As many here will be aware, there have been a lot of layoffs in the tech sector recently. A few of us met last Friday to think about how we might be able to steer some of those workers into forming co-ops.

This MVP site is the result of a CoTech collaboration and is ready to share with your networks. Depending on demand we’ll build it out, and potentially seek funding.

There are five people, including me, who have volunteered to take these sessions. We’re co-ordinating via a chat channel on the CoTech Community forum.


This is great let me know how I can sign-up to the rota. This looks like a similar idea to what we plan to do with out “Co-op Clinc”

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Hey John, I need to figure out why I can’t add you to the chat on the CoTech forum where we’re coordinating. I think it’s probably because, as you said, you’re not a member of a CoTech org and there’s settings of which I’m unaware…

@AthertonJohn couldn’t join the chat because on chat was only available to the Members group, ie people in CoTech co-ops, I have now added the Sisters to the groups that can access chat, this is a group we have for “co-ops that are not CoTech members”, see this thread, so John should be able to join now.

Would it be possible to create something like this for but using Nextcloud as the back-end rather than Google?

Thanks Chris. I appreciate your constant push towards Open Source software and it’s definitely something to consider once we’ve proved this is a useful service. Five people booked in already, so looking good!

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:wave: Just giving a quick update based on the conversations we’ve having and the discussion we’re having in a backchannel on the CoTech forum:


The MVP approach we’re currently taking is:

  1. Interested party comes across link via social media, etc.
  2. They book a session via the link on the page (currently powered by Doug’s Google Calendar appointment slot)
  3. Doug adds details to a spreadsheet and either takes the booking himself, or asks in the CoTech forum backchannel for someone else to do so
  4. Confirmation sent to to interested party with video conference link
  5. Meeting happens

What would be a better approach would be to treat this as a kind of ‘sales call’ for which there are established solutions. Ideally we’d use an Open Source workflow which is something like this approach from Calendly:

Quick-start guide

The most common thing that interested parties seem to need on the calls we’ve had so far is a step-by-step guide to get started. @AthertonJohn shared some useful links to resources to share:

@crl suggested that the smallest next step would be to add something to the website, so I created this as something to pull apart. We could pair it with links to resources?

Comments/suggestsions/feedback to enable next steps welcome and encouraged :smiley:

I feel like a can of worms have been opened! I wonder whether an etherpad or somethign else for really easy brainstorming is in order as there are probably more ideas, comments, approahces than their are co-op development advisers! Its such a massive area that, agree breaking it down is the key. Even posting the question “if we were to create a 5-7” step checklist what would be on it. Would illcit a lot of discussion let a lone the whole process of helping a co-op start.

But specifically on this I would start with the Problem trying to be solved (not the co-op problem, the business problem) and then flow from that, weirldly I think understanding what a co-op is is step 3 at the earliset.

Another view I will probably get shot for this from the other advisers, is removing anything to do with legal structures and designing aritcles of assocation. We should just point to two pre-defined models we think are “good enough” a for profit share company and a non-for profit gurantee company. If its the sort of person that wants to get into that sort of detail. This sort of check list ins’t for them.

Oops, sorry John! Perhaps we should put the lid back on that can of worms and save it for later. Especially as I’ve been telling people that whereas in a traditional business you figure out what you want to do and then find people to do it, in a co-op it’s better to find the people you want to work with first… :grimacing: