Wed 14 Mar 2018 11:43AM

Public Noticeboard

MSC Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Public Seen by 136

Place for announcements or to start conversations that may spin out into new threads.


Graham Thu 23 Feb 2023 2:12PM

The LUCOOP project that we participated in, which brought together a group of academics with interests in cooperation and cooperatives, along with some cooperative practitioners, with some in both camps, produced as one project output a set of three booklets looking at different aspects of organising. Under the banner of 'Re-organise' the booklets look at Power, Strategy, and Governance. Get your copies from https://www.dogsection.org/product/re-organise-power


Sean Farmelo Thu 9 Feb 2023 3:34PM

Excellent looking PhD for people interested in worker co-op buyouts/ takeovers and their financing definitely someone should apply from this angle! https://www.uu.nl/en/organisation/working-at-utrecht-university/jobs/phd-position-in-financing-the-strategic-transformation-of-incumbent-business-models-08-10-fte


Sion Whellens (Principle Six/Calverts) Mon 28 Nov 2022 4:34PM

Grrr have changed the links to bit.ly


Gareth Mon 28 Nov 2022 11:41AM

Co-op Press.


Graham Mon 28 Nov 2022 11:31AM

Indeed. I don't know who's looking after the s.coop URL shortner, but I don't think it is working properly.


Sean Farmelo Mon 28 Nov 2022 10:49AM

Might be me but those links aren't working


Sion Whellens (Principle Six/Calverts) Fri 25 Nov 2022 10:29AM

Design and printing co-op Calverts in east London is looking for a finance worker-bookkeeper/office administrator, part time 21 hours flexible http://bit.ly3GMExGS and a full time 35 hours production coordinator http://bit.ly/3VmYyb6 - please spread the word!


Martin Meteyard Mon 17 Oct 2022 11:36AM

But if you look you will see these rates are based on a 35 (not 40) hour week, so more than £19 per hour before tax/NI - which is certainly not a 'pittance'. And £35,000 a year would be regarded as a good wage in much 'mainstream' employment as far as I'm aware.


Oli SB Mon 17 Oct 2022 10:48AM

Hi Sean, hope I haven't upset anyone by working out and explaining the wages on offer here... it's a job I would love to do but could not afford to do at the rate offered. I know co-ops can be low paid... but don't think this is a situation we should accept as 'normal', especially during the current economic crisis. If we want co-ops to succeed, which I very much do, I believe we have to work out ways of making jobs in the sector as well remunerated as 'mainstream' jobs... if we possibly can.


Sean Farmelo Mon 17 Oct 2022 9:47AM

Without meaning to be salty, there are many co-ops who are in low paid industries. To me saying what amounts to far higher than a living wage is a 'pittance' is both an unrealistic account of today's economy and not a particularly nice way of wording things.


Oli SB Mon 17 Oct 2022 8:30AM

they look like great jobs - with pittance for pay:

If you earn £35,000 a year, then after your taxes and national insurance you will take home £27,542 a year, or £2,295 per month as a net salary. Based on a 40 hours work-week, your hourly rate will be £16.83 (PRE tax) with your £35,000 salary.

i.e if you take either of these jobs you will be taking home £13.25/hour - that not much more than stacking shelves in Tesco :( (ref: https://www.income-tax.co.uk/calculator/35000/ )

how can we break this cycle and make good jobs well paid!?!?!>?


Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Fri 14 Oct 2022 11:13AM

The wonderful HEET are recruiting. Work for a community owned energy efficiency advice service in North East London. They are recruiting Home Energy Advisors & Customer Service advisor https://www.theheetproject.org.uk/about-heet/jobs.html


Mothiur Rahman Tue 7 Jun 2022 4:54PM

Ways Forward Conference is back with WF22!

🎉SAVE THE DATE: 20-21 OCTOBER 2022 (Thurs/Fri)🎉

 General theme: CO-OPERATING AND CLIMATE JUSTICE in a Climate & Ecological Emergency (CEE)

👌 Cooperative Intelligence Survey: 👌 If you have time we would love a few minutes of your time to answer 2 quick questions on narrowing WF22 Title Options and Conference themes



Graham Tue 17 May 2022 2:00PM

I don't know anything about Civic Voice or local Civic Societies/Trusts. Could be an ally.


Mothiur Rahman Mon 16 May 2022 12:31PM

Hi does anyone know the relationship between Cooperative Development Organisations and Civic Societies? The latter are looking to get very involved in the Levelling Up legislative agenda (with the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill just recently published) and wondering how closely they work with Coops/local Economic Development organisations?

There is a webinar they are doing in 2 days to introduce their ideas, anyone here going to join?



Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 9 May 2022 12:55PM

I'm part of the international Sociocracy for All's Co-op Circle and we are very excited to announce SoFA’s second annual Sociocracy in Cooperatives international conference. Building on the success of last year, we look forward to welcoming you to an interactive programme of inspiring workshops. 

This year we’ll be exploring implementations in worker and multi-stakeholder co-ops, reviewing the progress made in aligning sociocracy with UK cooperative legal structures, and making space to co-design a new community of practice for co-operators implementing sociocracy in their co-ops .

Our overarching theme is Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

This conference is for everyone enthusiastic about co-ops and/or sociocracy. Please join us for an accessible introduction to, and interactive exploration of, the current and future theory and practice of sociocratic governance in cooperatives.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Book here: https://www.sociocracyforall.org/sociocracy-in-cooperatives-conference-2022/


Tim Coomer Wed 4 May 2022 9:23AM

Hi All just a little reminder that our Trustee Recruitment deadline for nominations/ applications closes Noon Monday 9th May 2022 - for more information please follow the link and request a nomination/application form from [email protected] . Thanks!



Tim Coomer Mon 25 Apr 2022 8:46AM

We are recruiting new co-operator trustees: We need you to help grow the new era of co-op and community businesses as we move to our 50th year in 2023 and beyond.

What we do:

ICOF Ltd trading as Co-operative and Community Finance or CCF is the Lender for Social Purpose, lending to ethical businesses since 1973. We offer fair, supportive, and tailored loan finance to meet the needs of a range of co-operatives, social enterprises, and community businesses, across the UK, that are democratically owned controlled by their members. We also provide project and loan management support and consultancy across the social investment sector.

What skills and experience we are looking for:

Post Covid-19 and approaching our 50th Anniversary in 2023 we will be moving into an exciting new phase for the organisation and are looking for both experienced Trustees and individuals looking for their first role, to join us on our journey.

We are looking for new Trustees that have energy and skills and experience across from the co-operative, social economy and community business sectors. Individuals with enterprise, small business or co-op practitioner/ adviser experience would be particularly welcome, as well as individuals with expertise in accountancy and finance, to help us fill skills gaps on our existing board. We will consider members* and anyone with a particular interest in Co-ops, Employee Ownership, Community Wealth Building, Community Business and individuals keen to help us build a fairer future in local communities.

As well as nonspecific Trustee/ Director roles we are also looking for individuals who would be interested in potentially becoming a future Treasurer or Chairperson. And would also very much like to hear from women and individuals of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic heritage to help us further improve the equality and diversity of our board.

What is the commitment?

The board meets five times a year, during the day: this comprises four standard meetings plus an AGM. We typically also hold an in person two-day business planning/ strategy session. Trustees that have specific roles such a Chairperson or Treasurer will have extra responsibilities and will also be required to attend occasional subcommittee meetings.   

This is an unpaid role but all reasonable travel and out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed and it looks great on your CV! 

To find out more:

Please visit https://coopfinance.coop/2022/03/23/trustee-recruitment-help-grow-the-new-era-of-co-op-and-community-businesses/ where you will find our Trustee Recruitment Pack containing more information about us and about the role.

We are happy to arrange informal one-to-one chats or have arranged a drop-in chat, via Zoom, where staff Tim or Alain will be available to chat through any questions or queries about the role. Contact us for a link.

Drop-in Chats:

Thursday 7th April 2022 @ 2:00pm

Tuesday 3rd May 2022 @ 11:00am

Please also connect with us on Twitter @coop_finance and Facebook @CoopCommFinance

To request a nomination/ application form please contact [email protected] directly. We will require you to complete a short application/ nomination form*, provide us with an up-to-date CV, and attend an online interview if shortlisted.  We are also happy to accept video applications addressing the same application questions, if that’s easier for you, but please be advised that videos will be shared widely with ICOF members, if you are successful at interview.  

Application deadline is Noon Monday 9th May 2022 (we will contact you asap to tell you if you have been selected for interview)

Short interviews will take place via Zoom week commencing 16th May 2022

Thank-you so much for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you.

