Community Rhythms

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Community Rhythms are agreed-upon, regularly occurring events (tasks, check-ins, meetings, etc.) that encourage and facilitate the smooth functioning of a collective. Examples include a brief Daily Check-in on a messaging platform by all coop members, distinct Weekly Team Meetings on To-dos and Vibe, Quarterly Retrospectives (aka "SpaceCAMPS") or assemblies to address larger issues, etc.

As part of our Commitment Statements, DisCOs prioritize steady communication and team rhythms. These rhythms were originally adapted from Rich Bartlett's Patterns for Decentralised Organising and have been developed ever since.

Some of the following was discussed during Guerrilla Translation's two Hervás 2018 meetings (where DisCO was birthed).

"A group that isn't communicating regularly doesn't exist as a group."

Richard D. Bartlett, during a workshop by the Hum.


Clear communication is one of DisCO's core values. To ensure that these values are taken care of we have agreed to adapt the Rhythms from Rich's book. New members who are not used to these rhythms will have an "ease-in" period where they will be mentored and reminded about the rhythms by committed DisCO members until they pick up the beat.

On that note, within DisCO we've agreed to gently remind each other of the commitment to these rhythms. This shouldn't be seen as negative or a critique but as mutual support. It's important we all agree to help each other and to be attentive when being reminded.

The Rhythms go from Daily, Weekly, Biweekly, Monthly, Quarterly and Biannually:


Daily Check-In

Everyone (unless on holiday, sabbatical or it's not a DisCO day for you) is expected to "check-in" during workdays on Mattermost's DAILY CHUCK-IN! thread. We have adapted and expanded on questions used in Loomio. When you check-in please answer them briefly:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • How are you feeling today?
  • Do you have any blocks or problems?
  • What are you doing for your well-being?
  • What are you grateful for?

When checking in on a Monday, you just mention what you did on Friday. By using Clockify you'll have no trouble remembering, just look back at what you did the last day.

Feel enabled to express yourself and your emotional state. No additional conversation needs to take place in "Daily Check-in", just acknowledgment (for example, a thumbs-up beneath each person's check-in). We can always follow up on the DisCO Town Square, Random, thematic Mattermost channels, or personal messages.

If you're going on holiday, disconnecting from the Internet, etc., please communicate it. Otherwise, all committed members are counted as "active". We expect that this will take 5 minutes maximum a day. Also, the focus here is mainly on DisCO work, but if you haven't done any DisCO work, just tell us what you're doing (this includes "Nothing" "I'm in a bad mood and can't get any work done, etc". It's OK).

Touch base with our tools

This rhythm is the equivalent of checking your messages, asking around the office for updates or if anyone needs help, updating yourself on conversations that have been taking place and tidying up the file cabinet. Members should check the following tools:

  • Mattermost for direct messages or group synchronous communication. This tool should be kept open while you work so that you can step in and help if any urgent needs or questions should arise.
  • Trello for updates and to keep your assigned cards moving forward (i.e. feed the tamagotchi), update checklists and due dates and suggest tasks for other members by tagging them.
  • Loomio for on-going conversations, time polls or other developments
  • NextCloud to check the calendar for meetings, etc.
  • Email for external messages and inquiries


Clockify Hours Check

The Clockify summary for the previous week will be posted in Mattermost and it is everyone’s responsibility to check that you have clockified your hours correctly. To post the summary, click on "Summary" under "Reports" in Clockify and set for "Last week". Group the results by User and screenshot both the list of hours per user as well as the corresponding pie chart below it. These will then be posted on Mattermost for the whole team to see and verify.

Every Tuesday: Working Circles Check-In

Monday is when the Working Circles check-in with each other and when we do an overall personal check-in. This includes:

  • Looking at your Circle's Trello boards, checking pending cards and due dates.
  • Looking at the Loomio threads for each circle to note whether you need to contribute to any of these
  • The steward of each circle does a quick check-in on Mattermost for the circles they handle. This includes mentioning any outstanding tasks, checking the vibe of the circle, seeing whether anything needs to be ported to Loomio, etc.

All of this allows you to self-organize your Carework for the week ahead.

