What has CoTech done? Nov 2016-Nov 2017

A place to list achievements/contributions/good stuff that has happened as a result of/related to CoTech.

Hopefully these will be turned into a newsletter, data visualisation, blog, and 'what does CoTech actually do?" page on the website.

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Things that could be posted in this thread include:

  • Collaborations between CoTech co-ops, we have the ability to add these to the web site but I don’t think many co-ops have? Also there is a Discourse thread and a wiki page for this but again it doesn’t have much on it — I’m sure there have been many more collaborations than we have been able to capture.
  • Events at which we have been & / or participated in, we have a events category here and we have a Future Events and Past Events section on the front page of our wiki however I’m sure that neither of these lists everything.
  • Other things I have missed, what are they?

I have been helping with the Internet infrastructure so I’ll write a few words about that from my perspective (please fill in the gaps for things I haven’t covered)…


Our domain name and wiki were registered and setup during a session at Wortley Hall 2016, before we agreed a name for ourselves. The domain name was registered to Webarchitects as CoTech didn’t (and still doesn’t) have a legal entity which could own the domain name, as soon as we do it will be transferred. The MediaWiki site is hosted on a Webarchitects shared hosting virtual server which running Debian on Webarchitects owned hardware in a data centre in Sheffield which powered by Good Energy.

There are 55 registered users, other stats for the wiki include, 30 content pages, 157 uploaded files and there have been a total of 1,293 pages edits since the wiki was created.


Our public website is running WordPress on a Webarchitects shared hosting server and the code for it is hosted on GitHub and 13 people are joint owners of the CoTech organisation on GitHub, the repo has two branches, commits to the dev branch are automatically applied to the dev copy of the site and commits to the master branch are automatically applied to the live www.coops.tech site. There is a live2dev Ansible playbook hosted on git.coop which can be used to update the database and files of the dev site with content from the live site — when adding clients or whatever to the site you should do this directly on the live site.

The site currently lists 28 co-ops with a total of 169 staff and a total annual revenue of £5.7m as well as 252 clients, 49 services and 79 technologies. People with a login to the site can access the summary of the Piwik usage stats and there is a screenshot of these from a few weeks ago on the wiki, some of the Piwik stats include, a total of 3,840 visits, 2 min 37s average visit duration, 10,333 pageviews, 7,254 unique pageviews and 603 outlinks, 556 unique. (Note that the Piwik server we are using for stats is set to respect the Do Not Track HTTP header and only visitors that allow JavaScript from stats.webarch.net to be run, are not logged into the WordPress admin interface and are not considered to be bots by Piwik are included in these stats). Site visitors have mostly come from the UK but people have visited from all over the world:


Our open (anyone can join) Discourse community forum, this site, is running on a Webarchitects 2GB RAM virtual server and the install was done using Ansible and there are also playbooks for upgrading Discourse and upgrading Docker.

Our community forum has 95 registered users, has served a total of 1.1k page views, users have posted a total of 513 comments, 144 likes on 513 posts and a total of 27.4k emails have been sent by the site.

Apart from one hour of my time that Outlandish paid for the implementation of the automatic updates of the two WordPress sites from GitHub (writing a crontab which runs a bash script), all the time spent setting up and maintaining all the hosting services for the Internet infrastructure for CoTech has been provided for free and if anyone would like to thank Webarchitects for the work done and hosting service provided you could consider joining our co-op, one key benefit you would get as a result would be access to a co-cooperatively run GitLab CE server at git.coop for your projects.

Sorry for the self promotional ending to this post :flushed:.


You get a big like for you @chris. Thanks for all the effort you’ve put over this last year - you have epitomised the doacratic ethos perfectly.

