Tue 27 Feb 2018 2:47PM

Advice for setting up a local meet-up group

NS Nick S Public Seen by 127

Hi all -

A few of us were planning to start a P2PF/Commons Transition meet-up in Edinburgh. I was wondering if anyone had done this before elsewhere and/or had any advice to offer? So far it hasn't really been announced, and is in very early stages of planning. I got so far as creating a Loomio group P2P Scotland and a proposed initial date.

Beyond that I simply wanted to announce it and seek the general blessings from P2P people here - for example, is it OK to use the P2P logos and the name, etc? Is there any general support you can offer to local groups?

Note, I say Edinburgh, but it might be branded as more of a Scotland-wide affair, since the few people interested so far are distributed outside Edinburgh (Glasgow and Falkirk/Edinburgh I believe). This larger catchment area obviously means there may be more people who might register their interest, but then poses problems as the physical meet-ups need to be in one place or another.




Michel Bauwens Tue 27 Feb 2018 3:23PM

dear Nick,

great initiative

I copy jose and darren from the commons transition coalition in melbourne, to share their own experience,



Nick S Tue 27 Feb 2018 8:58PM



Stacco Troncoso Tue 27 Feb 2018 3:24PM

Hi @wulee that sounds great, so happy to see this! The guidelines for establishing local P2PF/CT "branded" chapters and the support we can currently give are explained in this link. Give that a read and contact us whenever you feel.

We consider that anyone advancing the Commons, no matter under what name, a positive development and we're happy to report on it and give it diffusion through our web resources. There are specific P2PF related initiatives in France, Australia and Korea for example, but also other examples which we're close to, including various chambers and assemblies of the Commons, the European Commons Assembly or the Alliance of the Commons which don't use our name or, specifically, our material.

We also wrote a "how-to" article aimed at individuals interested in the Commons Transition but which is, as you'd expect, very much focused on get together with other people!, you can find that here: How can I take part in the Commons Transition?


Nick S Tue 27 Feb 2018 9:34PM

Thanks for these starting points. Indeed I am currently focused on "finding the others!"


Simon Grant Tue 27 Feb 2018 3:56PM

Sounds like an interesting idea, Nick @wulee

I think also of my position in the north of England (personally near Lancaster), not a million miles away. I'm loosely involved in several groups in this kind of area: I've done a fair bit for P2PF wiki; I've participated in some Digital Life Collective discussions; I went to the last EdgeRyders meeting in Brussels, and the partnership I belong to (Cetis LLP) is a member of Cooperative Technologists as well as DLC. I aspire to be in some kind of membership with Enspiral, but I haven't managed to convince Rich (who I've talked with extensively) or anyone yet, as I haven't been to a retreat in New Zealand.

These groups have much in common. I don't really want to be going to so many different meetings under different names meeting most of the same people and a few different ones. I'd rather we built the network through direct peer-to-peer links of getting to know each other and respect each other's work and ideas, then consider together which platform any work can best be done with; which people would be most aligned to our personal, local, embodied needs and aspirations. If we had a co-badged event, with several of these groups represented, I'd be very tempted to come across the border to join in! I'm closer in miles and in spirit to Edinburgh than London.

And, my personal mission / project is to help build a system that can indeed help people to find each other, exactly to get together with some kind of shared agenda.

Any ideas?


Nick S Tue 27 Feb 2018 9:57PM

Sounds like we have similar aspirations, except you're way ahead of me, Simon!

I don't think I have any specific proposals I could make currently, nor any idea yet of how many others I will find locally. I'm sure they exist, but as you say, spread out over a group of loosely connected overlapping communities. I was quite surprised by Stacco's links how many commons-related institutions there are besides the P2PF. (Indeed I assumed the Commons Transition was a project of the P2PF but maybe not.)

Saying that - one idea I have, which is totally off the cuff, was just inspired by the observation that it's often difficult finding meeting places to support events and people in these aforementioned communities. If such a space existed it would be a commons which would very directly facilitate people with shared agendas finding each other. It could be run by a local organisation, but I suppose it could also be a federation or a national organisation. Something to think about...