* Members and Nominations

ICOF Ltd and its associated businesses have open membership and nomination enshrined in their legal make-up and any member can nominate themselves, or others, to be considered for board appointment at the AGM. This year, the board, in order to proactively address skills gaps and improve board diversity, are introducing a shortlisting and interview process and widening the search for new board members. Any existing member can of course still apply or nominate individuals, but we ask they do so through the process set out in the information above and in the Trustee Recruitment Pack available. Please contact us if you have any questions.  


Sophie Corporate Watch Mon 13 Dec 2021 5:55PM

Hi everyone! Sophie from Corporate Watch here. Apologies for any cross-posting.

We're hiring!

1. Trainee anti-capitalist researcher, to research & write about companies + the social & environmental impact of corporate power.

2. Freelance contributors to do similar work.

We're especially encouraging Black & POC applicants, but all will be carefully considered. Closing date 10th Jan. Many thanks!




Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Sun 21 Nov 2021 12:28PM

We have a few places left on our Barefoot 3.0 training programme for members of existing co-operatives and community businesses beginning in January 2022. Short deadline for applications (end November)



Tim Coomer Tue 21 Sep 2021 11:58AM

We are recruiting for a new Lending & Relationship Manager to join our team here at Co-op & Community Finance; replacing Ian Rothwell as you may know who is retiring at the end of this year.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a small and dynamic team, and be part of our award-winning organisation that has been supporting the co-operative and community business sector for almost 50 years and continues to influence and develop a unique market across the country.


All the information about the role is available on our website, engage with us on social media. Or do contact me directly if you need to know more.https://coopfinance.coop/2021/09/14/lending-and-relationship-manager-recruitment-opportunities-at-co-operative-community-finance/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 9 Jul 2021 9:45AM

In 2021 Co-op Culture trained 21 new co-operative development advisers. These "Barefoot Practitioners" are already delivering support to new and existing co-operatives and community businesses.

Now we're going to do it again.

Suitable for:

  • People involved in the management of their co-operative or community business

  • Existing development workers

  • Staff of infrastructure bodies

Find out more...


Tim Coomer Thu 25 Mar 2021 9:11AM

We are recruiting new trustees to create a more diverse board: We need you to help grow the co-op and community business sectors in 2021 and beyond.

What we do:

ICOF Ltd trading as Co-operative and Community Finance or CCF is the Lender for Social Purpose, lending to ethical businesses since 1973. We offer fair, supportive, and tailored loan finance to meet the needs of a range of co-operatives, social enterprises, and community businesses, across the UK, that are democratically owned controlled by their members. We also provide project and loan management support and consultancy across the social investment sector.

What skills and experience we are looking for:

Post Covid-19 and approaching our 50th Anniversary in 2023 we will be moving into an exciting new phase for the organisation and are looking for both experienced Trustees and individuals looking for their first role, to join us on our journey.

To help us improve the equality and diversity on our board we would very much like to hear from women and individuals of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic heritage.

We are looking for new Trustees that have skills and experience in a range of areas and sectors across the social economy. Individuals that could bring some expertise in either finance, governance or company/ society law would be of particular interest at this stage, to fill skills gaps on our existing board, but we will consider members* and anyone with a particular interest in Co-ops and Community Business and building a fairer future in local communities.

What is the commitment?

The board meets four times a year, held during the day, plus an AGM and we typically have a two-day business planning/ strategy day. Trustees that have specific roles such a Chairperson or Treasurer will have extra responsibilities and will also be required to attend occasional subcommittee meetings.   

This is an unpaid role but all reasonable travel and out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed. 

To find out more:

Please visit our website where you will find our Trustee Recruitment Pack containing more information about us and about the role.

We are happy to arrange informal one-to-one chats or have arranged two drop-in chats, via Zoom, where staff Tim or Alain will be available to chat through any questions or queries about the role.

Drop-in Chats:

Friday 26th March 2020 - 10:00am – 12:00pm

Tuesday 6th April 2020 – 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Please also connect with us on Twitter @coop_finance and Facebook @CoopCommFinance

To request a nomination/ application form please contact [email protected] directly. We will require you to complete a short application/ nomination form*, provide us with an up-to-date CV, and attend an online interview if shortlisted.  We are also happy to accept video applications addressing the same application questions, if that’s easier for you, but please be advised that videos will be shared widely with ICOF members, if you are successful at interview.  

Application deadline is 18th April 2021 (we will contact you asap to tell you if you have been selected for interview)

Short interviews will take place via Zoom on 26th April 2021

Thank-you so much for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you.

* Members and Nominations

ICOF Ltd and its associated businesses have open membership and nomination enshrined in their legal make-up and any member can nominate themselves, or others, to be considered for board appointment at the AGM. This year, the board, in order to proactively address skills gaps and improve board diversity, are introducing a shortlisting and interview process and widening the search for new board members. Any existing member can of course still apply or nominate individuals, but we ask they do so through the process set out in the information above and in the Trustee Recruitment Pack available. Please contact us if you have any questions.  


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 22 Mar 2021 11:56AM

Unfound update from Co-operatives UK

Co-operatives UK are excited to announce that we have re-launched the UnFound Accelerator, a 10-week business support programme for teams at the early stage of setting up their platform co-operative.

A Platform co-operative is a democratically owned and controlled business that uses an online platform or mobile app to trade, connect people and pool resources or data. It is built on co-operative principles and values which ensure the platform business:

  • Truly responds to the needs of its community

  • Embeds equity and social purpose from day one

  • Has a growth model that does not involve giving up control to external profit-driven investors.

A cohort of eight teams will accompany each other in the exciting journey of turning their pioneering ideas into concrete business solutions. They will be provided with guidance and support to set the foundations of their platform business through Co-operatives UK and Stir to Action’s extensive network of experts.

Teams that complete the UnFound Accelerator will get the chance to pitch their business idea to access funding and support at an event on 21 July 2021 (TBC), towards which the Co-operative Bank has contributed a £10,000 prize pot.

The deadline for applications is midnight 11 April 2021.

If you know any groups who might be interested in applying, please share the application guidance and encourage them to attend our webinar at noon on 1 April 2021 where we can provide additional information and answer any questions. (register here)


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 4 Dec 2020 2:51PM

Short term (6 month) Consultancy opportunity with Co-operatives UK.

Cover of invitation to tender

"We need a suitably skilled individual to help us develop a new approach to ensuring our network of providers and internal systems are capable of meeting our members' current and emerging needs."

Individual consultant preferred but open to how this is structured and resourced i.e. delivery led and managed by a named individual, with support from others behind the scenes could be an option.

More information and tender documents


Ian Hewitt Thu 7 May 2020 3:57PM

Cath recommended that I post notice of this coming event hosted by New Lucas Plan on May 13. The plan is to buy an extended zoom license for the event after the 100 registration limit was breached in 2 days..

We also chatted about the possibility of having a New Lucas Plan workshop at Doing It Ourselves based on the 30 min film by Steve Sprung - be good to talk to Mark about this some time.

A New Lucas Plan for post-pandemic socially useful jobs?


An online event on how worker-led industrial conversion to deal with the coronavirus pandemic is a model for the future.

May 13 7pm- 8.30 pm online

Speakers include:

Phil Asquith - former Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Combine member.

Hilary Wainwright – founding editor Red Pepper, co-author, with Dave Elliott of 'The Lucas Plan: a new trade unionism in the making', fellow of the Transnational Institute'.

Representatives from Green Jobs Oshawa in Canada on their call to repurpose the former General Motors car plant to a public manufacturing facility


For more information contact [email protected].


Graham Wed 29 Apr 2020 4:03PM

P6 Community members may be interested in the series of webinars being organised by the Open Co-op. Clearly there's no shortage of online events available currently, and some of us may already be struggling with webinar-fatigue, but these stand out for me as being highly relevant to what Platform 6 is all about. This Thursday April 30th there is one focussing on the Digital Life Collective. As well being a Platform 6 member and director, I'm also the current chair of the Digital Life Collective, so forgive the plug. The Digital Life Collective is a UK-registered co-operative society, with several hundred members from around the world. Its focus has been to bring together people with insight and knowledge about how we use and relate to technology, about how important it is that we can trust the technology that we do use (which is clearly a very troublesome area - see Zuboff's book on surveillance capitalism for more on that), and how we might bring about a situation where we can have agency and trust with respect to the tech we use.

As part of the work of the Collective, it has brought together some useful tools that help to enable rich conversations to flow within the membership. We've since opened those tools up for others to use, on a purely experimental and non-commercial basis, partly as a way to bring other groups and collectives into the space so that we can work on how we can enable communications not only within these groups, but between them.

