2013 Workshops

Here is the schedule of workshops. A collective notetaking site has been set up for attendees to record what happens for those unable to attend the workshops.Locations will be provided in a handout at registration. 

The five workshop tracks are as follows, with each workshop name below indicating the track:

  • Co-op 101 - introduction and start ups
  • Democracy - being an egalitarian business
  • Growth - in with the new, out with the old
  • Management - strengthening our co-ops
  • Movement Building - sharing the model


Session I: Saturday 9:00-10:30am

Co-ops Aren't Just Built - They Evolve (Growth)

Rodney North, Equal Exchange and John Abrams, South Mt. Company

Entrepreneurs and other leaders  in and outside the co-op movement work hard to create the perfect business plan; to identify markets, potential customers and sources of capital; and to recruit the right staff etc.. 

Filling the Cooperative Management Gap via Advisors with Industry Experience (Management)

Roy Messing, George Cheney and Ashley Hernandez, Ohio Employee Ownership Center

The individuals who form (or look to expand the business operations of) worker cooperatives have great business ideas, but lack the well rounded management expertise to implement or maximize the business plan or to compete with "seasoned" for profit businesses…

Horizontality: Collective Management for Democratic Workplaces (Democracy)

Esteban Kelly and kiran nigam, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA)

What does functioning collective management look like?… 

Lost in the cloud: Protecting online information in the networked age (Management) 

Antoine Beaupré and Matt Corks, Koumbit Networks

More and more, we depend on computers to manage our daily lives, and trust the “cloud” to take care of increasingly intimate information about ourselves…

Six Necessary Components for Successful Workplace Democracy (Democracy)

Saturday 1:15-3:15pm

US Federation of Worker Cooperatives annual membership meeting 

This meeting is open to all. Please come learn more about what the organization that represents worker co-ops nationwide is doing, and how you can get involved. The agenda is here.

Session II: Saturday 1:45-3:15pm

Communications and General Semantics (Co-op 101) 

David Woo, Weavers Way Food Co-op

Workplace communications can be improved by a practical application of techniques related to a better understanding of the human communication process…

Hyper-Coops: The Place of Egalitarian Communes in the Cooperative Economy (Movement Building)

Paul Blundell, Acorn and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange; Sky Blue, Twin Oaks; Ira Wallace, Twin Oaks and Acorn; Darla Eaton, Acorn and SESE.

We’re all working together for a more cooperative, democratic, egalitarian future and we know that for everything you can do in the economy there’s a cooperative way to do it… 

Not the IRS! Anti-Oppression Audits (Management) 

Jenna Peters-Golden and Esteban Kelly, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA)

The work of centralizing anti oppression values in a democratic workplace is a many layered thing… 

Shift Change - Film Screening & Discussion (Democracy)

Rodney North, Equal Exchange and John Abrams, South Mt. Company (hosts)

Shift Change is a documentary film by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin… 

Session III: Sunday 8:45-10:15am

Advancing the Development of Worker Cooperatives: A Report From Our Pre-Conference

On Friday, EDWC, Grassroots Economic Organizing and the Mariposa Food Co-op hosted a daylong intensive that focused on successful inter-cooperative approaches to self-financing and financing within the co-op movement. Come get an overview of the event!

The Creating Jobs Through Cooperatives Act: Advocating for Cooperatives with Elected Officials (Movement Building)

Peter Frank, Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance

Federal legislation was introduced in June which would provide much needed resources to grow the number of cooperative businesses in low-income communities...

Emerging Possibilities for New Economies in the South (Movement Building)

Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D, Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity; Kali Akuno, Jackson People's Assembly and Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC)

Historic patterns of oppression and exploitation in the US South result from the seizure of the land from its original inhabitants, the importation of Africans who were forced into chattel slavery...

Raising Capital for Worker Cooperatives (Co-op 101)

Roy Messing, Ohio Employee Ownership Center; Rodney North, Equal Exchange; Micha Josephy, Cooperative Fund of New England and Stacey Cordeiro, Boston Center for Community Ownership

Raising capital and borrowing money for small businesses has not been easy since the "Great Recession of 2008"... 

Reaching Those Who Care:  A Curriculum for Building Home Care Co-ops (Movement Building)

Teresa Young, Northwest Cooperative Development Center; Karen Kulp, Home Care Associates and Ellen Quinn, Cooperative Development Foundation

This workshop will illustrate the importance of training and education in the development of sustainable home care cooperatives...

The Way We Do the Things We Do: Healthy People Build Healthy Workplaces - part 1 (Co-op 101)

kiran nigam and Jenna Peters-Golden, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA)

SPECIAL DOUBLE WORKSHOP - PLEASE ATTEND BOTH SESSIONS INCLUDING SESSION IV - How do we sustain our vision for change and not get lost in the day-to-day grind?…

Session IV: Sunday 10:30am-noon

The Co-op Index: A Workplace Audit for Measuring Success in the Cooperative Economy (Management)

Jim Johnson and Kathryn MacCrate, Democracy at Work Network

This workshop demonstrates a powerful tool designed to help you assess your worker co-op’s strengths and weaknesses, and to guide you in creating systems that will help you function more effectively as a group, as a business, and as a cooperative…

Herramientas para Comunicación y Resolver Conflictos en Cooperativas (Tools for Communication and Conflict Resolution in Cooperatives) (Co-op 101) 

Nicole Marín Baena, Cooperation Texas

En este taller estableceremos (de forma muy breve!) principios básicos y metodología de la educación popular y participativa.
ENGLISH: We'll explore the common causes of conflict in cooperatives, and use workshop participant experiences to guide a conversation around useful tools to improve communication...

Incubating worker cooperatives: strategies and challenges (Growth)

John Duda, The Democracy Collaborative; Vanessa Bransburg, Center For Family Life and Omar Freilla, Green Worker Cooperatives

How can we build more strong and sustainable worker cooperatives in the economically marginalized communities that need them most?… 

Sharpening the Saw - Creating & Running an In-house Training & Education Program (Management)

Rodney North, Equal Exchange; and Adam Trott, Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives 

By attempting to launch, sustain, and grow, democratic worker co-ops we all are trying to do something almost unheard of, but also inspiring…

Unions and Worker Co-ops (Movement Building)

Kristen Barker, Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative; Michael Elsas, Cooperative Home Care Associates; Jessica Gordon Nembhard, John Jay College; Bob Noble (moderator), Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance; Deb Olson, Center for Community Based Enterprise and Dennis Olson, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union

Strange bedfellows or strategic allies? Recent developments in both the union and worker co-op movements have brought to the fore the relationship between these two socially significant groups…

The Way We Do the Things We Do: Healthy People Build Healthy Workplaces - part 2 (Co-op 101)

kiran nigam and Jenna Peters-Golden, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA)

SPECIAL DOUBLE WORKSHOP - PLEASE ATTEND BOTH SESSIONS INCLUDING SESSION III - How do we sustain our vision for change and not get lost in the day-to-day grind?…