Co-ops Fortnight Brighton 2010 follow-up

Co-ops Fortnight LogoGrowing together Flyer

August 2010

Dear friends,

At the the event we said that we would follow up and help the community self-organise towards a more cooperative future, and in particular share contact details so that people could get a hold of each other. Naturally, we ask that contact details are used considerately. I’ve included your names, orgs and e-mail in a GoogleDocs spreadsheet that participants can have access to. If you wish to add or remove information, please let me know, and I will do it. A couple of email addresses were impossible to read unfortunately, so please forward this to anyone that you know of who is missing.

Coops14OpenSpaceCircleI was impressed by many things that day, my colleagues really enjoyed the event, and we also received some very positive feedback. I would love to hear more about what you thought about the event, and how we can make the next regional gathering even better. I would like to add a collection of Co-ops Fortnight Brighton blogs. So if you’ve got them, or would like to write them, please do and send them to me to put on our SEED website. Also, if you’ve got pics, please send them to me. Click here to see the pics we put in GoogleDocs. I’ll be working on the multimedia footage – we have video and a promise to obtain audio (thanks, Ida). Will keep you updated. I welcome suggestions for what to do with it.

I have been in touch with Sven Rufus, who generated support amongst us for creating a Brighton co-ops network, and we have played around with ideas about URL names, what to have on it etc. We hope to update you on that as soon as we can, and also invite your thoughts. We also want to invite you to consider the question: How can local and regional members of the co-operative community support each other, and help the community to grow?

Here’s what he said a month ago, ‘I looked into getting a .coop domain name for a network. Was thinking of something like brightoncoopnetwork.coop although it’s a bit long and messy, so maybe principle6.coop?’ (SussexPrinciple6.coop? Sussex.coops?) ‘Anyway, that’s not the point – I was wondering what your views are of me going ahead and registering that now, just to keep the momentum – or should I wait a bit? Interested to hear your thoughts.’

If any of you have bright ideas, please sent them our way ;)

I’ve thought it’d be nice to have Q&A forums. Lots of the break-out conversations were about co-op logistics (legal, etc. issues). There were also people with little or no previous experience with co-ops who just wanted to know basic info. So, maybe there could be a story-telling element to the website as well.

Since we talked a lot about the fascinating history of co-ops, and especially in Brighton and Hove, I asked Sion Whellens about co-op history reading circles. He recommended this website: http://www.co-opstudies.org/. Does anyone else think it sounds like fun to organise local reading circles, or am I too much of a geek for y’all ;-) ???

I’m forwarding last month’s issue of the DecisionLab newsletter, CoLaborative Times, in which there is a pic & mention about the event. If you’d like to receive future issues, you may e-mail me or sign up on the DecisionLab homepage.

Co-operative Group Membership South East Co-operatives UK South East

Thousand thanks for coming, helping out, inspiring, leading, sharing, etc. We very much hope to see you again, learn from each other and hang out. Another special thanks to Fran Pickering of Prodigal Catering (Tel: 01273 884 097) for the delicious lunch and drinks, as well as our sponsors: Co-operatives UK South East and The Co-operative Group’s South East Members.

S.E.E.D. Logo

Hope to see you again soon (virtually and in real life),

Angela De Praire, on behalf of DecisionLab, S.E.E.D. a cooperative company

Follow us on Twitter: DLabCoop

Please read on for further tidbits:

The lovely Kathy O’Keefe from Co-operatives South East, and Sion Whellens from Calverts and Co-operatives UK, asked us to let people know that the Making Local Food Work programme is offering free Good Food, Good Governance training and advice workshops, including ‘ Practical Governance: A practical hands-on workshop around tools and techniques to assess the governance health of any community enterprise.  This course is particularly aimed at development workers but may also be suitable for the members of the governing body of a community enterprise.’ 24th September – Brighton. Other workshops around the country. See www.mlfw.co.uk/training to book your place now.

For those who would like to continue Sion’s inspiring and practical urge for us to support each other, here are the bullet points he asked us to cover when given 60 seconds to introduce our business and our needs:

My name > My organisation > Where I am > What I do > Why I’m good > The referrals I want.

We hope that some of the connections made on the day bear some fruit; please do let us know, or even better, share your stories on the Google Docs, by email, or on the new website when that is set up.