Platform 6 has committed to join in with this , and move away from our current use of the proprietary Slack platform, which the directors use for internal comms, and use the Mattermost system that is a key part of the Collective's offering, which is known as "Co-operation as a Service" or CaaS. If that goes well we'll look at inviting our members and others into the space as well. We're also interested in being the focal point within the CaaS ecosystem for advice and support around co-operative development.

This cross-fertilisation of information and ecosystem-thinking is, I believe, critically important in the creation of wider co-operation at scale, breaking down the factions and repairing the fragmentation that typifies what we might call progressive culture , and exploring the massive untapped potential of what we might call the "adjacent possible".

Anyway, if you'd like to find out a bit more, the webinar is free, you can register for it here: https://open.coop/events/open-2020-webinar-digital-life-collective/, and it starts at 4pm tomorrow (Thursday 30th April).


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 14 Feb 2020 5:54PM

Cheers Pete. That looks really useful. I'll share wider too.


Pete Burden Fri 14 Feb 2020 10:19AM


This is a conference for movements interested in how to get funding. And for funders interested in how to best support movements.

Might be of interest.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 10 Jan 2020 2:11PM

Community Business Manager post at Plunkett. Deadline extended to 16th January. Possibility of remote working.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 10 Dec 2019 10:57AM

Platform 6 Development Co-operative have started a Co-op Support Network Facebook Group. A place where anyone can ask for advice and support from other co-operatives and co-operators. Please join the group.


There's a west yorks new economy meet up each month now, in Bradford



Emma Thu 5 Dec 2019 9:12AM

Hi all - just an FYI that we're advertising for our circle community organiser and have a big preference for co-opy people with lots of group facilitation experience! A social care background isn't essential either. If you know of anyone or want to apply yourself all details are on the website with first interview date set for the 16th December. It would be amaaaaaazing if we could recruit by Christmas!


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 22 Nov 2019 1:14PM

Sporting Assets are advertising for a Senior Consultant Job description here.


Andre Pinho Tue 24 Sep 2019 12:18PM

Hi All, sorry to post this here, but couldn't find a thread for coops looking for funding. This is Repowering's latest solar project installing solar panels in Lambeth (London): https://platform.repowering.org.uk/Crowdfunding/LCS.aspx - please share, tweet and invest.

This will also use the crowdfunding module of the platform we built - https://www.coenergy.app to enable communities to do their own digital community share offers without paying the typical crowdfunding platform fees and also keep those members engaged over the lifetime of the coop.


Austen Cordasco Wed 18 Sep 2019 3:50PM

This is Platform 6's status update report to a meeting of the Co-operative Development Forum last week.


Graham Tue 20 Aug 2019 2:12PM

Sharenergy, the specialist energy coop support and dev organisation, is kicking off a great new project they are calling the Big Solar Co-op, and they are recruiting for a project officer to make it happen. Looks like a great opportunity. More details at https://www.sharenergy.coop/2019/08/09/join-sharenergy-and/


John Merritt Tue 13 Aug 2019 9:53AM

Hi Mark,
I did short research project on Social and Solidarity enterprises in North Rheine Westhpalia and had some helpful visits to people who might be useful. Here are the links;

1) Innova
In innova eG, a team of specialists works together on cooperative issues. Innova offers seminars and consultancy. The members of the team are practitioners from cooperatives and / or academics involved in relevant research projects
We Spoke to Hans-Gerd Nottenbohm, Huckarder Str.12, 44147 Dortmund, Tel. 0231-162041
[email protected] He was really helpful, knows Vivian (Woodell) and a stong advocate of worker coops
2) Klaus Novy Institute


The koeln Institut iPEK is a roof of freelancers working on Cooperative solutions. We are involved as consultants, project developers, evaluators and authors in various subject areas - individually or as a proven team.
The koeln Institut iPEK focuses its research in several areas.
Work and social
Participation in employment still determines social status and social integration. In the face of increasing job insecurity, exclusion and precarious employment, individuals and institutions in the flexible labour society are confronted with the need to seek new solutions. The research work of the koelnInstitut iPEK aims to support this process and to contribute knowledge that promotes social integration. Activities of the institute are: Evaluation of labor market policy programs, analyzes of the development of vocational, educational and employment system, initiation of social model projects, support in the management of social services.

Integration and migration
The integration of social groups and ethnic groups is a permanent task that has gained attention in recent years. Integration is a cross-cutting issue, the practical relevance of which can generally be found in access to the labor market, in education, in housing and in questions of social participation. Reviewing the thesis of diversity as a strength and enrichment of a society in practical projects is a central concern of the koelnInstitut iPEK.
[more ...]

Living and quarters
Cities and residential areas are changing in the wake of demographic and cultural change. Central topics in this context are the changes and meaningful transformation of residential areas to an aging multi-ethnic society, the adaptation of the infrastructure to meet the needs of life and the development and design of future-oriented living arrangements for all generations and cultures. In this sense, the koelnInstitut iPEK sees its tasks as setting the course for sustainable infrastructure, urban and district development. Social urban (partial) development and the participation of different target groups, especially in relation to the neighborhood, are just as much a part of our work as the promotion of generational and gender equality and the strengthening of neighborhoods.
The department email is

Also, SMART based in Belgium would be good to talk to.
They have been talking to Community (the Union) in UK about Platform Coops for Zero hours type workers and have contacts in 8 European Countries the last time I spoke to them.

Hope this helps



Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 12 Aug 2019 6:35PM

Can anyone signpost me to resources on starting a co-op (particularly worker co-op) in Germany? This is for couriers in Berlin looking at the option after the withdrawal of Deliveroo from the whole country.


Nenad Maljković Fri 16 Aug 2019 11:07AM

Thanks Mark :thumbsup:


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 16 Aug 2019 9:53AM

Hi Nenad. That's because you are a member of this thread but not the whole group. I'll resend your invitation to the Group.


Nenad Maljković Fri 16 Aug 2019 9:35AM

I just tried to start a new thread but for some reason it did not work for me, @marksimmonds . Does my membership in this team space allow me to start new threads? I was able to do all the steps but got stuck at "start" button - it did not work.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 6 Aug 2019 5:28PM

This looks like a really interesting idea. I suspect that many here won't have come across the Local Entrepreneur Forum. It might be worth expanding on this and pulling out what you are asking for from the document into the thread.


Nenad Maljković Tue 6 Aug 2019 9:03AM

In REconomy practitioners virtual community of practice we are getting ready to do Trans-Local Entrepreneur Forum as a synchronous distributed blended event.

I wonder would anybody here be interested to join us with their local team? Details are shared in attached document. Cc @marksimmonds


Vica Tue 13 Aug 2019 8:40AM

Hi Andre, would love to join the call too if that's possible. I work at Co-operatives UK and my role is to help develop the platform co-operative sector.


Andre Pinho Mon 5 Aug 2019 12:52AM

Hi @leosammallahti excellent timing I am already due to have a call with @stevegill in early Sep, still waiting on confirmation on the exact date, but would be great to speak to you both, would love to collaborate.


Leo Sammallahti Sun 4 Aug 2019 7:40PM

Hi Andre, I am involved with Coop Exchange that is doing something similar. I'm gonna be joining the call!


Andre Pinho Sun 4 Aug 2019 4:43PM

Hi @graham2 I am wide open that week. My email is [email protected] just send me a calendar invite for a time that suits you. Have a great break and I look forward to our chat.


Graham Sun 4 Aug 2019 3:56PM

Hi @Andre , and welcome to the Platform 6 community. Your app looks really interesting. I'd love to talk about this with you and take the tour. However I'm just about to go on holiday for a week or so. Can we set something up for end of week commencing Aug 19?


Andre Pinho Sat 3 Aug 2019 12:43PM

Hi All, I have built software to manage investments in coops, originally designed it to manage the members in our energy coops CoEnergy
But I have now adapted it so that any coop can benefit from this (not just energy ones).


  • Crowdfunding (easily connect to your preferred payment gateway)
  • Share/Bond Registry
  • Digital Voting (AGMs)
  • Payment Interest
  • Social Impact
  • Access all Coop documents

I am interested in platform coops and how to help coops raise capital (crowdfund) in a cheaper, more secure and engaging way.
I would welcome feedback on it, but also looking to connect with others that might want to leverage this in some way. It sounds like this could be a valuable tool for platform 6 but I only just came across your work. If any of this is of interest let me know and let's chat.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 12 Jul 2019 7:19AM

I'm currently using Loomio 2.0 in beta form to write this post and use Loomio. If you want to give it a try visit https://www.loomio.org/g/QOeoycxP?use_vue=1


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 12 Jul 2019 7:20AM

I've applied - watch this space


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 20 Jun 2019 11:04AM

Text of an email I received today; I'm certainly interested:

Msg begins

I kindly invite you to review and/or to forward to others within your network, this exciting opportunity to deliver workshops and masterclasses in Year 1 of BA (Hons) Innovation and Skills for Social Change, at Leeds Beckett University (Ref. ISSC-Y1 2019/20).

