Loomio
Mon 25 Sep 2017

Membership/admission decisions

HR Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Public Seen by 104

A place to discuss individual applications from potential CoTech members (co-ops).

Discussions about changing/defining/refining policies should be had on Discourse and then brought here for ratification

SWS

Good initiative. Would it be better to keep applications here, but have the discussion about membership policy over at CoTech Community, then bring it here for decision once drafted?

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 25 Sep 2017

Thought it would be good to collect this stuff together.

My understanding of the current situation is thus (see also https://coops.tech/join):

  • self-identifies as a worker co-op that sells technology and conforms to Worker Co-op Code = automatically accepted
  • multi-stakeholder co-ops where workers make up at least 50% controlling interest = proposal via Loomio
  • not worker-controlled, not a co-op, not based in UK or not selling tech = can't join
HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 25 Sep 2017

Organisations that have not been allowed to join so far include:

  • Brighton Digital Exchange - not a worker co-op (made up of privately owned companies)
  • GreenNet - currently owned by a charity and therefore not technically autonomous. Asked to reapply once conversion to worker co-op complete
  • Protozoa - based in New Zealand (an Enspiral venture) - we'll notify them if we go international
  • Digital Life Collective - not a worker co-op - instead a meta-co-op-network-network which CoTech could join
  • Buy Smart - consumer rather than worker co-op
HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 25 Sep 2017

Organisations that have been allowed to join that are not strictly worker co-ops include:
* Outlandish - constitutionally a consortium co-op, though only has worker members and no plans to change this
* Web Architects technically a multi-stakeholder co-op split 50/50 between employees and clients
* We Are Open - technically some sort of consortium/freelance co-op
* The Dot Project, Go Free Range, FolkLabs and others - proto-co-ops with articles that are compatible with worker co-ops, that work as co-ops and meet all the guidelines from the Worker Co-op Code but which are not formally/legally constituted as worker co-ops

SF

Shaun Fensom Mon 25 Sep 2017

Also CBN, a freelancer coop, is a member

HR

Poll Created Mon 25 Sep 2017

Allow Developer Society to join CoTech Closed Fri 13 Oct 2017

Outcome
by Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 16 Oct 2017

Developer Society are eligible to join CoTech. Yay!

https://www.dev.ngo/ is a successful Birmingham-based multi-stakeholder tech co-operative. It was started last year after the owners of Blanc Ltd deciding to mutualise. It currently has three stakeholder groups - employees, clients and (controversially?) founders. I believe this last category was created as a way to safeguard the company culture and direction during the transition, and am waiting for some more details.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 90.0% 9 G HR CCC SG FLC J DS AC DU
Abstain 10.0% 1 CLF
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 90 JA JD V SWS RS AHC FL ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB AM DU EO AV BS KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB ES MS RRD AC GO CR JMF RP LL KD LS INM N VN SP DU TD DU JTW MG AP OS BP TM JS BR EM GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN A EM DU ALP CAD AC DU

10 of 100 people have voted (10%)

CCC

Their site looks great, hope someone from their co-op is able to make it to Wortley Hall.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins
Agree
Tue 26 Sep 2017

They seem that they would be a good addition to the network and seem to be a worker co-op in practice

SG

Simon Grant
Agree
Wed 27 Sep 2017

Looks like they are in line with many of our core values.

G

Graham
Abstain
Sun 8 Oct 2017

Abstaining because I don't have the information that I asked for, and therefore can't make a sound decision.

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range)
Abstain
Mon 9 Oct 2017

[Go Free Range] We don't feel we have enough information about ownership and democratic processes at Developer Society to make a decision. Happy to revisit when there is more info.

CCC

Their site looks great, hope someone from their co-op is able to make it to Wortley Hall, vote changed to an abstain as Graham's questions appears not to have been answered?

CCC

Their site looks great, hope someone from their co-op is able to make it to Wortley Hall, they are clearly a co-op and it would be good to hear more detail from them regarding the way they work.

G

Graham
Agree
Fri 13 Oct 2017

Changing my vote to agree, on the basis that we now have real information on which to base a decision. Thanks Harry for posting the documents.

G

Graham Mon 25 Sep 2017

Re: Developer Society: do the workers have a controlling interest?

CCC

I don't want to be pedantic but at Webarchitects (one word, we are not legally Architects), the workers have 50% of the votes, clients and partners have 25% and investors have 25%, see our rules for the full details...

Having said that I think this thread is a great idea -- these things should be transparent and clear :thumbsup:

I don't think the coops.tech site links to the Workers Co-operative Code and perhaps it should (I 'm not sure I even knew this document existed...)?

CCC

I created a table on the wiki to list all the members co-ops and their types, it would be great if other could help complete it and then keep it up date :slight_smile: Also best follow up discussion on this on the community site so as not to derail this thread.

CCC

Graham asked:

Re: Developer Society: do the workers have a controlling interest?

The document the FCA has available to download for £12 might answer that, note that they are a Community Benefit Society (rather than a Co-operative Society) and this is usually a legal form used by community co-ops that need to raise shares, eg a community pub or wind turbine or something, it'll be interesting to hear about the details of their structure.

SWS

"Outlandish is not technically a worker coop" - my view is that a worker coop can be made up of self-employed people or a mix of emloyed and self-employed (including through service companies) if they identify as such and the primary coop relationship of the members is around decent work. CICOPA and Coops UK prefer to define worker coops as strictly employee, and freelancers as consortia (like buying groups of family businesses, farmers' coops, etc) which I think is too rigid and certainly outdated given the changing nature of work.

Link to the Worker Coop Code: https://www.uk.coop/sites/default/files/uploads/attachments/worker_co-operative_code_2nd_edition_0_0.pdf

I would also suggest that we require prospective members to share their top level document of incorporation (articles if company, rules if society, partner agreement if LLP, etc) to see how far it embeds coop ownership and control principles.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Thu 28 Sep 2017

Fully agree @sionwhellens - the key thing is that it is a business owned and controlled by its workers which adheres to co-op principles.

G

Graham Fri 29 Sep 2017

...owned and democratically controlled...

G

Graham Fri 29 Sep 2017

Which takes us back to my earlier question, is the Developer Society owned and democratically controlled by the workers? If this is the essence of the rule for membership of Cotech, then presumably we need to know the answer to this question before anyone can vote on the proposal. If the ''client and 'founder' stakeholder groups can outvote the workers, then it could be argued that the workers don't have control, and therefore that the organisation doesn't meet the criteria for membership. Or are we saying that we are aren't concerned about this, because they "seem" like a good fit. (Note that I'm raising this point not to be bloody minded or obstructive, but because I want some clarity, and some solid information on which to base my decision).

