Proposal: a new Team External

Hello @reeflings , this note is to start a reflection on creating a new team. I am calling this hypothetical new team “External”. Team External is charged with putting The Reef on the map of Brussels, when it comes to cohousing, alternative models to housing, ecology and social cohesion. This means participating at cohousing events, maintaining a public presence online, maintaining a narrative around the project and in general making more of an effort to have a voice.

What are the advantages for us?

It has become clear that in certain cases it is advantageous for The Reef to affirm its identity as a non-commercial project, green-and-social, generous with its knowledge, inclusive. For example:

  1. When negotiating with communes, it helps us make the case for more lenient permits.
  2. When talking to investors, it helps explain why anyone would help a bunch of strangers build a cohousing, which is their cohousing.
  3. When looking for sites, it would benefit us if owners of sites would think of us as someone they could work with, and who is not a shark (I am thinking of the Benedictine monastery that sold its plot to Vosberg, or of Citydev).

Why now?

The architects have asked us to produce “a glossy brochure” to help them explain to the communes what our project is. That made me realize that this is becoming necessary.

How would it work?

I imagine it as a fairly elastic team. Rather than a fixed set of activities, it would choose, and execute, stand-alone tasks. For example: “participate in the cohousing open days”; “reach out to Médor, see if they want to do a piece on cohousing”, “participate to the launch of Community Labd Trust’s initiative on cooperative housing”. When the team has more time and more people, it can do more. When it is stretched thin, it will take on fewer.

An attractive feature of the team is that all its activities are nice to have, rather than mission critical. It’s cheap to fail.

Who could be in it? Are we not all stretched thin?

We could think of it as a reinvestment and a rationalization of Team Communication (currently only @manuelpueyo ).

  • I would be willing to join, participating in the meetings to choose the activities to prioritize. To carve the time, I would resign from @reef-recruitment: I joined it a year ago because I was unhappy with the recruitment process, but now I feel that work is done, the process is much better and the team no longer needs four people.
  • A natural for this team is Manuel, who has a large network and likes to grow it. He is already in Communications; the way I see it, External would pick up the functions of Communication, but put them in the service of The Reef’s strategy.
  • And we could hope to recruit one of the new associate members; @Hilde may be a good fit, though I do not know her well yet (and I have no idea if she would be interested).

Any thoughts?


It’s a great initiative @alberto! And one that has a lot of benefits for us now moving forward, as well as some exciting potentials for the future that are very connected to the values in our Blueprint.
I don’t personally have the available time necessary to be involved at the moment, but I would be keen to do so when that changes. I often have a bit more flexibility with my schedule in June and July.
@Hilde has already approached Manuel about joining Team Communication, and she is keen to participate and contribute…


I love the idea of giving more visibility to the Reef and generating enthusiasm for next projects !

I would really enjoy to join the team, thought in this moment I have quite limited time.

There is this guy from Communa who is starting now a network/plateform about affordable housing.They work more with Cooperative Models but it might be interesting to join forces ?

As for the “glossy” brochure I don’t know if you worked already on it @alberto but I can also work on that, I’ve done work like this in the past and I possess licenses for graphical softwares, give me a sign if help is needed.


Yes please! When it comes to graphic design, je suis nul.

Exactly that. Also, I have discovered that in La Roue there is a neighborhood association. Maybe there are others, and we could ask them about possible sites… scouting by proxy.

I do feel like the times are ripe to make this move. I don’t think we could do this without @manuelpueyo, but fortunately we spoke and he is onboard.


I will be giving a presentation at the next Sociocracy For All online conference, both on how we included sociocracy in our governance, and on our “open information” approach. I don’t think many people will be attending, but it nevertheless made me thinking.

What I would like to do is create a new category on Edgeryders, something like “The Reef’s Open Knowledge” (suggestions for fancier titles welcome), where we could write little blog posts on things we have learned along the way that could be useful for other groups, with links to documents may also be useful. Topics that come to mind are our governance document, our recruitment strategy or our approach on minimum commitment.

For me this would take away a little time that won’t add direct value to The Reef, but it’s something I would like to do, that won’t cost me much time either, and which is very much in line with our “openness” key pillar.

Any thoughts?


Dear Reeflings

Yes, I can participate to team external.

I have added a very short report of our Communication meeting we had between Manual and me:

@manuelpueyo and me would like to ask your socials on Facebook and instagram, if you have an account and all agree of course… So we can tag you and can be more visible.
Please find the excel sheet here to fill in :

Have a nice day to you all.


Dear @reeflings

A kind reminder to fill your socials in the excell below, so we are able to tag you for the posts.:

Thanks you @ugne for filling in yours so quickly!

Have a nice weekend to you all.