(originally posted in the We Are Open Co-op publication)
Yesterday, yours truly and the rest of the We Are Open Co-op crew hung out online for our monthly co-op day. We use these days to work together on the evolution of the co-op. And what a day it was yesterday! I facilitated with precision timing ;) and tried to reign in the conversation when the clock was up. Bryan tortured me with frequent reminders of a certain terrifying item under his desk. Doug, completely uncharacteristically, suggested using badges for stuff. And John talked about how all the things relate and the cosmic network. We pushed each other to get stuff done, and ended up having some brilliant insights.
What did we do? First, we decided on the dates and times for our next two co-op days. We’ll meet up virtually in April, and then in May we’ll be in London for our 6-monthly, in-person meet up. Once again, we’ll be inviting YOU to come hang out with us one evening, probably May 24th, but we’ll get an invite together SOON. This meet-up is an informal event (at a co-op owned pub) where we hang out and talk about the co-operative model, open practices and whatever crazy topics emerge. Last time some guys from Raspberry Pi tried to drink us under the table. They lost, but we’ll invite them to a rematch.
After we decided that we would, indeed, invite people to come hangout at a pub in May, we had some business development stuff to talk about. We do client work, but we also do work that we ask people and organizations to sponsor. We talked a bit about how we might make sure our various products and offerings are tied together in a way that creates an evergreen portfolio for the We Are Open Co-op. Call it triangulation, call it packaging, call it whatever you like — the point is, our digital literacies and community work, our technical infrastructures and research work — all ties together.
We talked about sprucing up Badge Bootcamp, our free email course on badges, and we decided to move forward on a similar email course on Privacy. It kinda seems like an opportune time. We also talked about working on an MVP for Why Co-ops? — as part of the international co-op principles, we commit to providing our peers with information about the structure and benefits of a ‘co-op’.
After that, we got meta. We talked about how much we love our co-op. We all want to do more work through the co-op (because when we work together we feel like superheroes).
Next, we did a ‘persona’ exercise to try to understand why people might want to join us at the We Are Open Co-op. We had a long discussion about membership benefits and pathways, an on-going consideration. We want the co-op to grow and because our very structure demands solidarity, we need to revisit our thoughts on governance from time to time. We sort of said that we exist to battle the cold sweat of freelancers and to create a space for solidarity and camaraderie with other people in the same boat as us. We also talked about the fact that we’re a worker-owned co-op, not a capitalist organization. We need to work on documenting these discussions in a way that isn’t so scatter-brained.
Finally, we decided to do a monthly community call called Visual Drinkery. On some Friday each month, we’ll hang around online and you can join us. Bring a beer. Let’s draw stuff and chat. The first Visual Drinkery is TOMORROW at 4pm CET in this snazzy hangout room. Join us!