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Basil’s Table: Building co-operative futures in the tech bros era

December 6, 2022 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Free – $25

The future of cooperation in a time of uncertainty

RSVP: 5pm, 5 December, 2022 / finger food / dress up a little 

All proceeds cover costs and contribute to our co-operative work (we are a not-for-profit / non-distributing co-op)

Bookings essential (see bottom of page).

This time we are going ‘big picture’. Christmas in all its forms is coming up for many, and the New Year is just around the corner. A good time to take stock and think about the future! Also, a good time to simply kick back with co-operators and friends and enjoy a bit of good cheer and conviviality.

Have the tech-bros got all the answers? With the passing of Deliveroo, and Twitter appearing to slowly die like the proverbial canary in the coal mine (or alternatively morphing into a bird of prey) many are looking for new ways of organising and owning the platforms we use – to build stronger local community relationships for social, economic, and environmental resilience.

We ask:
• In the face of global political and climate uncertainty – are populist ideologies from the left or right the only alternatives?
• Mutual aid and reciprocity – what kinds of social, technological, and environmental systems, institutions and relationship building initiatives are required?

Elena Pereyra – CoHousing Australia
Jose Ramos – Action Foresight
Bridgette Engeler – Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Swinburne University
Alexar Pendashteh – Technologist / Social Entrepreneur.

The discussion will be opened by 888 Co-operative Causeway Patron, Basil Varghese and facilitated by co-op board members, Sonja Schulze (and Antony McMullen).

In addition there will be a very special announcement – regarding an opportunity to join our co-operative as part of a broader exciting initiative with a major university.

Who will be speaking?


Elena Pereyra is a registered architect on sabbatical while she undertakes a PhD at Deakin University. She specialises in sustainable urban systems, regenerative development, participatory planning, co-design, and collaborative housing. With experience across public buildings including international aquariums and local education projects, apartments and private residential, her focus has moved to environmentally and socially sustainable design.

Elena has served on the board of Cohousing Australia since 2013 and as Chair (2016-) and now Co-Chair (2019-). Elena is passionate about the environmental, social, and economic potential of cohousing and seeks to support its feasibility in the Australian multi-residential housing context. Elena’s research is into participatory processes and community capacity building to achieve broader regenerative outcomes particularly in reducing environmental impact, building community resilience, and fostering greater agency in civic governance.

As a regenerative development practitioner with a focus on urban systems and placemaking she contributes to numerous forums and advisory committees. These include commons governance, climate emergency response and active transport infrastructure. Elena has also worked as a post-graduate tutor at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University in Regenerating Sustainability, Urban Sustainability and Climate Change, Building Sustainability, and Integral Design Theory; Sustainable Futures.


José Ramos holds a doctorate from Queensland University of Technology in critical globalization studies, winning their award for outstanding doctoral thesis. He has published over 70 articles, chapters and papers and focuses his research on the experiments and prefigurative innovations we need to navigate the Epic Times we live in.

He has lectured at a number of universities over the past 15 years, and has recently established the Futures Lab Academy as a hub for delivering educational programs which twine and align inner and outer social change, such as the Mutant Futures Program. His boutique practice Action Foresight has worked with dozens of governments, agencies and communities in over 20 countries. He has recently cofounded a co-op, the Participatory Futures Global Swarm, to amplify the use of participatory futures around the world to intervene in and to influence the public imagination of the future.

He is co-editor of the peer reviewed Journal of Futures Studies. His recent books include the Cosmolocal Reader, an anthology of case studies and essays exploring approaches to planetary mutualization and distributed production; Infectious Futures, an anthology of essays exploring the divergent futures brought forth by Covid-19 and future pandemics; and soon to be published Planetary Cities, an anthology that explores the futures of the city in the context of a planetary era. He works with a world-wide ecosystem of friends and colleagues from many walks of life, attempting to the best of his ability to rise to the challenges presented by our world.


Bridgette is a professional futurist and pracademic who’s curious about post-growth innovation and designing in crisis. She teaches strategic foresight, innovation and entrepreneurship at Swinburne University and her work focuses on the (un)intended consequences of change.

Bridgette has worked on projects ranging from public participatory futures installations for Melbourne Knowledge Week and Hong Kong Business of Design Week, VR and AR wearables for people with early-onset dementia and the challenges of self-sovereign identity and digital wallets, to exploring how technology and new materials can support sexual and reproductive health.

Bridgette is a PhD candidate investigating how a lack of prospective thinking in design contributes to an ongoing cycle connected to material consumption that is broadly destructive and contributing to collapse of life-critical global systems. She holds a Masters in Strategic Foresight (Swinburne University) and a Masters in Women’s Studies (Monash University).

Bridgette asks lots of questions, doesn’t play golf, and enjoys more than the odd glass of wine.


Alexar is a technologist and social entrepreneur with a focus on distributed technologies and large-scale cooperation.

Trained as an engineer, Alexar has a vision for a technologically advanced Australia with active regional hubs.

He is currently the acting president of Linux Users of Victoria and an organizer in Designing Open Democracy and Blockchain for Social Impact.

888 Co-operative Causeway
The 888 Co-operative Causeway is a Victorian based social economy member network. The co-operative offers a community of mutual support; members are all individuals and enterprises focussed on creating social, cultural and economic value for each other, the Victorian community and beyond. Practically the co-operative offers a city HQ with members enjoying co-working diskspace in the heart of the CBD as well as access to the Kelvin Club. Members include the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, Co-operative Bonds, Sorted. and the Community Services and Health Industry Training Board Victoria. The co-operative regularly hosts events like this, and even a podcast to support and further develop the social and solidarity economy in Victoria.

What is Basil’s Table?

Basil’s Table is an interview series conducted by Basil Varghese, a well-known Melbourne- based community builder and advocate for social justice, who has long been committed to ‘bridging the gap between those that have and have not’. As a Patron of 888 Co-operative Causeway, Basil hosts these conversations with special guests online or at the Kelvin Club in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD on topics relevant to building a connected community across Victoria.


December 6, 2022
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Free – $25
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Kelvin Club
30 Melbourne Pl
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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