[hackerspaces] Order vs anarchy - how do you deal with that

Robert Holub mrholub at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 10 23:47:49 CET 2018

Dear all,

I'm a member of one of hackerpace that is having interpersonal issues now  
that could be described like this:

Although it has about 50 of paying members, only few of these are actually  
active ( i.e at least showing up sometimes in  place).
It is practically impossible to ban somebody for anything (stealing etc.)  
as there is no any rule for this and as you can imagine single  
mis-behaving person can be a pain and there is no official way how to deal  
with it.

Hackerspace has moved to the new place and it was a lot of work to rebuild  
it, some of members has put great effort in that while majority didn't  
There was a great mess in all of stuff after moving in, some of members  
has categorized stuff like parts, tools, wires etc.
There were many dust-covered non-working projects project abandoned years  
ago so it was decided put these on the table and put it on mailing list in  
order to let owners know and let decide what to do with these.
There was a huge flame war around this despite the fact that NO creations  
were intended to be thrown away just sort these out somehow (only junk  
like old PC power supplies having wires cut off were thrown out).
Most of people didn't care about these old projects so these were put in  
the box and again NOTHING was thrown away.
Now the place is more or less built up but there is no much of activity  
there as there are 2 movements in the hackerspace:

First movement insists on actocracy but the problem is that leads in  
long-term to damaged projects/equipment of other people etc.

Other movement would like to set more specific rules, for example:
- option to ban persons acting against interest of hackerpsace (stealing  
- reward members putting efforts in making hackerspace running etc.
- avoiding damaging of equipment so members wouldn't need worry about  
having some more sophisticated (and expensive) equipment there.

It was told that actocracy / anarchy works in other hackerspace but no  
examples were given.
This has got me an idea to simply ask how this is actually done in other  

As you can probably feel, I'm in movement of setting up some rules in  
order to be able to keep some more sophisticated equipment in hackerspace  
without having it ruined etc.

My question is:

How do you organize your hackerspace?
Does really anarchy/actocracy work for you or do you have some set of more  
specific rules?
How do you deal with mis-behaving members ?
How do you deal with equipment having damaged/stolen?
Do you reward members having put some efforts in hackerpace running or  
just all members are equal?
How do you deal with general mess made by people?
How do you deal with abandoned dust-covered projects whose owner doesn't  
care about these anymore?

Thanks in advance for your answers and putting some light in this.

With respect,


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