Loomio
Thu 15 Feb 2018 5:18PM

Proposed initial meet-up

NS Nick S Public Seen by 337

There's a proposed initial meet-up on March 5th, 6pm at The Outhouse (12A Broughton St Ln), Edinburgh.

We've a table booked downstairs.

Suggestions and topics for discussion can be added to this thread.

NS

Nick S Tue 27 Feb 2018 3:38PM

@roryg - I asked for some advice here on the main Commons Transition group, and got some suggestions.

PT

Penny Travlou Tue 27 Feb 2018 4:19PM

Dear Nick, I am definitely keen on contributing to this meet-up. I am based in Edinburgh and work at Edinburgh Uni. I've been part of P2P Foundation (and a team member of the Research Group) for few years now. I am afraid though that due to the current university lecturers' strike, things are a bit fuzzy next week. So I am not sure whether I can attend the meet-up on 5th March. I am certainly available after 18th March (unless the strike ends earlier).

NS

Nick S Tue 27 Feb 2018 8:56PM

Hello! Glad we've found you. If not this time, there'll be more opportunities. Good luck with the dispute, my partner is also striking. She hopes the university will negotiate and it'll be called off.

SG

Simon Grant Fri 2 Mar 2018 10:36AM

Hi everyone, I hope I can join here as a honorary not-quite-Scotland (Lancaster) member keen to attend meetings where possible, though I don't think I'll be able to make any evening ones. If you come across anyone else in the north of England, maybe we could do a parallel one here, in which case I'd like to be listening in on what works for you.

NS

Nick S Fri 2 Mar 2018 11:07AM

Of course! Lancaster is a mere 150 minute journey on the Trans-Pennine Express!

Actually, I don't know of any other P2PF/CT groups in the UK, full stop. If there are any, I would guess they're in Totnes, Bristol or Brighton. It would be good to find out.

Although, as you may have noticed on the Commons Transition group, @liammurphy is trying to start something related in Norwich.

NS

Nick S Fri 2 Mar 2018 11:16PM

Just to note, we've a table booked downstairs at the Outhouse. I'm not expecting loads of people... but that's ok for a first meeting.

GM

Gordon Martin Sat 3 Mar 2018 1:23AM

Oh, I didn't realise you had a date organised for this @wulee . I'm afraid I'm in Mexico until the 9th of March (fortuitously avoiding the Beast From the East).

Hope it goes well, and I'll see you at the next one =]

LM

Liam Murphy Mon 5 Mar 2018 10:47AM

Thanks for the mention Nick - it strikes me that we could all have a think about the ‘UK Wide’ p2p question as I’m not aware of anything either.. UK Commons Convention?! Norfolk 1st Meetup is March 23rd.. a small affair but with ‘anchor orgs’ and potential partners engaged... All welcome.

LM

Liam Murphy Tue 6 Mar 2018 7:02PM

And a quick PS: having read (and agreed with) this: https://p2pfoundation.net/infrastructure/p2pf-international-social-charter - and done a search for UK initiatives - The question of how we would know what groups do or don't exist in the UK, Scotland etc is still a question!! (opencollective.com looks a good way of collaborating BTW..) How'd it go?...

NS

Nick S Tue 6 Mar 2018 9:29PM

The question "Where do p2p groups exist?" seems like something the P2PF wiki would be well suited to answer. I've never edited it so far, however I expect it ought to be straightforward. Perhaps we could ask on the Commons Transition Loomio group where to start one, or if one exists already.

Our event was fine, if low key. Four people came (@roryg, @elspeth7, myself and one other). The venue was a little noisy but suitably empty (it was a Monday). We discussed what the P2P Foundation / Commons Transition is, explaining for those not familiar, and enjoyed doing so. It is a little hard to explain, even though it overlaps a lot with related groups and ideas like Transition Towns, Jeremy Rifkin's "Third Industrial Revolution" and parts of Paul Mason's "Postcapitalism". I think we'll need to work on that if we're going to reach people who don't already get it.