Please follow the link here to the information pack and details of the short process to apply to deliver sessions on the degree programme: https://bit.ly/ApplyISSCY1Delivery. The closing date for applications to deliver in Year 1, is 31st July 2019, but we encourage early applications as we will review them as they arrive and may finalise some sessions sooner.

If you have any questions, please send them to [email protected]. We will respond to questions weekly (from 19 June to 24 July) on our Updates page: http://bit.ly/2I8sXHe

Please do forward this email to other friends and colleagues who you think might be interested in delivering a workshop or masterclass on this degree programme.

Thank you.

Best wishes,

Harsha Patel MBA
Doing Social
Leeds | London

Msg ends


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 10 Jun 2019 10:25AM

Josh Davis of geo.coop is hostin a Zomm meeting on Weds:

"SAVE THE DATE for Co-op Shop Talk: an open forum for cooperators to meet, converse and share information!

Wednesday June 12th, 1 pm Eastern / 10 am Pacific on Zoom.

Zoom MeetingID: 311-082-102

This first in a series of Co-op Shop Talk sessions will focus on P2P #WorkerCoop mutual aid and training models as an alternative to non-profit led co-op development.

Please drop in and join us for what is sure to be a stimulating conversation!"

I make that 6pm BST


Emma Tue 4 Jun 2019 2:25PM

Hi all

I've been away from this forum for a while, focusing on getting Equal Care Co-op (equalcare.coop) ready for our Pioneer Community Share Offer. To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong - I'm sure there have been others!) we're the first platform co-op to try the community shares route for raising seed stage investment. So it's all quite scary.

There's a launch event on June 12th at 7pm in Hebden Bridge, which all Platform 6 people are very welcome to attend (just message me if you would like to come). We'll also be doing part of it over Zoom from 7.45pm.

Any sharing of this offer amongst your networks would be sooooooo amazing. I have attached the offer leaflet and I can also share the full offer doc in advance of release on the 12th.

Thank you! And btw we intend to be much more active with P6 once this overwhelming piece of the project is behind us (and we can finally be fully focussed on the actual work!)


Tim Coomer Mon 3 Jun 2019 2:11PM



Gareth Nash Mon 3 Jun 2019 1:40PM

Happy to


Tim Coomer Mon 3 Jun 2019 1:27PM

Hi Gareth - we were hoping to attend but can't this year so if you could put a few of our cards on your table that would be great. If you're happy I will send a small batch. Tim


Gareth Nash Mon 3 Jun 2019 2:23PM

Yes, do so


Graham Mon 3 Jun 2019 1:47PM

I can send you a bundle of Platform 6 postcards Gareth (unless you already some?). Thanks for the offer.


Chris Croome (Webarchitects Co-operative) Mon 3 Jun 2019 11:43AM

Hi @garethnash I'm not sure if you are aware that posts in this thread are public to the world (no Loomio login needed), you might not have intended to post this address on a public forum? If this isn't an issue don't worry about it, if it is perhap edit / delete your comment. All the best Chris


Gareth Nash Mon 3 Jun 2019 11:03AM

CMS is taking a stall at the Co-op Party Local Gov Conference in Newcastle this w/e coming. If someone with leaflets/cards wants to send me some I can distribute: 7, Cecil Street, Lytham, Lancs, FY8 5NN


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 21 May 2019 9:53AM

Co-operatives UK have a draft response to SITR review available for comment. Please respond by 17th June 2019. Lots of interesting policy asks around restricted trades, extension of relief to institutional investors, extension to co-op societies etc.


Gareth Mon 20 May 2019 10:06AM

Done. It's similar to the Aviva UK platform.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 20 May 2019 9:59AM

CoopCycle are looking for support for their Courier Co-op Platform. They can win 65,000 EUR. You can vote here (needs a rudimentary knowledge of French, but not to difficult to navigate). Please take a look and give them your votes. https://lafabriqueaviva.fr/fr/project/3299/show


Gareth Thu 16 May 2019 1:23PM

If anyone is in or close to Bristol at the weekend, Bristol Wood Recycling Project are having a 15th birthday celebration at their William Street site.


Tim Coomer Thu 16 May 2019 11:13AM

Hi Co-op & Community Finance (ICOF Group) are holding their AGM in Bristol this year alongside a networking event and lunch. Numbers are limited but check this out https://coopfinance.coop/2019/05/16/booking-now-youre-invited-to-our-agm-and-networking-lunch be good to see a range of co-ops there especially if you are a member. If you have ever borrowed from us its likely you are!


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 16 May 2019 10:37AM

OPEN 2019.

OPEN 2019: Decentralised Collaboration
This year, OPEN 2019 will be a smaller gathering and a mixture of online webinars, Q&As and opportunities for collaboration, as well as some offline, London based presentations, discussions and "beer to beer learning" opportunities :)

The Open conferences the last two years have been the most inspiring co-op development events I've been to.


Co-operation Jackson UK Tour dates & links:


Graham Thu 16 May 2019 7:44AM

Indeed. I'm planning to go.


Gareth Nash Thu 16 May 2019 7:22AM

Have booked. Not sure whether it will be useful but there is a general feeling that we (CMS and CDBs) should be getting involved in this agenda. Reflects the conversation re CLES


Pete Burden Wed 15 May 2019 9:03PM


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 15 May 2019 4:24PM

Cooperation Jackson are touring the UK.

Co-operation Jackson is developing independent, black-led community economic power in Jackson, Mississippi, through developing linked worker co-operatives, food production, housing co-operatives and co-operative training & support organisations. Learn from their tactics and experiences since starting in 2014.

I've listed the events I can find below:
Sunday 19th May, Brixton
Friday 24th May, Brighton
Saturday 25th May, Birmingham
Monday May 27th, Manchester
Tuesday May 28th, Leeds

Stir to Action also have a two day workshop Cooperation Jackson: Building Economic Democracy from 21st to 23rd May in Dorset.


Graham Tue 14 May 2019 1:28PM

Just saw this event. It seems to be focussing on collaboration, but there aren't any speakers that are known to me from the cooperative sector. Maybe if anyone here is in London they could go along and fly the flag?


Simon Borkin Wed 8 May 2019 11:21AM

Hi, I'm new here! I work at Co-ops UK on all things co-op development (especially comshares) and we have a new vacancy to lead on our standards work linked to community shares which I wanted to share here just in case anyone is keen /can share with others who might be: https://www.uk.coop/about/about-co-operatives-uk/careers



John Merritt Tue 4 Jun 2019 3:36PM

Hi Graham,
Yes please. J


Graham Mon 3 Jun 2019 1:45PM

I know Bob Thorp and a couple of the other folks involved with the Fairmondo UK project, helped out with some early iterations of website etc., and participated in a couple of calls with Felix Weth, the co-founder of Fairmondo in Germany. I'm not sure of the current state of play with the project, but happy to put you in touch John if that's helpful. I'm not aware of any current Platform 6 activity on this front, but if you are interested in pushing something forward...


John Merritt Fri 31 May 2019 10:02AM

Is it a P6 conversation with Fairmondo? who might pick it up? Or are we thinking individual coops?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 29 May 2019 5:11PM

Yes similar to Fairmondo UK being developed by Worth Co-operating. Worth talking to them (pun intended).


Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Wed 29 May 2019 3:58PM

Is this similar to what Fairmondo are creating? If so maybe worth people joining in to make that a functioning alternative.


John Merritt Tue 7 May 2019 10:40AM

Hi Graham,
Apologies for being away from Loomio for a few days. My understanding of the proposals I heard, and the view I support, is that the Business Event is one that mirrors that of the NBCA https://ncbaclusa.coop events. They have an annual trade fair alongside information and education sessions. Congress is perhaps where it could happen, but my experience in the UK is that htey have have very little 'business' focus - ie not many Coops selling things. The on-line market place idea I am thinking could be described as a Cooperative Amazon type platform. Of course, the large coops do on line sales, but the Group is too dominant. There should be hundreds, if not thousands of coops whose presence is facilitated.


Graham Thu 2 May 2019 4:14PM

What products/services would a cooperative online marketplace offer? To whom? I ask these questions so that I can understand what the vision is.


