CoTech Fund proposals - year 2
In this thread we can post proposals for spending resources from CoTech Fund. It aims to cover the second year of its operations.
Animorph Co-op started a proposal Fri 24 Jul
CoTech Hubl - set up an instance on Happy Dev server at a cost of £105 for deployment labour Closed Mon 3 Aug
Many thanks to everyone who voted and/or participated in honing the proposal, a truly brilliant teamwork across many co-ops!
Calum from Code-Operative is coordinating the deployment, said that £105 could be reused for other purpose.
Jean-Baptiste from Happy Dev are going to install Hubl by the end of the week.
Chris from WebArchitects has already added DNS records so we will be able to access the service via hubl.coops.tech.
Elie from Happy Dev will set up the necessary data on the server and user accounts.
Calum, Polly from Outlandish and Szczepan from Animorph will lead on user onboarding and arrange the first community engagement meeting.
As mentioned in the proposal, timeframe for trialling Hubl is 6 months (1st August 2020 - 31st January 2021) so we will report back to the community in February 2021.
Proposal edited on the 30th of July to reflect the discussion points and changing circumstances; deadline has been extended until Monday, 3rd of August 6pm.
This proposal originates back to (at least) Space4 Hack in November 2018 when a working group focused on mapping skills at CoTech in order to facilitate more effective co-operation between CoTech members. Happy Dev were present at that gathering and engaged with the discussion by presenting their internal tool for connecting workers.
This year, at June's Circle Call, attendees endorsed rolling out a Startin'blox implementation. In April we tried to reconnect with the thread started last year when CoTech planned planned on setting up our instance of the system used by Happy Dev.
Before the call in June Alex from Happy Dev introduced everyone to the current state of their front-end implementation of Startin'blox, which is called Hubl. Attendees of the call agreed Hubl would benefit our network by streamlining sharing skills and jobs between member co-ops as well as between members of the co-ops.
What is Hubl?
Hubl, the front-end implementation of Startin'blox, has 3 features out of the box:
A big advantage of setting up our system is that we can modify and extend it. However, given that more features will be added to Hubl in due course, there is no need for us to proactively develop them, though we could contribute to the code base on specific issues.
A powerful long-term benefit lies in federating our instance with Happy Dev's and with other networks considering deploying Startlin'blox/Hubl (like FACTTIC). There might also be instances of Hubl in other sectors (such as housing), which would give us access to new markets.
We set up an instance of Hubl on their server infrastructure (thanks, HappyDev!) at a cost of £105 for deployment labour (Calum, Code Operative).
As part of this proposal, a working group (of volunteers) will be set up to encourage uptake and use, gather feedback from the network and evaluate the success of this new system. If this process identifies clear needs that the system is not fulfilling, then they will make a new proposal to the fund to enable a developer to make improvements.
The working group will publish a summary of the pilot towards the end of Q4 on our community forum and then decide on Loomio whether to continue hosting Hubl.
Members of the working group already include Polly (Outlandish), Szczepan (Animorph) and Calum (Code Operative) and this group is open to new joiners from CoTech.
Timeframe: 6 months (1st August 2020 - 31st January 2021)
This will be finalised by the members of the working group, but current thinking is:
how many people are using it:
50 workers from 10 co-ops after 6 months.
how many members benefited from using it:
directly: skills/jobs successfully circulated - 5 per quarter starting from Q4, so 10 after 6 months.
indirectly: usefulness of features - survey registered CoTech Hubl users in January 2021. 75% members would need to express positive opinions.
How adaptable the technology is to our needs
At least one contribution to the Startin’Blox codebase from a CoTech member to support the development of the technology
CoTech does not have a system for sharing skills in the network, though it is possible to advertise jobs on the community forum. Our internal skill mapping process has never been finalised, I believe it is because there was never a functional output to that work beyond a spreadsheet (it was a good one though). Due to its forum nature, Discourse is not suitable for this purpose.
The only skill sharing in the network occurs between people who already know each other, which is not very inclusive. On our join page we list the benefits of joining the network, but most of them hold true for just a handful of co-ops. Of course, the more you contribute to the network the more you can benefit, but rolling out Hubl would give all members more equal opportunities. Over time we would generate a ledger of work opportunities and co-ops involved, useful data to study.
With Hubl we could streamline the process of sharing jobs (between co-ops & individuals within them) and chatting to each other real-time (many member co-ops boycott Slack due to its proprietary license) to share knowledge and memes. I personally see Discourse forum as a largely outreach platform, while Hubl could be our internal system.
Hubl could also be very useful in coordinating efforts, for instance if we decide to run (online?) gathering later in the year.
|Consent - 9|
|Abstain - 1|
|Objection - 0|
Sion Whellens (Principle Six/Calverts)
Fri 24 Jul
Flying a kite, I am thinking about whether and how Solidfund and CoTech might share purposes/collaborate/share admin tasks in the future. They are the two main active worker coop networks in the UK, overlapping with each other in terms of membership, and also overlapping with Coops UK’s worker coop membership. Quite a few of us are paying into the 3 networks and I think it’s time to step back and see if we can raise our organising game.
Chris Lowis (Go Free Range)
Fri 24 Jul
Thanks for taking the time to turn this into a proposal. I have a few clarifying questions which I'm going to attach to an "objection" so that this doesn't pass just because the time elapses. But I don't object to the idea in principle! I'll add my questions to a comment below.