SF

Shaun Fensom Fri 29 Sep 2017

@graham2 is of course correct. Are they or aren't they?

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 9 Oct 2017

FYI I have requested the relevant documents and extended the deadline for voting for Friday so we can discuss the various questions people have raised.
There's a bit of a flaw to discussing these things in a place where non-members can't comment.
Does anyone know co-op development advisor Alex Bird who helped create their structure?

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 9 Oct 2017

My bad - they sent them to me ages ago and I failed to post them. Please review and update your responses @thomasparisot @chrislowis @graham2 @chriscroome

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 9 Oct 2017

As far as I can see it's a classic employee/customer multi-stakeholder co-op with specific provision for the Founder Members having seats on the board of directors. If there is a provision for different types of members having different voting powers I can't find it but this isn't my area of expertise.

CCC

"If there is a provision for different types of members having different voting powers I can't find"

I can't either, regarding Graham's question:

"do the workers have a controlling interest?"

It would appear to me that they do as long as the founders are workers.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Thu 12 Oct 2017

@graham2 @chrislowis @thomasparisot I believe all the information that's been requested has been posted now. Could you update your votes if necessary? I guess we'll take abstentions as abstentions otherwise (e.g. they'll be allowed to join)

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Thu 12 Oct 2017

We probably don't have time or the expertise to do a proper review of the documents you shared @harryrobbins before the deadline. More than happy to go with the majority on this one, they seem great!

RB

Roy Brooks Thu 12 Oct 2017

As @harryrobbins, no expert on co-op constitutions, but they do seem to tick all the important boxes... and working for good.

G

Graham Fri 13 Oct 2017

An admittedly quick scan through the rules for Developer Society indicates that employees have no inbuilt majority on the board of directors. The rules do suggest that the directors should aim for a balance on the board that reflects the size of the three membership groups (Founders, Employees, and Supporters), and that seems to be the only aspect of the rules that might tend towards giving employee members the balance of power, on the assumption that Founder members will gradually resign or die off over time and become a vestigial grouping with the society, and the second assumption that Supporter members would not seek to act against the interests of the employees. My recommendation would be to modify the rules to ensure a board majority for employees at all times whilst still recognising the governance value of board representation for founders and supporters. On balance, and in practice, I can go with the notion that the employee members have control, but it is certainly not written into their rules.

HR

Poll Created Fri 1 Dec 2017

Allow Data Unlocked to join CoTech Closed Fri 8 Dec 2017

Data Unlocked are a tech worker co-op who attended the annual retreat and would like to be formally recognised as members

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 8 SWS AHC FL HR CCC DS AC ALP
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 104 JA JD V RS G ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SG AM DU SC EO AV BS KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC GO CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN SP DU TD DU JTW MG AP OS BP TM JS BR EM CLF GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU EM J DU CAD AC LD DU CBF H LA DU

8 of 112 people have voted (7%)

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins
Agree
Fri 1 Dec 2017

They're a worker controlled tech co-operative and seem lovely so I can't see any reason not to let them join.

SWS

Can they share their governing doc/constitution?

HR

Poll Created Tue 6 Feb 2018

Allow Alpha Co-op to join CoTech Closed Sun 18 Feb 2018

Outcome
by Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 19 Feb 2018

Alpha Co-op are now a member of CoTech

Based in newcastle, offer design, comms and WordPress development. Co-op since 1987. Wave know them.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 11 SWS AHC FL G HR CCC KB CLF ALP CBF S
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 93 JA ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SG SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN DS SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM GM MS N"A EB AC NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU J CAD AC LD DU JLD H LA AC

11 of 104 people have voted (10%)

G

Graham
Agree
Wed 7 Feb 2018

Great to see some old ICOM mem and arts documents.

AHC

Met them a while back, nice peeps.

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range)
Agree
Fri 9 Feb 2018

Sounds great to us (Go Free Range)

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Wed 7 Feb 2018

Articles of association and Co-ops UK certificate from Alpha Co-op

SWS

I know Alpha since before the War. Bona fide worker coop.

G

Graham Tue 13 Feb 2018

Certainly well known in this parish since well before the turn of the century.

CR

Poll Created Fri 16 Feb 2018

Allow Digital Liberties to join CoTech Closed Fri 23 Feb 2018

Outcome
by Chris Roos Fri 2 Mar 2018

Thanks for voting, everyone. And apologies for the delay in sharing this outcome.

Although it sounds as though there's some concern about Digital Liberties' Articles of Association; we didn't receive any Disagree or Block votes so they're in! Welcome, Fabian and co.

I'll get in touch with Digital Liberties to ensure they have access to the various tools we use in CoTech.

Fabian Tompsett of Digital Liberties has attended a number of CoTech related events, including Wortley Hall 2017.

Fabian sent their Articles of Association to the internal CoTech mailing list on 4 Oct 2017 and again on 25 Jan 2018 (note that you'll need a login to view those threads). Although there was some response to the 25 Jan email it doesn't look as though we ever got as far as creating a proposal to vote on them joining.

Fabian's been in touch again to enquire about their membership status so I'm creating this proposal for us to vote.

I've attached their Articles of Association.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 91.7% 11 FL G CCC IP JMF DS AC SH AC S AC
Abstain 8.3% 1 HR
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 92 JA SWS AHC ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD CB SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SG SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR RP LL J KD LS INM N VN SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM CLF GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN PE AT A DU J ALP CAD LD DU JLD CBF H LA

12 of 104 people have voted (11%)

AC

Aptivate Cooperators
Agree
Fri 16 Feb 2018

Fabian is rad.

SH

Stephen Hawkes
Agree
Fri 16 Feb 2018

[Developer Society]

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins
Abstain
Fri 23 Feb 2018

Digital Liberties appear to currently fit the requirements of membership but they're at an early stage. Membership should be contingent on them remaining "owned and controlled by their workers" and compliant with the other criteria

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Fri 16 Feb 2018

Digital Liberties appear to be some sort of community/multi-stakeholder co-op rather than worker controlled according to their articles. I'd be happy for them to join on the basis that they are worker controlled, but on the understanding that if they later turn out to be something other than worker controlled they may be asked to leave.

CLF

Poll Created Fri 16 Feb 2018

Allow Netuxo to Join CoTech Closed Fri 23 Feb 2018

Outcome
by Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Fri 23 Feb 2018

Welcome onboard Netuxo! I'll be in touch with them to help them get setup with everything they need.