Graham Thu 2 May 2019 4:12PM

What would a cooperative business conference look like? How would it differ from what's already available? Who would go to it?


John Merritt Thu 2 May 2019 3:35PM

I was asked by a colleague if there was anyone interested in helping set up a 'Cooperative Businesses Conference' maybe at Olympia or similar and whether I new anyone with an interest in setting up a Cooperative on-line market place (Platform). Is there any appetite here?


John Merritt Thu 2 May 2019 3:31PM

I am booked to go.
I agree it would be good to start events listings. The South seems to me poorly served by Coop, Solidarity and bottom up driven events, even with London being only a couple of hours away (though it still costs at least £50+ to get there from Bournemouth). Maybe increased visibility of activity would help.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 2 May 2019 2:54PM

No. But it looks really interesting. I think that if we start to produce a regular newsletter, then we should have an events listing.


Graham Tue 30 Apr 2019 1:15PM

Anyone in London tomorrow (May 1) might be interested in this free event where I, and likely Nic Wistreich as well, will be talking about the potential for cooperative models in the open source world. Would love to see you there: https://www.meetup.com/London-CoTech-Meetup/events/260565717/


Graham Fri 12 Apr 2019 3:45PM

Tweeted it


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 10 Apr 2019 3:47PM

Free training on legal structures for co-ops, delivered by me, courtesy of Co-op College at the Rochdale Pioneers museum on 24th April. More details here Please circulate to anyone you think may be interested.


Pat Conaty Wed 10 Apr 2019 10:52AM

Mark - I have not been able to put in time like last year with Cntrl Shift. At Ways Forward last Friday I floated the idea with Jo Bird about perhaps in 2021 thinking about running Ways Forward and Cntrl Shift in some form of partnership at the same venue but overlapping - so perhaps a bit like the Co-op Congress and CECOP overlapping Congresses in Manchester in late June the year. Under this suggestion each group could test this out experimentally next year while keeping each focus in its integrity but see if this collaboration might lead to creative solidarity. I also later mentioned this to Andy Goldring and like Jo he thought this an attractive idea.


Pat Conaty Wed 10 Apr 2019 9:45AM

Good news Mark and Graham to hear of this interest in the Open Credit Network start up. The work thus far by Open Co-operators Oli, Dil and Dave has been great as the co-leads. I have been lending a hand. I went to the launch yesterday in Birmingham of Credex - the first of the mutual credit projects. A very good event to get things going. They are strategically focused on the West Midlands and have a full time team member in the start up who worked both on Sardex and Liberex (in Emilia Romagna). The benefits of this first hand expertise were readily apparent at the launch yesterday.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 10 Apr 2019 8:36AM

We are now partners in the upcoming Ctrl Shift Emergency Summit for Change. Several of us attended the first summit in Wigan last year - it was excellent and is looking to grow into an excellent parliament/community around positive change in the face of the various looming crises.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 10 Apr 2019 8:02AM

Platform 6 has expressed interest in joining the Open Credit Network - watch this space. Recent Co-op News Article


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 8 Apr 2019 11:06AM

Co-operatives UK are calling for input into and EOI's for those who want to be part of an on-line working group re an as yet un-time-tabled review of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). More details here.
Suggested changes as a starter:
* making investments to fund community ownership and leasing of assets eligible for relief
* making investments to fund genuinely community-owned and controlled renewable energy schemes eligible for relief
* making investments to fund agricultural social enterprise eligible for relief (especially community agriculture)
* improving the helpfulness of the Advance Assurance service for community businesses
* making co-operative societies and co-operative companies with rules/articles for non-distributable assets and a social purpose eligible for the relief


Graham Wed 3 Apr 2019 9:59AM

A new jobs board for posting and finding jobs in worker co-ops: https://www.democraticjobs.coop

Designed and built by Glowbox Design, a worker co-op and member of CoTech.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 25 Mar 2019 6:58PM

Interesting free webinar from Open Co-op on Weds 3rd April - Catalysing collaboration at scale


Gareth Nash Mon 25 Mar 2019 9:05PM

'We' did some writing but it was never completed. Still relevant..... I can dig it out. Does it belong to Dev Co-op? although 'we' could rewrite and put different case studies in.....


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 25 Mar 2019 4:31PM

Did anything ever come out of the proposal to create a guide for Co-op Councils? I think it was a Development Co-op initiative. @garethnash ?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 14 Mar 2019 1:38PM

The Platform 6 crowdsourced collection of Useful Co-operative Development Resources is a bit light on housing co-op and co-housing resources. Anyone fancy adding some?


Hi Platform 6 community - i've just started a poll for the members about funding the Ways Forward conference. What an ideal time to join P6 as a full member - then you too can help contribute to the funding pot and help choose what our collective funds get spent on. https://platform6.coop/membership


Book now! Ways Forward 7: Co-operatives for the Many. 5th April, Manchester
Municipalism, Co-ops Unleashed, Federating, Co-ops as tools of Liberation, Sociocracy, Why co-ops go wrong, New Financing for Co-op Development, Greater Manchester Co-op Commission & more. Prices until 16th March: £45/individuals, £60 organisation reps

NB 1: Co-op College & UKSCS are holding 'Unlocking Co-ops' at Angel Square on Thursday 4th (£24), so you can have two days of co-op geek out for just one lot of travel:
NB 2: We're hosting a Thursday night social - food and structured getting-to-know-each-other, at The Eighth Day Cafe, 6.30pm for £10. All welcome, not just conference-goers, book here: https://waysforward.coop/pre-conference-social-the-eighth-day/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 25 Feb 2019 7:22AM

NESTA and Co-operatives UK have just launched a new report Platform co-operatives - solving the capital conundrum that proposes using the community shares model for Platform Co-operatives. Well worth a read.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Sat 23 Feb 2019 10:11AM

Co-op Group is looking for co-ordinators to manage, develop and support teams of Member Pioneers.

"A Member Pioneer Co-ordinator is a part-time role where you’ll organise a team of existing Member Pioneers, connect communities, co-operate and make a difference to community wellbeing. "

More info here


Jo White Wed 20 Feb 2019 3:36PM

Hi all
Co-operative and Mutual Solutions and Co-operative Futures are helping Co-op News Board, Members and Staff to undertake a strategic review. The ‘News’ is seeking to widen its appeal and we have been researching how people in co-operatives find out information and news about their sector and the wider co-operative movement. Would you mind sparing us 5 minutes to fill in a quick survey? It won't take long https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S9NHVWT
Thanks in advance


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 22 Jan 2019 9:16AM

UKSCS and Co-op College conference in Manchester on 4th April - day before Ways Forward 7. Unlocking co-ops: revealing the hidden potential


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 15 Jan 2019 9:13AM

Note: If you want to respond to this, please can you fork the thread.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 15 Jan 2019 9:12AM

Co-operatives UK has published their submission to the Co-op Party Call for Evidence Their take on the national CDA is particularly interesting.


Fabian Tompsett Mon 14 Jan 2019 3:44PM

I shall be attending.


Simon Carter Sat 19 Jan 2019 8:12PM

It's a platform coop Emma, intended to promote local shopping, encouraged by local shops supporting local community projects, chosen by said shoppers. Got as far as a landing page www.just.coop/home.php but as mentioned finally gave up on my developer very recently after wasting six months.

Plan B, had a very positive meeting with www.web.coop on Friday. Promised a price & a time frame by next Wednesday. A flat wage structure means I'll be open to talk to anyone anywhere interested in replicating Just Cooperate in their area. Meanwhile a pilot scheme is my plan in Gloucester.

My personal perspective is the moment anyone expects to make any more money from a worker coop than anyone else involved, & believes they are worth it, is the moment that coop becomes just another capitalist venture with a veneer of 'purpose washing' & cannot truly break that hegemony. By reinvesting all surplus after a living wage back into the community means that the only way members of the worker coop can think in terms of improving their wealth is by improving the commonwealth, by investing in commons as explained by Pat Conaty.

The hope is that this philosophy as it becomes apparent will provide, ironically enough, a huge commercial advantage. The goal is to hollow out capitalism by going head to head with it, but without the underlying question of how much personal profit can we extract, be that in the form of inflated wages, dividends, or worker bonuses.


Emma Fri 18 Jan 2019 2:38PM

I'm curious, what are you building?


Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Thu 17 Jan 2019 8:07PM

I shall be attending


Simon Carter Mon 14 Jan 2019 2:47PM

Care to elaborate on what you are thinking when you write 'collaborating'. My concept is intended to replicate nationally. My ambitions for it are substantial whilst my personal ambitions are small. Building it's 'joint venture' (cooperative) potential is what it's all about. Sadly I have been set back of late when I finally gave up on my web developer. Researching my options now. Any recommendations greatly received.