Every Tuesday: DisCO Weekly Sprint Call

Every Tuesday all full members are expected to attend the Weekly Sprint Call. This 1.5-hour call gives us the chance to go through the current Sprint Trello Card of work that needs to be done, update each other on progress, prioritize and delegate tasks, get a feel for what different Working Circles are working on and just generally touch base with each other. Each member is expected to have gone through all Trello cards they are tagged on and identify items that should be brought up when addressing the relevant Working Circles during the call.

The current time for this call in our respective time zones is:

  • 18:00 - 20:00 CET
  • 17:00 - 19:00 GMT
  • 19:00 - 21:00 EET
  • 9:00 - 11:00 PST

Our Weekly Sprint Calls have a template structure:

  • Check-in: We do a VERY fast (30 secs per person) check-in. If you need a longer check-in and Mattermost is not the best format, signal the team (especially if you need some mutual support).
  • News!: Stewards can chime in here briefly about big picture overview.
  • SPRINT!: This is the main body of the call. The host will ask Circle stewards to read each of the checklists. Once read, the host checks if anyone has their hands up or wants to comment.
    • Don't talk over people. Raise your hand (or say something in the chat) and the host will make sure you're being heard.
    • We set the Checklists to "SHOW COMPLETED ITEMS" to see what's been ticked off, yay!
    • Items in italics are currently in progress!
  • Housekeeping: Here we can discuss the theme of Thursday's vibe call, or anything else everyone needs to be aware off
  • Final round: The host will ask everyone to add anything they feel like. You can always say "pass" if you feel you don't have anything to add.

All members are expected to do a little bit of housekeeping and preparation prior to the call to keep it as smooth as possible.

We try to make things snappy in a good-natured way: what this means is that if we start to belabor a point too much we signal that for discussion on Loomio or an additional VOIP call if needed.

Even though we are an online collective, the Weekly Sprint Call isn't meant to be a "catch-up". We expect everyone to be aware of the pulse and mood of the collective through the daily check-in, asynchronous communications, mutual support and mentoring, bi-lateral calls and all our communications in Loomio and Trello. The sprint call doesn't substitute any of these community-building actions and it's kept task and goals oriented (while also being convivial and celebratory!).

We don't take notes or summarize during the sprint call. Partly because when anything "big" needs to be reflected, we follow up on Loomio. After the call, members also note their to-dos on Trello. We also want to encourage everyone to join the calls (they're fun!) and not feel that they can "just read the summary". We are able to do this because good daily and weekly communication rhythms ensure that everyone is in sync.

We rotate "Hosts": Hosts are the moderators of the call. They lead the conversation and ensure that everyone's opinion is heard. The host prepares for the call and reads out the various items to be discussed, provides necessary hyperlinks and, in general, keeps the flow going. To ensure focus, hosts can urge the team to move certain conversations to Loomio when needed.

Every Thursday: DisCO Vibe Spacetime

Thursday Vibe Calls are gently paced, community-building calls that can be used to mentor and mutually support each other. They are not about our productive targets and to-do lists, but rather about DisCO Vibe. We determine what the meetings are about and who would benefit from attending based on current group needs.

For the Thursday Vibe Call we have an open Bucketlist in Loomio, where each member can suggest ideas or topics for future Vibe calls, which the collective later votes on, to decide the order of the topics.

Once a month, the Thursday Vibe Call gets replaced by the Monthly BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) Call. Any team member can host this and can fill it with art/music or any other activity that might help bring the whole of the collective to the call. We get to know each other this way and those sides of us that are harder to share when we are racing towards deadlines together.

The Thursday space can also be used for more productivist Working-Circle breakouts when needed and impromptu meetings.

For convenience, this calendar invite is sent to all DisCONauts, who may then choose not to schedule a particular event in this spot or not. The allocated times are:

  • 18:00 - 20:00 CET
  • 17:00 - 19:00 GMT
  • 19:00 - 21:00 EET
  • 9:00 - 11:00 PST

Working Circle Coworking

Every week each Working Circle tries to gather online for a coworking session to focus efforts and work together for a concentrated period of time. Individuals may be working on separate tasks but just have a video call open to enjoy each other's company and be able to chat and ask questions as they get things done. Times will be determined within each circle.


