We need to build #4opens based infrastructure. This needs to have radical social DNA at its roots #PGA and #indymediaback are examples of this. We need to abandon the 100s of pointless #geekproblem tech projects and at the same time step away from #NGO tech. An example of what we need #OMN a simple #KISS path out of this mess.
Much to chew over here.
There will be a lot of parallel lessons from looking at other organisations of similar size and similar approaches towards how they are organised internally.
Learning from them will be useful, as they'll have had similar problems, and will already have tried a range of solutions, with greater and lesser degree's of desired results, as well as the accompanying side-effects, and entropy. :D
The conversation about the effects of different types of organisational structure is a whole 'nother tangent that i'll get back to eventually. :D
If you look at existing, successful projects, they usually have to successfully operate in at least 4 functions;
- to create,
- to manage,
- to maintain,
- to defend.
Laying those out explicitly, and deliberately is one way towards reducing the number of future arguments, and sources of friction.
Supplementary functions will be Succession, and, Long-Term Memory storage.
You've probably heard about the Goat Rodeo problems that crop up when you have a number of disparate actors with differing and conflicting aims.
By laying out the roles, and talking about how they will operate, from the very beginning, then you will have a clearer idea of whether you can work together in the first place.
The sooner that you can say "We are not going to work effectively together, are we?", the less time and energy will be wasted by everyone involved. :D
In order for this to happen effectively, there needs to be a clear vision of what you want to achieve in the short-, medium-, and, long-terms.
Look at how the London hackspace started out as a group of friends who were meeting in the back-room of a pub.
As it grew, and more people joined, it became more about the workshop, and less about the social aspects.
This was a source of some of the friction that took place. :D
So when setting something up, make sure that the reasons that you are doing that are explicitly stated.
This is one of the reasons that i like the SCIM maps as a model of a problem-space.
The problems are clearly stated, and the arguments are mostly going to be about the implementation.
Working from an agreed shared map will, again, reduce the potential causes of friction, and, identify flash-points where operations could break down. :D
It stops being arguments about what you are going to do, and becomes discussions on the most effective methods of implementation.
It also makes it easier to see where people are going off track, and to either call them back, or to let them go off on their own tangent.
It also makes it easier to catch internal bad actors, as they won't be focused on doing their tasks in the shared work.
Again, reducing the potential conflict-spaces, and, flash-points.
Examples of the different roles that the London Hackspace had;
- Social club,
- Shared workshop space,
- Study hall,
- Cheap, self-managed co-working space,
- Tool Access at reasonable prices,
- Communication & Skill-sharing,
- Tool use that can't be done in domestic settings,
- Boot-strap workshop for starting businesses,
Add your own ideas to the thread here. :D
Originally the trustee's were the director's of the legal shell that was created so they could rent the industrial unit in Hoxton.
The first venue was the room above an archery range in Islington, and had a rental fee that could be safely covered by an individual.
When that venue closed, the only one that they could find that was affordable, was in an industrial unit next to Hoxton Station.
The monthly rent was high enough that no-one wanted to be legally responsible for the whole fee as an individual.
The building management company also didn't want to rent it to an individual person.
That was when the Hackspace legally incorporated as a Limited Company.
And that came with the rights and responsibilities that this legal structure entails. :D
In the same way that we volunteered and formed groups to maintain the various tools and pieces of equipment that we shared.
The trustee's of the Hackspace were just the Maintainers of the Legal Infrastructure, that allowed us to rent the large concrete box to put everything in. :D
That was the original intention.
What it became later on, and what it is now, is another story.
But there was no action plan for this process.
It just evolved by accident. :D
ours (TBH its always been called a Makerspace) was gentrified/white middle class right from the start, but that goes with the territory as the only folk here who genuinely have time for side projects are current or former British Telecom Research centre permanent staff (not the brown people, who either get sent back to their own countries or if they stay here end up taking the tech jobs that require 24/7 on call availability)
It was after i joined the Hackspace, that i came across this.
( Original page has moved, but WayBack works. )
This gives a breakdown of how 4 people in Amersfoort built their own FabLab.
The original MIT-Spec Fablab cost $150K-$250K in 2000/2001.
4 people built an identical spec FabLab for 5000 Euro's in 2010.
The fall in price-point of both the software and the hardware has continued. :D
Technology is a Dutch auction-style market niche. :D
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