Graham Mon 14 Jan 2019 2:02PM

From what I've read they are launching some sort of funding programme. Whilst Platform 6 is not specifically about developing platform cooperatives, it is itself a platform cooperative as well as having a strong interest in developing/supporting/collaborating with new and established platform cooperatives, and as such is very interested in the potential to work with NESTA, both as a potential bidder into any funding pot and as a potential partner in delivery of advice/support/networking/etc.


Leo Sammallahti Mon 14 Jan 2019 1:48PM

I'll be attending. Any other platform6 people that will be there? Is there something you would like me to bring up there or ask?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 11 Jan 2019 2:52PM

NESTA PLatform Co-op event, evening of Feb 19th 2019, London https://platformscoopsinpractise1.splashthat.com/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 8 Jan 2019 5:06PM

If you want to get a basic intro to using Loomio, then I recommend their 101 webinar: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/loomio-101-webinar-registration-53323441850


adrian ashton Fri 4 Jan 2019 3:02PM

Greater Manchester are forming a 'co-operative commission', and taking nominations for people to sit on it to represent co-ops - any volunteers? (but deadline of 10th Jan!!)


Graham Fri 4 Jan 2019 2:11PM

This talk by Doug Rushkoff (read his 'Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus' if you've not yet done so) for me speaks about what we're aiming for with Platform 6: https://www.ted.com/talks/douglas_rushkoff_how_to_be_team_human_in_the_digital_future


Alex Bird Thu 20 Dec 2018 9:48AM

The UKSCS and Co-op College have just announced a Research Day at Angel Square on April 4th, so going for the 5th April would make an attractive 2 days for anyone coming from a distance away


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 10 Dec 2018 5:30PM

There will be an on-line members' meeting of the co-op on 21st December, so if you're considering joining as a paid-up member, please do so before then and get hands on in setting the direction of the co-op.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 4 Dec 2018 10:10AM

On-line platform co-op event re social care co-ops, featuring Equal Care Co-op that Co-op Culture is currently working with through Bright Ideas programme https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peoples-open-forum-equal-care-co-op-tickets-51901944112


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 4 Dec 2018 10:12AM

You can find the REconomy community of practice group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/REconomyCoP/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 4 Dec 2018 10:03AM

Interesting new feature for FB Groups. Facilitating mentor/mentee realtionships. Info courtesy of the REconomy project's FB presence - great resource https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/08/people-can-now-find-mentors-and-mentees-in-groups/


bob cannell Tue 4 Dec 2018 8:39AM

thanks I think Ive done it.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 3 Dec 2018 10:48PM

You (and a couple of others) didn't complete the process Bob -
we've simplified it now. Try again.

You'll get a confirmation email from GoCardless and I'll then add
you to the members Loomio.

Every day's a school day.


bob cannell Mon 3 Dec 2018 10:32PM

am i the only one who's messed up the application process? im waiting i think for a response


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 3 Dec 2018 9:24PM

We are planning to have an on-line meeting of all Platform 6 members before Xmas, so if you're thinking of joining, then don't dally.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 3 Dec 2018 9:23PM

Several of us are planning to go to Future Co-op 2019

Can Co-operative Deserts Bloom?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 28 Nov 2018 2:34PM

Our co-op membership is growing steadily - a mixture of co-operatives and co-operators, with a smattering of international folk too! Once you have joined on-line, you will be added to the member only sub-Loomio. https://platform6.coop/membership


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 8 Nov 2018 10:38AM

Also this Loomio is now public and it's contents are discoverable and readable by anyone. Anyone can now apply to join this Loomio although it requires admin approval. Discussion on internal governance and funding decisions will take place in the member-only sub-Loomio.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 7 Nov 2018 7:11PM

Membership of Platform 6 Development Co-operative is now open to all co-operators and co-operatives.

We look forward to taking this project forward with you. Come and join us here: https://platform6.coop/membership


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 25 Oct 2018 4:35PM

Interesting call for proposal to " build a Knowledge Base: designing, developing and delivering an open-source technology enabling the production and exchange of standardized data among decentralized online platforms." https://coopseurope.coop/resources/news/call-proposals-development-cooperative-knowledge-base


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 1 Oct 2018 9:04AM

Bear with us on opening up the membership application folks. we have the GoCardless account set up, have developed our privacy policy and are nearly there - co-op development work keeps getting in the way!

On a positive note, we are the beneficiary of some of the residual assets of Co-operatives South-East (£857.23) and so will have money to spend as we hit the ground running.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 10 Sep 2018 9:33AM

We are just finessing the membership application. Hope to go live this week and restart the conversation in earnest.


Sion Whellens (Principle Six/Calverts) Mon 3 Sep 2018 10:52PM

I’m just back from the coop studies conference in Sheffield, was able to alert some influential consumer coop members to the imminence/immanence of P6 (and drum up support for Solidfund)


Austen Cordasco Wed 29 Aug 2018 10:48AM

I have been asked to speak at this Co-operators Of The Future event in Writtle, near Chelmsford, soon. It is modelled on the excellent A Co-operative Region events that have been held in Cambridge for the last couple of years. I will use this opportunity to introduce and promote Platform 6 and its potential roles in a future co-operative economy.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 29 Aug 2018 8:01AM

There is an interesting and active discussion group at https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/platformcoop-discuss Currently discussing Terms of Service for platform co-ops similar to P6


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 29 Aug 2018 7:56AM

We're just putting the final touches to the membership offer @emmaback Hopefully in the next week.


Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Tue 28 Aug 2018 8:39AM

I convinced the Directors of Co-operatives SE (I was myself on the Board until last October) to add us on the list for Members to consider when deciding on distribution of the commonly owned funds, so I would suggest that all P6 Members/activists bear this in mind. If you are a member of a common ownership co-operative and dissolution is proposed, get in early with a suggestion that P6 is a beneficiary. If you are a Director of said co-op you would need to declare an interest.


Emma Mon 27 Aug 2018 5:55PM

Great! When can we join? :D


Austen Cordasco Thu 23 Aug 2018 4:04PM

Which account shall we put it in?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 23 Aug 2018 3:30PM

It looks like we are going to be one of the beneficiaries of the dissolution of Co-operatives SE to the tune of approx. £820.


adrian ashton Mon 6 Aug 2018 10:48AM

maybe we could create a shared on-line folder to hold images of us when doing CDB stuff (just like national archive are collating images of worker co-ops doing worker co-op stuff)?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 3 Aug 2018 10:06AM

Write up on Platform 6 and UK co-operative development in general in Co-op News. We do urgently need images to accompany stuff like this that aren't pictures of me. https://www.thenews.coop/130355/sector/platform-6-helping-movement-seize-moment/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 1 Aug 2018 4:11PM

We are planning to open membership next week - watch this space. In the meantime we are doing the following housekeeping:
* renaming the Loomio group to "Platform 6 Development Co-operative"
* tidying up the group - closing dormant threads and moving others into the members sub-loomio. On formally joining Platform 6, members will be invited to the member sub-loomio, which will focus on strategic decisions and allocation of funds.
* finally this Loomio will become public, with anyone able to join.


Graham Tue 31 Jul 2018 4:16PM

Not problems as such, more simply the reality as it stands today. If someone has a soft copy of the final giverning doc I'll be happy to get that in place. Also we have no currently agreement about corproate membership. The membership form was very hurriedly put up so that there was something there in time for the Open 2018 event in London. I've since removed the front page links to the application form. I think we also need an membership agreement document, a privacy policy (I can make one from another that I've just done for a different org), and probably some terms and conditions.


Graham Tue 31 Jul 2018 4:12PM

Great news. Please find out what their planned publication date is so that we can get website ready if possible.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 10 Jul 2018 10:36AM

I'm going to be interviewed on Thursday about Platform 6 for a piece in Co-op News, with a focus on the state of CDB's and co-operative development, and whether a platform model is the future. Will get in a plug for Solidfund too.


Ian Snaith Thu 5 Jul 2018 10:24AM

I'm a fellow traveller - ignorant of a lot of tech stuff but have scribbled on Co-op Law. Keen to learn and willing to help where I can.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 26 Jun 2018 9:39AM

Welcome aboard new people, particularly the Unfound folk. Please introduce yourselves in the Say Hello thread.


Emma Mon 25 Jun 2018 4:16PM

This one has a very US focus with its team but doesn't say whether there's any geography limitations for applying (I think not). And yes, there's an 'equity' requirement where they get a small slice of revenue in exchange for membership of the accelerator and initial participation. Think I'm all acceleratored-out although it would be interesting to be mentored by Nathan Schneider...!


