Building links with the Co-operative Movement.
- We test alternatives to Skype – not entirely successfully
- Linphone – looks promising, but…
- Ekiga – we couldn’t get either of these to work
- Both use SIP – Session Initiation Protocol
- We suspect the issue was due to fire walls or other networking problems
- Linux Outlaws managed to get them working – great podcast that’s worth checking out
4:15 Why bother struggling with open source software that doesn’t always work?
- Are we stubborn freetards, or just masochists?
- Why do we reject the gifts of our great benefactor, Bill Gates?
- We have a deep respect for the open and ethical development model
- Debian is essentially an international workers’ co-operative
- FOSS proves that democratic production is effective
- Successful co-operatives prove that there are viable alternatives to hierarchical capitalism
- Download some software and participate in an alternative economic model – how can you resist that?
7:00 Linking Open Source with the Cooperative movement
- Co-operation isn’t new – people have been doing it for a long time
- Trade unions have a long history of involvement with Co-ops
- Links between Mondragon and United Steel Workers in North America
- Mondragon is a federation of co-operative movements based in the Basque region of Spain
- USW is a large general union organising in the US, Canada and Caribbean – linked to Unite in the UK and Ireland
- Mondragon is a highly successful, multinational co-op
- Mondragon works in finance, retail, education and manufacture, making bicycles and many other products
- The work with USW aims to rebuild the manufacturing sector in the US on a co-operative model – very exciting!
11:25 The Coopertative movement in the UK
- There’s a difference between coops and collectives
- There are different kinds of coop
- The Coop range of businesses
- John Lewis
- Cooperative businesses like this function within capitalism but demonstrate that stakeholder capitalism is more sustainable than shareholder capitalism
- Suma Wholefoods is a workers’ co-op – not to be confused with the anti-union Wholefoods Market
- Co-ops create islands of sane, human economics in a neoliberal sea
- Let’s work to network these islands – unions, FOSS and the co-op movement
- Let’s make work democratic
14:50 Useful free tools for union activists
- You don’t have to install Linux to use free software
- Save money – replace Office with a free alternative
- Firefox – probably the mostly widely used free software – also Chrome and Chromium
- Open systems are more secure – many eyes, fewer bugs
- Libre/Open Office – can open most text files, and save in most file formats. Also exports to PDF
- What’s the business model? Why do some companies sponsor open source? Because the benefit of sharing outweighs the profit they’d make by making it proprietary
- The Document Foundation – oversees the Libre Office project
- Scribus is an excellent desktop publishing programme – along the lines of Adobe InDesign or Quark Express
- Inkscape – Open Source vector graphics editor, along the lines of Illustrator or CorelDraw
- GIMP – similar functionality to Photoshop
- Also Audacity for audio and OpenShot for video. We use Audacity to record the show
28:30 Listener feedback and acknowledgements