What triggered the present course of action?
This is a complex story, here is one take. Others, below? See also Evolution of meet.coop - Background and framework.
Migrating our platform operations and evolving the mission and governance framework of meet.coop is triggered partly and most immediately by the response of the person who was appointed last November as Marketing and Product Circle lead. They found themselves faced with a bunch of weaknesses in operations and culture (my precis - this is how I recognise the tangle @mikemh):
- On one hand, too much hard-to-learn informality : under-developed documentation and protocol, unclear navigation of documentation across NextCloud and the Forum, over-optimistic over-commitment, too much hacking (driven both by sweat equity - work hours being not fully paid - and by free-code ‘agile’ culture);
- On the other hand, failures of care work and attention: opportunism or do-ocracy, with patchy or casual inclusiveness (towards newcomers? towards non-geeks? towards women?) and failures to communicate sufficiently or efficiently across the operational circles and across individuals’ perspectives, resulting in un-addressed differentials of power and blind spots within the operational team.
Hard to summarise in two paragraphs! You could write a book! In any coop?
The incoming Product circle lead was unwilling to struggle with these AND develop a marketing strategic initiative, on one day of paid hours per week, and resigned in December. A wise move, I would say! We were spreading way too thin, and the way the new Circle Lead experienced this sweat equity syndrome was the trigger for finally accepting the fact of being way too thin, and for regrouping. Or as we say, evolving @evolution . . . in a way that needs to escape the sweat equity trap aka
no time to take enough care.
We now are looking at a reframing of the nature and mission of meet .coop v2.0, and a migration of (some) operations to another, more established coop. This seems to look like some kind of federated relationship with WebTV in Montreal.
But meet. coop has been federal all along - Hypha, femProcomuns, Koumbit, Free Knowledge Institute, Autonomic, Collocall, Webarchitects, etc. And we seem to take the value of federation as being somehow basic to the project, rather than being ‘just’ a stand-alone workers’ coop engaged in projects and contracts (which is perhaps the norm in the sphere of tech coops and platform coops?). So what’s the nature of the shift, in federated practice and commitment?
Is it to be more formal and explicit now, with clearer protocols and maybe (for the first time) some written agreements or Memoranda? Does it hinge now also on a Board, and more explicit and fullt developed multistakeholder governance practice across the diverse community of all member-contributors, rather than on (sociocratic, decentralised, sometimes informal) decisions by underpaid workers in what is operating pretty much like ‘just’ AN Other libre software workers’ coop?
This definitely prompts for deeper clarity and greater practicality in mission and vision and principles. Evolution #1 - meet.coop mission. Review. Will the Board step up for this? @Stewards