Graham Mon 25 Jun 2018 11:41AM

I don't know where the Unfound idea was born. I imagine @jonnygordonfarleig does. I wish it every success. I'm with you, Mark - let a 1000 flowers bloom.


Graham Mon 25 Jun 2018 3:48PM

I think the investment may be what I'd call quasi-equity along the lines of https://purpose.capital who have invested in Open Collective and Sharetribe.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 25 Jun 2018 12:49PM

Are they accepting worldwide applications do we know?

Also it's interesting that the programme ends with a pitch to investors. I'm wondering if a more relaxed US attitude to investor control in co-ops will exist.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 25 Jun 2018 11:37AM

:laughing: Welcome to the co-operative movement. Joking aside, I think that the more organisms in the environment, the greater the experimentation and potential for cross-pollination.. Platform 6 is also hopefully going to be much more than a platform and about much more than co-op start-up.


Emma Mon 25 Jun 2018 11:32AM

How on earth did this and Unfound all happen independently of one another??


Graham Mon 25 Jun 2018 10:18AM

Well done Mark, looks good. I've been snowed under with day to day in the last couple of weeks and haven't been able to advance as much as I'd have liked. However, have noticed this morning that https://start.coop/ in the UK looks now to be open for business. Lots for us to learn there I think. I'm trying to get a call lined up with Greg Brodsky there to discuss collaboration potential.


Sion Whellens (Principle Six/Calverts) Sun 24 Jun 2018 11:24AM

Nice @marksimmonds


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 25 Jun 2018 12:42PM

I'll also include a plug for Solidfund.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Sun 24 Jun 2018 9:31AM

I'm proposing to send the following update to the people who have signed up to our mailing list. I'll hang fire for a couple of days if anyone would like to suggest any changes.

Platform 6 – June 2018 Update

As we enter Co-operatives Fortnight, we thought that we should update everybody who has taken an interest in the creation Platform 6.

We are a new co-operative of UK co-operators and co-operatives who want to sustainably grow the co-operative economy through the peer to peer provision of high quality expertise, services and funding, accessible to all through a co-operatively owned and controlled digital platform.

We want a world where co-operatives work together to support the next generation of co-operatives in an open and dynamic co-operative economy.

We are building an on-line supportive community of co-operative practice that will:

  1. Facilitate a network of co-operative expertise and shared resource.
  2. Generate funds for any co-operative development or education activity.
  3. Broker relationships within that community of practice to deliver formal co-operative business support to new and existing co-operatives.

We have incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee: Platform 6 Development Co-operative Limited (Company no. 11402403). We are currently setting up a bank account and once we have that set up we will open up membership of Platform 6 to new members in late summer 2018.

Membership will be open to “any individual, corporate body or nominee of a unincorporated body, firm, partnership or corporate body that wishes to use the services of the Co-operative and has paid or agreed to pay any subscription or other sum due in respect of Membership or the use of the Co-operative's services.”

Initially we will be targetting individual co-operators, with a target of 50 members in Year 1.

Membership will require a regular monthly contribution to the co-operative. Using the on-line platform, the members will then collaboratively manage the distribution of those funds to projects that support the objects of the co-operative.

It is envisaged that early proposals to the fund will be mainly concerned with the development of the technology to create the next iteration of the platform, which we will then promote to the wider co-operative movement. However we will be open to proposals from elsewhere and ultimately the members will decide how funds are spent.

We are also exploring other ways to fund this early development, so that we can increase our impact in the early days.

We'll be back in touch soon.

Mark Simmonds
Company Secretary

Platform 6 Development Co-operative Limited
Twitter: @platform6_coop
Facebook: www.facebook.com/platform6/


John Atherton Mon 18 Jun 2018 12:40PM

Yeah I went to the one last year they did in Manchester, was very good


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 18 Jun 2018 12:39PM

I've just booked on to the Masterclass in Decentralised Organising - July 13th
London option on July 21st

I think that this will be very useful to Platform 6 and wider.

About this Event
If you are trying to organise in a decentralised, collaborative, less-hierarchical team, you are probably asking yourself: How do we include people in decisions without spending so much time in meetings? How do we develop an open, collaborative culture? How do we encourage participation, engagement, and shared responsibility? And if nobody is in charge, where does accountability come from?



Pat Conaty Thu 14 Jun 2018 11:38AM

These events during Co-op Fortnight are indirectly relevant and all about an integrated co-op economy so could be of interest to those on this list.



Graham Fri 8 Jun 2018 2:17PM

I'm keen to learn views on this from others in the CDB sector.


Graham Fri 8 Jun 2018 1:30PM

This post from Ed Mayo, and the linked report from Alex Lawrie, seem highly relevant: https://edmayo.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/the-case-for-co-operative-development-bodies/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 7 Jun 2018 10:56AM

As we are now incorporated, I have created sub-loomios for full members and Directors. I anticipate that they will be little used until we have a bank account and can invite applications for membership.


Emma Tue 5 Jun 2018 8:20PM

I quite like the way Fairbnb have organised their discourse forum, makes it easy to jump in: http://forum.fairbnb.coop/


Simon Carter Tue 5 Jun 2018 8:24PM



bob cannell Tue 5 Jun 2018 8:04PM

Loomio is difficult to follow. Too many threads with maybe impoetant things hidden in them and hidden in the acres of text. To keep up takes a long time. And the more people the longer it takes and then its just the usual suspects talking to each other at length again. Your mindmaps are 'at a glance'. Wonder if there is an internet equivalent?
I did ask Loomio if they would offer a character number limited version, like Twitter to make it easier to scan read posts limited to 200 characters.
Young people use Snapchat to limit their information over load, texts are deleted after a few minutes and users encouraged to use pictures. I was surprised Loomio in practice is so much like the old bulletin boards of 20 years ago. Richard Bartlett etc. use more modern communication techniques In Real Life as we saw in Manchester.

Hope this is of some help.



Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 5 Jun 2018 10:41AM

Cheers Bob. Do you think that Loomio, which we intend the use at first, will provide that? If not, where is it lacking?


bob cannell Tue 5 Jun 2018 10:38AM

Hi, folks. Ive been quiet but I fully support Platform 6 (great brand name) I am concentrating on the people dimensions of coops and cooperation via CoopHRM (boring working title). Slow progress, lot of interest and need but everyone is as confused as me about where to start!
For Platform 6 I would ask for a network in which the entity and members can communicate two way and the members inter communicate, efficently and effectively.
Simple and intuitive. So members are able to engage 'at a glance'. Fewer words (sorry).
If Im getting coop overload other people must be!


ditto @marksimmonds re 3rd sector, also http://coopportunity.org.uk/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 25 May 2018 4:07PM


Emma Fri 25 May 2018 4:02PM

Does anyone know of any lovely, patient, co-operative, (good value) accountants keen to help out a budding platform co-op?!


Emma Thu 10 May 2018 5:17PM

Yup, we are eccoo (Equal Care Co-op, name changed from Careshare) and not actually online yet so hope to get good benefit from the programme. Launch event was Tuesday to meet everyone, which went pretty well - I've been following Platform 6 with a lot of interest as its certainly something we could really use! A core challenge of the platform co-op model is that the user / service provider base are not usually tech-savvy themselves, so balancing out the development expertise needed together with the membership and user decision-making ethos / requirements of the co-operative is an on-going question. So far we're approaching it with bespoke rules, sociocracy, service design and really friendly developers who do accessibility properly. Plus a bit of funding and a relaxed approach to learning as we go. Though reading through some of the threads on this group it feels like there's a lot we're missing!

Asher (attached) also input some useful governance challenges to the day (there aren't enough baby pictures in this working group imho)


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 10 May 2018 5:00PM

I've been working with ECCOO and @emmaback is in this group. I've also had some contact with Open Food Network - a more co-operative version of the Food Assembly model, which Nick Weir is involved with.


Graham Thu 10 May 2018 4:11PM

Just picked this info up about the groups that have been supported by the strangley named 'Unfound' programme:

The eight successful accelerator teams

Equal Care Co-op
Schumacher Commons
The Media Fund
The Physio Co-op
We Collective (Weco)
Land Explorer
Open Food Network UK

I know about Weco, and a bit about the Open Food Network. Anyone got any insight on any of the others? Is Equal Care the social care cooperative in Hebden @marksimmonds ? In which case that's you @emmaback ?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 10 Apr 2018 3:03PM

One of the things I like about this project is that, as others have stated, we may be able to crowdsource the accountability, quality assurance etc. It may be that all we need to do is provide templates for proposals.

