Worker Co-op Weekend 2021

Short news Worker Co-op Weekend is on at Selgars Mill from pm Friday 23 - Sunday 25 July, with camping, rooms, dorms and yurts options. Co-ops UK booking form is live, and you can propose sessions or help co-design the main event here.

Other news Solidfund has agreed to guarantee the costs of taking Selgars Mill for an extra day from pm Thurs 22-pm Fri 23rd, for pre-events or fringe sessions, including a Solidfund strategy discussion. CoTech decided not to call its own gathering on the day, but some of you are are coming anyway and it would be an opportunity for an unofficial CoTech klatsch.

Further news Solidfund also agreed to fund up to £1,500 of bursaries (up to £150 per person) to support SF members, or people nominated by SF members, towards travel and ticket costs for any or all of the events, paid as a reimbursement on receipts. Email for more info


Awesome! Am I understanding correctly that this could be the next CoTech gathering as well?

@Aaron was considering arranging one in Oxford too I think? CoTech Gathering Autumn 2020? Covid got in the way of that

I realise that Covid hasn’t gone away… perhaps if we did that there will be some ways to use more socially-distanced/outside spaces and to allow people to access it online

I love the idea of cycling to Oxford from Hertfordshire over a day or two :biking_man:

hey @calummackervoy I think it’s been decided to do the gathering at Selgars Mill this year. I am not sure there’ll be energy / appetite for another one before the year ends? I am assuming it’ll need to be mainly outdoors which limits it to late Sept / early Oct at the latest, I would think.
I’m sure we’d be up for organising one next Spring / Summer…

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I’ve noticed that the last few times there have been any CoTech or worker co-op gatherings they have coincidentally fallen on school holiday dates. I know that doesn’t effect everyone and I also know it wouldn’t be planned that way. And this also means it pretty much counts me out coming to them (I love coming to them, remotely or otherwise) and possibly others too.

I’m happy to be involved in the organisation of the next CoTech one, and try and get it booked in for a non school holiday date? :smiley: Anyone else?


Hi all - at the CoTech Spring Gathering we had a chat about the next in person gathering. As discussed above, tagging it on the the Worker Co-op Weekend at Selgar’s Mill seems to make sense.

The idea is that CoTech (perhaps in collaboration with Solidfund/Young Co-operators Network) will extend the booking by a day, so that we can arrive Thursday evening and carry out our CoTechh sessions on the Friday. The total cost of this would be £1500.

So we have a couple of questions:

Will you come to the CoTech gathering at Selgar’s Mill, 22-23 July?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

How should we fund the weekend?
  • CoTech fund covers the whole cost of the extra night at Selgar’s Mill plus food/drink
  • CoTech fund covers the extra night at Selgar’s Mill only
  • Members buy their own tickets and CoTech fund covers any difference between ticket sales plus food/drink
  • Members buy their own tickets and CoTech fund covers any difference between ticket sales only.

0 voters

This is not a proposal, just sense-checking. Please cast your votes by the end of the week, and let me know if you think the options need changing :slight_smile:


I actually can’t vote in the above poll because I made it for fund members only to vote in, and I don’t seem to have that badge :woman_facepalming:t2:perhaps that’s true for other members too. @chris @SzczepanOfAnimorph either of you able to edit this? :slight_smile:


If I recall correctly the fund group was created so the corresponding category would only be open to members of co-ops who contribute to the fund to post in it — the membership of the group clearly needs updating, currently these are the co-ops that are members (by email domain):

Screenshot_2021-04-17 Membership - Manage - fund - Cooperative Technologists Community Discourse Forum

@Lucy I’ve made you an admin so you can help update this if you want, I guess the list of co-ops that paid into the fund last year should be used.

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Everyone who’s participated here, it would be great to hear your voices over on the Loomio proposal/discussion :slight_smile: and there is some urgency! Thank you :pray:


Booking are now open for the Workers Co-op Weekend 2021 at Selgars Mill including the additional fringe day at the start, 22nd — 25th July 2021:

It should be great! :tent::fire::beer::fist:

@Sion it might be worth updating the top post in this thread, I just added the location and updated the title of the thread.


