SSC Monthly Meeting
Saturday 5th March 2016
Apologies: Joss, Lucy
Present: Andrew, Carol, Laura, Mike, Sarah, Wendy
Read & agreed last month’s minutes
Curriculum reports: SSI
Andrew outlined our recent seminars looking at dystopian novels, and questioning their relevance and usefulness. Many people struggled to do the reading in advance, especially whole novels, and we agreed that people should come even not having done the reading, and we will spend some of the time reading during the seminar.
Curriculum reports: Cybernetics with Raul Espejo
People are getting lots out of these sessions, and are stretched by them. These sessions are attracting a slightly different group of people than our SSI regulars. Last seminar is a week on Tuesday.
SSI people will discuss what we would like to follow after the Cybernetics course, and brings some suggestions to the next meeting.
Gnawed by Rats
Unable to attend today’s meeting due to snow, but they have an event coming up on Friday 18th March, 6:30-9pm at the Pavilion Building. Sarah will put this on twitter and the blog.
Joss suggested that we ask Alex (from Ragged University) if he would be interested to do some work on improving and modernising our website for us. We should pay him for this. We agreed that this would be a good idea; Mike will get back to Joss to ask Alex.
We have had the final workshop on transnational networks, which was well attended. Joss & Mike have written a short article to publish in a journal, and will be working on further articles and presenting it at conferences. Next SSC needs to prepare a report to share at our AGM, to see how it might develop the SSC. There is a lot of interest in the establishment of a cooperative university.
Maria & her colleagues are setting up a Cooperative Institute for Trans-National Studies, much like Mondragon in structure; they will charge a fee; a multi-stakeholder coop; working on getting accreditation through the autonomous university in Mexico. SSC could use them as a proxy accreditation institute.
Mike got a grant this week from the Leadership Foundation, on Cooperative leadership, and putting it into a higher education context. Suma, Mondragon, a cooperative school, and John Lewis will all be case studies. Create a tool/vehicle/critical device to assess cooperativeness within university. It’s one year; £10K, to include a part time research assistant (who can speak Spanish), with a steering committee.
Mondragon delegates are coming over to visit, to look at Student as Producer and what the SSC are doing.
Rituals in Education – Robert Hamm
Joss has invited Robert on 16th April. We need to check the status of this, and help with advertising.
Distress in the City – Linden West
Linden has written a book on Stoke-on-Trent and the rise of Islamophobia. Mike will invite him get back to him to arrange a date for him to visit. We need to get some basic posters made.
Grant available for scholar-activist fellowship. “Hull City of Culture” is gentrifying Hull, and resulting in the enclosing and privatising of previously open and public spaces. Campaign is currently happening around keeping a school building public instead of selling it off; she would like help documenting it. The SSC could be recognised as an institutional partner in the grant, which would mean we would handle the money. It would cover materials and space, but not time. Do we want to contribute? Do we have the knowledge & skills? What would we do with the money?
There were concerns raised about complications around, and the big responsibility of handling the funds, in partnership with people we have not yet had chance to build up trust with. Might it divert our energies?
There was a concern raised that Lincoln is a long way from Hull – we are not aware of what is going on there; would we spend a lot of the money on travelling between? Does this make sense as a partnership? We do have people who are experienced in facilitating community learning who could offer this support on a consultancy capacity. We are not local enough; we don’t have a capacity; our budget is not set up for this sort of thing.
A pool is in the process of being set up, including contracts and legality. It is a closed group, but we will run further workshops in future, and support who are interested in setting up a pool.
We propose Saturday 7th May at Croft Street Community Centre for AGM. It will include business meeting, and look at ISRC report and research project and how it can support the SSC, and how we might review our governance structures, and invite people who have been part of the project to contribute (rather than guest speakers).
Actions from last AGM: workshop on decision making process & technology (hasn’t happened yet). Why hasn’t this happened – there isn’t the energy? We will discuss paper on consensus decision making at SSI, and bring this back to AGM.
Re-visit values at AGM.
Short course on feminist social theory and gender, offered by Andrea, Sarah and Lucy – this has been disrupted by people’s circumstances, but the issues are still of interest.
Suggestion that each of us write 200 words about who we are, why we’re involved, etc. Let’s do this ready to re-launch the website. (We will ask for this when we advertise the AGM)
Stephen has asked to stand down from treasurer’s role. We need to appoint positions at AGM – treasurer, secretary, etc.
Next meeting Saturday 2nd April.
Wendy asks to talk about the origins of capitalism, and Helen Meiksins-Wood’s work.