Evolution #1 - meet.coop mission. Review

It’s super important to go back to original intention of meet. coop. @otisyves and @gcotnoir both were stressing this in the recent WebTV/meet. coop meeting. Here we discuss the mission and any need to revise it.

In the meeting March 15, the original intention of meet. coop was described this way:

  • to provision a big tech platform alternative to Zoom etc. The plan is, to migrate this to WebTV; plus
  • wide awareness among users of the politics that this implies, and cultivation of capabilities to operate powerfully within different institutional & operational forms (solidarity economy, cooperation, federating of coops, infrastructure in the commons, etc). This broadly is a Community circle function, cultivated in commons.hour; also within the Board of Stewards (Org circle). How much of Community circle (maybe also Org circle) is needed to sustain this element of the intention? To be explored.

This description broadly summarises the mission and vision held in the meet. coop 2022 Business Plan. See the next post for this in detail.

Mission and vision : Here are clips from the meet. coop 2022 Business Plan. This will need to be evolved as a framework for meet. coop v2.0, in partnership with WebTV.

Block quotes indicate 2022 text, other text indicates possible evolution. There’s a mission statement and a vision with three dimensions. It may not be possible or sensible to maintain all aspects of the vision - for the Board of Stewards to decide.


Our mission is to grow a sustainable cooperative business providing online meeting and collaboration spaces, paying a fair wage and using surplus income to support development of the commons.

In meet.coop 2.0:

  • A sustainable cooperative business providing online meeting and collaboration spaces - To be achieved through:
    • migrating platform operations (Tech circle) to WebTV (sysadmin); and
    • migrating routine membership relations (Product circle operations role) to WebTV (thro a front-end membership administrator).
  • Paying a fair wage - To be achieved by growing membership subscriptions for the migrated service (Product circle development role). Thro front-end membership administrator and meet.coop Board of Stewards outreach.
  • Using surplus income to support development of the commons of digital means - To be achieved by maintaining some activities of Org circle (meet.coop Board of Stewards, meet.coop strategy) and Community circle (commons.hour, commons.hour specials, dialogues across sectors of meet.coop membership). Probably not on the basis of very much paid work, in the short term. Thus, depending on gift work, largely by members of the Board of Stewards. The Board becomes pivotal in this aspect of meet.coop mission

Vision - The platforming dimension

We work for people and organisations who are sensitive to the social relations of the online services they use, and want to see the digital infrastructures that they now depend on collectively pooled and governed, in an ethical way. We furnish online spaces (video meeting spaces, but also for example an online forum) that are protective of privacy, safe, friendly and reliable. Through members’ feedback and deliberation in our peer-to-peer media we identify significant fixes and features that are needed to enable fluent everyday use in various circumstances and on various devices, and we pool resources to make them happen. Our platform spaces are held as commons where a fair use policy operates.

  • To be achieved through migrating platform operations (Tech circle) to WebTV, establishing a solid helpdesk function at WebTV (a ticketing system), and maintaining the meet. coop Discourse Forum.
  • This do-able.

Vision - The infrastructuring dimension

We have a strategy of federating across a whole range of provisions in libre software, the coop- commons economy and liberatory movements in civil society, across regions, across continents, across generations. We build upon existing free-libre software and contribute in that same vein in an open development process, enabling others to use both the toolstack that we evolve and also (via a handbook) the organisational and strategic know-how that we cultivate. All of this is infrastructure.

Collectives in different regions are parts of cross-regional alliances for development in the cooperative commons. They provision their regional node with the needed infrastructure, renewable energy sources and capable contributors, drawing on and contributing to the resources of the meet.coop commons. We are committed to gaining a fair wage for operational members to sustain both their livelihood and our common means of peer-to-peer organising.

  • To be achieved - how? More to add here. A strategy of federating in the provisioning of digital infrastructure.
  • Is this too ambitious?

Vision - The conversations dimension

Members bring in their capability and their needs and help each other out in the commons, based in solidarity, love, fun and learning, and facilitated by venues that we organise (like commons.hour) in service to deepening the organising capability and synergy of our members’ diverse communities.

We hold a sense of the plurality and intersectionality of our community. At the same time we also recognise (and act to repair) how much of our practice arises from colonial domination, supremacies of various kinds and an extractive regime of economy and enclosure.

We aim to support our member communities in moving beyond the fragments and creating deeper and wider capability for radical transformation. Our community speaks many languages and our spaces and services are multilingual by design.

  • To be achieved - how? Some continuity of the Board of Stewards and Community circle activities (commons.hour?).
  • Servers in multiple regions - see infrastructuring dimension above.
  • Is this over ambitious?

Reflecting on what meet. coop attempts to do, and what should continue to be attempted, brings a focus on various principles. We review them in a linked document. Principles becoming highlighted under two headings.

  1. Basic inspirations or tendencies
  • Platform - Sustainably hosting a libre software toolstack(s, plural).
  • Community - Engaging plural, diverse communities of organiser-activists, in service to their commitments.
  • Infrastructuring thro federating - Holding distributed, diverse digital means under (multistakeholder) commons stewardship.
    These three principles map into the three elements of vision, in the preceding post.
  1. Particular principles, emerging
    More detailed focus, breaking out from the above three.
  • Libre software toolstack(s, plural)
  • Plural, diverse communities of organiser-activists, to be served
  • Commons stewardship
  • Formación and design justice (inclusive, fair, transparent, caring)
  • Coop-to-coop federating
  • Cross-regional, cross-sectoral user-membership
  • Plural language communities
  • Contribution economy, relationships between contributors
  • Paid work of provisioning
  • Protocols

Also we look at the relationship between these ‘tactical’ and emergent principles in the field of infrastructure commoning, and the established, respected, ‘institutional’ framework of coop principles, and an adapted version of this for distributed cooperative organising: DisCO.

  • Seven coop principles
  • DisCO principles
  • Digital infrastructuring principles