Worker Owned Cooperative and Allies Jam Session

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  • It's great to be able to bring your whole self to the job
  • It can be hard to interface with outside organizations that don't understand what it means to have a horizontal structure
  • It's an extremely empowering space, we have trust in each other.
  • When there is a problem, it's not just one persons problem, it's everyones problem.
  • It can be really consuming
  • Growing can be difficult. When you're in a cooperative it's almost like you're in a family or a relationship.
  • Stages of development
    • Forming (founders, everyone super excited)
    • Storming (disagreements start)
    • Norming (organizations start to mature and start having norms)
  • It's a big leap when the early success is due to frenetic working. You have to take a leap of faith to pull back.
  • Design Action is a union shop. It helps with making sure we treat ourselves well. Communications Workers.
    • It's also been really helpful with prospective members
  • One phase example. a.k.a a series of things that help me not do what I don't want to do.
    • Freelance culture
    • Project manage each other
    • Dedicated project manager
    • Having someone handle intake
  • There is a struggle between specializing and having project managers and having a horizontal organization
  • There is a difference between having a position and a role
  • Project management is always undervalued
  • Adding an additional charge for PM instead of billing seperate hours.
  • Difference beween a "project" manager and a "manager". It doesn't create a hierarchy.


Cooperatives Mentioned


  • Aorta Collective
  • Design Action
  • Electric Embers
  • Mirabot
  • Open Flows
  • Palante
  • Quilted


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  • Cooperative are an opportunity to work in an extremely empowering space and to have trust in each other.
  • What's working well is the collaboration and what's not working well is the collaboration.