Darren Wed 7 Mar 2018 1:24AM

A couple of years back, the only time I've been to Scotland, I visited http://www.monimail.org near Edinburgh.
I think that there would be space there for a meetup and members of the resident intentional community, I think, may like the idea - one member was super into FLOSS software - others were involved in community growing projects.


Nick S Wed 7 Mar 2018 10:55AM

I've never heard of that. The site seems fairly quiet. Maybe I'll send them a link, anyway.


Liam Murphy Tue 27 Feb 2018 11:35PM

Hi Nick,

I have proposed something similar in the east of England and am consulting on subject matter etc - very happy to collaborate if it might help ?

Liam Murphy

T: @culturebanks


Nick S Wed 28 Feb 2018 12:14AM

Interested, can you tell me more? (I will read your article here, tomorrow https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/culturebanked-our-digital-cultural-commons/2018/02/13)


Liam Murphy Wed 28 Feb 2018 12:28AM

Well, after writing the above article, I mentioned the idea of some sort of symposia to Kevin Murphy at Voluntary Arts - with a view to finding partners in hosting such a thing. He has asked for more details and so have a few others. I said I would put out a similar call to yours. One thing i am interested in doing is finding help in approaching local organisations like local authorities, LEP's and infrastructure orgs to begin to define a 'position' and to get the issue of Commons onto their agendas. Happy to chat sometime if you'd like...


Liam Murphy Tue 27 Feb 2018 11:36PM

PS - have set up ‘Culturebanking Norfolk’ Meetup as well - focussing on Cultural Commons FYI...


Gordon Martin Thu 1 Mar 2018 4:51PM

Someone on scuttlebutt ( https://www.scuttlebutt.nz ) brought this post to my attention. I'm based in Glasgow, but I'd be happy to travel to Edinburgh for a cool meetup on these topics :)


Nick S Fri 2 Mar 2018 10:21AM

I'd be glad if you can make it safely through the snow! Also, @roryg tells me there are a few people he knows in Glasgow interested in this group, but I don't know them personally.

Presumably SSB users are naturally aligned with P2P, and I am personally hunting for local people interested in Holochain or P2P finance. I know Chris Cook (T: @cjenscook) lives in the area and knows about these things, have yet to contact him.


Nick S Fri 2 Mar 2018 10:25AM

ps. We'll be posting any updates on the thread here


Michel Bauwens Fri 2 Mar 2018 10:08AM

personally, despite the fact that many different transition groups operate, I do find it important that the p2p/commons narrative is a core part of the transition story and practice, therefore, personally, I would rejoice with a specific p2p initiative (my model is the commons transition coalition in melbourne and australia), such as Nick is proposing. This is not to replace and compete with other transition practices, but to complete them with a specific perspective,



Michel Bauwens Mon 5 Mar 2018 7:02AM

thanks for the update!


Simon Grant Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:31AM

Not sure where to propose this, but following the sense of the discussion in the P2P Scotland group, I'd like to suggest setting up a new Loomio group, perhaps as a subgroup of this one, to discuss what to do specifically in the UK to broaden the information commons around P2P / CT in the UK, and to help scaffold the formation of local/regional groupings, if there is a need for that. I've started a proposal in the P2P Scotland group.

Any opinions or further guidance on this? Happy to adapt if the wisdom of the collective points in a better direction! :)


Julien Lecaille Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:43AM

In France we have created a whole wiki to trace and document various local activites aroud the CT and P2P local networks. It's based on "Commons Assemblies" and "town in Commons" http://wiki.lescommuns.org (only in French, sorry). English link : https://blog.p2pfoundation.net/100-women-co-creating-p2p-society-maia-dereva/2016/05/30


mike_hales Thu 15 Mar 2018 9:46AM

I would welcome a UK-focused group @asimong. Not just to broaden the information commons, but to offer an updating map of its structure and goings-on - groupings, geographical locations, resources, newsfeeds and events, reflections on various practices, whatever. I appreciate your rationale in your earlier posting regarding 'pooled' conversations and cooperation versus many overlapping venues.

For myself, this wouldn't be my primary locus of activism, but I would be very glad to have a focused P2P/CT 'place' in the UK, for listening to and messaging to, from my own main arena (civil economy and 'beyond fragments' libertarian socialism).