Netuxo have applied to join CoTech. A little bit about them from their website:

> Along with hosting websites and providing mail services (see hosting packages) Netuxo specialise in building sites using the Drupal Content Management System and maintaining and developing sites that have been built with Drupal.

Netuxo registered in 2003 via Catalyst as a company limited by guarantee, with articles of association defining them as a worker co-op. They are members of Co-ops UK. Their articles of association are unchanged from the Radical Routes model documents.

As per the constitution this is a member vote (one vote per co-op, please) which must pass without disagreement or blocking.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 12 SWS AHC FL G HR CCC IP DS CLF AC AC CBF
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 92 JA ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD CB SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SG SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU J ALP CAD LD DU JLD H S LA AC

12 of 104 people have voted (11%)

AHC

Great to see another Drupal worker coop!

AC

Aptivate Cooperators
Agree
Mon 19 Feb 2018

A member of Aptivate has worked there previously, and vouches Netuxo are very nice people :)

G

Graham Tue 20 Feb 2018

The governing document for Digital Liberties provides no certainty or guarantees that workers will control the business. If I were their advisor I would probably encourage them to address that. So i don't think they can be allowed membership under the first criterion.

However, the statement at https://www.coops.tech/join also reads: "Secondary co-ops and multi-stakeholder co-ops are also welcome so long as all they (and their members) do not generate money for investors by exploiting their workers." (I think this probably reads better without the "all" in there, but that's anohter story).

Again I didn't spot anything in the governing document for Digital Liberties about worker exploitation, from a quick reading. Nor would I expect there to be. What there is, is a clear statement of adherence to the ICA values and principles. On that basis MC3 will support their membership of CoTech.

I do think this criterion referring to secondaries and multi-stakeholder co-ops is a bit flimsy and rather difficult to ascertain in practice, so would benefit from a bit of thought.

G

Poll Created Tue 20 Feb 2018

Allow the Digital Life Collective Co-operative Ltd to join CoTech Closed Tue 27 Feb 2018

Outcome
by Graham Wed 28 Feb 2018

The application was blocked by one voter who gave as their reasoning: "they don't seem to be (at this time at least) owned and controlled by their workers".

A couple of points stand out with this application in my view:

It appears from this statement that the only interpretation of the term 'worker' that is allowed within CoTech is someone who gains financial reward in exchange for their labour. In the case of Digital Life Collective the workers, who are also the members (and who own and democratically control the organisation), are currently volunteers. This strikes me personally as a rather narrow view and one that, for me at least, does not align with the broader political stance of CoTech as evidenced in the manifesto. If it is the view of the majority that workers must be defined as paid workers then that should be enshrined and made explicit in the stated membership criteria.

The second point is that less that ten organisations within the CoTech network bothered to participate in the proposal at all. This to me is a clear sign of a governance process that is failing badly, and needs to be addressed.

Of those that did vote, the great majority were in favour of the application. As proposer I chose not to vote, but had I done so, clearly I also would have voted in favour of the application.

"The Digital Life Collective researches, develops, funds and supports Tech We Trust, technologies that prioritize our autonomy, privacy and dignity. Our tech, not their tech."

Governing document: https://diglife.com/bylaws/

The cooperative has no employees, and for the forseeable future at least has no intention to employee people. In terms of CoTech's membership criteria, we (I am a member of the Digital Life Collective) think we fit into the bit that states: "Secondary co-ops and multi-stakeholder co-ops are also welcome so long as they (and their members) do not generate money for investors by exploiting their workers." The Digital Life Collective sees it's broad goals as totally aligned with those of CoTech, and would welcome cooperation and collaboration as appropriate.

The Digital Life Collective is a relatively new organisation, with 114 members at the time of writing, although we have ambition to be much larger.

At least two members of the collective (that I'm aware of - I don't currently have access to the full member database so it may be more) are also actively involved in the CoTech network.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 66.7% 4 FL RB DS AC
Abstain 16.7% 1 CCC
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 16.7% 1 HR
Undecided 0% 98 JA SWS AHC G ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SG SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM CLF GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU J ALP CAD AC LD DU JLD CBF H S LA AC

6 of 104 people have voted (5%)

CCC

I understand that BDX were not allowed to join as a Co-operative Consortium, so I'm unclear why Digital Life Collective, who appear to use the Co-ops UK model Co-operative Consortium rules should be?

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins
Disagree
Fri 23 Feb 2018

I think it sounds like Digital Life Collective would be a great ally and would love to work with them but, from what we've heard they don't seem to be (at this time at least) owned and controlled by their workers.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins
Block
Mon 26 Feb 2018

I think it sounds like Digital Life Collective would be a great ally and would love to work with them but, from what we've heard they don't seem to be (at this time at least) owned and controlled by their workers.

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Tue 20 Feb 2018

@graham2 in the constitution we currently say that member co-ops must "be owned and democratically run by [their] workers" and "provide tech/digital services". I interpret the latter as implicity implying that the provision of the services generates income for the cooperative. The Digital Life Collective look like a fantastic group for CoTech to work together with, but I'm not sure they meet the criteria.

I think the practical reasons why we have these criteria is that CoTech provides the most value to its members when its members are similar types of organisations that can share resources, money, skills, knowledge etc. in order to grow our businesses. I'm a little worried that adding 114 new voices to CoTech who don't necessarily need or want that kind of support will make it more difficult to make decisions.

These are just my thoughts - I'd be really interested to hear your view and others.

G

Graham Tue 20 Feb 2018

Thanks @chrislowis - this is useful and raises various points:

The Digital Life Collective does not employ anyone and has no plans to do so at present. That position may change in the future. However it does have plans to "provide tech/digital services" and these plans are currently being actively developed, with a view to launching a first service offering in 2018. We anticipate that the provision of this service will greatly facilitate growth in membership. Our members pay an annual subscription fee, this being the primary source of revenue for the cooperative, therefore the service offered does generate revenue for the cooperative.

I do not anticipate that any more than perhaps one or two people from the core Digital Life Collective team will engage with CoTech on a day to day basis. CoTech's discourse platform is of course public and so it may be that a larger number of members of the collective may wish to get involved there.

Although the Digital Life Collective has a different business model to a worker co-op that sells services to clients for a fee, it is actively engaged in aspects of tech that, in my view, are of central relevance to other CoTech members and therefore I see great potential for added value to other CoTech members.

