Coops Solidarity Session

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Participants who represent or have experience or interested in worker coops, intentional communities, multistakeholder coops, help line network, collectives, consumer coops, C corps, resident community models

May First Movement Technology multistakeholder coop

  • sort of a mix of consumer coop, worker coop and movement organization
  • members vote for and get proportional representaion on board of directors based on region where they pay dues, staff can directly name a percentage of board members.

OpenFlows - worker cooperative

  • Each person gets a vote, decisions based on concensus

Every cooperative is different

Multistaker cooperatives can have different classes of membership, different voting rights

LA coop lab - We have some videos that introduce general information about coop structures

SELC - has a nice book , "Think outside the boss"

Housing Coops - a lot of people have this first experience through university housing, also intentional communities and co-housing. It is a lot of work and richly fulfilling. We came from community and we have completely undone it, we need to create those bonds again. Lots of processes and decision making , most of us aren't taught how to collaborate or make decisions together.

Coops are really about relationships and communication.

  • There are a lot of different ideas about what consensus is.
  • It is a lot of responsibility.
  • Budgets set priorities. They are moral documents. If you wnat a democracy you have to participate. If you wnat a coop

Tensions between taking care of members/clients and taking care of workers.

  • Metaphor of putting the mask on yourself first.
  • Transparency with everyone involved is important.
  • Balance getting the work done and self-care.
  • Sometimes if you are not able to be productive it is better to just step away (form the computer) and come back later when you will be.

the idea that community owns something is still a very radical idea in our society. The idea that we make decisions together is still a radical idea.

Conflict resolution and mediation training for coop members is a worthwhile investment

Turn the capital/labor relationship on its head, instead of having capital hire labor have labor hire capital.

How do you welcome new members to a tech coop? How do you approach people who are new to the work? capcity-building?

There is a necessary investment of resources in order to train new people.

Being a coop co-owner is more like getting married than dating, need a lot of mutual trust and agreement and pereception that we all add value to the team.

Sometimes there are stages, someones begins as an employee on a pathway to ownership. Important to have milestones along that path. What that looks like and how long hat pathway is depnds on your vision and goals as an organization.

resident owned coops or multi generation coops - there are a lot of different models, for those that are being deisgned today there is a lot more attention paid to the specific focus and community that you want to create. There is a lot more interest in this recently.

Experience of communties that burned in Oregon fires, 3000 households who lost their homes, and are no unable to afford available housing, rent hikes, interest in using FEMA funds to buy land collectively

Some resources: L.A. Co-op Lab mini-course "Discover Worker Co-ops"

email for access to legal example I gave

The Cooperative Culture Handbook and lots more here

email with any questions you have which relates to the resources on and the world on the intentional community movement