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Thu 16 Apr 2020

Online worker co-op weekend?

JA John Atherton Public Seen by 156

[edit]
I've updated the worker co-op weekend events page to start promoting

[edit] - Working document to plan what sessions/spaces we host is here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PxeLHrjYu05gPFu1-_4uP0MHR8dtP4SRHSMUELDO5S0/edit?usp=sharing

So we had to cancel the worker co-op weekend for obvious reasons. The Worker Co-op Council discussed whether we should do "something" online that weekend, should we? If so what, and who is up for helping!

Co-ops UK is happy to host sessions (we have corporate accounts for Zoom, go-to-meeting etc) and pull it together the overall programme to co-ordinate. What we need are creative ideas to help people connect and share, and to run those spaces/sessions whatever they look like.

I've put some suggestions below to get us started but the council are really after creative suggestions that can be done online. This won't be 5 hours all on zoom together, so think out of the box.

Suggestions:

  • We host a series of "spaces" at various time on Friday 15th & Sat 16th May and pull these together into a programme people can dip-in and out of.

  • These spaces could be:

    • Collaboratively created documents using your platform of choice that could be purely for fun, art or to build useful resources to share learning.

    • A 'few' lectures delivered through webinars, interested in topics that would be of interest.

    • Smaller group facilitated conversations

    • Matchmaking so people can have 1-2-1 chats.

    • Other ideas??

I'm posting this here and the facebook page just to get something started and test demand. If there is, i'm open to suggestion on how to co-ordinate this online. If no better suggestions come forward my plan is to:

  • Create a shared google doc to bring together suggestions and confirmed sessions, who is running them and to co-ordinate timings into a programme.

  • Once we have some ideas and volunteers I suggest they work out their own way to co-create their session with other willing to help.

So if your interested in running a session or space, have a great idea for one or just want to generally help out with others session. Post a comment

If you think this is a great idea and just want to attend just post a thumbs up/heart emoji.

JA

John Atherton Fri 15 May 2020

updated the doc with that hashtag

J

Jo Fri 15 May 2020

#WCW2020 ? Unless it is also the 20th one..?

JA

John Atherton Fri 15 May 2020

ooh good point we could use #WCW20 or the more generic #workercoop

J

Jo Fri 15 May 2020

Is there a hashtag for the weekend?

KW

Kate Whittle Wed 13 May 2020

@John Atherton I am going ahead with the online learning conversation at 3pm. The url is changed, it took me a while to find where to add the register option, and when I did Zoom changed it. Hope that's not a problem for you?

KW

Kate Whittle Wed 13 May 2020

ok, I understand. I'll try and set up a register option on my zoom account so i can see if anyone's interested, and be guided by that.

M

Matthew (Rhizome) Wed 13 May 2020

Hi, we've no sense of what the demand is so are going to decline and concentrate on our other sessions. It's something I'd really like to see happen in future in person or online (or a hybrid)

KW

Kate Whittle Tue 12 May 2020

I meant exactly what you suggest, that the session is run using an Open Space approach - i.e. no Agenda, get people to say what they want to talk about, and facilitate a discussion, perhaps using rounds, perhaps starting with a check in and ending with a check out. But a lot to fit in to an hour, given that I don't think people will want to stay longer than that? And Open Space sessions usually last several hours, so it would be a bit compressed. Alternatively maybe suggest a theme, such as what worked well, what didn't work so well, should we do it again, as part of the usual f2f WCW, so we can bring in people who for whatever reason (childcare, distance + + ) can't attend physically? I'd love to see how videofacilitator's breakout rooms works?

M

Matthew (Rhizome) Tue 12 May 2020

Didn't mean you shouldn't offer the online learning topic. Some people will just dip into the weekend and might be very much up for the session. What did you have in mind for an open space session? Give me a little bit more of a picture and I'll chat to the others about whether we can facilitate, though I'm not sure we'll have the capacity after other sessions we're running. However we are looking for an excuse to try out videofacilitator's breakout rooms which are more suited to open space than zoom......

KW

Kate Whittle Tue 12 May 2020

I agree! Bit impulsive of me to offer the online learning topic, I blame being stuck on my own at home for weeks, my brain is melting! However I'm not keen on facilitating Open Space - would you or another Rhizome member like to facilitate? I'd be happy to host it on my zoom account.

M

Matthew (Rhizome) Tue 12 May 2020

@katewhittle I'm not sure whether folk will be zoomed out of not - guess that depends on what they choose to attend. Some sort of wind up sounds good. I was hoping we could have used the Open Space instead of an agenda of discussions/workshops. Why second guess what people want to talk about/share/learn when Open Space allows them to create the agenda themselves? Maybe another year - in person or online!