With my MC3 hat on, my interpretation the value of CoTech membership is quite different to yours. Growing our business is not our primary driver for being involved in CoTech, and the resources and knowledge that are shared within CoTech primarily add value for us in other ways, mainly in terms of developing our understanding of the processes of and issues around collaboration and cooperation. In terms of the Digital Life Collective, the primairy impetus for applying for membership is the close alignment in terms of the broader vision for both organisations.

The CoTech constitution as it currently stands does not marry up with the published statement at https://coops.tech/join in that the latter includes an explicit statement indicating that secondary and multi-stakeholder cooperatives are eligible for membership, where the constitution document only appears to make reference to worker cooperatives. I've not been closely involved in writing either of these texts, so I'll defer to others as regards which might be "correct".

The constitution only appears to allow membership for cooperatives where they are owned and democratically run by their workers, and yet the published statement at https://coops.tech/join explicitly talks about secondary and multi-stakeholder cooperatives being welcome, and makes no mention of worker ownership or control as a condition of membership for those types of cooperative. Indeed, many secondary and multi-stakeholder cooperatives may expressly prohibit being controlled by their workers.

If the constitution trumps the website then we need to know this as a matter of urgency so that we can:
* correct the gross errors on the public CoTech website;
* inform Digital Liberties that their application for membership will ineligible (because they are a multi-stakeholder cooperative and not a worker controlled cooperative (see my earlier post on this issue in this thread)
* review the membership of organisations such as Webarchitects, which is also a multi-stakeholder cooperative.

In practice, of course I recognise that CoTech is attempting to define a set of clear membership criteria alongside a lot of other fluid issues around governance, etc., as we go, and clarity is hard to come by, especially in the cooperative economy. I guess my perspective on all of this is that while I respect the effort to develop a black and white membership policy, we work in a context that is largely made up of shades of grey, and therefore that we should seek to make wise decisions, and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

CCC

@graham2 I agree this could be clearer:

The CoTech constitution as it currently stands does not marry up with the published statement at https://coops.tech/join in that the latter includes an explicit statement indicating that secondary and multi-stakeholder cooperatives are eligible for membership, where the constitution document only appears to make reference to worker cooperatives. I've not been closely involved in writing either of these texts, so I'll defer to others as regards which might be "correct".

The constitution only appears to allow membership for cooperatives where they are owned and democratically run by their workers, and yet the published statement at https://coops.tech/join explicitly talks about secondary and multi-stakeholder cooperatives being welcome, and makes no mention of worker ownership or control as a condition of membership for those types of cooperative. Indeed, many secondary and multi-stakeholder cooperatives may expressly prohibit being controlled by their workers.

The historic reason for things not simply saying "workers co-ops" was because Webarchitects is a multi-stakeholder co-op and I pressed for a form of wording that would allow us to be omitted into membership, if it would help I'm sure we could find the threads about this on here somewhere...

CCC

I have re-read the thread from last year on Whether to invite consumer and consortium co-ops and the other key thread appears to be the Do we agree the CoTech Manifesto, Join and About pages? thread and there appears to have been less discussion on these matters than I remembered...

There is also a Digital Life Collective thread in which @shaunfensom suggests that:

I assumed that the Collective would not fit the CoTech template although, arguably, it is an edge case... CoTech on the other hand would make a very welcome member of Digital Life Collective as would all of the members of CoTech.

I must admit I'm still a little unclear what Digital Life Collective is other than a project to raise money to pay for the development and hosting of software (which might be Free Software)?

G

Graham Wed 21 Feb 2018

I'll try to clarify, although to be fair there is stillplenty of debate within Digital Life Collective regarding the key points of focus for the organisation. What I can say is that it is not a project to raise money to pay for the development and hosting of software. As far as I can see there are plenty of people and organisations already doing that largely successfully. The underpinning guiding principle driving the Digital Life Collective is the concept of Tech We Trust.

Clearly this is a big debate with many facets, from issues around privacy and identity through to security and the sometimes less than clear motivations of the big (and not so big) players in tech. And it is a debate that affects everyone that uses technology. and that is in part why the organisation has chosen to adopt a cooperative, and membership-driven operating model, so that anyone can get involved, support the work and collaborate to create solutions.

The four strands of current or planned activity within the collective are about research, development, funding, and support for Tech We Trust. First we must develop a clearer shared understanding about what 'tech we trust' actually means in real terms, in ways that can be assessed. Whether the code is FLOSS might be one measure, but it is but one among many. The work centres around raising awareness of the issues, engaging people and orgs in the debate, and collaboratively developing solutions.

I think that's something that CoTech members would want to be aligned with, and others in the Collective have suggested that it applies to join CoTech in order to further that alignment and gorw the chances for collaboration.

I can't speak to the decision about BDX as I can't recall the arguments. BDX is a very different organisation: it has a strong commercial focus and exists to add value to its member businesses. In that sense it's a great example of cooperation in practice, although perhaps not aligned to Cotech in terms of its values and politics.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Wed 21 Feb 2018

It seems that there is a consensus emerging that Digital Life Collective is not a worker co-op in the CoTech sense. I hope that's a fair assessment?

I'm a bit less clear about Digital Liberties which is much closer to the definition and no so dissimilar from multi-stakeholder co-ops such as WebArchitects or consortium co-ops such as Outlandish. The main difference is that it doesn't have a constitution that ensures control by workers and as it hasn't been operating long it's not clear how it will operate in practice.

My feeling with Digital Liberties is that we should admit them on the understanding that if they at some point cease to be/show themselves not to be "worker owned and controlled" then they'd no longer be members. What do people think of that approach?

Also, agree with @graham2 that we should make an effort to review the various bits of text and try to make them more consistent.

G

Graham Wed 21 Feb 2018

To avoid any doubt, Digital Life Collective is in no way a worker cooperative and has never purported to be one. It's application for CoTech membership is based purely on a) the published statement that multistakeholder co-ops can be members as long as any workers involved aren't exploited, and b) that our broad visions are well aligned.

As far as I can see this is the broadly same basis on which Webarchitects are members, and on which Digital Liberties (another multistakeholder cooperative) has applied.

