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Amil Vasishtha
24 Jan 2017

What it is to be an Outlander and how to apply

Please note, this is an internal document outlining the process of becoming an “Outlander” and it is very much a work in progress. We are sharing it on our blog for anyone outside the organisation who might be interested in what it means to be an Outlander and how to become one.

Becoming an Outlander is a serious business; it’s the step before becoming a full member of the Outlandish co-operative and represents commitment on both sides to an extended relationship with Outlandish.


For the Outlander application process to be open to you, we ask that you have…

  • Done 70 days (four full-time months) of work for Outlandish
  • Written one or more blog posts for the Outlandish website
  • Attended three or more public events organised by Outlandish, or a public event directly related to Outlandish’s work
    • Note, this is only where you are attending as an “ambassador” for Outlandish (by which we mean, you’re wearing the t-shirt, or introducing yourself as Outlandish, networking for Outlandish, etc).
  • Agreed with the members a day rate on the Outlandish pay scale that you will be happy to work for were you to become an Outlander
    • In absolute terms, the Outlandish pay scale is £125 – £375. But more importantly it is about valuing your labour on Outlandish’s scale – i.e. below market rate. A junior developer earning £300 a day could not become an Outlander. [We still need to define this pay scale].

Application process

You can nominate yourself or be nominated by another Outlander. To apply to be an Outlander you must email members@outlandish.com with…

  • A short statement about how you see Outlandish developing and how you feel your own aspirations are aligned with the purpose and values of Outlandish (if you have been nominated by another Outlander, they should also include a short statement about why they nominated you)
  • Your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a guide to “What Can You Do For Outlandish” – to encourage and support a sense of collective responsibility
  • Your Personal Development Plan (PDP) are a guide to “What can Outlandish do for you?” – to encourage and support skill progression, in line with the competency framework


  • The applicant should be informed about the decision within two weeks
  • If the application is not successful, the members will provide an explanation and guidance on how to achieve the missing requirements (either in writing or in person)
  • The members’ decision is final. However, if you believe the decision is wrong the applicant and the Outlanders circle have the right to appeal to the members and, if that is not successful, to a recognised mediation service

Follow up for successful applicants

  • Members will ask at least two Outlanders from the Outlander circle that you have worked with to complete a competency matrix for you. You may suggest to the members who to ask

What Outlanders Offer Outlandish

  • Active contribution to the Outlandish circles, i.e. you should be actively involved in one or more circles, as well as the Outlander Circle
  • Active contribution to the Outlandish Community, e.g. attend a public event organised by Outlandish, or a public event directly related to Outlandish’s work
    • Note, this is only where you are attending as an “ambassador” for Outlandish (by which we mean, you’re wearing the t-shirt, or introducing yourself as Outlandish, networking for Outlandish, etc).
  • Active contribution to the Outlandish blog, e.g. a blog per quarter
  • It is important that Outlanders “get involved” in Outlandish and contributing to the Outlandish culture. It is hard to define what “the Outlandish Culture” is, and therefore difficult to articulate what this involvement should be. As a minimum, it is important that Outlanders spend face time with Outlandish, both in a work and non-work (lunches, evenings, weekend/trips, etc) capacity.
  • Attend a quarterly retrospective meeting, to catch up on how the Outlanders are getting on: is anybody having any issues, are people managing to meet the expectations set in this doc, are the right people Outlanders / applying, etc.
  • Work on your OKRs
    • Work on your PDP, such that you are always developing at least one area from the competency framework
  • Outlanders will encourage other collaborators to become Outlanders

What Outlandish Offers Outlanders

  • Paid time to do the internal work mentioned above
  • After Members, Outlanders are given priority to work opportunities
  • After Members, Outlanders are given priority to attend events and trips
  • CoBudgeting: Outlanders spend their own surplus via CoBudgeting and can propose their own projects for CoBudgeting.
  • A clear dismissal procedure (from Outlandish entirely) of two formal warnings and an in-depth review before dismissal
    • Although we’re freelancers, Outlanders have some measure of job security
  • Branded merchandise and business cards

Unapplication Process

Outlanders might need to revert back to collaborators if…

  • An Outlander decides they no longer want to be an Outlander
  • The Outlanders wish to remove Outlander status from somebody who is not fulfilling  their “what the Outlander will offer Outlandish”.
    • This is a last resort, following lots of constructive feedback and support.
    • If this doesn’t resolve the issue, there should be positive conversation between the Outlanders and the individual about them becoming an Outlander again, with, ultimately, a sociocratic decision from the Outlanders Circle to decide.