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How we work together

This version was saved 11 years, 1 month ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Edmund Johnson
on September 8, 2009 at 2:39:17 pm

"Who are these people? Who elected them?

And how do I replace them with some of my friends?

Can you hear us? Are you listening?

No power without accountability!"

(NPWA lyrics by Billy Bragg)



Shared Project Aims


First Aim

We are working to enable the sharing of resources and resourcefulness specifically by establishing in 2009 a website  that enables people to find and lend items that otherwise would not have been so accessible to them. The working title of this website is freelender.org


Second Aim

We are seeking to work with others who share values of generosity and trust-building in sharing community resources; in 2009 to establish clarity with justfortheloveofit.org about our working relationship, and later with other providers e.g. freecycle.


Third Aim

We are committed to establishing by 2010 ways for the work of freelend.org to be self-sustaining or amalgamated with an organisation that is self-sustaining. (We define self-sustaining in this context as meaning having the wherewithal to continue to develop and market the freelending work and respond individually to enquiries within 5 working days,)


Individual Vision & Mission Statements

People involved in Freelending CIC may support the above aims and work effectively together whilst having different value systems, personal visions and missions. One supporter of the above aims may have a personal vision of building the essentials of community - fellowship, security and meaningful participation in a totality greater than one's self and be engaged with freelender for that reason. Another supporter of these aims might simply want to borrow and lend rather than spend.


The values that we have identified as part of our individual missions



  • Self-care & mutual care. Connected as we are, we choose to accept responsibility for supporting and caring for each other in all our endeavours both personal and professional. 

    We also choose to accept responsibility, both individually and collectively, for creating the conditions in which we can meet our personal and communal needs for safety and well-being.

    Our personal and professional endeavours inform and enrich one another. In all situations, we can remind each other of our human potential for frailty and strength, disappointment and excellence and allow space for celebration, mourning and remembering.

    We remember that empathy, compassion and trust energy are the cornerstones of our philosophy.

  • "Be the change you want to see" (Gandhi). As individuals we celebrate the power that we can contribute to achieving our shared vision by modelling the behaviour which we wish to see manifest in the wider community.
  • Flexibility - in upholding values of care and 'being the change we want to see' we work to stay focussed on aims (getting our needs met) above being focussed on how we feel about a proposed way forward.
  • Responsibility - We choose not to engage in master/servant relationships. We carry individual and collective responsibility, transparency and accountability. 

    We hold the intention to complete all tasks to the best of our ability and within any deadlines.

    We also accept that there may be occasions when we fall short and need help. If and when this happens, we agree to inform any peers who may be affected by this in a timely manner and to request their support. We understand and celebrate that such requests will be met with compassion.

    We commit to discussing with each other the behaviour patterns we display when we feel pressure, stress or discomfort. This also involves making peers aware of what actions they can take to give support at these times.

    We understand that when people have unmet needs for support, understanding, respect and consideration they are unlikely to feel well enough to undertake their tasks with positive energy therefore we individually and collectively embrace opportunities to attend to what is alive in us.


(This section written with thanks to the CPS Ethical Constitution -CPS Website)

(We are also interested in finding a simple and effective set of guidelines for running sociocratic processes)


Levels of decision making

Highest Level -Project and Technical Management joint working group

The initiators of freelend.org are:

  • Paul Crosland (project management)
  • Edmund Johnson (technical management)

We put proposals to each other (or will receive them from other levels of freelend) and reach decisions in relation to them on the basis of consent.


Middle Level -Technical Management working group

Edmund Johnson chairs this group which reaches consent decisions amongst those who join this group. Where  consent is not achieved, the proposals are referred up to the Project and Technical Management joint working group.


Middle Level -Project Management working group

Paul Crosland chairs this group which reaches consent decisions amongst those who join this group. Where consent is not achieved, the proposals are referred up to theProject and Technical Management joint working group.


Grassroots Level -Development groups

Anyone can set up an ad hoc group with aims. This newly formed group will then ask for a respresentative of either or both the technical management or project management working group, and any other relevant development group to join in the ad hoc's groups proposal making process.

The current list of development groups is:

  1. Networking and Campaigning group
  2. Marketing Group
  3. Website Development Group
  4. Community Conflict Transformation Group
  5. Staff Recruitment and Induction Group
  6. Fundraising Group


Consent decision making at each level

(More will be written here outlining the basics of formulating proposals, quick reactions to proposals, re-formulating proposals in the light of quick reactions and the choice to consent or withold consent from the proposal. Without consent the matter is referred to a higher level; with consent people are elected to enact the proposals.)


How to establish or join a working group within freelend

-see the section above on ad hoc groups then join the freelend yahoo group to propose the new group you'd like to establish or join.


Open Source Design

Further reading

Wikinomics - How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams, Penguin 2006

Rebel Code - Linux and the Open Source Revolution, Glyn Moody, Penguin 2001


Infotopia - How Many Minds Produce Knowledge, Cass R Sunstein, OUP 2006

The Future of Work, by Thomas W Malon]


Code of Conduct

We have borrowed from the Ubuntu code of conduct which is developed collectively on this site the following parts of their code of conduct:


Ubuntu is an African concept of 'humanity towards others'. It is 'the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity'. The same ideas are central to the way the Ubuntu community collaborates. Members of the Ubuntu community need to work together effectively, and this code of conduct lays down the "ground rules" for our cooperation.

We chose the name Ubuntu for our distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of the sharing and cooperation that is at the heart of the open source movement. In the Free Software world, we collaborate freely on a volunteer basis to build software for everyone's benefit. We improve on the work of others, which we have been given freely, and then share our improvements on the same basis.

That collaboration depends on good relationships between developers. To this end, we've agreed on the following code of conduct to help define the ways that we think collaboration and cooperation should work.


Ground rules


Be considerate.

Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and we expect you to take those consequences into account when making decisions.

Be respectful.

The freelend community and its members treat one another with respect. Everyone can make a valuable contribution to freelend. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It's important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. We expect members of the freelend community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors as well as with people outside the freelend project.

Be collaborative.

freelend is about collaboration and working together. Collaboration reduces redundancy of work done in the Free Software world, and improves the quality of the software produced.  If you wish to work on new code for existing upstream projects, at least keep those projects informed of your ideas and progress. It may not be possible to get consensus from upstream or even from your colleagues about the correct implementation of an idea, so don't feel obliged to have that agreement before you begin, but at least keep the outside world informed of your work, and publish your work in a way that allows outsiders to test, discuss and contribute to your efforts.

When you disagree, consult others.

Disagreements, both political and technical, happen all the time and the freelend community is no exception. The important goal is not to avoid disagreements or differing views but to resolve them constructively. You should turn to the community and to the community process to seek advice and to resolve disagreements. We have the freelend yahoo group for consultation and advice. There are also several Project Teams and Team Leaders, who may be able to help you figure out which direction will be most acceptable. 

When you are unsure, ask for help.

Nobody knows everything, and nobody is expected to be perfect in the freelend community. Asking questions avoids many problems down the road, and so questions are encouraged. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful. However, when asking a question, care must be taken to do so in an appropriate forum. Off-topic questions, detract from productive discussion.

Step down considerately.

When you leave or disengage from the project, in whole or in part, we ask that you do so in a way that minimises disruption to the project. This means you should tell people you are leaving and take the proper steps to ensure that others can pick up where you leave off.


Self responsibility and parting

We are likely to make additional requests which we will ask you to respond to if you begin to work with us and then leave.

We will respect your choice to leave and try to learn what we can from the time we've spent together working towards shared aims.

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