JA

John Atherton Tue 12 May 2020

yep by all means do that and change it (use the same zoom link though)

KW

Kate Whittle Tue 12 May 2020

I'm having second thoughts about the session I proposed at 3pm Saturday. Wondering if people will be totally zoomed out by then, and not so keen on another 'content' session? Maybe a wind-up open space session would work better at that time? I see @Matthew (Rhizome) suggested it already?

J

Jo Thu 14 May 2020

Booked: https://mesopotamia.coop/event/campaign-launch-water-for-rojava/ Hope to see some of you there 🙂

JA

John Atherton Mon 11 May 2020

by all means do on the Saturday but it will be pusshing it for marekting as we won't be sending much more out so you will have to do your own marketing now if you want good numbers, but go for it

J

Jo Fri 8 May 2020

Is there still time to add something in to the Saturday? I think we are looking for max 30 minutes slot as we will be launching a big new campaign on that day. I noticed some of the Saturday sessions have disappeared from the live doc since yesterday - was this on purpose?

JA

John Atherton Fri 8 May 2020

So with a week to go we have a pretty final programme with registration links active.
So go wild and promote sessions you think are particuarly interesting to your networks and get people to register, its all free so thanks for those hosting and facilitating sessions.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PxeLHrjYu05gPFu1-_4uP0MHR8dtP4SRHSMUELDO5S0

MSC

Hi John,

On reflection, Andrew Bibby and I don't have any spare capacity
to take ownership of any workshops and organise before 15th, but
I'll be happy to take part on the weekend.

Mark

JA

John Atherton Fri 1 May 2020

We have now firmed up 5 sessions on the Friday so if you want to add more on the Friday or preferably Saturday go for it. I've also updated the events page on uk.coop so you can promote either that or the google doc, to start raising awareness.

F

freescholar Thu 30 Apr 2020

Mark, what email address should I send an invite to?

MSC

I'd be interested in learning more Micky.

F

freescholar Thu 23 Apr 2020

Agaric is working with the Office of Opportunity and Achievement Gaps, a
department of Boston Public School System (BPS) to put together an
online learning management system as schools will not be open for the
summer and possibly not even in the fall. The free software
foundation has put a few free software packages together to create an
LMS using Canvas with BigBlueButton as the video chat/whiteboard -
We are going to add NextCloud for document storage and Drupal as the
outer layer for a school Website, so the result would be a Drupal school
website with the online classroom built-in We have been testing the
Canvas and BBB setup and so far it is working well! If anyone would like
a login to take a look, just email me - micky@agaric.com

I am also working on a solidarity project - http://citizencommandcenter.org

In Solidarity,

Micky Metts
Agaric ~ FreeScholar
https://agaric.coop - We are your Cooperative Tech Ally.
Join Agaric on IRC any time - irc.freenode.net in the #devs-r-us channel

NBC

Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Sun 19 Apr 2020

Is there any interest in some discussion space to look at the issue of Members who don't want to be involved in management of the business. I've come across this a few times. This is especially relevant as we try to flatten democracy and use tools like sociocracy. I also think we need to get to grips with this if we are realistic about growing the number of worker co-ops, and widening participation in worker co-ops. Is training enough when some people either aren't interested or find it stressful? Is sociocratic governance a potential answer - people get involved in the things they are interested in rather than disconnect entirely? But if all members only do what they are interested in, who does the difficult stuff that no-one wants to touch like HR and financial fire fighting? And is this equitable?

KW

Kate Whittle Sat 16 May 2020

It worked really well @Matthew (Rhizome) I liked it a lot. 👍

M

Matthew (Rhizome) Sat 25 Apr 2020

I agree. I've been using Miro of late in delivering online training sessions and it seems to be ideal for this (though another layer of tech can be off-putting for some, so there would need to be adequate tech support/ tutorial in advance)

NBC

Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Sun 19 Apr 2020

For the Open Space, an online whiteboard tool like Miro would really help to recreate the live "buzz" that Open Space generates.

M

Matthew (Rhizome) Sat 18 Apr 2020

Hi folks,

Rhizome is happy to contribute in any way we can be useful. We were thinking specifically about offering some online training around:

(1) online decision-making, and keeping our decisions democratic/consensual. This could be decision-making in smaller co-ops , but equally around running online AGMs or large group decision-making

(2) working with conflict - stressful times for co-ops everywhere, less opportunities for face to face communication, more opportunities for misunderstanding.

