Friday Sessions

On Friday, October 18th in Baltimore, before the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy begins, you're invited to join us for a number of special programs! Please review the descriptions of each event below, and register on this form. Email if you have any questions.

All meetings and workshops will be held at the University of Baltimore Law School (1401 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201), and all tours will depart from Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse (1225 Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD 21201).

Lunch is not included unless it is mentioned a session's description.

Friday session registration will remain open until Thursday, 10/17.

While our full conference registration will end on Friday 10/11, our special programs on Friday will remain open for an extra few days.

Please note: if we do not receive your registration before Monday, 10/14, we cannot guarantee lunch.

Baltimore Co-op Tour

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This three hour walking tour of Baltimore will introduce you to some of Baltimore's largest local worker cooperatives.Worker owners from businesses including Baltimore Bike Works, Thrive Baltimore, Staffing Cooperative, and Red Emma's will give you a personal look into the Baltimore coop ecosystem. The tour will end at Red Emma's just in time for lunch!

Desafortunadamente, esta sesion se llevarán a cabo solamente en inglés

Baltimore Just Economies Tour

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This three hour bus tour of Baltimore will bring you into the heart of the local just economies movement, focusing on grassroots projects advancing racial equity, ecological justice, and the democratic economy.

Desafortunadamente, esta sesion se llevarán a cabo solamente en inglés

ADWC V: Strengthening Peer-to-Peer Organizing in the Worker Cooperative Movement

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Lunch Included



At GEO's fifth conference of Advancing the Development of Worker Cooperatives (ADWC), our theme is, "Strengthening Peer to Peer Organizing in the Worker Cooperative Movement." We will focus on worker-owners sharing best practices and lessons learned from volunteer peer to peer support. The information we have been gathering from grassroots efforts around the US and internationally, affirms that building a strong Peer to Peer Network may be a necessary requirement to encourage the interest and growth of worker cooperatives, especially democratic and/or self-managing worker cooperatives. Our preliminary research has indicated that direct peer to peer organizing strengthens and deepens education, best practices, worker-owner agency, and mutual support in the movement, in critical ways that third-party mediations do not. We hope to bring together worker-owners who are doing great local work, often as volunteers, to facilitate peer learning and participation, cross training and creative learning, and policy work with city governments and nonprofits to hash out best practices and learn from each other. The hope is that the outcome will support existing p2p activity and catalyze more such activity, to further strengthen worker cooperatives across the country.

Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) is a collective of cooperative developers, educators, researchers, and grassroots activists working to promote an economy based on democratic participation, worker and community ownership, social solidarity and ecological sustainability. We do this primarily through the online publication of both news and in-depth information on the co-operative and solidarity economic movements particularly in the US; and focusing on worker cooperatives. We also engage in direct organizing, cross-sector networking, and educational workshops, and conferences. We chronicle, connect, convene and catalyze - writing and organizing as a catalyst for the spread of these movements.

For 25 years GEO has provided a treasure trove of hard won wisdom from cooperators in the field. Whether we've bound that into a magazine, posted it to a blog, or held a conference, the co-op movement turns to GEO consistently to share best practices and critiques. We are not beholden to any advertisers and we don't have much overhead, so mostly we offer our publications for free. See

Desafortunadamente, esta sesion se llevarán a cabo solamente en inglés

Understanding Cooperative Finances

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

We will go over the basics of cooperative finances including defining terms, basic bookkeeping, and how to read the four main financial reports: Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Budget, and Cash Flow Projections.  You will leave with a better understanding of how to create and read these reports and use them to answer your most common fiscally-oriented questions.  This is great grounding for new cooperatives as well as already operating cooperatives looking to build financial literacy among all membership.

María Teresa López, A Bookkeeping Cooperative

María Teresa is a bookkeeper and consultant with A Bookkeeping Cooperative. She is an experienced entrepreneur bringing a powerful combination of a lifelong commitment to social justice together with hard financial, managerial, and administrative skills rooted in 40 years of experience. She studied accounting in her native Honduras and has lived in the New York metropolitan area since 1991. Maria Teresa brings the same spirit of fearlessness, dedication, and precision to all of her work, which has ranged from running her own Spanish language magazine to working as a bank loan officer to consulting with small businesses. María Teresa is also a cooperative trainer in the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives Training Collective.

Alex Fischer, Open Bookkeeping

Alex Fischer brings a strong commitment to racial, economic and gender justice to their finance work. With over a decade of financial consulting and bookkeeping experience, Alex founded Open Bookkeeping, based in Brattleboro, VT, to bring a justice perspective to bookkeeping & organizational finance management. They believe that financial literacy is critical to empowering leadership and creating truly democratic organizations that can harness the genius of all its members, especially those from frontline communities. With a passion for engaging and interactive facilitation, they are known for creating fun financial workshops. Alex is a self-taught bookkeeper and holds an MBA in Managing for Sustainability from Marlboro Graduate School.

Union Co-ops and the Solidarity Economy

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Lunch included


How are unions are using worker co-ops as an organizing strategy in a larger context  of Solidarity?

Presented by the Union Co-ops Council of the USFWC, this gathering will build relationships for the collective benefit of the unions and cooperatives, including:

  • Celebrating the 100th year of the International Labor Organization (ILO) of the United Nations and acknowledging the long history of the labor movement in promoting worker cooperatives
  • Examining organizing strategies from the solidarity economy
  • Breakout sessions to focus on topics like deals and contracts, union co-op models, local ecosystems, and education

The Union Co-op Council builds bridges between worker cooperatives and organized labor, strengthening worker-owned businesses and building the movement for workplace democracy.

Desafortunadamente, esta sesion se llevarán a cabo solamente en inglés

Tech Co-op Peer Network Gathering

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM



Join us and learn what the Tech Coop Peer Network has been up to! We will present the work we have done together since the last National conference. There will also be ample time for mingling and learning from each other. If your coop is not part of the network yet, tech worker cooperatives will have the chance to sign up and join the network.

Desafortunadamente, esta sesion se llevarán a cabo solamente en inglés

From Our Roots to Our Future: Weaving the Vision for Immigrants in Cooperatives

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM



In this one-day interactive meeting (Spanish only), we will reflect on the roots and social fabric of the cooperative movement in immigrant communities from movement building, collective leadership and economic exchange in our cultures as tools for self-management and survival. We will address challenges and opportunities within the cooperative movement. We will explore tools for conflict transformation, exchange best practices for healing and for preventing conflict within our cooperatives and community organizations. This session welcomes workers-owners and organizers within the immigrant community. The format and the tools are part of Popular Education where all are teachers and alumni.

Federation Partners Meeting

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM



Building on the work the USFWC and DAWI have led over the past several years, this three hour gathering is a space where Federation Partners can candidly share lessons and setbacks, discuss strategy, and envision collectively how to support and collaborate with each other in the future on regional and local organizing. The gathering will consist of three sections, 1) A Relational Space where participants will get to know each other's work, 2) Thematic Breakouts on policy & advocacy, membership benefits & programming strategies, and ways of resourcing local organizing, and finally 3) identifying opportunities for Future Collaboration. Groups that are existing or emergent local and regional networks of cooperatives are welcome to this session.

Don't see what you're looking for? We're also hosting a few private meetings - email if you need more information.