In Evolution 1 - Find a new home federating has emerged as a possible medium-term strategy, once the meet.coop BBB instance (and hopefully the mebership community too) has a new coop home. This thread is for exploring this.

Various kinds of stuff could be federated within a total ‘stack of commons’, from servers (or even network) or sysadmin work contributions (in the back end), thro the member-relations front-end (and maybe Single Sign On to multiple independent platforms), to community outreach, news and education/formación, across regions or across language communities. No need for federating at every level of the stack? Part of the difficulty meet. coop got into has been aiming to work at all levels. Maybe different coops can specialise and federate within the stack?

The topic of federation has come up earlier here here and here. I made a presentation on this, here is the playback Playback.

This suggests that four areas of focus - corresponding to the four operational Circles of meet. coop - might be adopted as operational domains for four different kinds of coops (or federations of coops), as in the schema below, from the presentation slide deck Nextcloud. There might be federating both within any area (eg back-end platform provision #2, multi-language multi-region front-end member relations #1) and across areas (eg SIngle Sign On, a common federal/libre/anti-GAFAM ‘brand’ across multiple independent platforms) . The ecosystem could be a bit complex! The governance of a federation #4 would be pivotal, including protocols for political economy (fairness) and care work (inclusiveness, solidarity).

From my perspective, I think circle 4 encapsolates all of May Firrst. Our mission is to build the movement for global liberation through strategic use of technology. It doesn’t say anything about being a coop, being a member organization or even building technology services. In other words, we could be widly successful as a tech coop, triple our membership, and build out all kinds of cool services and still fail to realize our mission if we are not doing these things in a way that engages the movement.

Toward that end, we’ve spent a lot of time recently trying to walk-back the division between “tech work” and “movement work” and instead embrace the fact that our tech work, when done right, is movement work. Although it’s not explicit in our mission, we have made a strategic decision that being a coop, using free software, and pursuing a demoractic membership organization is the most effective way to build our movement for global liberation and integrating these elements is key.

Is this a problem in terms of federation with other coops? In some cases it might be - I think with many coops, business success is the overriding goal and movement building might be secondary or might be very important to the individuals involved, but not necessarily a part of the organizational mission. That doesn’t preclude collaboration, joining each others networks, picking projects to work on together, but depending on your definition of federation it might make it difficult to commit to a more involved or meaningful relationship.


The broad issue of federating will be under the microscope in an upcoming commons.hour: Evolution #2 - Infrastructuring through federating The question: just how much federating can meet. oop aspire to do? And federating… of what, exactly? Part of a review of mission & vision.