CCC

@graham2 I don't think that it totally accurate, although Webarchitects is a multi-stakeholder co-operative and although we have one active investor member and one client member (who hasn't attended any meeting since being elected) on the management committee the rest of the management committee are workers and all day-to-day decisions, which are made between the monthly management committee meetings, are made by workers — to all intents and purposes we generally operate as a workers co-op… Of course we would like more active involvement from investors, partner and client members but, understandably, it is the people who's ability to feed their families depend of the co-op staying afloat who tend to put the most time and energy into the co-op…

G

Graham Wed 21 Feb 2018

I'm not disagreeing with you Chris, i'm simply trying to gain some clarity about what the eligbility criteria are. Whilst Webarchitects may in practice operate as a worker co-op it is structurred as a multi-stakeholder co-op. The published statement at coops.tech/join says that multi-stakeholder co-ops can join. So we're all good. If the rule was that only worker coops could join, and we wanted Webarchitects to be in membership (I know I do), we'd have to further clarify that rule to say that it doesn't matter what the organisation's governing document might say because we're going to make our decision based not on the written rules of any given applicant organisation, but on custom and practice. If we're going to do that, let us at least be clear about it, and then we all know where we stand (and at the same time we can let GreenNet know that we've changed our position).

FL

Felix Lozano Wed 21 Feb 2018

Accepting Digital Liberties on a 'proviso' because they are new is useful and, will help with other new coops joining CoTech.

G

Graham Wed 21 Feb 2018

If we are to admit Digital Liberties to membership because, despite their rules they may operate a bit like a worker co-op this feels to me like massive fudge, especially when we've denied membership, albeit temporarily, to folks like GreenNet, who apparently do operate as if they were a worker co-op but whose paperwork does not currently confirm that.

If we are to admit Digital Liberties because they conform to the published statement that non-exploitative multistakeholder co-ops are eligible then I'm absolutely fine with that, and that's what I've based my vote on (and I'll change my vote if that's not the case). Following on from that, if we admit Digital Liberties into membership on that basis, then I would argue that we should admit Digital Life Collective on the same grounds.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Wed 21 Feb 2018

My understanding is that all the criteria from the constitution apply:

  1. Must be a worker, consortium or secondary co-op
  2. Must be owned and democratically controlled by its workers
  3. Must sell tech/digital service
G

Graham Wed 21 Feb 2018

That statement does not align with what's written at https://coops.tech/join

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Wed 21 Feb 2018

I agree the Join page needs to be clarified, but what specifically do you think does not align? It's also worth noting that on the about page it says Each member of the network is a company that is owned and democratically run by it’s workers (and, in some cases, customers). There are no private shareholders who take money out of the company and/or direct the company’s activities.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Wed 21 Feb 2018

Sorry - accidentally hit 'post'.
My understanding is that all the criteria from the constitution and join apply:

  1. Must be a worker, consortium, multi-stakeholder or secondary co-op
  2. Must be primarily owned by its workers
  3. Must be controlled by its workers
  4. Must sell tech/digital service
  5. Must not exploit workers (in a taxation without representation sense).

It would seem that WebArchitects meet all of those requirements, but GreenNet does not satisfy 3 and Digital Life seems not to meet points 2, 3, 4.

It seems to me that Digital Liberties currently meet all the requirements but could, in the future, fail to comply with 2 and 3 if the other members types become dominant. The same could go for Outlandish, WebArchitects and others - and their membership is contingent on that not happening.

G

Graham Wed 21 Feb 2018

This is the first time I've seen this list of criteria! Where was it hiding?

As noted previously I have no way to assess Digital Liberties becuase I don't know the current make-up of their membership.

With respect to Digital Life I would contend that it has no paid workers but does have a significant number of volunteer workers, who own and democratically control the organisation. The organisation may not currently sell a tech/digital service although it soon will, and the members pay a subscription by way of a fee to receive that service. By way of comparison it's not clear to me what services if any are currently available from Digital Liberties?

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Thu 22 Feb 2018

@graham2 - it's just my understanding/interpretation of the rules as expressed in the constitution and on the website.

I believe that Digital Liberties sells consultancy services about technology to the Labour Party and others.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Fri 23 Feb 2018

We've Digital Life and Digital Liberties internally at Outlandish and feel that neither clearly meets the conditions for membership. We'd be happy for Digital Liberties to be admitted as they're currently primarily composed of two people that own and control the business which sells tech services as their job. Digital Life does not appear to be doing this at the moment, so seem to be further from the current membership requirements.

We feel it is useful for now to have fairly strict and clear membership criteria as otherwise there is a danger that we'll get spread to thin, have too few common interested, etc. We also think there is a danger of having some people who primarily sell tech services and some who primarily buy them in the same organisation.

Regarding @chriscroome 's comment "I understand that BDX were not allowed to join as a Co-operative Consortium, so I'm unclear why Digital Life Collective, who appear to use the Co-ops UK model Co-operative Consortium rules should be?" - Outlandish is also based on Co-operative Consortium rules but all our members are (currently) worker members and we have no plans to add other types of members. If we added an exploitative company (non-co-operative) as a member or if we were no longer "controlled and owned by our workers" we'd expect to be asked to leave, or to be ejected.

G

Graham Fri 23 Feb 2018

I agree that it is useful to have clear membership criteria. The recent exchanges here about Digital Liberties and Digital Life Collective make it clear to me that our current criteria are anything but clear, and voting decisions are effectively being made based on how people "feel". This discussion has higlhighted that the membership criteria on the wiki does not align with the published statement on the coop.tech website, resulting in @harryrobbins 'merging' these into a third version that may or may not reflect the general view of the membership.

I'm also concerned that the number of organisations voting on these membership proposals is really very low. In the case of the Netuxo application just 12 votes were recorded, suggesting that the majority of CoTech members are either unaware or have no desire to engage in the democratic process. either way it's not good.

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Fri 23 Feb 2018

I think the discussion in the constitution thread made it clear that we know there are real problems / inconsistencies. But that having something written down at least allows clear suggestions to be made as to how to improve them. I'd really encourage you and anyone else to do that - sheperding these threads and discussions is a bit of a thankless task, but it feels really bad to me to have folks contact CoTech about joining and to do nothing about it, so at GFR we've been trying to put them in Loomio at least.

You have a good point about quoracy - again suggestions for how to improve things are welcome. Keep an eye on community.coops.tech today for the first monthly newsletter which is an attempt to improve visibility and came out of Wortley Hall.

AC

Autonomic Co-operative Fri 23 Feb 2018

We at Autonomic have been struggling to keep up with what's happening on
Loomio/with the votes. So many threads of projects and client stuff that
it's really hard to find time to read and understand the various
proposals even though we know they are going on due to email
notifications or they close before we get the chance.

For the votes on membership, we definitely don't have time to read all
of an orgs rules etc so it's hard to draw a conclusion apart from
reading other's comments. So it's super important people flag up any
concerns they might have.

