Tech4Good Newcastle

I’m running an event in a few weeks that should be interesting to co-operative technologists.

It’s called Tech4Good (link), and it’s for software devs and people trying to effect social change to meet and build new digital tools or improve the ones already in use.

If you know anyone in Newcastle, or the North East more generally, please invite them to come.

The main reason I’m organising this is to find people to help me develop this (pdf). But I thought there are probably other people who could also find it useful as well.

I’d be up for talking to someone a bit more in depth about how to run the event if anyone has any questions or ideas

you might want to talk to:

Jonathan Katona

Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain

he spoke at the OPEN 2017 conference and is part of (the founder?) of the Union which helped Mags Dewhurst in her case against City Sprint…
It would seem to make sense to have some of the smaller / better unions on board / to review your thoughts before you mvp anything…


I talked to the IWGB nearly a year ago, but it’s good to know I picked the right one!

Have you come across these guys?:

Theyre not a co-op as far as I know, and the functionality seems limited to surveys and petitions so far, but similar ground. May be worth having a conversation.

Coworker in the US do the same sort of thing also.


I believe they are the result of one of the Resolution Trust-sponsored BGV
accelerator programmes.

I need to catch up with BGV about co-operativising their cohorts. I’ve had
a similar chat with the Resolution Trust.

They are indeed. And speaking at the event I just posted in the events
category in a couple of weeks.

BGV and the ‘Tech4good’ sector definitely need to address the issue of
ownership urgently. Its all very well borrowing the rhetoric and style of
the VC backed startup sector, but if you structure the businesses the same
way, they’re unlike to be ‘for good’ (or last) for very long in my view.

Would be happy to help with any efforts of this type.


CoTech’s newest members (so new they’re not even members yet) are based in Newcastle:

I spoke to the founder of organise a couple of weeks ago, we’ve got plans to work together, I’m talking to their tech guy when he gets back from holiday. It’s not directly the same but I’m thinking that it could be synergistic.

I’ll look at Alpha Communication, maybe they’d be interested

On ownership, I’m thinking of open source, using an Apache license more specifically. Mainly for security reasons as I’d like the peer review that comes with transparency.

What I’d like to get to is a model of community ownership, where the coders, users, designers, testers etc, all feel as if it is theirs, because in some way, it is.

I’d suggest that you should consider the GPL (or the AGPL) — the reason that corporations love the Apache / MIT / BSD style licenses is that they allow code to be privatised — the GPL doesn’t, it uses copyright law to enforce sharing and I believe this is more aligned with the spirit of co-operation.

We are interested. I’ll try to get along to the event but I’m very busy that week.

Thanks, they seem perfect for the project.

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