The other is that we don't need to decide all this stuff - we can simply create the platform and see what happens, the membership then making democratic decisions informed by the learning generated.

If this just becomes a virtual CDB of the usual suspects then I'm much less excited about it. See also comments elsewhere in this Loomio.

Much to talk about on Thursday.


Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Fri 6 Apr 2018 3:50PM

Barefoot Co-op Development is another area where there is another shared interest with Solid Fund. I think bottoming out how SolidFund and Platform 6 interact is important


Graham Fri 6 Apr 2018 12:32PM

I'd like to think we can collaborate with this programme and be a partner.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Tue 10 Apr 2018 3:09PM

Would be good to game ways to defraud the platform - ie creation of imaginary projects requiring support. Will the membership spot these during a participatory budgetting process? Presumably gofundme etc. deal with the same problem. Does it matter? Can we live with the odd rogue application and learn?


Graham Tue 10 Apr 2018 2:56PM

I agree. We aren't in the business of providing support, but we are in the business of connecting people, so we don't need to be insurable in that respect, and we can make it clear in our T&Cs what the deal is. We can also make it clear that only some of the people offering advice are professional advisors (and are insured), and others are barefoot advisors/mentors (who won't necessarily be insured), and let people make their own choices. As a peer 2 peer platform with a vision of a growing and vibrant co-operative economy I believe that we have to enable and support ordinary people to offer their skills and experience to start-ups and scale-ups. The important thing is to be open and transparent. I also agree on the need for a reputation system of some sort.

In terms of "rogue practitioners" I'm curious as to what their motivation might be. If people are able to upvote/downvote and provide negative reviews (or possibly even blow the whistle) then wouldn't poor practice be quickly spotted?


Nathan Brown (Co-op Culture) Tue 10 Apr 2018 11:43AM

I don't think we necessarily need to go down the route of "having to be insurable" in terms of support provided. The providers of support have to be responsible and liable. I think we need to be clear if this is to be a platform (a thing that connects) or a service provider (a traditional consortium). The platform business model connects the support provider with the user of the support. E.g. using Airbnb as an example, if I stay in your flat, your insurance covers you, Airbnb has no insurance for your flat. Can we develop an ebay/airbnb approach whereby user feedback indicates quality? Would they even know what good quality is? If quality assurance and professionalism are pre-requisites to registration as support provider that role is perhaps best met by a separate yet possibly connected body (a professional association for advisors?). Perhaps the question is "How do we respond in the instance of a rogue practitioner and how do we find out they are rogue?".


Austen Cordasco Tue 10 Apr 2018 10:40AM

We have to assure quality and professionalism, we have to be insurable and we have to be able to filter out rogue practitioners. These things are not automatic for any platform and we will have to make sure they are in place and robust before we launch, but they are at least doable.
I am wary about setting up this platform as a vehicle for barefoot CD practice because I am not convinced that barefoot practice is able to achieve these things - they seem to be problems inherent to that model. Barefoot practice is good for mutual co-operation between consenting co-ops that are willing to share the risk of failure or sub-optimal outcomes but it takes only one rogue practitioner to destroy the reputation of a professional service provider and so we have tread very carefully here.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Sat 7 Apr 2018 2:04PM

I think that if we get this right then the platform would be the ideal vehicle for barefoot co-op development.


John Atherton Fri 6 Apr 2018 12:06PM

Another initiative going on at the moment is the Co-operative Barefoot Advisers programme. Although starting with some physical workshops, I think it will develop into the need for an online space for people to share resources, mentor and support each other. I'm just wondering how we ensure synergy with this project and how it develops?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 4 Apr 2018 5:33PM

Cheers Austen,

I've no problem with any of that. I'll make sure the next
iteration reflects that.

I am sure the mailing list glitch will be sorted (not in my



Graham Thu 5 Apr 2018 9:30AM

Thanks for taking the time to report the issues. For you, I've added in the hyphens on the website. I disagree with your position on the hyphen, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I've turned off the on-screen error reporting on the website so the notice won't be seen by others. I've not added the full name of the company or other details as yet, becuase that company doesn't yet exist. Clearly the website is very much a work in progress and needs a lot of input. Volunteers welcome.


Austen Cordasco Wed 4 Apr 2018 3:48PM

Great that we have a business plan. I can't see any serious faults with it except that the proposed mission statement does not include the market building/proselytising function. Also, Object (c) should be corrected to read "... employment that is satisfying...".

Great also that we have a website, but that does have errors:
- The hyphen in "co-operative" needs to be reinstated throughout, including the name. We will have no credibility if we can't spell that word correctly.
- It makes no reference to co-operative development. It's primary purpose is a platform to facilitate co-operative development, not just the creation of new co-ops.

- Its name should be "Platform 6 Development Co-operative Ltd.", as per the business plan.
- On signing up for the mailing list I got the error "Notice: Undefined index: address in wf_crm_webform_postprocess->saveContactLocation() (line 751 of /home/p6/sites/default/sites/all/modules/webform_civicrm/includes/wf_crm_webform_postprocess.inc).", but it seemed to work and I got a confirmation email.

I don't want to sound too critical - the work that people have put into these creations is so valuable - but we do need to get them right.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 2 Apr 2018 9:54AM

We also now have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/platform6/


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Sun 1 Apr 2018 11:43AM

Quick update as everything is moving so quickly and Graham and I have been co-ordinating by phone whilst on the road.

We have registered the domain platform6.coop
Graham has created a holding website at www.platform6.coop
We also have a currently quiet twitter account: @platform6_coop
We have an email address: [email protected]
We have submitted an on-line application to Unfound – the platform support programme http://unfound.coop

We have a bare bones business plan to submit to the Unfound programme this week. The Unfound programme basically gives us access to a series of workshops with other platform co-ops and the opportunity to pitch at Congress in June.

The business plan is attached, comments welcome and nothing is set in stone - we just needed to create something for Unfound.

We have interest in involvement from various tech co-operators – see other threads.

The leap forward has been prompted by the Unfound application and an urgency around getting a bank account – people want to start giving us money.

I’ve spoken about the platform at the Ctrl Shift summit over the last few days and had significant interest, not least from Jon Hall – communications officer at Community Energy England.

We are meeting on-line – see Zoom invitation in Meetings thread.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Mon 26 Mar 2018 7:43AM

Re on-line meeting - poll closes today. It's currently looking like 12th April. We would have had interview for Unfound by then. @sionwhellens you have yet to respond to extended poll and additional dates.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 22 Mar 2018 3:16PM

The poll for the on-line meeting is due to finish tomorrow, but some people have indicated that they can't do any dates and @jdaviescoates has added some dates. Even if you've already completed can you indicate your availability for the extra dates. I'll extend the poll till Monday.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Thu 22 Mar 2018 8:18AM

I've now upgraded this Loomio group at a big discount (£90 instead of £390) negotiated by @graham2. We can now grow and have more functionality.


Graham Wed 14 Mar 2018 3:53PM

Good news. I suggest that once we've resolved the issue of the cost of opening this group to a wider number of people, that we invite people from the Development Cooperative in here so that they can engage more actively.

As for converting their legal structure to support what we're going to need I guess it's a recognition that a) the DC as it stands has not delivered, and b) that they are supportive of where we're heading. If it's a shell that we can re-shape, and that works for what we want to achieve then I'm open to it.


Josef Davies-Coates Mon 19 Mar 2018 5:05PM

I'm a big fan of multi-stakeholder structures and it seems most/ many of the practitioners we'd like involved in this are already involved in that so could potentially work nicely (or horribly if it just means we inherit a load of issues I'm not presently aware of).


John Atherton Wed 14 Mar 2018 3:53PM

All in favour of re-using a perfectly good legal entity, but worth bearing in mind that DC has not been a great success so we wouldn't want this fund falling into the same trap.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 14 Mar 2018 3:40PM

DC very interested in co-operative development fund/platform work. Possibility floated that DC could become multi-stakeholder and be the vehicle? Don't get too excited either way. What do folks think of that idea?


Graham Wed 14 Mar 2018 12:25PM

Good, I was going to ask you about that. Hope it goes well.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 14 Mar 2018 12:03PM

I'm reporting on this work to Development Co-operative meeting today.


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 14 Mar 2018 12:00PM

I'll ask Bob


Graham Wed 14 Mar 2018 11:48AM

Great. Who do we talk to?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Wed 14 Mar 2018 11:44AM

According to Bob Cannell, Mondragon have a large co-op development fund that they aren't using and are keen to look at using it overseas.