What we got up to
This week we were busy doing interviews and writing up our Labour Together General Election review.
We haven't been able to do any retrospectives for the last few weeks, so we were happy to get back to this last Friday, and to weeknotes too.
We also spent a fair bit of timing writing project proposals for consultancy work.
This is a time-consuming process, but we're definitely getting better and faster at turning them around. To do so we've made extensive use of Notion templates as well as centralising all previous proposals in a way that makes finding them easy, also using Notion.
We cater for all budgets and none and approach work in a spirit of close cooperation and co-design.
Founders and Coders Cohort Graduates
Founders and Coders is a free peer-led web development training program run from Space4, the cooperative co-working space we are part of.
We're going to miss the students – it's been great to share the space with them. A whole new cohort starts on Monday though, so we're looking forward to similar levels of enthusiasm.
We think this is such a great initiative, and we're impressed with how holistic their curriculum is, which is all open source.
On Thursday, we went to Beyond Precarity?, a roundtable discussion about co-ops in the cultural industries.
There was an interesting discussion at the end about how people tend to see co-ops as a magic bullet.
One of the speakers pointed out that there's nothing inherently political about a worker co-op – they can just as easily fit into neoliberal frameworks – making it all the more important to establish a firm set of values from the beginning.
They don't necessarily resolve precarity or overwork either. Sustainability and burnout were two topics that were discussed by most speakers.
However, they do offer a form of resistance to the usual conditions of work, based on solidarity and mutual support.
What we're reading
As background research for one of our proposals, we did a bit of reading into Fortnite.
We found it fascinating how the Fortnite world is in almost constant flux, with weekly challenges, seasonal updates and an ever-changing map. Indeterminacy is built into the system in a way that makes it a constantly interesting place to visit. We particularly liked these pieces:
- 10 Reasons Why Fortnite Is Designed for Success — and What You Can Learn From it
- Fortnite isn't a game, it's a place
- Why is Fortnite Battle Royale so wildly popular?
Thanks to all the gamers we asked for their thoughts on this. Yes, we did play some rounds ourselves!
We're reading the Systems Bible at the moment which is quite useful on a technical level. We'd love to read the feminist, postcolonial and Marxist critiques of it though – much of the commentary feels arrogant and ignorant.
We're also reading Entreprecariat by Silvio Lorusso, which deconstructs the neoliberal myth of "being your own boss" and explores what constant precarity means for workers.
What we're thinking about
Gemma will be talking at a CoTech meet-up at Space4 next week about the role designers can play in building social movements. So we are thinking a bit about that.