Vibrant Community Online & Off – the Red Victorian Co-Living Hotel

Alanna from Loomio caught up with Jessy Kate Schingler and Brittany Ferrero in San Francisco, where they were gathering with other social entrepreneurs connected to Enspiral. They took some time out to talk about how collaboration works in their co-living hotel.

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How OuiShare is Scaling a Shared Vision Across Countries

Alanna met Benjamin Tincq and Francesca Pick at POC21, an open source hardware innovation camp in a castle in France, which OuiShare was a core convener of. They stepped out to share how they collaborate as a large-scale international distributed community.

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How Digital Nomads Run a Distributed Social Media Co-Op

Alanna from Loomio met Romain Chanut at POC21, a 6 week innovation camp in France focused on open source hardware for sustainability. Romain was there with his “Do It Together” JerryCan – a low cost computer you can assemble from recycled materials. We took a break from hacking on hardware to learn more about his other role, as a digital transformer in a social media collective.

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Diverting Funds from Wall St to the Commons: Robin Hood Co-op

Alanna met Dan Hassan in London, where he was speaking at an event in Hackney Wick about “DIY Social Movements”. Just as the light was fading, we walked along the canals looking for a quiet spot for him to share his thoughts about creating ‘economic space’ at Robin Hood Co-op.

Most of us are allergic to finance because it doesn’t work for us. It closes down possibilities and creativity. We have the idea that it could be different, that it could be creative.

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How to Grow Distributed Leadership

For years, I’ve been throwing myself into environments where there are no bosses, but there are lots of leaders. Like coordinating volunteers at a festival in the desert, building a distributed entrepreneurial network, co-founding a cooperative tech startup, designing new processes for participation, and taking over a French castle to eco-hack the future.

Now I’m wondering, how does this kind of leadership grow? What conditions does it need to sprout? How do you nurture it? What does its development look like? How can I grow further as a leader in an organisation with no ladder to climb?

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No Boss Does Not Mean No Leadership

A friend got in touch with a question…

“Do you have favorite lessons from being a professional Cat Herder? I’m working in a flat, collaborative group, but I’ve realized that by jumping in to save the day all the time I am establishing myself as the point of control. People instinctively go to me instead of the group at large with ideas and problems. Now I’m worried that if I step back, our plans could fall through.”

Leadership is the force that guides people to achieve desired outcomes through coordinated effort. It doesn’t require a boss.

My friend is running into trouble precisely because she has leadership skills, but in our society we aren’t really taught how to apply leadership outside of hierarchy.

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Feelings, magic & gendered work: processes & structures of a collaborative workplace

A Facebook friend asked this question on Friday:

“What do you think are the most critical things (I’m talking specific processes, policies, and structures rather than values) that make up non-competitive and more collaborative and caring workplaces? Spaces where people are encouraged to really praise and acknowledge someone else’s work rather than hide someone else’s contribution, where people want to spend time on the collective good rather than next personal gain, and where the often invisible and gendered work of caring and ‘organisation culture’ is prioritised and publicly valued as critically important? What are some practical things you can implement, aside from the destruction of capitalism? Ideas, you wise group of souls?”

I’ve spent the last couple of years working with an incredible bunch of people to build an organisation that is exactly like that: caring, collaborative, and non-competitive, a space where we praise and acknowledge each other, where the work of caring is shared equally, regardless of gender.

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