Wed 6 Apr 2016 5:37PM

Launching Cobudget!

F Francesca Public Seen by 15

We're ready to start cobudgeting!

At the last summit, we decided together that we would start using the participatory budgeting tool Cobudget to fund our full global OuiShare budget. To kick-off the process, this post will:

1) Introduce Cobudget
2) Explain our Cobudget setup
3) Present the buckets to fund the 2016 global activities

Introducing Cobudget

To get a quick introduction to how cobudget works, check out this very clear article about the basics
If you’re interested in more details on administration of the tool, check out the Cobudget Beta Admin Guide
To see an example of how it can be used, take a look at this case study about POC21

Derek kindly offered that he and his co-founder Eugene could hold an open conference call to answer questions about the tool. Let me know in the comments if you are interested so we can organize this!

Our Cobudget Setup

Cobudget does not need to be used in the same way by each organization. Derek actually tells me that each organization has a unique way of using it that suits its specific case. This means that we can make some choices on how we setup and use the tool. Luckily, as an Enspiral contributor I have been able to get great insights on how Cobudget can be used, so I'd like to make a proposal on how we set it up.

I have created a global OuiShare cobudget group, where we can fund all activities that have to do with shared resources across OuiShare teams (countries & projects). Each country group is very welcome to create its own, independant, cobudget.

OuiShare France validated their budget in March, which determined that 51 000 €, can be allocated to fund global activities, which is 16,7 % of OS France's operating budget. As discussed at the summit, for this first round, it seems like only the French community will be able to contribute to funding Global costs, but of course we hope (or assume) this will change.

For your information, due to the fact that we no longer have SNCF as a partner and some other changes, both Antonin and Benjamin no longer have a salary from Ouishare. To see who is still being paid to do what in France, check this budget.

Who can fund

I suggest that we enable funding to come from:

  • Countries (= the current case for the global activities=)
  • Project teams (i.e. the OuiShare Fest team)
  • Individuals

As you can see, we created one account called "OuiShare France" that will fund the global activities, for instance.

Adding funds

Only administrators can add funds in cobudget, which means that you need to ask them to add funds to your account for you. To distribute this task, I suggest that Spain, UK, Germany and France each select an administrator, so that we have a group of 4-5 people that can add funds.

When to fund

While it is possible to try to fund activities on a rolling basis, with cobudget it makes to have funding cycles of 1 month, 3 months or 6 months. At Enspiral for instance, once a month all members get a message asking them whether they have funds to put into cobudget.

Since we don't have that many funds coming in regularly yet, I propose we start with a 3 month funding cycle. If funds are put into cobudget, we will make an announcement saying: "Funding is available now, add your buckets", to encourage people to suggest activities they would like to work on. Of course, you are also very welcome to add buckets for activities in cobudget whenever you like to see if this may motivate others to put funds in, but it experience shows that having funds in the tool first works better.

This process can hopefully enable us to dynamically fund much of the work we used to describe with "global coordination & community". For example, I recently saw someone from Enspiral announce that they think new membership onboarding & welcoming documents are needed, and that they would like to raise a bucket to fund this work.

Funding Global Activties for 2016

As a first step to getting started with Cobudget, we need to make the final validation of our operating costs for 2016 (in the future we'll do this in November of the preceding year) !

Important: This budget was made taking into account new financial contraints. The buckets we have put up now are what has been assesed as the barebone activities that are critical for OuiShare to continue to operate properly (apart from the website project, which has been discussed here. It no longer includes regional coordination, monthly travel stipends and summit travel stipends, nor global coordination and community management. Of course, if more funds come in, we hope to be able to fund of these activities again.

Since we had long discussions about the utiility of a montly travel stipend last year and we noticed that for the past 6 months there were very few demands for covering travel (apart from summits), it would be useful to hear your feedback on whether you think having this is necessary.

To participate, please:

  1. Accept your invite and log-in. All Connectors have just received a tool to join with their OuiShare email address, so please check your inboxes!
  2. Check out the buckets that have been added, which OuiShare France intends to fund.
  3. If you have any remarks specific to a bucket, comment right on cobudget under each bucket and simply let us know here in the loomio thread that you commented.
  4. Approve this budget by giving thumbs up on loomio, if you don't have any further comments.

>> Go to our Cobudget group

Questions? I'm sure you have a lot - so please let me know if you think we should organize a call with Derek to bring more clarity as mentioned above.

Thanks to @Ruxandra @maud1 @myriam that have helped in this process so far :).

Looking forward to our first cobudget!


Francesca Tue 7 Jun 2016 4:59PM

As next steps for activating the use of Cobudget, I am going to setup an automatic monthly email that reminds people to add funds to cobudget if they have something to add, as well as propose buckets for activities that need funding.

Enspiral does this as well and from what I have observed this helps engagement a lot. If we decide we don't like it, we can always turn it off again!


Maud Fri 15 Apr 2016 7:13PM

I just made a comment on the Web eco-system project :-) (a point of clarification). Thanks @francesca for implementing that, cobudget really looks like a great tool for clear and transparent information :-)


Alexandre Bigot-Verdier Mon 11 Apr 2016 12:02AM

Thx @francesca for bringing this. I would love to hear more about the global governance between France, UK, Spain and Germany.
As Quebec has now its legal existence and that we begin to fund our own events, it would be cool for us to know what could make Canada a part of the Global community.

See you soon!


Ana Sun 10 Apr 2016 10:37PM

Hey I would love to join the call with Derek as well :)


Myriam Bouré Sun 10 Apr 2016 2:06PM

If there is a session with Derek I'll be interested, if I can make it with my busy farming agenda ;-)


Ana Sun 10 Apr 2016 6:13AM

The main discussion that we are having in Spain regarding cobudget its about the power to influence the process by funding only base in our money contributions while there are a lot more importants ways of contribution. The main question is how to measure and evaluate that?


Francesca Fri 8 Apr 2016 12:09PM

@albertcanigueral, it would be great to hear more about how you are setting up the cobudget in comparison!

And just to add: the idea for now was that we open the cobudget to Connectors for the first week to make sure everyone understands how it works, and to then open it to external people as well, since anyone is very welcome to fund projects!


Francesca Fri 8 Apr 2016 12:07PM

I would say that France has to fund them because they are necessary for us to keep functioning. That is what defines operating costs :)


Bernie J Mitchell Thu 7 Apr 2016 8:08AM

This is REALLY cool - it would be GREAT if a few more connectors would get involved - this would be a brilliant example for both Co-budget and OuiShare to tell. ;-)


Jocelyn Ibarra Wed 6 Apr 2016 11:54PM

Fran! Thank you for being so diligent on this!

I've got a question: what does OS France want in return for funding global operations one more year? (Question open to anyone related to OS France, not only Fran like we're badly used to :P )

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