8-Sep-2017 Space4

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These notes have been copied from this Google doc.

Wortley Hall Planning session

08/09/2017 1pm - 6pm


  • Aaron, Agile Collective
  • Ieva, Blake House, Worker Coop Council, and Young Person’s Coop Network
  • John, We are Open, attended last year, interested in potential of CoTech and its challenges
  • Andrew, Gilded Splinters, ideators and creative thinkers
  • Dan, The Small Axe, we do creative campaigns for SocEnt etc, doing work with Coops UK about how to expand coops in tech sector
  • Polly, Outlandish (Space4), not have tech background or much knowledge of coops
  • Chris Roos, Go Freerange
  • Chris Lowis, Go Freerange, was not at WH but like organising things
  • Bill Olivier, Cetis, retired but still engaged, interested in coops and see lots of energy. Very struck that coops survived the big downturn in 2012.
  • Harry, Outlandish, want to do some practical stuff
  • Pete, mainly Outlandish, bit of an interloper, not much of an organiser but interested in what’s going to happen.
  • Bradley, Founder&Coders, prepared some research on CoTech
  • Amil, Outlandish, at WH last year, really want to do some organising!
  • Fabien, involved with Digital Liberties about to mutualise and become a coop. Background in print coops of 80-90s in London.


  1. Hellos! (All)
  2. Recap on progress to date (Aaron)
  3. Pre event organisation - ideas gathering (Groups)
  4. Break
  5. Pre event organisation  - review (All)
  6. Report on CoTech Research (Bradley Reeder)
  7. Agenda planning  - ideas gathering (Groups)
  8. Break
  9. Agenda planning -  review (All)
  10. Break
  11. Practical next steps
  12. Pub!

Aims for the session

  • Agree on 2-3 proposals for the agenda that could then be put vote on Loomio.
  • Agree on approach to bookings and payments for the event
  • Agree on approach to facilitation
  • Set up event logistics taskforce / circle / team
  • Arrange follow-up meetings / calls

Report on progress to date



We have paid a 25% deposit for Wortley Hall for 49 bedrooms at a total of £4177.25.

Based on this estimate, we are required to pay WH £12,531.75, although the total will depend on how many rooms are single or shared occupancy.


  • Outlandish: £1,500
  • Go Free Range: £230
  • Co-operative Web: £1,500
  • agilecollective: £797
  • shaun@networks.coop: £150

According to the contract, we will need to pay 40% by end of September, 80% by end of October, and 100% by mid November.


Have had some discussion with Chris Croome (Web Architects) and Ed Russell (Coop Web). Ed has used Wordpress Contact Form 7 and https://wpplugin.org/downloads/contact-form-7-paypal-add-on/ (the pro version). He reckoned that was very quick. The suggestion is to build something on a separate install, WebArch are happy to host.


16 coops registered their interest for the event via the form.

Coop No of tickets Male Female Single occupancy (£103 / night) Sharing (£87 / night)
Co-op Web 6 1 5 6
Outlandish 12 10 2 12
media co-op 2 2 2
Webarchitects Co-operative 3 3 2
Founders & Coders 3 2 2
Agile Collective 7 6 1 7
Digital Liberties 1 1 1
We Are Open 4 3 1 4
Animorph 2 3 1 2
Calverts 2 1 1 1 1
CBN 1 1 1
MC3 1 1 0 0
Small Axe 2 1 1 2
Go Free Range 3 3 3
graphics.coop 2 1 1 2
wave.coop 2 1 1 2
TOTAL 51 35 17 (33%) £13,287.00 £1,566.00

Financial support

Are you able to offer financial support?

Yes = 1

Maybe = 4

No = 7

Looking for support = 5

Do you need financial support?

No = 10

Yes / maybe = 7 - ranging from £100 to £100% of either travel or accommodation

AP: Follow up with a Yes/Maybe to check how much they can afford.

Potential invitees

  • There are a couple of people from non-co-ops that might be interesting - e.g.CAST, John Lewis, co-op group
  • Yes, Andreas Zusander, is a PhD student studying co-ops, is on a placement with us just now as part of his studies & he has done a placement with The Graphics Coop too. He is helping organise our tech coops event in Glasgow in Oct and I think he'd find the 3 days and the opportunity to connect with other coops really useful for this studies - and he's a really interesting and great guy who has a lot to offer in terms of ideas, enthusiasm, skills etc. He says he'd be happy to help out too.
  • Jonathan Gordon-Farleigh of STIR magazine: [[1]]
  • Edward Maw | GreenNet  [[2]]
  • Annie Legge | The Dot Project: http://www.thedotproject.co
  • Tom Lord | Aptivate [[3]]
  • Ceri Davies | Indy Cube

“Really glad we got to chat, some really interesting stuff going on and it’s great to know about it.

We are slightly different but keen to be involved, if we can join we would like to.

It’s exciting times at the moment and the summer has been pretty good to us, see the coverage we have got from a variety of sources, the guardian, times and the Ed Mayo blog may be best.

I’d really like to add you to my contact list for the free membership that launches next week if that’s ok, we think it has the potential to make a real difference to freelance and micro business.






Are there other people who we might want to invite? People who have expressed an interest in joining CoTech etc.


Were you happy with the facilitation at last year's event?

Yes = 2

More or less = 6

No = 1

Didn’t attend = 8

Would you be happy to contribute to facilitation this year?

Yes = 6

No = 5

I'd like to discuss this further = 6

Event logistics

  • Audience
    • Who is the event aimed at?

Only members of CoTech. Certain people outside the network may be invited.

