Session#3 - Discussion

The structure and the struggle - Viable coop organisation and contributions to transition in society

This is a thread for discussion related to Session#3 of commons.hour.

Post-meeting links (including video recording and shared notes) are be posted below. Take-home points still to come - watch this space.

For the original session announcement see: Sign-up - commons.hour - session#3 - #2

Meanwhile . . An hour in a video meeting isn’t going to tap all the dimensions!! Do please get started below, on the big issues underlying this month’s session :+1:

Post-meeting links & resources

Background notes for the session: Spaces stewarded as commons - handbook trial

Full-feature video playback. Play in Firefox or Chrome on a laptop. Includes text chat w clickable links, slide indexing, whiteboard annotations, video thumbnails, toggle between slide and thumbnail focus.
Reduced mp4 download Slides & audio only - no whiteboard annotations, no video thumbnails, no text chat

Shared notes Nextcloud
Slide deck - Not yet available
Text chat Nextcloud
All these are in the session#3 folder in commons.hour public

Handbook take-home points - xxx To be added below. For now, see shared notes above

@operational_members One of the core questions arising in this discussion was the possible need for an elected board (council, moot, etc) in, with membership drawn from both operational and user members (latter in a majority?). How does this feel? Is this essential in moving from a workers’ coop to a multistakeholder coop form?

Such a Board might in effect be a Community circle, which right now only exists nominally (= @wouter @mikemh). But this would be kind-of different from the three existing circles, in composition, size and activities? Might this bend the sociocratic circle-system out of shape, or could it be a neat solution?

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A second thing to consider from the conversation with MayFirst is how the focus is divided up, at what would recognise as the Circle level. has three circles: Tech (the platform), Org (internal processes including ‘livelihood’ payments to Ops members, and working tools) and Product (user account-focused stuff including members’ subscriptions). There are no User members in any of the circles, and no formal venue for User-members to contribute in framing of strategy, division of resources or prioritising (and performing) of work.

MayFirst has two ‘programme teams’: Engagement & communication and Tech infrastructure & services. Both teams comprise a mix of (unpaid) user members (from the elected Board) and (paid) staff members. Thus, in MayFirst, all the pieces of organisation at the circle level contain a mix of ‘Ops’ and ‘User’ members. MayFirst has many more elected (unpaid) Board members than Staff (= ‘ops’) members.

Would that kind of mix interfere with the working practice of circles as we have come to know it? Or would it helpfully extend the focus of circles, out from the internal concerns of the coop (tech provisioning, revenue, division of revenue, etc) to embrace needs of users more fully too?

Would the answer to that be different, for different circles: Tech, Org, Product?

This seems to be a dual question: balance of contribution on one hand, balance of attention on the other?

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interesting idea - but I think before I can answer I would need to know what the purpose, remit and responsibilities of the Board would be? Are those things which have been discussed / defined…? Once they have we could explore how the board should be formed and operate etc… but that seems secondary to defining the purpose etc

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Ongoing, via - commons.hour, the drafting of a handbook and, eventually, writing a Constitution. A live discussion that needs to resolved within coming months (a year, is my guess) as gets incorporated and has its first General assembly. Essential, of course, that Ops members are in this alongside and in dialogue with User members!

Regarding a ‘board’ - my hunch is, this occupies the place that we’ve designated as a ‘Community circle’ tbd. But its composition, protocols, contributions, obligations, etc differ from existing Ops circles? All under discussion . .

Hello guys! I’m glad to join your community!

Glad to see you here @fowlermattie thanks. Looking forward to you joining us in commons.hour sessions - and any aspect here in the forum.