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Values and rules

L200's motto is "Also your space" (Auch dein raum), referring to its main purpose to provide an affordable central space for the neighbourhood, which is inclusive, diverse, and convivial.

In the following we propose a set of values that will guide the future development of L200, such as that a wide range of potential usages should be made possible and no user should dominate its identity, or that the management of the space is based on principles of self-organization and a fair and transparent pricing scheme, which is important to be agreed upon by all members.

Then a set of more concrete rules for protecting these values, and translating them to specific constraints and policies, will be defined collectively along the way. Based on the experience of the first experimental year of operation we have put in place such rules, which are used for now only as recommendations. That is, potential or performed violations are not excluded but should be discussed collectively through a process coordinated by the Vorstand (and the corresponding decisions should be made transparent at the GV).

Download the slides with the values&rules presented at the GV 2019

1. Small players

L200 foundational objective was to support small players in the neighbourhood. This does not mean the big players are not "allowed" to use the space, but that such use should be limited and not dominant in terms of the overall collective identity.

Examples of rules

To protect small players in practice, when facing requests for usage of the space, one needs to define what a big player means. Our working definition is that the following are a few important characteristics that could play a role toward defining a player as "big":

  • International or national scope
  • For-profit company
  • More than 20 employees
  • Political party

Then specific rules could constrain the access to the space for “big players” like, for example them, limiting their usage limits (see below), compared to small players, (like the amount of co-working or events), or not allowing the placement of promotion material on the windows.

2. Diversity

L200 wishes to offer an inclusive space, which means that a high level of diversity of usages need to be encouraged and enabled. For this, certain constraints on the overall activity of certain organizations and types of usages need to be defined, in order to ensure that there is enough space for different usages and that the identity of the space is not narrowed down significantly.

Examples of rules

To sustain the desirable levels of diversity certain constraints should be considered for different types of uses, for example:

  • 5 people per organization for co-working
  • 400 hours of co-working per month per organization
  • 3 months of a dedicated window per organization
  • 10 working meetings, or 6 public events per month per organization
  • 4 private (closed door) or exclusive (entrance fee) events per month
  • 2 concerts per month
  • 2 film screenings per month
  • 3 permanent weekly events and 7 permanent monthly events
  • 1 commercial event (e.g., by a big company) per month and 6 per year

Note that the exact numbers for these constraints are under negotiation and could be adjusted over time by the Vorstand (and approved by the GV), and they could eventually become actual rules.

3. Inclusiveness

As far as the diversity rules are respected (no L200 member dominates the space and its identity) there are no strict rules concerning the actual content of the activities except for members that wish to promote exclusion, racism, sexism, exploitation, and hate speech.

Other types of concerns for activities carried out in the space based on style, aesthetics, noise, etc. will be discussed case by case upon specific complaints to the Vorstand, which should design and propose to the GV an appropriate decision-making process for such cases.

Examples of rules

Until now, the only rule that was needed to decide upon was the exclusion of parliamentary political propaganda (e.g., posters on votes for referendums) on L200’s windows and walls. More specific rules will be decided when activities which are exclusive in character are proposed or take place in the space.

4. Mutual respect

L200 sustainability relies on the parallel use of the space by different members. Such coexistence is often subject to disturbance which should be in general expected and tolerated. But at the same time, the expression of complaints should also be encouraged in order to avoid misunderstandings (e.g., during the weekly members lunch, or another "ritual").

It is also very important to be discreet and respectful when interacting with other L200 members and their guests. Sometimes even subtly intrusive behaviour by external members toward guests of other members can make hosts to feel very uncomfortable. In case of disagreements, it is in the competence of entitled users, like event hosts or co-workers to exclude people that perceive as disrespectful, and are encouraged to report such behavior to the Vorstand.

Examples of rules

Cases of disrespectful behaviour are very difficult to address through generic rules. The current approach followed by the Vorstand is to legitimize L200 members to exclude people that have behaved disrespectfully from their events, and take special measures if there are repetitive complaints for specific people.

5. Self-organization

L200 is a collective project and is run based on principles of self-organization, participation, and self-help. Even when special circumstances lead to situations that most work, responsibilities, or power, are concentrated in a few individuals, there should be active efforts to distribute the required tasks and facilitate the engagement of as many people as possible in the smooth functioning of the space.

Examples of rules

Until now self-organization has worked mostly intuitively. In the near future we need to define in more detail the required processes and groups (users, co-working, windows, event hosting, presence, communication, etc) for sharing the needed work to run properly the space.

Also, the documentation of guidelines for important tasks will make sure that more people can take on responsibilities.

6. Fair and transparent pricing

L200 is a non-profit association and its price policy is cost-based, which means that the financial contributions for different types of uses are designed to cover the running costs of the space.

Note: until today mostly the very expensive rent of 3330 CHF / month.

The prices for using the space (co-working, events, display, utilities), including packages, apply for all members and are not subject to negotiation. Negotiations increase significantly the effort required for management and puts certain people in power and/or difficult position, and thus can often lead to unfairness.

All contracts, packages, and economic transactions are available to all members.

Examples of rules

The current price list had only few modifications during the first 17 months of each operation, which means that it created a good balance between affordability and short-term sustainability.

It introduces several important tools like the Spaceholders (people that pay in advance their expected usage for a whole year to create a safety net) or the solidarity price for events, allowing groups with limited financial resources to freely choose the duration (of up to 4 hours) that the otherwise hourly rate will apply.

There are also special offers for people that do voluntary work in the space, which need to be more carefully defined and accounted for.

Open discussion

The long-term goal is to ensure that certain services can be remunerated. This goal will be continuously developed.