Speaking for myself, after discussing it I think I was able to articulate something I'd not been able to before, that I feel P2PF's appeal, for me, is the hope it can help to design social infrastructures which are resilient and not inherently closed or exploitative, in order to mitigate certain infrastructural crises I anticipate creating massive discord later this century (to understate it somewhat). That might be a good way to explain why it is important, which leads naturally to explaining how the commons/peers fit in.

I'd be interested to hear the others' comments.

We'd like to gather more people, and formulate some sort of mission statement. There is a plan to meet up again before @elspeth7 departs Edinburgh in April so the suggested date is Monday 26th March. However, obviously we'd like to find a date which works for those who wanted to come but couldn't - so there'll be another thread about that shortly.

SG

Simon Grant Tue 6 Mar 2018 9:33PM

good idea, Nick @wulee -- I have done a lot of editing on the P2PF Wiki and would be very happy to help set up a page.

SG

Simon Grant Tue 6 Mar 2018 9:34PM

p.s. a good place to start looking for related people and groups is on the P2PF wiki UK category page

NS

Nick S Tue 6 Mar 2018 9:44PM

It'd be great if you did - as a nube I'd hesitate to do it. But I'll request an account, and see if I can contribute.

SG

Simon Grant Tue 6 Mar 2018 10:28PM

Nick @wulee I'd appreciate a chat, maybe around the middle of the day tomorrow, to discuss what it is that we want. Arrange offline if you want: I'm asimong at gmail

SG

Simon Grant Tue 6 Mar 2018 10:46PM

I've also raised the question of how to do this on the P2PF wiki Loomio.

SG

Simon Grant Tue 6 Mar 2018 9:27PM

Good question, Liam @liammurphy -- how about we collaborate (where? Another Loomio group?) at a UK level for identifying the relevant (values-aligned) actors and groups that are aligned (I personally have quite a list); and then more on a region / city basis for actual groups, as with this Scotland group? I think there is a huge potential for a group focused on Manchester as a major city, but not quite sure whether that it would cover the whole of the north of England, or just the north-west. I guess that will happen as it will happen, no predictions! And it could change with time.

I also like the P2PF International Social Charter cited above, particularly the "Local Context and Collaborations" part which emphasises collaboration and non-duplication.

LM

Liam Murphy Tue 6 Mar 2018 11:09PM

Hi Simon - always keen to collaborate, though need to consider how.. I followed a few links I was interested in and found they’d expired.. so that’s indicative of something I guess! My project is about ‘community wealth (asset) management’ of IP.. I’m trying to keep it focussed to avoid thin spreading failures. But, that said, the whole project is so aligned to P2P values, it would seem crazy not to at least try to affiliate. Maybe we could organise a Skype/ google hangouts type meeting for an initial chat?

LM

Liam Murphy Tue 6 Mar 2018 11:11PM

PS - have sent Enquiry re affiliation to P2P

SG

Simon Grant Tue 6 Mar 2018 11:18PM

You mean links in the P2PF wiki? yes -- it has been Michel's labour of love for many years, but inevitably the links do go out of date. It relies on people like us to go in there and keep the things we care about up to date. I tend to contribute in bursts.

I'm open to Skype/hangouts meetings, rather than trying to have a physical meetup at this stage at a national level ... but also very keen to promote the idea of deeper dialogue between individuals, so we can get a better sense of where we are coming from. That way we can build up the sub-structure or matrix that will support the open and public-facing groups.

LM

Liam Murphy Tue 6 Mar 2018 11:32PM

Yes - hardly surprising- it’s no criticism. Best answer is probably to generate new projects and material!

I’ve proposed a national level UK conference around commons transitions and a practice based approach to doing it..,

Have potential host and partners.. Glasgow Uni and UEA might be interested. Kings College, CASS business school and Somerset House in London. Have some links To Gulbenkian and Several other interested parties. I’m doing the fundraising rounds now.. We could pool some resources/ideas, share and develop on here and maybe come up with a call out/proposal? I’ve been asked to draft a possible programme but obviously wouldn’t attempt that alone..

