[hackerspaces] Inter-Hackerspace Cooperation and Membership

Koen Martens gmc at har2009.org
Fri Jan 8 15:13:22 CET 2010

On Fri, Jan 08, 2010 at 10:38:55AM +0100, Koen Martens wrote:
> Anyway, the whole idea has been tossed around Dutch hackerspaces for a
> while now, although we still are not sure about the details. We came up
> with a slightly larger membership fee. The additional fee would go into
> some national hackerspace fund somehow, and participating hackerspaces
> would then accept these 'members+' to their facilities and use their
> equipment.

I've been putting some of the thoughts, comments and ideas in a document 
for discussion by the community, thought i'd share it here as well!


Koen (gmc)


Author: Koen Martens (gmc) <gmc at revspace.nl>
Version: 0.1
Status: proposal

This document proposes a form of special membership of the
Dutch hackerspaces. Please join the discussion at the
hackerspaces.nl discussion list:


The goal is not to set rules, but merely to provide a
framework to accommodate the desires felt within the
community. This document should be read as such.

1. Roaming membership

Several people have expressed a wish to support hackerspaces
and become member, but not of a specific hackerspace. An
example is the case where the prospective member is not
living close to any of the existing hackerspaces. In this
case none of the hackerspaces can effectively be this
members' '3rd room'.

With a roaming membership, this person can visit any
participating hackerspace, and enjoy certain benefits set
out by each of the participating hackerspaces.

1.1. Roaming benefits

For example, at Revelation Space, non-members pay a small
fee for participation in certain workshops. For roaming
members, this fee might be waived (as it is for actual
members of the space).

Roaming members typically do not get a key to any of the
spaces, although this is up for decision by each of the
individual spaces.

Each hackerspace decides on the specific benefits roaming
members get at their space.

1.2. Roaming fee collection

Roaming members pay their dues to the Hxx foundation, who
collects the money and puts it in a special fund. The fund
will be spend at the discretion of the participating

To keep things simple, the money from the fund may be spend
only if all of the hackerspaces (by way of their governing
body) agree to the expenditure.

2. Membership plus

Another kind of global membership pertains to those members
of hackerspaces that do get around and might want to visit
other hackerspaces from time to time. 

The basic premis is that the member pays a slightly higher
fee at their hackerspace, to get additional benefits at the
participating hackerspaces.

2.1. Membership plus benefits

The same applies as stated under 1.1. The benefits for
membership plus might be different from the benefits of a
roaming membership.

2.2. Membership plus fee collection

The additional fee (which will be set to the same amount
across all spaces to keep things fair) will be collected by
the individual hackerspaces. Members of space X will pay the
extra fee to space X.

The extra fee will not be put into a central collection
agency, but remain in the funds of the individual
hackerspace. The rationale is to keep things simple.
Spending of the extra funds is entirely at the discretion of
the collecting hackerspace.

3. Identification

When a roaming member or member+ first visits one of the
hackerspaces there might be a problem of identification. "Is
this person really a roaming hackerspaces member?". It is up
to each of the hackerspaces to find a way to deal with this.

As a common guideline, in case of membership plus, the
hackerspace could contact representatives of the space the
member claims to be with. Ties between hackerspaces are
considered to be close enough to make this kind of
verification possible.

As for the roaming members, some sort of token may be
issued. This provides a weak protection against fraud of
course. The form and properties of such a card should be
decided by the participating hackerspaces. People in
possesion of such a card may call themselves 'card carrying

Another form of validation that could be applied is to just
take the persons claim at face value. This provides the
weakest form of validation.

4. Enrollment

Hackerspaces can enroll in this program by stating their
intention to participate, and compliance to the conditions
outlined below.

4.1. Conditions for enrollment

The conditions are:

a.) the hackerspace does have an actual physical space that
is understood by common sense to be a hackerspace;

b.) membership of the hackerspace is, in principle, open to
any natural person that expresses the wish to become a

4.2. Status of agreement

The whole deal is understood to be on the basis of an
understanding between the participating hackerspaces, and
has no legal basis or otherwise binding contractual form. At
any time could a hackerspace retract from the understanding.
There are no obligations to participate.

4.3. Miminal reciprocity

It might be felt that a given hackerspaces does not provide
enough reciprocity in the sense of paragraphs 1.1 and 2.1.
of this document, while still making a claim to the funds.
In this case, the hackerspace might be unanimously excluded
from this program by the remaining hackerspaces.


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