Chris Wells (@djwesto) – Folk Labs

(Chris) #1

Hi there, I’m Chris Wells – co-founder of Folk Labs with Paul Mackay


  • Local community tech
  • Neighbourhood Forums
  • Transition Towns (since 2009)
  • Open Source software
  • Tech for charities and organisations with a social mission
  • Waste and recycling


  • Graphic design, branding, typography for digital and press
  • User interface design for web and mobile
  • Information architecture & Content Strategy
  • Data and information visualisation

Find me

(Michael Maier) #2

Hi Chris,

welcome on board!
I guess Paul told you about TransforMap … what part of TransforMap are you interested in?

Do you have any specific questions, do you like to bring in your expertise?

We’re currently in planning two big projects (CHEST EU grant, and SSEDAS, subcontract of a way bigger EU project), and could need some help practically anywhere :slight_smile:

(Chris) #3

Hey Michael,

Thanks for reaching out.

I actually found out about TransforMap from various people – Annesley from Transition Network as well as Paul, but I joined because I met Josef at the Transition Network Conference over the weekend and he told the open space meeting there about TM again and suggested all the techies come and join TransforMap’s Discourse – almost as a way to “map” the sustainability techies movement as much as a way for us to contribute to TM itself.

Now I’m on I’m just trying to get a good understanding of what you’re doing.

While we are working on Folk Labs projects, Paul and I are trying to build a system that towns can download and use to help them run neighbourhood initiatives – things like Transition Towns, Neighbourhood Forums, Community Planning, Hyperlocal Media etc. And we want to try to make sure that we adhere to open data standards wherever possible, so that data can be passed freely between us.

So I’m mostly here to learn for the time-being although I will take a look around and see if there’s anything I can help with.

All the best,

(Sam Rossiter) #4

Hi Chris

Shame I missed you at the Transition conference…

Just looking at your comment I wondered if you had come across commons in a box?

It’s Wordpress & buddypress bundled together with some useful buddypress plugins.

It’s probably not the complete solution, but it might be a useful starting point?

Particularly as it would integrate with the IIRS Wordpress plugin Transition Network are about to release:

We’re going to make sure Transformap can access the data captured by the IIRS so that bit of work would be done…



International Initiative Registration Service (IIRS)
(Thomas Kalka) #5

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: International Initiative Registration Service (IIRS)

(Chris) #6

Hey there Sam,

Ade mentioned you just at the end as we were finishing up on the last day of TNConf and I was sorry I missed you. I’m sure we’ve spoken before somewhere though… Your name’s very familiar. I wanted to get in touch with you as he said you were looking into ways to make it super-easy for TIs to spin up WP sites. But it was all so hectic at the end what with trying to catch the train.

Cheers for the link to Commons in a box – I think we might have looked at it a while ago and I’ll download a new demo to see how far it’s come but it looks as if it’s mostly about running a social network. Am I right?

Basically, the system Paul and I are prototyping (still in development) is something more than a social network – we’re trying to build quite specific tech to do more advanced activities like online collaborative local planning and other tasks which it would be beyond the abilities of most local TI techies to develop alone (we know because we both tried as volunteers and failed – that’s the main reason we started Folk Labs).

Is there anywhere online where we can find out more about what you’re up to? We’re interested to know more about what you’re doing. We were seriously interested to hear about the IIRS – it sounds like a really brilliant idea. Ade mentioned that there’s even a Drupal module at some stage of development.

I see you’re based in Bristol but I wonder if there’s any chance we might cross paths at any upcoming events – would be good to chat through all this more. By the way, I take it you know my business partner Paul Mackay who’s worked a fair bit on OFN?

(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #7

Hi @chris, welcome to TransforMap!

Reading your post I cannot avoid from attempting to get you to the Budapest Hackathon next week, where we will have a big focus on social networking development for the upcoming degrowth conference, as well as basic forms of interoperability between commonly used platforms (the IIRS you are developing is in this sense also interesting for our approach). We are also working improving our experience with Wordpress Farms. We have an implementation being piloted and developed for both the Solidarische Landwirtschaft (German CSAs) network and for the Research & Degrowth network.

Originally the idea was to get the Transition Network development involved and sync efforts. However @vliegey told me last week that apparently @Annesley_Newholm will probably not take part.

It would be a pity if we miss this opportunity for convergence of teams, expertises and resources between networks which already cooperate and intermingle at other levels.

@SamRossiter, @Annesley_Newholm, @chris, would you consider coming?
Or at least getting somehow online, we could have a common build-up of user stories and eventually a sprint planning meeting for engaging on joint efforts.

(Chris) #8

Hi there @gandhiano,

Thank you so much for the invite. Unfortunately, I am not available to attend the Budapest Hackathon – it’s just too late notice for me I’m afraid and I’ll be away from a computer so I don’t think I’d be able to get online for it either.

Also, I think you might have misunderstood my earlier message – I am not developing the IIRS. Transition Network have built it. I am just very interested in it.

However, if you upload the User Stories somewhere accessible, I’m sure I could contribute something to those.

Sorry and good luck,

(Thomas Kalka) #9

Hi Chris. Did you find anything usefull for you ?