Back in January 2009, when Jonty and I started the London Hackspace
project, we were keen on kickstarting the hackerspace scene in the
whole of the UK, not just in London. So we named our company the
Hackspace Foundation to convey that we’d like to help start as many
spaces as possible.
With the benefit of hindsight, this was a bit of a silly move. We
didn’t realise how vast an undertaking London Hackspace would be, and
it’s clear now that we wouldn’t want our company directly involved
with any other hackerspaces. Hackerspaces should be autonomous, both
to limit their risk and to govern themselves independently.
The Hackspace Foundation has acted as a central point to distribute
some small grants (notably from the Guardian) to the UK hackerspace
community, but there’s increasingly a conflict of interest with this
money living in a bank account which mainly serves the London
Hackspace. There’s also confusion that the company which runs the
London Hackspace is called the Hackspace Foundation.
So, firstly, we’d like to propose to rename the Hackspace Foundation
to London Hackspace Ltd. This will resolve any confusion as to who’s
getting subscribers’ money, stop people getting confused about why we
don’t have “Ltd.” in our name (don’t ask) and hopefully stop our
landlord calling us “Hackspace Foundations”.
Secondly, and more excitingly, we’d like to form a new unincorporated
association called the Hackspace Foundation. This association will
receive all unpaid grant money from London Hackspace, and act as a
central point for collecting new grants. This association will consist
of representatives from all UK hackerspaces, who will be able to vote
on how money is distributed.
We’d like to encourage all UK hackerspaces who are making a surplus to
donate a small amount yearly to the new Hackspace Foundation - we can
then use this money to help growing or struggling hackerspaces.