We'd also be up for a conversation about facilitating on online Open Space type session, where people can bring whatever is on their mind and have the conversations they want with the people that are interested. It takes the pressure off trying to decide what the relevant topics are in advance - we can let the wisdom of the crowd do it for us on the day!

Or a World Cafe style conversation?

Open to other ideas and suggestions....

JA

John Atherton Fri 17 Apr 2020

Totally see where you are coming from Chris, we shall be back to normal next year, don't fear.

CCC

I think it is great that people are interested in doing this and if it happens I really hope it goes well, but it is the fact that I get to camp without the kids for a weekend, spend time eating some great food, chatting and drinking beers around a bonfire with awesome people, away from computers, is what makes these weekends special for me, an online version is not something I'm personally interested in, sorry.

JA

John Atherton Thu 16 Apr 2020

I was planning to do one of these anyway, Cilla at the College had also offered so it may be worth the three of us having a quick chat if I can pin her down.

KW

Kate Whittle Thu 16 Apr 2020

I would like to be involved in any way I can be useful. One idea right off the top of my head, how about an induction session for new co-op members? Focus would be on exploring what is a co-op and what does it mean to co-operate but could also include an intro to Solidfund? Depending on numbers might need more than one facilitator, if people think this is a goer I'd be happy to design (or work with others to design) an interactive self-learning session.

M

Matthew (Rhizome) Sat 25 Apr 2020

Yep, fantastic ideas. I especially like the paired walk. One note of caution though is that some of the ideas involve extra layers of tech knowledge/ability/confidence (using your phone rather than your PC/laptop. Using a second platform like Miro simultaneously). If these are barriers to involvement we'd need to think about easing the barriers or removing them entirely. They may not be, of course

JA

John Atherton Thu 16 Apr 2020

These are excellent ideas and hopefully we will incorporate them, thx for the contribution!

KW

Kate Whittle Thu 16 Apr 2020

Excellent ideas Richard! This could be really good fun & useful learning opportunities. ❤️🙂👍

RDB

Richard D. Bartlett Thu 16 Apr 2020

You can imagine this question is popping up everywhere these days. Here's some notes from a conversation I had about this yesterday, edited slightly so they fit the worker co-op context:

  • do paired matchmaking and people can go for a walk and talk, stroll round your neighbourhood while speaking to someone on the phone

  • use a 20/20/20 format for talks: start with 20min presentation with inspiring content, then break into 3-4 person breakout groups to discuss for 20 min, then come back to the whole for 20 min of reports and closing thoughts. Feels engaging and connecting.

  • Use plenty of variety, change gears frequently. E.g. on Zoom you can stream audio so it is easy to lead a dance break between sessions. Or have a whole session that is just a DJ set. Somehow dancing by myself in my house, connected to a bunch of other people doing the same thing is really fun and less awkward than doing it in person!

  • Create a story: you don't literally get to go camping together but you can create a narrative theme, e.g. assign someone as camp mum, fancy dress as campers, stream a video of a campfire, or everyone bring a small candle to the screen...

  • Creative interventions to recreate the sense of "place" that you get in a gathering, e.g. everyone join the Zoom from a tent in their back yard. Or a moment where everyone has to get a pot plant and bring it into the Zoom room, to feel like the physical spaces are stitched together into a single virtual space.

  • The best parts of a gathering are not about the "content", they're incidental connections, e.g. making breakfast together or having a drink by the fire. Can you make a potluck dinner? or have a cooking class where one person teaches everyone to make a meal at home simultaneously?

  • Use a collaborative whiteboarding tool like Miro to create some useful artefact from all the sessions, e.g. a map of digital best practices for coops.

JA

John Atherton Thu 16 Apr 2020

Done @ him on the facebook discussion let you know if I get a response

MSC

It would also be good to invite John McNamara to stimulate some discussion about worker ownership vs. worker stewardship as in his recent blog post - Are we not owners? We are workers.

JA

John Atherton Thu 16 Apr 2020

Great, I'll put you down and throw the suggestions into the mix

MSC

I'm up for getting involved BTW. I'd like to explore the use of community finance in worker co-operatives - from loanstock to investor members in multi-stakeholder co-ops with an "exit to worker control". Perfect for community pubs transitioning to worker co-op. At a tangent to this it would also be good to explore worker democracy in community businesses - is it a thing?

MSC

We just talked about running some "Running meetings and
governance in the age of Zoom" type webinars in the Governance
Panel meeting. Might be some potential for cross-pollination here?

Worth a chat to Emma?

Mark