What do you want to discuss at Wortley Hall in 2017?

Looks like a great organisation Graham but, I gotta say, that was a disappointing click :slight_smile:

Fork it if needs be? The code is released under the AGPL :slight_smile:

It would be interesting to know how many orgs have been created using this tool and how they have succeeded, @athertonjohn might know the answer to this?

I was just kidding - I think the “one click” bit is a bit overly optimistic.

On a more serious note, it’s pretty unclear what would happen if you click ‘submit’ (presumably an email is generated to sales@uk.coop) but from a UX perspective it’s pretty off-putting.

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I make no claims as to whether it is good, bad or ugly. Merely flagging up it’s existence. No doubt it could be better, like most things.

Thanks for the reminder of One Click Orgs existence, if people are going to spend some time and resources on this idea it would seem daft not to build on the work done previously rather than starting from scratch… It would be for things like this (preventing the reinvention of the wheel and duplication of effort) that having someone from Co-operatives UK at Wortley Hall would be good?

Just a few thoughts, the conversation you’re having is very stimulating!
I think that focusing on developing autonomous infrastructure is an important purpose of our time together in Wortley Hall. I agree it would be best to get off g docs and others of the kind. In Animorph we’ve set up up a free g docs equivalent but at this time it’s accessible only locally and not very useful, it requires a bit of investment to make it widely accessible, for instance to all members of the network and potentially our clients as well.
In my opinion planning things we want to make together goes arm in arm with tracking down and neutralising corporate infiltration on a low level such as ‘free’ software. The trick is to replace it with something fully operational and preferably appealing to many (outward facing), because this is the only way we could scale up by convincing normies they don’t lose anything(!) when abandoning corporate vessels.
During the last planning session I got really excited about the direction we started heading, that is aiming to channel the results of Wortley Hall into the CoTech website. Hope during the following meeting on the 3rd of November we can extract the essential goals in tune with the agenda being prepared by @laura, @PeteBurden and @Sion. If our website were to become dynamic, it could address even vast topics that @harry listed yesterday.

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If we wanted our own office application (perhaps the wiki isn’t good enough for shared documents and we do?) I’d suggest using Nextcloud — this can be setup with Collabora to allow WYSIWYG document and spreadsheet editing using a web browser (in addition to WebDAV access to the filesystem for editing documents using a local application such as LibreOffice) and we happen to have some Ansible playbooks to make setting up and configuring a Nextcloud server rather easy…

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14 posts were split to a new topic: Co-operative Exchange Token

Leaving aside for a moment the question of who facilitates, could we discuss the broad format of the event.

Currently we have the proposal from @laura @sion and @PeteBurden which is fairly structured. There has also been talk of just having open spaces.

Personally I like the idea of it being more hack-day-like, with minimal interruptions but spaces that people can go if they want to be entertained or chill out. For example, we could have several themed spaces (the final list would need refining):

  • communications and marketing
  • governance
  • technology (our website, our comms channels, open source project we might want to undertake)
  • business development/sales/finance
  • training/skills exchange
  • help, I’m lost and I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing

People propose hacks for each of the spaces, and people form into ‘teams’ or just generally get into the relevant space and do some work with some practical outputs. e.g. Marketing and Comms would be about proposing new copy for the website or other marketing materials, and the output of the hack would be the new materials.

In the evening of each day there could be a ‘proposals hour’ where people can bring proposals from the individual groups that need broader approval. The lunch break means there are roughly six half-day ‘hacks’ - some people can focus on tech while others focus on governance, and those that want to can do a bit of everything.

How do people feel about interruption-free hack day format vs more the structured format? Is there some way we can have both? Is the “help, I’m lost and I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing” stream where the facilitation is needed?

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Hi Harry.

That is very helpful, thanks.

As Sion said "We think a flexible agenda (see Laura’s outline) with some directed activity but also a double measure of open space co-design is most likely to satisfy both [groups - those who want structure, and those who want less].

I think what you have proposed is almost exactly what we have in mind. Laura’s agenda is quite detailed (for our own purposes) but in essence our approach is to use the principles of Open Space. (Open Space Technology - Wikipedia) - the same participatory principles that underlie hack days, BarCamp etc.

