  • Skills and knowledge sharing days with Agile (Found out about R&D tax credits through one of them which = 50k of benefit)
  • Worked with Dot Project on a pitch to the Co-Op group. Didn’t win it but it helped up understand how CoTech might work together on big tenders in the future
  • Proposed for a piece of work with Animorph. We didn’t win it but we got an understanding of what each of us do and how we work/like to work.
  • We also proposed for work with Cetis which we didn’t win again but we identified our strengths and weaknesses and where to improve next time.
  • Brought the Dot Project in to provide some consultancy for one of our ongoing clients (EU), to develop a case study/proposal for a cloud hosting service
  • Being part of CoTech has given us a bigger platform to talk from and about at almost all events (we are part of a wider network of specialists etc) as well as ‘sales’ meetings/pitches etc - we can nearly always offer a solution even if it isn’t us doing it.
  • We delivered a sociocracy training session at Marmalade in Oxford with Aaron. It was an ‘ecosystem’ event for the Skoll world forum

Hi Chris, not quite what you were asking I realise, and some quick thoughts on the train of what we’ve got out of CoTech in the last year or two:

Space 4 - friendly affordable convenient space for meetings!

Shadowed Outlandish to get ideas on our process

About £25k from collaboration with Media Co-op

About £10k from collaboration with Agile Collective

Taken part in a couple of speaking events after work to raise our profile in our particular sector, hosted at space4

Invaluable to have a network of solidarity - “don’t worry, we’re doing a slightly mad business thing too, here’s everything we know” - full disclosure and sharing of info - it’s ok to not know what we’re doing sometimes and still feel the coop love from our peers! It’s a hard world out there and we need moral support as much as the chance to do more work

Great to see moves to incorporate addressing the ecological crisis into our network, would be very hard to do something like this alone

CoTech was the reason my organisation decided to formally be a worker coop. We’d talked about it before, and suddenly there was a practical source of support and encouragement that gave us an external incentive to sort ourselves out!


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I’m sorry that Webarchitects Co-operative hasn’t got around to adding to this thread, a last minute thing to add is that we have had quite a few CoTech co-ops join our co-op, we are a multi-stake holder co-op of workers, clients, partners and investors (though we rather lack investors!), in order to use our GitLab server at, amoung other things…

Hi Chris.

Though not last year so probably a bit late for inclusion, but Gildedsplinters developed the .coop site with Calverts in '17