What is Enspiral?

An interesting article and report about an externally-conducted survey of the Enspiral network.

I think we often ask “what is CoTech”, and I certainly feel the summary of this report describes some of the things we do:

Enspiral … is a mutual aid network. It is a social impact entrepreneurial incubator. It is a future of work and new economy catalyst. It is a collection of channels on different mediums punctuated by meet-ups and retreats. It is a network of colleagues and friends.


The question “could we, and would we want to, bring some Enspiral features into CoTech” is one I feel is very worth talking over. To be more fully informed, I would recommend reading their book “Better work together”. I would personally be delighted to take part in any conversation like that.


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Thanks for the book recommendation!

I’d be really happy to have that conversation here. As a starter for 10, I think one of the take-aways for me was that an organisation is defined by what it does and perhaps we (CoTech) have been over-concerned by getting the right kind of structure. Does that make any sense?


A double like from me @chrislowis :slight_smile:

It is completely understandable why there is often a focus on structure. It’s easier to get ones head around. And structure is also important.

But I think you are so right - an organisation is defined by what it does and specifically how it does it!


cotech book club? :smile:


Yes – I think we share the understanding that the essence of Enspiral is to do with its practices, irrespective of the type of work itself. You could say that it is the way Enspiral works, if you’re thinking of ‘work’ as what is done for clients; or you could think of it as what Enspiral does – the way people behave and interact. I should add this is second-hand knowledge on my part, but I do know several of the lovely people who work as part of Enspiral (probably best, Richard Bartlett, whose #microsolidarity ideas you may have come across)

If you’re interested in Enspiral, another organisation worth looking at is Percolab, founded by Samantha Slade who I came across years ago in the context of e-portfolio conferences (and personal development, etc.) Samantha also wrote a book: “Going Horizontal”, which is less about Percolab, and more about describing in detail the practices they use, and help other people and organisations to adopt. I’m personally getting more closely involved with Percolab Belgium.

I’m really not sure if CoTech as a whole could ever approach either of those models, partly because they both started (IIRC) as small bodies and grew – they didn’t start out, as we did, as a bunch of disparate organisations united mainly by a few principles, nor is their membership open in the same way as ours is. But if we regard (and allow) CoTech to be the ‘outer’ network, then I can imagine starting with a few members agreeing to get in more deeply. Maybe that is what is actually happening, but if so, I think we would benefit from being more conscious and aware of that, and taking care to adjust the governance structures accordingly – along the lines of one size does not fit all.

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