A place to discuss how we organise ourselves, our membership, our various projects and our wider community of support.
Whilst this is ultimately a decision for the members of Platform 6, we're posting this discussion in the public Platform 6 Community Loomio. This discussion will form the main business of our next on-line members' meeting on the 18th June 2019 and we'd welcome input from our wider community.
The context for this is that there is a lot of exciting activity amongst the Directors of P6, but little engagement at the moment with the members.
Questions to start the conversation (please feel free to respond and add more):
1) How do our members get more involved?
2) How do we generate new projects/opportunities?
3) How do we co-ordinate our activity?
4) How do we better communicate our Mission(s)?
5) What do members of P6 want to get from P6?
One option we might consider is a sociocratic model, currently being explored by several UK worker co-operatives. Platform 6 would be co-ordinated by a central circle, with projects and admin functions being subsidiary circles.
Brief introduction here: https://youtu.be/JVM1BCc06Mw
Whilst reviewing assets available in the NW, I plugged platform 6 today at the inaugural meeting of a the NW Community Energy Hub.
I think there needs to be some clarity over membership too. I was invited to participate in Member discussions (although unfortunately have little time to engage) yet it is my co-op Co-op Culture which is the Member and @marksimmonds is our nominated representative. Which means we in principle have more than one voice for our one membership. Transfer that to a co-op of 150 members and you could have undue influence.
Gaining traction for any discussion in Loomio, or any other space for that matter, is increasingly difficult as it gets harder and harder to get people's attention. Personally I'm generally aiming to keep track of things across perhaps twenty or more channels spread across at least half a dozen different platforms, whilst simultaneously trying to do some "work" (the stuff generates hard cash in the here and now). Within that context I guess we need to aim to be relevant, interesting and useful. Even then we'll probably only ever be able to reach some of the people for some of the time.
I think that the directors - and I'm one - have fallen into a trap of talking amongst themselves rather than more widely amongst the membership or the wider public forum. I know I'm guilty of that and I hereby commit to trying to stop that.
As a founder I still need to make it clear what my vision is, and I would encourage others here to offer their thoughts also on what their ideas and expectations are.
In terms of your second point Mark - how do we generate more projects/opportunities - I'm thinking perhaps we also need to think about process and service. We've been - deliberately in my case - vague on what happens when projects come our way. In contrast, initiatives like start.coop in the US and incubator.coop in Australia have taken a wholly different approach with very clear process. Should we be building clearer pathways for engagement? Almost certainly.
Whilst talking to people at events, I'm increasingly framing P6 as a "community of practice" where people have permission to experiment, look for collaborators and share. A way to connect the practical hands-on with the wider ecosystem of knowledge, expertise, culture and other communities of practice. Things to resolve in that context are:
1) What does permission look like?
2) Where and how do we draw the boundary around that "community of practice"?
I'm contemplating conveying my experience, but I'm reticent to do so,
I'm interested to find out what your experience is, and what your expectations are @simon88
My expectations were high Graham. I assumed that the coop movement was small but supportive, especially of startups. Sadly my experience has not reflected my expectations..
If my venture is ever a success I will not be eulogising about all the support I received in the early days. If I were to give up now, I don't believe anyone would notice.
As of this moment, I still don't know what Platform 6 does, or plans to do, & I declined to renew my membership of Co-operatives UK as I do not have money to waste. In other words, there is no obvious support structure to turn to for a coop startup. Sheer bloody-mindedness keeps me going, combined with faith in my ambition, but for anyone less than 100% committed to the coop route, I would have to advise them against it, which is tragic.