I'm inclined to follow the earlier reasoning of Michel Bauwens. Maybe check out the Aussie way of organising and make some direct Aussie connections?


Liam Murphy Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:49AM

My comment is 'Please go ahead and do it'! (thanks for that Julien - will look)


Simon Grant Thu 15 Mar 2018 4:30PM

Thanks to @julienlecaille for reminding us of the excellent work of Maia and lescommuns. Where and how is that wiki hosted?

Mike @mikeh8 I see you're in Sussex. Greetings from the other end of England! Looks like we are getting people's support and encouragement, so I hope to go ahead and start a new Loomio group next week, still curious about whether it could be a subgroup of this one, and how that would work...

UK folk could then, there, we can discuss how exactly to take things forward, whether a wiki on the French lescommuns model, drawing from the Australians, or what?


Maïa Dereva Fri 16 Mar 2018 12:35PM

Hi @asimong ! The wiki is hosted by a specific French association called "Legal Service for Commons" (technically, we rent a dedicated server from Online.net).
See http://legalserviceforcommons.initiative.place/ (in French, sorry)


mike_hales Fri 16 Mar 2018 1:02AM

UK commoners gathering, July 20th

Forwarding . . .

Date: 16 March 2018 at 00:06:23 GMT
From: Torange Khonsari
Sent: 15 March 2018 17:30
To: Worker Co-operatives workercoops@groups.facebook.com
Subject: [Worker Co-operatives] This is an open invitation to all initiatives or...

This is an open invitation to all initiatives or organisations involved in commoning practices and projects to assemble in London on Friday July 20th. This would be the first assembly of UK commons or those practices close to commoning to come together and organise. If you are interested please DM me with your email and I send you more details.


Michel Bauwens Fri 16 Mar 2018 6:11AM

Loomio is great for discussion and self-organization, not so much for ongoing documentation,

that is where the wikis come in, to offer a knowledge commons for the community; the mediawiki is very easy to use, it took me about 15 minutes to learn



Simon Grant Fri 16 Mar 2018 12:51PM

Completely endorsing @michelbauwens1 here. Loomio for discussion and decision, flowing and changing with time. Wiki for reference -- documentation whose value endures over time. MediaWiki is most effective for anyone with Wikipedia experience (who know the Wikitext format) but others are possible, depending on hosting.


Julien Lecaille Fri 16 Mar 2018 4:20PM

Knowledge of wikitext is not even necessary, we use VisualEditor for easy WYSIWYG edition :)


Simon Grant Mon 26 Mar 2018 6:53AM

I've now started a Commons Transition UK thread to which everyone with a UK interest is invited -- partly to discuss and facilitate local / regional groups in the UK. https://www.loomio.org/invitations/4e5a51c7ae14bd2f38da



Michel Bauwens Mon 26 Mar 2018 7:43AM

dear Stacco/Ann-Marie,

perhaps a good time to do a write up on the discussion resources available on Loomio, for our blog audience ?

thanks Simon for your initiative .



Stacco Troncoso Mon 26 Mar 2018 10:34AM

Quick note: Dear Michel, when you use Loomio over email and forward to someone it doesn't really work on Loomio and "abducts" the conversation to email It's best to @ + tag.

With the groups yes. I thnk it makes more sense to publicise them in social media than a full out blog post at this stage. @asimong maybe we can take the introductory text from the CT UK group? (or, indeed, do a quick check in that thread to ensure everyone is fine with this)


Simon Grant Mon 26 Mar 2018 10:50AM

Hi Stacco @staccotroncoso ! yes of course you're welcome to use or adapt anything that is useful, if you or others would like :-) In good copyleft tradition, if anyone improves on it, do let me know!


Michel Bauwens Mon 26 Mar 2018 2:27PM

not sure what you mean stacco,

so if I want to copy someone that is not on loomio, what do I do ?

add "@" in front of their email ?


Danyl Strype Sat 31 Mar 2018 8:28PM

Advice, hmm. Don't use MeetUp.com? There is a fairly new, free code replacement called GetTogether. You can use their hosted instance or set up your own (source code and install instructions). The devs plan to allow instances to federate using ActivityPub, so you can search for groups and events on any instance from any instance.