Some things that Agile Collective have been involved in over this past year:

  • Copitched, won and then delivered a large, complex sanitisation data analysis tool for UNICEF/WHO - https://washdata.org - with Outlandish. Phase 2 to follow in November/ December.
  • Implemented a lovely design of Wave’s for Keeping Children Safe
  • Currently working with Chris from Webarchitects, who is helping a client move off an insecure, legacy forum platform and onto Discourse.
  • Half sponsoring my time to help organise Wortley Hall 2017

There are probably some of things that I can’t recall right now but it’s 10pm on a Sunday night (what am I doing on my computer, I ask myself)


Getting CoTech off the ground

  • Co-organised with Harry our first meet up last year at Wortley Hall which included
  • Convincing people to come in the first place!
  • Invoicing all the participants (worth a mention because it took ages)
  • Preparing the agenda with Seeds for Change
  • Running around the venue when there was a leak in a guest’s room, people didn’t have the right food etc etc

Speaking at events

  • February: TGV and Audience Agency hackday, Istanbul where we promoted CoTech and benefits of collaboration to propose that the arts sector establish a network.
  • April: Losing Control event, Oxford. Talk based around: What happens when you speak to orgs that do similar services as you, and how it can make your org more effective? Do you care more about your sector or your company? CoTech has helped us self organise and establish a network of experts in their relevant field, good value for money and geographically distributed around UK.
  • May: Open Tech conference. Presentation on what CoTech is, why it was started and how we operate.
  • May: Worker co-op weekend. I ran a ‘networks in your sector’ workshop with @aaron and @chris
  • June Newspeak House election debrief: presented School Cuts and highlighted collaboration during election sprint with The Small Axe.
  • July: Congress presentation and Q&A for one hour with Ieva from Blake House.
  • September: Preston community wealth panel with Ed Milliband, Ted Howard and Mikel Lezamiz. Promoting worker co-ops, what CoTech are capable of delivering and examples of past collaborated projects
  • October. Introduction for Michael Hardt event outlining CoTech and why we started it.
  • October: CICOPA Social cooperatives international school event. Mentioned School Cuts, Wash data website, HelpText (open ecommerce) and Animorph’s project for people to better understand supply chains linking back to China.

Attending events
I’ve attended a few events to spread the word about CoTech

  • Coops meet up in Oxford (arranged by Agile)
  • Super Global party
  • Cast Tech4good event


  • Working Together by Stefan Morales
  • FT magazine (last week so not published yet)

I’ve spent a bit of time getting in touch with people to make them aware of the network, and inviting them/responding to them about joining us

  • contacted Animorph, met with Szczepan and introduced him to the CoTech
  • met with Black Shuck to tell them that once they become a co-op, welcome to join us
  • regularly respond to emails from outside world
  • set up Animorph, Aptivate, DTC, Media Blaze on our platforms

Project delivery

  • School Cuts collaboration with The Small Axe (set up by Harry)
  • Current pm on second iteration of Wash Data project (sold by Mateus Outlandish and Richard Agile)

There might be a few other things, but this is a good enough outline of what I’ve been up to since last November.


I’m not sure how useful it is, but here are some CoTech things that Go Free Range have been involved with:

We haven’t yet managed to collaborate with another co-op on a client project, but we’re definitely working towards it!

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Outlandish had promoted CoTech to the following media:

  • the Times
  • the Financial Times
  • Islington Gazette
  • Islington Tribune
  • Camden New Journal
  • China State TV
  • Stir magazine

Outlandish had been invited to the following events where it has/will promote CoTech:

  • 21st Century co-operators (Mondragon, Spain)
  • CIOPA (Naples, Italy)
  • Worker Co-op Council (Manchester, UK)
  • Cooperative & Mutuals business summit (Manchester, UK)
  • EU summit on the social economy (Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • Digitalisation of the digital economy summit (Brussels, Belgium)

We’ve jointly pitched successfully/subcontracted/paid the following co-ops:

  • Agile (UNICEF/WHO)
  • Cooperative web (NOW: Pensions)
  • Tableflip (NOW: Pensions; Shared Assets)
  • Web Architects (Camden New Journal; CoTech site; others)
  • Glowbox design (IRM; CNJ; CoTech site; more)
  • theDotProject (EU CoTech funding proposal)
  • the Small Axe (NUT/NEU; TUC)
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I attended the Solidarity Co-operative Summit Event on 5th October 2017 on behalf of Webarchitects and CoTech and the report from the organisers of the event has been posted here.

Our domain name, coops.tech is one year old today! :birthday:

whois coops.tech | grep Creation
Creation Date: 2016-11-16T11:25:53.0Z

We have tweeted to celebrate, but looking forward to the proper celebration at Wortley Hall :grinning:

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