Who’s with us?
We’re planning to change and hope you will help
Our good friends at UKGovCamp described us just the other day as “a truly unique bunch”. We’ll take that. We didn’t set out five years ago to become “truly unique”. In fact we set out with a simple (if rather confrontational) mission to “Fix Government”.
We’ve come a long way in that time.
We had projects that worked well and projects that didn’t work so well.
We’ve learned, about public services, about business, and about ourselves.
This year is going to be a big year for us and, we hope, for you.
Support public servants
Let’s be really clear here. We believe in public services. We think that high quality public services are the mark of a civilised society.
We want to live in a world where every citizen benefits from excellent public services.
Getting to that world will require concerted action on an enormous number of fronts. We’ve done some deep thinking about where we should be putting our efforts and we’ve concluded that the place where we can add value is to support public servants.
To drive improvement in public services we need public servants with the right tools and the right skills for the digital age.
Tools and skills alone are not enough.
Even the most skilled, best equipped public servants are constrained by the cultures within which they operate. Public servants need to operate within the right culture for the digital age.
We have developed, designed and tested a set of approaches that give public servants the right tools, skills and culture to make the best use of data, design and navigating complex systems
Join the movement
We want to do more. We want to support public servants at scale. We think, in the digital age we should be able to do that without creating a massive corporation.
We want to cooperate with others that share our mission, we want to help people who are smarter than us to contribute to our mission, we want to be a key part of the movement driving improvement in public services.
We think that we should look to creating a more co-operative form of organisation. We’ve been very inspired by Enspiral from New Zealand and based on our understanding of their approach and some other pieces of research we have an early prototype idea.
We’re excited about this change. We think it could help us to have more impact, at a greater scale. It could help use bring a greater diversity of experience and perspective to bear on the problem of how we give public servants the right tools, skills and culture in the modern era.
We think it could help you and people like you (freelancers, small companies, and non-profits) scale your work rapidly and effectively.
Our early (first) prototype
We think that a future Satori Co-op would have three tiers of involvement.
Individuals and organisations who support our mission and operating principles. Being a friend would show that you wanted our work to be a success but would not bind you to any obligations.
We’d keep friends up to date with our work, invite them to certain events and activities, and ask them to help spread the message.
We might invite friends to support the co-op as volunteers on specific events and even with cash contributions.
We imagine there would have to be some light-touch way to check that people are still friends. Like maybe they opened a newsletter in the past 6 months. Or clicked on an annual “are you still there?” link.
Individuals and organisations who support our mission and operating principles and want to actively work in support of our mission.
Being a participant would show not just that you wanted our work to be a success but that you wanted to provide your skills and labour to furthering our mission.
We would expect to have a closer relationship with participants than friends. They would carry some obligations to us. We could carry some obligations to them.
We hope that participants would want to be able to join and use some of our collaboration / project management tools. Perhaps Members would consult them on selecting projects for The Satori Lab to focus on… or even give them a direct say. Participants might earn money through The Satori Lab by contributing to specific projects and/or they might donate their skills and labour to specific projects.
That the work that participants would contribute to The Satori Lab would be likely to be only a proportion of all the work they did in the world. Participants might undertake to keep give us a break down of their skills and experience and keep us informed of what they were up to and play an active role in our the day to day discussions in our community. They might spread the word about our projects. Maybe there would be a fee to be a participant? Maybe not.
Individuals and organisations so committed to our mission and operating principles that they want to be a fundamental part of that work.
Members would own The Satori Lab. They would also share responsibility for the effective governance and operation of the The Satori Lab on the basis of one-member, one vote. They would commit their best work to The Satori Lab and earn money through the co-op.
Membership would be a very serious commitment with serious obligations on both sides. People (or organisations) would become members because they were so committed to helping deliver our mission that they would want to commit most or all of their working time to that work.
Members would play an active role in the work of the co-op including participating in the relevant rituals like stand-ups and retrospectives. They would initiate and successfully deliver projects with other members, with participants and with others. They would need to contribute to a minimum number of projects each year.
Members would be able to bid for co-op resources to support projects in which they were involved, they would have access to the full range of business tools used by the co-op and would take shared pride in the success of all the projects of The Satori Lab.
Becoming a member
For those who were so inclined there would be clear paths between these three tiers: Friends could become Participants and vice versa, Participants could become Members and vice versa.
We’re exploring the idea that Members would be have first to be Participants for some time and would then apply for Membership and be accepted only if agreed by the existing membership. Maybe Participants would also have to spend time as Friends before applying to become participants.
We’re entering a period of discovery right now.
We intend to focus on understanding the needs of the sort of people or organisations who might become Friends, Participants or Members. If you are one of those people or work at one of those organisations, please get in touch.
We’d also like to hear from you if you don’t see yourself in any of those roles but are excited by our mission.
And we’d love to hear from you if you have any experience of co-ops, especially consortium co-op type structures (we’ve been getting some advice on the legal/governance aspects from Co-ops UK), what we could do with more of is an understanding of the lived experience of people working with or within co-ops.