Nick S Wed 11 Apr 2018 10:50AM

We're probably not going to use Meetup.com, because it costs money :). Someone suggested using attending.io. Seems not much to lose in trying these things. The main problem with these alternatives is compared to meetup.com is the size of the network you can reach. For now I'm just creating threads on Loomio, which serves the purpose of coordinating those who know about the event already.


Danyl Strype Fri 20 Apr 2018 6:36AM

Fair point, but I think it's also important to remember that network effect is a river, not a mountain. How many users can be reached on any given platform changes radically over time, just as the amount of water in a river changes depending on how much water is fed into it by tributaries. If we want the network reach of proprietary data-farms like MeetUp (or FarceBook, goOgle, etc) to be overtaken by that of platforms that are human-centred / freedom-respecting / user (or worker) owned, etc, the only way to achieve that is to use the most ethical platforms we can find ourselves, and encourage others to do the same.

From a brief skim of their homepage, I see no reason to treat Attending.io any different from MeetUp. No information about ownership or links to source code. For all we know, they are just a classic startup, trying to attract an audience that they can data-farm, and eventually sell to capitalists through acquisiton or IPO, as @douglasrushkoff1 describes in 'Throwing Rocks ...'.


Nick S Fri 20 Apr 2018 9:25AM

I quite agree on all of your points, and I'm glad to learn about GetTogether. There is also Hubzilla, which apparently does Events and Calendars (although, apparently separately). I need to check both of these out.


Danyl Strype Sun 22 Apr 2018 8:48AM

Come to think of it, Hubzilla might be a better candidate for a decentalized MeetUp replacement. Unlike GetTogether, which is a fairly new project, Hubzilla is a mature codbase, with a wide range of CMS features, and a plug-in system for adding new features. Plus, it seems to be the best of the federated apps for supporting all the existing federation standards (Zot, OStatus, Diaspora, and now ActivityPub).

Hubzilla and the Zot protocol it's built around are incredible, definitely worth a look. The Hubzilla UX could use work, and it takes a bit of getting your head around. But that's because it can be hard to grok the brilliance of Zot's solutions until you've had some painful experiences of the more head-scratching federation problems it sets out to solve (intermittent uptime of nodes, export/ import of user data, reliably private sharing with limited set of users across multiple nodes etc).


Nick S Sun 22 Apr 2018 10:03AM

Interesting! I hope you don't mind if I quote you in a thread on social.coop?

Alternatively, feel free to reply there directly.


Danyl Strype Mon 23 Apr 2018 3:28AM

IMHO you can always feel free to quote anything said on a public-facing website (which this Loomio group is), as long as you do so accurately, and with suitable attribution. But yes, by all means, quote away :)

FYI that link is coming up "500 Internal Server Error" for me.


Nick S Mon 23 Apr 2018 8:49AM

Thanks. Gah. '@' symbols have to be escaped as '@' in Loomio URLs... fixed, this end anyway.


Danyl Strype Mon 23 Apr 2018 9:14AM

Working now, thanks :)


mike_hales Tue 24 Apr 2018 9:51AM

This article above about Mike Mcgirvin and Zot, posted by @strypey, ought to be more widely known, I'd say. It's a rare window into life and work in the hackersphere for someone like me ('power user'?) who is glad never to have had to see a line of code for the past 25 years.

It gives me a sense of how incredibly tough the work is - brain-wise, politics-wise, patience-wise - and how much skill and vision is accumulated by dedicated makers in all kinds of specialised domains in our massively socialised forces of production. The complexity and the sheer labour and the pathological glitches make me moderate my expectations of progress in commoning (of all kinds?) by a couple of degrees of magnitude.

Could be that this article isn't the whole story, human politics and point-of-view being what they are? No matter, it's better to have this version than be ignorant of what's going on over there in Codeland! The Aussie connection (Mcgirvin lives in the Blue Mountains) reminds me of the deep entanglement of goings-on in the counter-corporate hacker-related world written about by Peter Carey in Amnesia. Again, I don't know how 'true' this account is ('mixes farce with ferocity' says the reviewer) but the sense of walking in treacle seems pretty real? And it's not just down-under. Thanks for a dose of reality, Strypey!