Attendees have been given decision making powers on behalf of their coop within reason.

For people who did not attend last year, we will send out some pre-event preparation to get them up to speed ahead of the event and so we don’t need to cover old ground.

The commitment is to come and work, and so part of that means that you come ready and prepared.

    • What is the purpose of the event?

To make CoTech work better for all its members.

Bringing together members of CoTech and making it work better.

To refine the decision making and governance of CoTech.

    • Is there a priority?

We would like to get people from as many coops as possible. Ideally, from all members of the network.

  • Can I come to the event if I am not a member?

No, if you want to come to the event then you need to join CoTech. It’s easy!

    • Can we invite people from outside of the network that we feel will contribute to the event?

We may invite people from outside of the network if we feel they will add valuable contribution to the agreed agenda by agreement on Loomio.

  • How will take bookings?

We currently have more people interested than rooms available so people will need to share.

We will hold 1 place per coop until the end of September.

4 largest coops will pay 25% of tickets and then resell to other coops. We will manage


We use eventbrite to manage ticket booking.

  • Facilitation

We felt that last year was a bit too heavy, a lighter touch would be welcome.

A training session on the first day was good.

Large group activities definitely need facilitation.

A team of 3 facilitators to handle the larger picture and structure.

We would like people who know the network understands the culture and how best to approach facilitation.

We, as members, will set the agenda and we will appoint a facilitator who will prepare for the event.

Proposal: Members of CoTech will host / co-ordinate / facilitate the event at a reduced cost to the members. They could be 3 of:

Pete Burden

Sion Whellens

Laura Hilliger

Johnnie Gordon

How do we charge for facilitation?

Add to cost of ticket

  • Diversity
    • How can we get more women to the event than last year?

When people are considering who to send we would like to have as diverse a group as possible with the aim to make the group as inclusive as possible.

We want to do better than last year!

How can we provide financial and travel support to attendees who can’t afford the full cost?

Find out who hasn’t responded and check why not? Is it financial?

Suggest a number of options for support


  • Apply to Solid Fund
  • Ask another member of CoTech
  • Look at alternative arrangements e.g. stay elsewhere


Wortley Hall has 97 beds / sleeping spaces


  • Swift: 1 twin and 2 double rooms
  • Gardeners: 3 double rooms & 1 bunk room

21 rooms which are or can be twins

4 single rooms

Due to the popularity of the event already (according to the interest form), it looks like a lot of people will need to share a room.

Each will be continuing the work and discussions started today and we will reconvene in a month to review progress.



We agreed, in principle, to focus on tangible outputs and to structure the event around a number of streams that serve the aims of the event (outlined below).

Each stream contains a number of topics that will form the basis of the sessions for each stream. These topics/sessions need further work and are very much a rough sketch at this stage.

We agreed that we wanted to have tangible outcomes to the sessions and very much a focus on the practical over the conceptual. A way to do this would be that any outcome would be reflected on the CoTech website, which forms the living documentation of the network.

An example might be that if a session aims to improve the joining process and clarify the membership criteria, the output for the session would be to rewrite the “Join us” page on the website. Similarly, a session on improving decision making might result in a page outlining the new process.

Aims of the event

We have identified a number of key aims for the event in line with the broader purpose to “make CoTech work better for all its members”. This list is by no means set in stone or exhaustive, but serves as a helpful starting point for the Facilitation team.

  • Empowerment and Engagement
    • Increase empowerment to act
    • Clarification and engagement
    • Empower people within the network and increase engagement
    • Remove barriers to get involved
    • Allow executive action
  • Collaboration and Relationships
    • Figure out how we can collaborate more (where appropriate)
    • Develop relationships within the network
    • Remove barriers to collaboration
    • Develop the diversity of collaborations
  • Communication
    • Consolidate comms channels
    • Sort out inbound comms
    • Improve communication within the network
  • Fun!
    • Have fun!
  • Goals
    • Identify goals for next year

Streams and sessions at the event

  • Sales and Business Development
    • Review of collaborations in the last year
    • Prioritise how we bring in business to collaborate on
    • Work out ways to work / pitch together
  • Operations and Finance
    • Sharing operational costs - Loomio, hosting, leaflets etc
    • What if we charged for membership?
    • Sharing costs for services: legal etc
    • How can we establish resources / a fund for the network
  • Branding and Marketing
    • Improve public perception of worker coops
  • Outreach
    • How do bring more members into the network?
    • How do we grow to 10,000 members by 2020?
    • How do we create more entry points for individuals joining the network?
    • Linking with the open source movement
    • Making International connections
  • Community (and internal communication)
    • Summary and discussion of research into the network
    • Review of working groups
    • Is CoTech too techy?
    • How can we increase interaction / socialising within the network?
  • Governance and Decision making
    • How do we make decisions / get consent
    • Loomio - what, why how?
    • Discourse - purpose of it, how to use it
  • Skill sharing
    • Harmonia
    • How GFR works
    • How do other coops work
    • Pioneering blockchain and crypto

Actions and next steps

  • Prepare some information for first-time attendees (dan)
  • Find out how many beds (Polly)
  • Contact members who have not registered an interest and find out if want to and why (if not)
  • Have a think about facilitation and come back with a way forward (PB)
  • Find out the demographic of member coops

3 working groups have been established to move forward with preparations for the event:

  1. Event Logistics (Aaron, Chris Roos, Chris Lowis)
  2. Event facilitation and agenda  (Pete Burden)
  3. Branding and Marketing (Dan, Andy, Felix)