Circle Call 2020-06-24

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  • Appoint facilitator & minute-taker for the meeting
  • CoTech Fund 2020 - update
  • CoTech member updates
  • CoTech and The online Meeting Co-operative,
  • Startin’blox
  • Anyone want to experiment with trying some microsolidarity crewing practices within CoTech?
  • Appoint organiser of the next circle call


Polly (Outlandish), Chris (Web Architects), Szczepan (Animorph), Ben & Alan (Creative Co-op)m Alex (Happy Dev), Ian (Agile Collective), Lucy (InFact), Calum (Code-Operative), Calix (Autonomic), Doug (We Are Open)


Appoint facilitator & minute-taker for the meeting

Facilitator: Polly

Minute-taker: Szczepan

CoTech Fund 2020 - update

Szczepan: At the last circle call we promised to invoice co-ops for 2020. So far managed to invoice 15 co-ops with 86 individual members, which should add to 4472 GPB. A couple of co-ops expressed interest to contribute but have not confirmed the numbers yet. All the invoices are on CoTech fund Repo. Last year we covered few little expenditures such as reimbursement for CoTech gathering expenses, we also covered some costs taken by Webarchitects to run CoTech servers. That was for 2019 though.


  • Chris will check the amount and invoice CoTech for 2020.

CoTech member updates

New members:

  • SEA (Chris has failed to find time to do the on-boarding)

Chris: I cannot find time for it now, can anyone help? Ben: How do you do onboarding? Chris: Onboarding is about talking to people about CoTech, setting up accounts, e.g. Loomio. The most difficult bit is updating CoTech website, I had set up a account for SEA, added them to the website project and they said they will take it from there. Polly: I can help with the rest if you do the introduction.

Lucy: I know them, can do the onboarding.

Calum: Can I shadow someone to learn about the process?

Polly: Let's do it together.

  • Anyone else?

Potential new members:

Chris: Talking to the on CoTech forum, hopefully they will agree to join at some point.

  • Who else?

Polly: What about Dark Peak co-op?

Chris: I think they work together on a voluntary after-hours basis so might not be interested in committing.

Szczepan: Went to Carbon Co-op's webinar the other day and they seemed a great bunch, also involved in open energy data so probably worth chatting to.

Calix: I could help if we can do it together, one of our members left to work with them.


  • Polly, Lucy and Calum to onboard SEA & Dandelion; update the wiki with info on onboarding.
  • Calix and Szczepan to contact Carbon Co-op and ask them to join CoTech.

CoTech and The online Meeting Co-operative,

Chris: There are 2 alternatives to Zoom, Jitsi and Big Blue Button, hosting either of them is not something that a small co-op can take on themselves. 6-8 weeks ago Webarchitects started talking with a co-op from Sweden and Spain in order to pull resources. Now we have got a demo and live servers, hosted a conference for ~60 people, it worked. Luke from Autonomic and myself did a fair amount of DevOps; we are now wondering whether we can constitute as a co-op, not clear whether it should be made of individuals or whether it should be a co-op of co-ops. We are now using Greenlight front-end, but Moodle, Drupal etc. have their own front-end plugins. We would love some more co-ops to join. We would like to have more Greenligth instances, this one is ca, but could be any other co-op.

Szczepan: We are very happy to have joined, been using it for a few weeks now. Could CoTech have an instance?

Alex: Have you hosted Jitsi?

Chris: Greenlight offers more features than Jitsi. Big Blue Button seems better able to handle large calls. We host with Kumbit in Canada, their servers are powered by renewable energy.

Szczepan: Could CoTech be a member and use the current instance or should there be a dedicated instance?

Chris: If there's enough co-ops in the network, we could establish, hand over admin accounts one member in each co-op. Greenlight containers do not use resources but the meetings do; currently have no way to monitor them.

Polly: What would be useful for me is to take Outlandish members so they can test the service. Is there a way we could have a trial for CoTech members? Perhaps we could have access in the following month and then pass a proposal for CoTech paying a fee? Are other people open to the idea?

Alan: If the performance is comparable to Zoom we are keen.

Ian: We avoid Zoom and Whereby so if quality is there I do not think there will be difficulties.


  • Chris will set up a CoTech instance and let everyone know on the forum.


(there were some microphone issues during Alex introduction, for reference please see his post about Hubl.)

Alex: The system is ready, we are running an instance in France, it consists of a job board, finding people with specific skills and team chat. While we are onboarding French communities it would be great if the CoTech co-ops join too!

Polly: In the past we wanted to set up an ainstance of Startin’blox and I remember Calum wanted to set up an instance. Perhaps CoTech could cover the expenses?

Calum: Not sure how long it is going to take.

Polly: We would also need to pay for the server to Webarchitects?

Chris: We can provide a virtual server, just let me know what are the specs.

Polly: What about payment to Hubl?

Alex: If you self-host, there's no cost since it's open source. I am happy to provide you with specs, Chris.


Calum will lead on setting up a CoTech instance of Hubl, will request a reimbursement for 1-2 days of work and for hosting the system with Webarchitects.

Anyone want to experiment with trying some microsolidarity crewing practices within CoTech?

The person who added it to the agenda is not here.

Appoint organiser of the next circle call

Polly volunteered.


Create a thread on forum for the call on last Wednesday of July.


Polly: Could people say how they have been doing and what is their need? Say something an pass the mic!

Lucy: We have recently started working on organising digital ecosystems for clients and that's exciting. If you hear of anyone who needs support with that do let us know!

Alan & Ben: Last months have been uncertain, had some design jobs cancelled, many postponed. Overall, however, we haven't been affected very badly. Trying to grow in this testing time, taken an actual employee. Going from very few to 8-9 projects, feels a lot more positive. Our need would be to collaborate with more people in terms of niche skills. Also wanting to internally skill up with DevOps.

Chris: We are using Ansible, Luke created Ansible category on the forum, I am meant to post some starting videos for it. It's a helpful place to ask about DevOps

Polly: What are the niche skills you are looking for?

Ben: For instance Drupal work, sometimes we need a copywriter, photographer or other specific skills for a particular job.

Ian: AT Agile we are fully booked until at least September, the challenge is how to stop everyone from burning out, because people haven't taken hardly any holiday this year. We are trying to find a way to mitigate the impact of everyone being so busy.

Szczepan: It's good on our side. Also busy but happy, interesting projects. We are considering engaging a person for marketing as we have no capacity to do it properly.

Ian: How about Space4?

Polly: We've been closed but thinking of re-opening. Also there's another organisation who want to set up something similar. Received some grants, also Founders and Coders, which is great. I have been also considering a marketing person for Space4 & potentially CoTech. At Outlandish we have a lot of work. We have developed a social portal, which we are now spinning for different communities. Get in touch if you want to find out more.

Calum: It's been quite good at Code-op, we normally work remotely.

Calix: We have also been quite busy, just finished an interesting user experience project, happy to share what we've learned!