About

What we do

  1. Design, prototype and build software and digital tools
  2. Deliver trainings and provide strategic advice
  3. Facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources between progressive organisations

How we work

We try to take an intersectional and systemic approach to our work, collaborating with a broad range of organisations to imagine and build radically different futures. We place a strong emphasis on listening to organisers’ needs, amplifying the work that they are doing already and building internal digital capacity within their organisations.

We constantly look for ways that we might cross-pollinate and share knowledge between the different groups that we work with. Through our work, we’re trying to build a supportive community of practice where people can learn from each other.

Iterative cycles

We work in agile sprints: short bursts of focused activity where we continually inspect our progress, adapt the plan and redistribute work within the team. We always follow the same iterative process:

  • Build something lightweight
  • Test it with real people
  • Adjust and iterate based on what we’ve learned

Our approach to technology

Although we sometimes describe ourselves as technologists, we’re critical of technology, particularly when it reduces people’s quality of life. We don’t think that digital technology is ever neutral, nor do we think it’s a solution to social and political problems on its own.

However, whether we like it or not, much political organising happens online these days. We believe that technology can be an effective way to save time and scale up autonomous groups. We see technology's role as an augmentor and connector — one way to facilitate people to meet each other, form relationships and build power.

We're interested in how you can repurpose the innovations and techniques from the tech industry and apply them to grassroots activism instead. Digital technology is ubiquitous and it can be powerful when used to facilitate distributed groups, connect people, save time or scale up activities.

We don’t jump straight into building custom digital tools. We try to make thoughtful interventions, which sometimes involve using off-the-shelf tools, or custom ones, or simply training or facilitating people to use technology more effectively. Usually it’s a mix of all of these things.

On worker cooperatives

We’re a worker cooperative because we think that how we work hugely impacts what we make. If our goal is to enable radical change, we need to begin by questioning the entire structure of our work.

A cooperative is an organisation democratically owned and run by its members. We work together, as equals, to help everyone in the group. We support each other and contribute our own particular skills and experience for our mutual benefit and for the cooperative as a whole.

We see cooperatives as one way of prefiguring an alternative future. We want to imagine and practice a different way of working together: one that centres cooperation, interdependence, democratic participation and sustainability, rather than profit, growth and individual success.

Our shared vision

We imagine diverse communities rooted in care and reciprocity working together to achieve ecological and social justice. A just, abundant future where people have the tools and confidence to effectively organise themselves; where it’s easy to unionise, start a food co-op or organise a protest. Cooperatively-run workplaces and platforms powered by lightweight, convivial technologies rooted in an ethos of maintenance and care. A resilient global network of local communities with the power to make decisions over their own lives. A world where we’ve learned to live in equilibrium with our environment and in kinship with other humans and more-than-humans.

Our values

We are a group with a set of values, and each one of us is an individual with a set of needs, and this is where our work begins. Our first obligation to ourselves and each other is to try and embody our values in how we relate to and interact with each other, as we start each day of work together.

Solidarity

We act in solidarity with those who are struggling against all forms of oppression. Solidarity is power. Diversity is strength.

Interdependence

We cultivate reciprocal relationships where we can practice collaboration and generosity. We don't believe in competition or scarcity. We see the commons as our opportunity to have the biggest impact.

Thoughtfulness

We understand and respect the complexity of political and technological structures. We trust people to know their own context best. We think before intervening and intervene at the appropriate scale. We listen deeply and reflect with intention.

Practice

We believe learning is an endless journey. We use theory and practice to intensify each other. We are curious, creative and interdisciplinary. We ask questions and lean into change.

Optimism

We approach problems as challenges and see failures as opportunities to grow. We remember the capacity of people to collectively build a better future. We trust that people can.

Aside from our core values, we also adhere to the Cooperative Principles and the Design Justice Principles.

Who we are

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Alex Worrad-Andrews
Strategy and Software Engineering
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As a software consultant with more than ten years of experience, Alex has worked as a senior software engineer in major startups in London, including YPlan, Beamly and Blinkbox Books. Moving into consultancy in the cooperative and tech for good space, he worked with tech cooperative Outlandish.