To more simply summarize Laura’s agenda it really says:

  • meet and say hello
  • get together and surface ideas for themed spaces
  • ‎break into smaller groups and work in these spaces
  • ‎get back together later on and review what came up

So yes, the themes you suggest make perfect sense - our intention is to gather them from this topic, but also refresh them on the day. Because sometimes people’s energy for things changes in a new situation and setting.

We also had envisaged, exactly as you suggest, proposals being brought forward and agreed on, probably daily. Longer Open Space events can, in our experience, sometimes seem a little incomplete, so we wanted to bring in exactly the structure of proposal making you suggest. My own view is that we should use ‘consent’ as the basis of making these decisions.

The only addition we are making is some occasional sessions of our own design to break up the cycle/patterns and perhaps learn new conversational skills. But like the whole agenda, it is all completely optional. And completely flexible - a big part of the facilitators’ job in our view is to keep adjusting the process so it best reflects the changing needs of the participants…

Hope that helps.



I’d like a session on Nextcloud, as suggested in another thread.

I’d love to discuss the practicalities of getting more CoTech collaboration off the ground in 2018. I’ve added a new topic: Wortley Hall: How to collaborate with other CoTech co-ops. I’d love to hear ideas from other people who are interested in this.

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I’ve created another topic for something else I’m interested in chatting about: Wortley Hall: Software development methodologies.

I’ve written a blog with some ideas about how CoTech could develop over the next year: What should CoTech be doing in year 2? :: Outlandish - I’d be interested in people’s comments and thoughts on this thread.

It’s all very much a straw man to be deconstructed or burnt.


I just gave an internal (tech focused) presentation here at Outlandish about our use of OpenShift (https://www.openshift.org/ - basically Kubernetes with some extra useful stuff on top).

Would be very interested to re-present that, and discuss the topic with others (devops, hosting, docker, etc…). Could be a good platform for the “co-operative cloud” concept…

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Thanks for your blog post, I very much agree that “getting more money and resources into the system is key” — as I posted in the Loomio structure / decision making thread, I’d suggest that our main priority should be sorting out how we can organise ourselves best to win and deliver work for clients (once we have that solved we should have spare time and resources to address everything else) and that if this necessitates a legal entity then we should set one up and the question of membership cost would be determined by the nature of this organisation.

There’s a lot I agree with there @harry . Also strongly in favour of breaking into smaller themed spaces, it sounds more productive.

In case anyone missed it, I interviewed a lot of people in the network earlier in the year and summarised the main patterns as suggested topics here.

To tl;dr it, I’d say:

  1. Prioritise how you bring in money & work to collaborate on inc branding / marketing strategy, and developing a common framework. A lot of the constraints boil down to finances. If this is about creating a non-private alternative way of doing tech, let’s focus on testing a minimum viable strategy for doing that that benefits us.
  2. Strengthen internally:
    a) Establish themed groups at Wortley Hall, or organisations like @dansmallaxe & @harry suggest, so people with expertise, energy and ideas know where and how to contribute them with the consent of the network.
    b) Create more incentive to cross paths and strengthen social ties (working together is the core social glue). Identify ways to make more members aware of and involved in CoTech.
    c) Start thinking of ways to accommodate common processes, tools, technologies. Collective training, sharing and development of common best practices, etc.
  3. Scaling sustainably. Creating a profitable coop is a high barrier to entry (tried - failed); over time, we’ll need to think about creating entry-points for new individuals, and our strategy for converting existing businesses and gaining new members.

1 is the thing I’m most confident about moving forwards personally, 2 & 3 depend on it really. Unsure if 3 is a big thing right now. Discussing purpose, membership, decision-making, is necessary to lead to smoother engagement, actions & decisions but I think it’s important to be practical and settle on a minimum viable version rather than get too lost in hypotheticals.

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Hi Laura

Just found this year’s event although we did manage to get Jack there last year I think! Isnit still possible to join for part of this or engage remotely in any of the sessions.



I don’t think there any plans for remote participation, but since you are close by why don’t you come for the day on Tuesday or Wednesday?

Hi Chris

If I can juggle my work commitments out Tues or Weds might work.