Maybe we could drum something up and submit it to P2P for ‘approval’ / developing...?

Open to suggestion... schedule an online chat etc. Have some time on Friday..

L

ST

Stacco Troncoso Fri 9 Mar 2018 7:03PM

Hi guys, great discussion. I haven't spoken to the others, but this is very encouraging. As way of feedback I want you to take something into consideration that we've been discussing.

We created the International Social Charter mainly for specific P2PF affiliated, offshoots but, the focus, until now, has been on language-specific initiatives (ie: French, Greek, Korea). Without dismissing the use of other languages in UK territory, that doesn't seem to be what's going on here, so I'm curious about how you see the scope of the initiative (Scotland, Edinburgh, UK?).

The P2PF core team got together in my village last week and we discussed some of this. There is another initiative called the Commons Transition Coalition and they operate mainly in Melbourne, but also in other parts of Australia. Examining the differences, we saw that the CT coalition was more "independent", they organize meet ups and events and use some of our materials, but it's a very loose affiliation. So, one of the things we've been discussing is to offer the name "Commons Transition" to make "Commons Transition Circles" where people can discuss not only our wok, but the P2P/Commons and other related movements together.

As I say, this is a new idea so we'd appreciate your input. To clarify some of this I was looking through our page on the P2PF Network where we've tried to clarify roles and whatnot. To me a P2PF-X initiative falls more under "members" and research, upkeep of a P2PF blog and other more concrete projects, while a Commons Transition Circle would correspond with "affiliates" as a much looser and self-organized initiative. In practice this can be porous, but I'd like to get your feedback, both about this distinction and also about your own role/identity. This is all very much in development.

Also, to be totally clear, as this has been asked elsewhere. We're currently just breaking even so we can't fund any other P2PF or CT phyles. Hopefully that will change in the future but, at present, there is no funding available or planned for this. We will, however, try to support you as best as we're able, incorporate and promote any outputs in our knowledge commons etc.

SG

Simon Grant Sat 10 Mar 2018 9:31PM

Hi again @staccotroncoso to me the idea of the looser Commons Transition Coalition and constituent Commons Transition Circles are really good! (But can we have it somewhere that isn't Facebook, please?)

The distinction you draw out fits very well with the distinction I make between networking organisations, where the more people there are the better, and working organisations, where the numbers need to be carefully controlled. The Circles themselves aren't working organisations, I realise, and the point of having circles in my mind is for people to integrate better with more of a sense of immediate belonging.

We could therefore start up Common Transition Coalition Scotland, or UK, and Edinburgh could be one of the Circles.

ST

Stacco Troncoso Mon 12 Mar 2018 2:47PM

Yeah, I pretty much agree with everything you say, Simon and that's a very useful distinction. As to the "where" that's up to you guys. I personally prefer Loomio, but people like the Commons Transition Coalition organize through FB. You may get to the surreal situation of using Loomio to vote on whether to use Loomio or go to Facebook! I don't buy the "Loomio is too complicated line", it isn't, Facebook is more complicated but people stick with it to learn how it works because of the network effect.

SG

Simon Grant Fri 9 Mar 2018 9:10PM

Hi Stacco :) @staccotroncoso I'd like to speak to this not from the Scottish perspective, where I'm an interested close bystander, but from what I would appreciate in the north or north west of England. It is possible to "get to know" people to an extent on-line, but I suspect we all understand how much easier and potentially deeper it is to have face-to-face dialogue. Thus, I see the great value of regional groupings in facilitating people actually meeting up in person, and in getting to know each other and respect each others' work, values, motivations, in a way that is so much easier when you have the high bandwidth of face-to-face.