It is important to celebrate our victories, progress and growth. Still in its infancy, this rhythm has been suggested to take place either in a dedicated Mattermost channel or during the DisCO Vibe Spacetime Call.


Finances and Payout

Following the Monthly Payment Pipeline section of our Governance Model, once expenses are settled, we pay down accumulated credit shares on a per month basis. In the future, we'd like these payments to be automatized.

AMA Call

The "Ask Me Anything" Call is a monthly open call for any community members interested in DisCO to meet together with us on a video call and “ask us anything”. When individuals or organizations contact us via email or otherwise, we usually invite them to our next AMA Call to give them a chance to introduce themselves and get the information they’re looking for. This saves us time in answering countless emails and gives everyone a chance to connect in a more personal, community-oriented way.

Monthly Strategy Meeting

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Quarterly objective: Shared focus and high autonomy.

This is where we analyze the previous three months and whether everyone has kept to the agreed commitments, whether we need to make any changes, etc. It also coincides with our onboarding of new team members. These quarters take place in the week or so between the equinoxes and solstices and traditional corporate quarters. We characterize them as:

  • Winter (Dec 21st - Jan 1st)
  • Spring (March 21st - April 1st)
  • Summer (Jun 21 - Jul 1st)
  • Autumn (Sept 21st - Oct 1st)

Here is what the Loomio Handbook has to say about their quarterly meetings:

Every quarter, we have an away day (preceded and followed by various preparation and workshops), where we take stock of where we are relative to our overall vision, annual plan, and emerging reality, and decide what to focus on for the coming 3 months. This allows us to update our understanding of our annual plan as we learn more, and the world changes, and adjust course accordingly.

Read the rest here (scroll down to "quarterly").

SpaceCAMP Retrospective protocol

During the quarterly retrospective, we undertake:

  • An examination of where we are relative to our overall vision.
  • A discussion about our focus for the next three months.
  • Working together retrospective: What works and doesn't (feels, vibe, particular grievances, particular systems and processes, etc). The retro is held in Loomio.
  • A discussion on power and sense of fairness in the collective.
  • A review of whether we've upheld the agreed-on commitments.
  • Evaluation of Dating member's progress, including their quarterly milestones. This includes feedback on their DisCO buddies.
  • A specific Credit Retrospective for the quarter. Read the link to find out more.
  • An Hours Retrospective which is contrasted to the results of the Credit Retrospective above.
  • The official onboarding of new dating members, includes their commitment statement.
  • Renewal of all current member's commitment statements.
  • Discussion and retrospective on changes to the governance model.
  • Update our roles/availability with a summary of changes and specifying Working Circles.
  • Evaluate the Quarterly Retrospective process: what you liked, what can be improved etc
  • Recording: Ensuring that everyone has access to and approves of the meeting notes (and whether to share them via a blog post, newsletter article, etc.
  • Creating a new Season tab within the Seasons Timeline and set the goals for the quarter that ensues.

Quarterly Finances

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It is important to take some time one or two days before the quarterly meetings and work individually on our own credit and hour retrospectives, dating assessment, pro-bono and livelihood wordcounts and new commitment statement so as to make the meeting more fluent. We also recommend going through the last retrospective to better frame the conversation.

Annual Retreats

Retreats: Build relationships + trust + vibe.

This is where we do our best to get together in person to hang out, ritualize intent, go dancing, etc. We may also speak about work (especially when the biannual or annual retreat coincides with a quarterly evaluation) but that would be kept to one specific day and no more. If the other communication rhythms are "in time" we won't need to get into worky stuff so much and can concentrate on having some much-needed offline but on-LIFE time and share our feelings in creative, supportive and convivial ways.

In conclusion

The more we communicate the less we have to work. Seriously! It makes everyone more responsible and helps create a shared sense of ownership.

If when reading this, you've thought to yourself "It's too much!!", please say so in our dedicated Community Rhythms Loomio thread. Let's have a discussion, let's speak about our commitment and what we are prepared to do. All opinions are welcome but, please, don't keep it to yourself if you disagree.

If you need help keeping the rhythms present, be open to the team's help, we all want to remind and help each other. We also suggest printing the image above and keeping it visible in our workplaces.


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