In general, we agree that membership criteria should strictly promote
worker co-operative praxis. Perhaps further clarity is needed or
alternatively we just need to tell people they should consider becoming
a worker controlled organisation if they are not already and providing
some guidance as to why that is a good thing.

Ok, and clearly Loomio comments via email suck and get mangled! :thinking:

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Fri 23 Feb 2018

I've added a proposal to clarify the constitution to the relevant thread

I've also created a new thread for discussing public-facing text updates with a relevant proposal.

SG

Simon Grant Tue 27 Feb 2018

I think I'm agreeing with @harryrobbins here ... I support the DLC, but the idea of them being a member of CoTech is a bit strange to me. Could we craft a bespoke agreement between CoTech and DigLife instead?
(Ugh, I sound like a Brexit negotiator ;) )

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Tue 27 Feb 2018

Sorry to have blocked, though we still feel it's the right outcome. As I mentioned I've been in touch with them on slack and Outlandish have joined. They agree they're not a worker co-operative (or that sort of thing) so I think everyone/most people are in agreement that this was not a close match. I suggest we invite them to future CoTech meetups?

Could we craft a bespoke agreement between CoTech and DigLife instead?

Agree this would be good @asimong (or 'associate' status, as I think @dan10 suggested), but we've recently/barely got an agreement with each other :)

I'd like to see us agree a 'target rate card' and 'minimum income' amongst ourselves and make sure we bring that about.

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Wed 28 Feb 2018

The second point is that less that ten organisations within the CoTech network bothered to participate in the proposal at all. This to me is a clear sign of a governance process that is failing badly, and needs to be addressed.

I followed the discussion closely but found it confusing and the discussion at times quite toxic, so I decided to back away. I was certainly "bothered". I'm very interested to see things work more smoothly.

G

Graham Wed 28 Feb 2018

For the avoidance of doubt, I'm content to go along with the agreed process of decision-making about membership applications. Despite the fact that it was me that put forward the proposal for membership for the Digital Life Collective - and I did that becuase I could see that the relationship could be mutually beneficial - I'm not particularly concerned about the outcome of the proposal either way. What I'm interested in is having clear and transparent processes, and making the arguments aroud these so-called 'edge cases' is as far as I can see a very useful way to pursuing that clarity. Apologies if it felt toxic at times - that was not my intent.

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Wed 28 Feb 2018

I think arguments are important to have and they help us to clarify things. I think it's also important to have concrete suggestions for change and to recognise that if the CoTech website, for example, has errors its no-ones responisbility to fix them. We all need to help.

From my point of view I feel like @chrisroos stepped in to open a proposal for Digital Liberties to join because it had been sitting around with no response for a long time. I can't speak for anyone else but the way the discussion continued after that would put me off from being proactive about these things in the future, which I feel would be a shame because as you point out the level of engagement from across CoTech could be improved.

SG

Simon Grant Wed 28 Feb 2018

@graham2 I wonder if your governance concern could be addressed, in part, through asking CoTech members about their stance, and reasons for it? I can imagine several reasons for lack of engagement in any particular proposal, including that given by @chrislowis above. For my part, yes, I did put in a late comment (which I hope counted in your tally of participation) but this was only because I had the time to do it. Often, if there are controversial or confusing issues in a proposal which are hard to get one's head round quickly, people (including me) with not enough time to investigate may be deterred from participation.

Maybe we need (or indeed Loomio needs?) another category of response? One quite close in spirit to "tl;dr" but rather meaning "too complex, too tricky, didn't vote", and the proposers can be prompted towards more reflection, and then bringing in a less tricky proposal. In this case, for example, we could have a discussion first on whether membership of this kind of group is the best way forward, or some other approach would be better.

FWIW, I was inclined to support the block of @harryrobbins -- and may I stress, I support DigLife actively -- simply because I am not convinced that membership is the most appropriate way to express a co-operative relationship.

Another thought is that, when we come across an issue that needs careful investigation and thought, we ask a small team of volunteers to spend some time considering and reporting. Is that part of people's idea of governance? I'll go now and check if we have a suitable thread to discuss this further.

G

Graham Wed 28 Feb 2018

All good points @asimong. DigLife chose to apply for CoTech membership becuase that was what was on offer, and on the face of it it appeared that it was eligible to do so. And of course people can be put off by lengthy or potentially confusing exchanges as they can by other things. However the point about low turnout is not specific to this one application, it looks ot be much broader, hence my concern.

SG

Simon Grant Wed 28 Feb 2018

Yes, thanks @graham2 -- low turnout is an ongoing puzzle in my cohousing community, too. There have been differing interpretations expressed about its significance. To me, a good turnout is when all or most of the people directly affected by a decision participate in the process. Does that mean that people are not taking membership decisions seriously enough, in that they don't believe it will affect them?

We could continue that part of this discussion here, with maybe wider issues on a new thread if you or anyone is up for that.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Wed 28 Feb 2018

@chrislowis - sorry the process felt toxic! I was hoping you were going to wade in so that I didn't have to :) - for what it's worth, the people I've spoken to at Digital Life Collective seem fine with our decision, and pleased that Outlandish has joined them.

@graham2 - for me the measure of governance is largely whether the right decisions are being taken in an effective manner. It seems that no-one is strongly against any of the decisions taken to date. In terms of turnout, we only need one disagree or block so more turnout wouldn't have ended up with a different decision, though I agree more engagement is generally good.

RE: the need for transparency - personally I feel we are doing ok here. We have a transparent process whereby people apply and the existing members vote (publicly) about whether they fit their interpretation of eligibility. If they don't think they fit, they provide a reason as to why with reference to the constitution and other governing documents. What's happened is completely transparent - Outlandish does not think DLC meet the membership criteria, several others seem to broadly agree, and DLC themselves are clear that they are different from the current CoTech members. I feel there is a high degree of transparency, but I agree there is not enough clarity and that we should improve the documentation.

HR

Poll Created Mon 5 Mar 2018

Allow Atomised Co-op to join CoTech Closed Tue 13 Mar 2018

Atomised (http://www.atomised.coop/) are a worker co-op that make websites and similar based in Scotland. They are known to Media Co-op and Graphics co-op (who they introduced to the network)

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 7 SWS G HR SG RB CLF CBF
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 98 JA AHC FL ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK CCC KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD FT CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN DS SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM GM MS N"A EB AC NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU J ALP CAD AC LD DU JLD H S LA AC

7 of 105 people have voted (6%)

SG

Simon Grant
Agree
Thu 8 Mar 2018

what's not to like?