As I've said before, I see this also as a chance to cross the artificial organisational and brand boundaries. People who see themselves as primarily in line with P2P2 and CT can get to know, for instance, those who are already in Transition Towns, or monetary reform (like Positive Money or MMT) or the co-operative movement (and many more, that's the point). I like Michel's point about the particular values of the P2PF, that if we want to use the brand name we need to embody the particular brand values, and that makes complete sense. And it's great that the International Social Charter expects people to be collaborating with other groups on the ground. ("Local Context and Collaborations")

In my view (which I've shared with Nick @wulee ) this personal face-to-face knowledge of each other can go a long way towards building a durable trust, and avoiding the kinds of fallout and splintering which we see all to often in radical and activist movements. Having this kind of deep network of trust can also help direct newcomers to meet with others where there will be a genuine synergy based on shared values -- because it is the values and motivations that come through clearest when there is that extensive face-to-face interaction.

I think, for example, of the great bunch of folk who share in the co-housing community I live with. Because of all the interaction we have, I know immediately who will be interested in any particular kind of initiative. The issue here is simply that there are not enough of us with enough spare capacity to build effective externally-directed working groups, unless already constituted as an external organisation (such as Scientists for Global Responsibility). This is then where an open network comes in most useful, to provide the means of people linking up to do whatever real work they can help each other with.

If the P2PF/CT brand can help both to propagate the P2PF philosophy and to act as this connection network, that strikes me as a win-win all round.

SG

Simon Grant Fri 9 Mar 2018 9:30PM

And as a afterthought, this kind of regional organisation fits in perfectly with the city / region as the focus for action, rather than the nation state.

LM

Liam Murphy Sun 11 Mar 2018 5:49AM

Hi Stacco, Simon, all...

Re: ‘Circles’

I am in favour in principle pending a few definitions of terms - as mentioned by Elspeth.

This may have been thought through better than I will now attempt - but still, needed, now:

  1. I’d like to loosely define ‘Peers’ as a ‘common interest group’; people who may or may not ‘come together’ in some way but who share a common interest.

  2. Peers who do come together around a common interest may form working groups and organisations.

  3. Organisations around common interests will form values, missions and goals.

  4. Values, missions and goals may be ‘at odds’ with Commons Transition Circles, whether ‘working’ or ‘networking’.

  5. Commons Transition Circles need a guiding set of principles to endorse or affiliate with other groups.

  6. Presumably, this set of principles is the Int. Social Charter?

  7. Would this document suffice or should it serve as a template for something new?

  8. The reason I ask is that I am starting a practice I call CultureBanking in response to a broad system of funding, very dominantly, organisations, who presume to represent groups of people - peers - but who do not. Hence my seeking processes which aim to instigate and support peer to peer activity.

Two proposed terms for a Transition Circle:

  1. One of my proposed terms and conditions is related to Elspeth’s Rights Of The Child point: To be ‘eligible’ -? - to be part of a Commons Transition Circle, in line with ROTC, any organisation who serve or represent a common interest group must maintain and actively promote an invitation to that interest group, to participate in the governance, planning and delivery of its services.

  2. Since the above term only goes as far as promoting representative democracy in administration of services, which is not the same as participatory or direct democracy and doesn’t encourage ownership of services by users, a second term should be introduced which requires some auditing or evaluation, at the very least, of the possibility of users owning and/or running that service or organisation - hence the transition!

I suspect this has all been thought through but I hope it’s useful to someone if I do my thinking in public.

Comments welcome.

  • Re UK, Scotland, Regional etc: My preference, for what it’s worth, would be to start with a UK group - to match other admin systems - and then break it down to regions as it grows. I’m part of What Next? who are not, in theory, governed by a ‘National Group’, but do have an admin team at that level to engage with policy, ministers etc. I’ve no problem with a UK group based in Edinburgh, but would suggest borders are artificial in this agenda and that a co-ordinating group would be language based ( English and Gaelics ?) whilst the circles themselves, as Simon suggested, might be more localised.