Hi all,

I’ve just got off a Worker Coop Council call (my last, in fact), and I said I’d share news of this year’s WCW.

On our call, we discovered that only 10 tickets have been sold so far and we agreed that if there are less than 20 by 14th July we will have to cancel the event. It will cost CUK money but the main factor is the time taken for people in the north to travel down to do the hosting and catering - it needs to be a certain number ot make that worthwhile (the money is gone either way).

We did a go round of the coops on the call to see how they’re feeling about going and it became clear that the change to the timeline of lifting restrictions allied to some personal and business concerns meant that many people can’t attend even if they want to or can’t commit yet. We’re hoping that we will have more clarity on this by 14th hence the deadline to make a decision.

What we’d love to know is if the event has been shared in the coop and what the thinking / reaction is? Having some more info from a range of coops would really help with planning

… and if you do want to go then grab a ticket and help us get to the magic 20 mark!

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FWIW, although I’m down in Devon the following week anyway (at relatives) I decided not to go. That’s mainly because there was no schedule / very few details about what was actually going on via the website when I looked last month.

But even now, with a month to go, the Google Doc looks a bit sparse. I’m sure that’s fine for those who have been before or know lots of people going, but for those where it’ll be their first time, it’s quite off-putting (over and above the whole Covid thing…)

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Thanks for the feedback @dajbelshaw but as this is a event, rather than a CoTech event, this probably isn’t the best place for it, I don’t know if you are aware but there is a Worker Co-operatives Loomio group and the organisers and attendees are more likely to be found there.

I guess I was giving feedback to @aaron in the post directly above :slight_smile:

(can send via DM next time!)

hey @dajbelshaw that is great feedback, thanks!

The programme is created by the worker coop community together with the Worker Coop Council so the lack of definition on it is perhaps symptomatic of the current uncertainty. For me the best part of WCW is not the sessions but the conversations that happen around them - that is not to say the session aren’t interesting in and of themselves, I just like a drink and a chat :slightly_smiling_face:

@athertonjohn tagging you in case you don’t get notifications

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Also feedback here is fine, I’ll make sure it reaches the people

@dajbelshaw makes a good point. Whenever I’m presented with the prospect of getting off my arse to go to an event like this, where significant time/cost is involved, I will commonly base my decision on what the programme offers, and whether that is of value. With a skimpy agenda I’m left with more cons than pros. Of course for veterans of these events that’s not the case, but if the goal is to create an inclusive event and bring the sector together I think it is important to have a solid game plan. I’d be happy to contribute some time to helping develop said plan for the next event if that’s helpful.


hey @Graham the programme is always shared and made available in various places (newsletter, Loomio etc) and the aim is for people to themselves or someone else forward so perhaps this bit of comms isn’t working if you’re not aware of that?

as above, the sparse agenda is not indicative of previous years so I think it’s just likely that in general people are finding it hard to commit either as an attendee or also to do a session.

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Thanks @Graham, point well taken. The intention is to return to Selgars Mill in May for WCW 2022 and then Scotland for 2023 and we’ll open the agenda-building process much earlier.
In fact the sessions this year were very high quality, and mainly around the published themes/topics. Given that it was a fairly limited event, with cancellations due to COVID and COVID-risk, we ran a good programme with 25-30 people over 3 days, quite a few of them new to worker co-ops. There was more than usual on theory, blue sky thinking and movement building - Solidfund, relationship with other organisations ‘in our field’ including development initiatives like Platform 6, Co-ops UK in its various manifestations, EO sector, CoTech, solidarity economy networks, political currents, unions, and so on; and perhaps less on ‘nuts and bolts issues’ like HR and market development.

One outstanding session was a deep sharing of experience and learning from the pandemic crisis, revealing the unevenness of its impact both on co-ops and their individual members, and some very ‘innovative’ survival/recovery tactics :slight_smile:


Should also mention that the 1 day fringe + 2 day WCW worked really well as a blended event, and we’ll probably offer the same in May. The ‘pre-day’ was mainly used by Solidfund and Solidarity Economy Association. We could easily host 100 people at Selgar’s, and that might be the target next time.