KWO

Poll Created Fri 13 Apr 2018

Allow Secure Active coop to join CoTech Closed Fri 20 Apr 2018

Secure Active meet the criteria of membership to CoTech. I think they'd be a great addition to our network. Please see attached for the coop articles. (And hi everyone!)

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 6 G SG KWO CR SH IN
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 100 JA SWS AHC FL ER MP HR SG AM RW M M KB MK CCC KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD FT CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SC EO AV JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN DS SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM CLF GM MS N"A EB AC NS NS LMH JN PE AT A DU J ALP CAD AC LD DU JLD CBF H S LA AC

6 of 106 people have voted (5%)

KWO

Kayleigh Walsh Outlandish
Agree
Fri 13 Apr 2018

We'd love to see Secure Active join CoTech

HR

Poll Created Mon 16 Apr 2018

Allow Just Co-op to join CoTech Closed Mon 30 Apr 2018

Outcome
by Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 30 Apr 2018

I've spoken to Simon from Just Co-op and he agrees with Go Free Range that it's not appropriate for them to join, since they are net consumers of tech services. They'll develop a different collaborative relationship with CoTech.

Just Co-op is an early stage co-op with an ambitious plan to create a platform co-operative to transform society and the economy.

From founder member Simon Carter:

Frankly my primary challenge is how to find help for Mat as his progress is at a glacial pace. He's in demand. I'm lucky if I get a couple of hours a week out of him. Meanwhile I think about Just Coop all day long, but I'm not the one with the skill set needed right now. The net result is frustration, but that I guess goes with the territory when no equity is on offer for investment & the idea, like many fledgling platform coops is untried & untested.

What really needs to happen is to build the team of founders. I'd love to establish an 'Outlandish clone' in this part of the world. Even better I would build a sales network across the UK to promote CoTech, where some existing members join Just Coop to work ongoing on the website, but then you all want paying upfront don't you?. It's a bit of a vicious circle right now.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

just to expand the idea, I would add for example a hybrid estate agency to the platform, like Purple Bricks, but a coop. We would recruit agents in every town, but they would commit to the same flat wage, all surplus profit invested back into the community. Everything would be transparent. Would you use such an agent?. I'd also love to add a network of solicitors as a coop, like this American version that you may well be familiar with http://www.theselc.org/ No platform coop to my knowledge thus far combines digital with real world on the ground face to face interaction, where every worker shares a vision of sharing assets as commons.

All the time the idea is to use capitalism to create profit to invest in 'buying' a post capitalist commons based economy. The starting point, the first income stream is intended to be a local business directory linked to a local currency as explained on the website http://www.just.coop/pages/vision/#plan where businesses pay for a premium business listing with enhanced features. We could then have a level above that to compete as a coop with Check A Trade & Trusted Traders.

Across time the idea is a cooperative to 'compete' in every for profit sector, all under what by then would be Just Cooperate as an umbrella organisation.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 0.0% 0  
Abstain 50.0% 1 AC
Disagree 50.0% 1 JMF
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 105 JA SWS AHC FL G ER MP HR SG AM RW M M KB MK CCC KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD FT CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SG SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR RP LL J KD LS INM N VN DS SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM CLF GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU J ALP CAD AC LD DU JLD CBF H S LA AC IN J

2 of 107 people have voted (1%)

JMF

James Mead (Go Free Range)
Abstain
Wed 18 Apr 2018

It's not obvious there's enough information in the proposal to make an informed decision.

JMF

James Mead (Go Free Range)
Disagree
Thu 19 Apr 2018

It's not obvious to us that Just Co-op meet the "provide tech/digital services" membership criteria. Please let us know if we've misunderstood something.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Mon 16 Apr 2018

Just added another application from Just Co-op that we received a while ago. I'm not entirely clear that they meet the definition of "selling tech services" - they seem to be net consumers, though one of their members is a developer and they aspire to selling tech services in one way.

CLF

Poll Created Wed 18 Apr 2018

Allow United Diversity to join CoTech Closed Wed 25 Apr 2018

Outcome
by Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Mon 30 Apr 2018

There were no objections to this proposal so I'm happy to confirm that UnitedDiversity LLP have joined CoTech. I'll be in touch with them to get them set up on various systems.

Josef Davies-Coates of United Diversity says:

> United Diversity has plans to be much more than a tech-coop, but that is mostly what it's been during it's history. But yeah, we meet your criteria.
>
> We're basically a worker co-op of two registered as an LLP (really more like two individiual freelancers who co-operate on doing their accounts together! Don't really actually work together very often!).
>
> We also have another dormant Co-operative Society registered (which we actually plan to convert to a Community Benefit Society), but that is for the bigger create a whole new social, political and economic system plan! :P
>
> But yeah, historically (and presently too to a slightly less degree at present) UnitedDiversity LLP is basically a tech co-op. I've made loads of WordPress website for people like Co-operatives London, Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency, en10ergy co-op, Rural Urban Synthesis Society CLT, etc etc. Yonks ago we did other techy things like making a load of CD-Roms for New Economics Foundation etc too. I've also done a fair bit of social media and general tech consultant type stuff over the years. The other member Tom Salfield is a proper software developer coder and has done loads of hard core work. At present I'm mostly busy working as the National Organiser for the Campaign or Press and Broadcasting Freedom (including making their WordPress site and doing all their social media - it is basically just me doing everything!) and Tom is CEO of WikiFactory http://wikifactory.com/ (who've some big plans to be a bit like a GitHub for makers) which as you can imagine keeps him pretty busy, but he still does some other tech work through UnitedDiversity LLP too :)
>
> More about me here: https://josef.is (you'll see I also co-founded The Open Co-op and co-produced last years' Open2017: Platform Co-operatives conference).

I believe they meet the criteria as set out in our constitution:

  • agree with and practise the 7 Co-operative Principles,
  • be owned and democratically run by its workers,
  • provide tech/digital services.
  • be based in or have significant ties to the UK

and propose they be admitted to CoTech.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 87.5% 7 G HR CCC SG CLF AC IN
Abstain 12.5% 1 AC
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 99 JA SWS AHC FL ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD FT CB IP SBH DS MJS SF DU SB SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN DS SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU J ALP CAD AC LD DU JLD CBF H S LA J

8 of 107 people have voted (7%)

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range)
Agree
Wed 18 Apr 2018

On behalf of Go Free Range.

G

Graham
Agree
Wed 18 Apr 2018

I think Josef and United Diversity (of which I've beena fan for some years) will make a great addition to CoTech.