I would massively welcome some opportunity to identify my activities with ‘P2P and/or Commins Transition’ so very keen to make this happen to grow awareness and practice.

All best..

Liam

ST

Stacco Troncoso Mon 12 Mar 2018 3:11PM

Heya Liam. From our side (P2PF) it hasn't been very thoughtfully planned, so this thread is great. In general, regarding "circles" (or "networking" affiliations are Simon calls them) I think these should be as autonomous as possible and, instead of "one" charter demanded by the P2PF, each cirlce could have it's own charter etc... and not a set one either, but one which evolves with the community, including the possibility of forking.

I'm not personally invested in finding a definition of "Peer" per se. I think that it will mean different things to different people. Here is one perspective in the wiki; for me a Peer is an equipotential node in an network whose existence doesn't make sense in isolation: the Peer becomes a peer through relations.

Peers who do come together around a common interest may form working groups and organisations.

Or, come together and form a Commons.

Values, missions and goals may be ‘at odds’ with Commons Transition Circles, whether ‘working’ or ‘networking’.

Which is fine. For us the goal is to make more commoners. If people want to use the name P2PF or Commons Transition, great! But it's the practice that matters, whatever the name - and there's always forking, of course.

Commons Transition Circles need a guiding set of principles to endorse or affiliate with other groups. Presumably, this set of principles is the Int. Social Charter?

I think it can be a starting point, but my feeling is that the circles should be low-entry and as opt-in as possible. For Circles I'd leave off: "Able and willing to share the P2P Foundation message in ways relevant to the local contexts (cultural/linguistic)." in preference of a broader "Commons" message. I'd ignore the "Organization Strategy" demands and the "Identification" and "Actions" sections.

Would this document suffice or should it serve as a template for something new?

As I said, it's a starting point. We should write up something specific for circles, but I'm more interested on waiting and reflecting/reacting to whatever you guys come up with (thinking about other future "circles"). I wouldn't however, lay out a set of inalienable terms and conditions for a circle. In reality some people have more availability to contribute, while others have less. I think that circles should be as inclusive as possible

Re UK, Scotland, Regional etc: My preference, for what it’s worth, would be to start with a UK group - to match other admin systems - and then break it down to regions as it grows.

Sounds peachy! Again, whatever you guys decide is best.

I would massively welcome some opportunity to identify my activities with ‘P2P and/or Commins Transition’ so very keen to make this happen to grow awareness and practice.

Yeah, I think that we're clarifying the discussion here and, as I've said, I'm massively grateful for all of your contributions. Once the group has decided on the character (P2PF Node, or Commons Transition Ciricle) and territorial scale of the initiative and has given it some shape I think that we'll be good to go endorsement wise.

LM

Liam Murphy Tue 13 Mar 2018 10:07AM

Thanks Stacco - I take all your points. Especially the practical ones re: low entry and 'opt-in' etc. The only thing i feel a bit ‘out in the cold with’ is not having some reference, or backing, when working in local partnerships, which I’d like to introduce to ‘commoning’ practices, but who seem actively opposed to the idea. In the case of, say, ownership of local cultural services, when something like Rights Of The Child is being ignored in their delivery, there should be some ‘weight’ brought to bear. I don’t think everything spreads nicely, by consent or without a bit of confrontation… not that I’d be looking for any!

My problem is, I need external codes and standards - because the ones I’m working within aren’t doing what they should… if you see what I mean? I could leave it to my network to ‘decide’ - but they won’t decide in favour of p2p/commons. Demonstrating the positivity of a different way seems the best solution - another reason I am keen on affiliations with p2p Network, Commons Transition Circles etc.

Are you suggesting that no co-ordination across networks is necessary?…

I will study the Charter re your suggestions - maybe someone can offer a first re-draft? I might be willing to volunteer but it will be very sketchy as I'm busy on other stuff. I think my intention is to have some kind of common 'invitation' to participate. Something which maybe gives people and other orgs an opportunity to 'measure' themselves and their goals against a commoning model - and evaluate it. An invitation - I'll go with that for now! All best, Liam.