He most recently consulted for Lightful – a social media platform for the beyond profit space – as Director of Engineering, reporting directly to the CEO and in charge of technical leadership across the company.

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Anna Cunnane
Junior Software Engineer
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Anna is an junior software engineer who recently graduated from Founders and Coders, a full stack web development bootcamp. Previously, she worked as a metadata manager in book publishing where she won a London Book Fair Trailblazer award and was named a Rising Star by industry publication The Bookseller. Anna also works for the National Domestic Abuse Helpline providing support and information to survivors of domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls.

Portrait of Arby
Arby Hisenaj
Designer
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Arby looks to work in a space where politics and design overlap. He uses strategic design to support progressive missions such as the biggest left-wing political festival in the UK ‘The World Transformed’. Arby sees design as a signifier of progressive ideas, human connection and an alternative future. He also enjoys using no-code/low-code solutions such as Webflow to help BAME women achieve their entrepreneurial goals on limited budgets. He believes in using innovative tech to offset the obstacles of opportunity a capitalist system can create.

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Everin Scott
Software Engineering
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Everin has never introduced themself as a software engineer, despite doing the job of one for almost 8 years. Trying to avoid categorisation as an individual is — for them — a ‘personal-as-political’ micro-project, and is just as important as making sure they expend their work energy on meaningful macro-projects. This has seen them involved in a range of organisations, all connected by a common theme: facilitating large numbers of people to coalesce and become active around a political issue. They were lead developer on projects like schoolcuts.org.uk (2016–17), welevelup.org (2018), organise.network (2018–21), nochildleftbehind.org.uk (2021), and have worked or collaborated with organisations like 38degrees.org.uk , neu.org.uk , changelab.io , outlandish.com and the-open.net . Currently, most of their spare energy is going into strikemap.org .

Portrait of Gemma
Gemma Copeland
Design and Research
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Gemma uses design to amplify voices, facilitate dialogue, and imagine post-capitalist alternatives. Collaboration with others is at the heart of her practice. In the past, she led digital design projects at studios in the UK, The Netherlands and Australia, as well as helping organise groups like UVW’s Designers & Cultural Workers branch and the design collective Evening Class. She regularly does lectures, workshops, and interviews on topics like community-led design practices, the cooperative tech movement, and the role that design and technology can play in achieving eco-social justice.

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Jan Baykara
Software Engineering and Product Design
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Jan works on digital products. He has worked as a designer, engineer and strategist at multiple startups. Most recently, he was Head of Product at a London Top 10 artificial intelligence startup that provides real time, human geo-analytics to civic and corporate strategists. Previously political tech projects include WhoTargets.Me, a collaboration with LSE academics to expose micro-targeted electoral ads, and GE2017.com, a tactical voting and party manifesto matching service used by over 2 million people – the largest endeavour of its kind in the UK.

Portrait of Joaquim
Joaquim De Souza
Software Engineering
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Joaquim De Souza is a software engineer with a background in building easy to use data tools, including the NUT School Cuts Website and the Kew Gardens Plants and Fungi Data Manager. Joaquim‘s ambition is to develop technology to support progressive campaigns, with the hope of making our society work better for everyone.

Thank you

We feel deeply grateful to everyone who has worked with us or supported us over the years, including:

John Evans, Chris Devereaux, Sonia Turcotte, Joe Todd, James Moulding, Ruairidh Paton, Chloe Montgomery, Shauna Buckley, Yuli Serfaty, Ilyanna Kerr, Robbie Blundell, Richard Olsson, Daniel Sestrajcic, Cade Diehm, Polly Robbins, Dan Sofer, Pete Burden, Lucy King, Max Gerber, Ella Fitzsimmons, Siôn Whellens, Becky Bond, Lizzie O'Shea, Cassie Robinson and Will Stronge.

Also thanks to our fellow CoTech co-ops : Code-Operative , Agile Collective , Outlandish , Jarrow Insights , Good Praxis , Founders and Coders , The Developers Society , Yalla , Animorph , We Are Open and many more!