AC

Autonomic Co-operative
Agree
Tue 24 Apr 2018

Sounds good :slight_smile:

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Wed 18 Apr 2018

@jamesmead I've added more info from Simon to the Just Co-op membership proposal. Let me know your thoughts.

SG

Simon Grant Thu 19 Apr 2018

I'd like more discussion on Just Co-op before "voting". Also what would happen when if we didn't agree to admit them? I would have thought we should have some process to continue engagement, to work out if changes would bring others into agreement, and volunteers to work with them towards fulfilling those conditions.

My personal concern in their case is about the governance. The distinction between the "board" and the membership typically may start off as academic, if the board consists of all the people there are. But if the organisation grows, there is to my mind a vast difference between an organisation where the board effectively makes all the decisions and the members vote people on to the board every year or so, and an organisation where some form of consensus / consent is sought for decisions that affect everyone. The first form does have its place and uses. But the second seems to me to be much more compatible with commons values, with worker co-ops rather than consumer co-ops. If we have commons values in mind, we want all commoners to be co-defenders of the commons, and all to feel they have an equally significant stake.

It's partly discussing issues like this which I would have thought helps to give us more clarity about what our values are, what kind of organisations will fit well .

CLF

Poll Created Thu 28 Jun 2018

Approve Creative.Coop's application to join CoTech Closed Thu 5 Jul 2018

Outcome
by Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Fri 6 Jul 2018

This proposal has passed and it will be my pleasure to welcome Creative.Coop to CoTech on everyone's behalf.

Thanks!

Chris

Creative Coop (https://creative.coop/) have applied to join CoTech.

Alan Peart, their technical director, says:

> We've read the rules and it all looks fine. We meet your eligibility criteria and we agree to our responsibilities. We're a
consortium co-operative composed of individuals, we provide tech services, we follow the co-operative principles and we're UK-based along with the vast majority of our clients.

Alan spoke to Harry at congress and also clarified that Create are a worker coop as all the consortium members are individuals working in the coop.

As they meet all our criteria and would like to join I propose that we vote to to approve their application.

As per our decision making rules I've set a time limit of 1 week on this proposal. Please state which co-op you are voting on behalf of when you do so.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 12 JD AHC G HR CCC SBH SG FLC CLF ALP IN J
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 97 JA SWS FL ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD FT CB IP DS MJS SF DU SB SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD AC CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN DS SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM GM MS N"A EB AC NS NS LMH JN SH PE AT A DU J CAD AC LD DU JLD CBF H S LA AC P

12 of 109 people have voted (11%)

CLF

Chris Lowis (Go Free Range)
Agree
Thu 28 Jun 2018

(on behalf of Go Free Range) it'd be great to have Creative on board.

G

Graham
Agree
Thu 28 Jun 2018

Happy to agree on this, although I have to say I find it weird that an organisation that appears to want to be seen as worker co-op chooses a legal form that veers form that.

JD

Josef Davies-Coates
Agree
Fri 29 Jun 2018

Very glad my prodding of one of their members finally led to them to apply :P

IN

Ippy Netuxo
Agree
Fri 29 Jun 2018

I'm trusting the comments of Alan, Harry and Chris here as there is no public info about structure on Create's website. As they also have a .coop though (requires status) I'm sure its all good :)

AP

Alan Peart Sat 30 Jun 2018

Hi all, thanks for the comments! Just wanted to respond re: our website. We've been sadly lax about our own website and only recently managed to commit enough time to move it past "holding page" status. We will definitely be adding a page in the very near future, about co-operatives in general, and our structure and why and how we operate as a co-op in particular.

JD

Josef Davies-Coates Wed 4 Jul 2018

That's great to hear @alanpeart looks forward to reading :)

@graham2 said re Creative.coop:

Happy to agree on this, although I have to say I find it weird that an organisation that appears to want to be seen as worker co-op chooses a legal form that veers form that.

What do you mean? Outlandish, for example, are a Consortium Co-op too, no?

G

Graham Wed 4 Jul 2018

What I mean is that in my view a consortium co-op model is designed to enable organisations to be members. A worker co-op model is designed to have employees as members. I can see that one could squeeze a worker co-op into a set of consortium rules, but its not tidy.

HR

Harry "Outlandish" Robbins Thu 5 Jul 2018

As @jdaviescoates says, Outlandish chose the Consortium rules over the Worker Co-op rules (with advice from @sionwhellens). We felt they were more flexible and had few disadvantages. For example, at some point in the far future Outlandish itself might wish to become a federation of local and/or service-based co-ops (e.g. Outlandish Scotland / Outlandish Events). We have no plans for that, but it seemed silly to make it impossible, especially as we are in the process of converting from being an LLP, which we found too restrictive.

CLF

Poll Created Fri 6 Jul 2018

Approve Sleuth's application to join CoTech Closed Fri 13 Jul 2018

Outcome
by Chris Lowis (Go Free Range) Fri 20 Jul 2018

Thank you for participating everyone. It is with great pleasure that I am able to welcome Sleuth to CoTech. I'll help them get orientated and set up with everything they need.

Sleuth are a technology coop currently offering consulting and master data management services.

Eleanor Nichols of Sleuth says:

> We were part of the Hive Coop mentorship programme, and our mentor Sion Whellens advised we become part of the CoTech network.

Eleanor has read and confirmed that Sleuth are eligible to join under the rules of our constitution and has shared that constitution with Sleuth's members.

On that basis I propose that we approve Sleuth's application to join CoTech.

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 11 G HR CCC FT SBH SG CLF AC PE ALP P
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 98 JA JD SWS AHC FL ER MP SG AM RW M M KB MK KB PB JT AW CL JC SF BW TD CB IP DS MJS SF DU SB SC EO AV KWO JBA O AW JD THA TC RB OW LH DB SW ES MS RRD FLC AC CR JMF RP LL J KD LS INM N VN DS SP DU TD DU JTW AP OS BP TM JS BR EM GM MS N"A EB NS NS LMH JN SH AT A DU J CAD AC LD DU JLD CBF H S LA AC IN J

11 of 109 people have voted (10%)

ALP

Annie Legge (Dot Project)
Agree
Fri 6 Jul 2018

Look great!

FT

Fabian Tompsett
Agree
Sat 7 Jul 2018

Agree

P

PollyRobbinsOutlandish
Agree
Mon 9 Jul 2018

Sleuth have already been advocating for CoTech via their use of/participation in Space4 activities.