LM

Liam Murphy Sun 11 Mar 2018 5:55AM

PS - have already revised thoughts on the language base - v. Difficult! Too many languages in Uk! I guess pragmatism will dictate some mimicking of existing systems...

R

RoryG Wed 14 Mar 2018 1:12AM

Good to see folk joining in and getting active. I didn't really expect these questions to come up at this stage!

I'm just catching up with this thread so I'm going to try and re-cap to get a handle on things. So sounds like a few things discussed here:

  • 1/ What is the group mission, & activities, goals?
  • 2/ What's the scope of the Loomio group? (UK/Scotland/Edinburgh/Etc.)
  • 3/ What should this 'group' be called? What does that mean?

My thoughts:

1/ That's what the meetup and this Loomio is all for! This question could probably do with its own dedicated thread and relates to question 2. By the by, I think it would be great to set a medium-long term target of the group organising a 'P2PF/Commons Transition Festival'.

2/ Should the Loomio group be a UK forum, with threads serving individual groups? Actually I quite like that idea. It's just a scaled up version of what I imagined doing for Scotland, having a shared online presence but smaller face to face stuff in different locations. However, as @wulee mentioned to me, it doesn't make sense to make these decisions on behalf of other people. If there are already existing groups in the UK, let's ask if they'd find this platform useful.

3/ In terms of group definition/naming, I've no real preference, and I'm not as well versed in the terminology and implications as others. This is an example of one of the reasons I wanted to get involved in organising a meetup: to learn. I'm new to much of this, but already after one meetup a few of the terms and ideas are already clearer to me. However, IMO, I'd prefer it if things started off at their most organic and informal for the time being. Formalisation & commitments come after more discussion and consensus is reached around Question 1.

SG

Simon Grant Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:18AM

I sense some agreement that it might be good to discuss how we can coordinate information flow about and between UK groups -- national, regional or local -- in the Commons Transition area. So, if this is OK with everyone, I'll draft a proposal that we start a new Loomio group precisely to discuss and agree amongst the widest group we can find who might be interested in this.

SG

Poll Created Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:26AM

Start a new Loomio group for Commons Transition UK Closed Wed 21 Mar 2018 8:02AM

Outcome
by Simon Grant Wed 21 Mar 2018 9:31PM

Thanks for the helpful responses -- I will start a new Loomio group as soon as I can now!

The intention is to broaden and clarify the scope of the initiative by P2P Scotland; to provide a forum for discussing and agreeing actions towards coordinating an information commons around P2P / CT activities in the UK, with the goal of helping people to find relevant local / regional groups of interest, and also to help the articulation and coordination of these different groupings and initiatives.

No assumptions are made about whether we need or will have a future organisational structure at this level. This will be up for discussion.

Googling P2P for the UK brings up lots of financial materials, so the initial suggestion is to use "commons transition UK" as the verbal identifier.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 85.7% 6 ST SG LM R LM E
Abstain 14.3% 1 DM
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 3 PT NS GM

7 of 10 people have voted (70%)

SG

Simon Grant
Agree
Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:38AM

And one of the first things we could decide would be to use the P2PF wiki as a knowledge repository.

ST

Stacco Troncoso
Agree
Wed 14 Mar 2018 10:10AM

I'm not in the UK and would be external to the group, but I want I think that this is a good idea.

E

Elspeth
Agree
Thu 15 Mar 2018 10:01AM

Reasoning - reached this group via Positive Money membership. I am impressed/convinced, by the arguments that monetary reform is needed - but do not want "money" in the foreground of change. Wider "Commons" understanding is inclusive of money reform.

LM

Liam Murphy Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:36AM

Aye to that Simon - much appreciated from me!

SG

Simon Grant Wed 21 Mar 2018 9:51PM