The WORC’N General Assembly and social was a big success. There were over a dozen in attendance and many Boston Area co-ops represented: Boston Collective Delivery, Boston Tech Collective, Community Builders Cooperative, Sheba Green Cleaning Co-op, Quilted, Red Sun Press, as well as two start-ups: a Brazilian women’s green cleaning co-op and a machinists co-op from Lynn. We mingled, ate pizza together, and made some new social and business connections.
The General Assembly was conducted in English and was simultaneously translated into Portuguese. Steering Committee Ben Mauer facilitated the event and gave a report on the last quarter of WORC’N activity, with others filling in detail about the powerful Peer Resource Group which has met monthly since July as well as the Co-op 101.
The Steering Committee presented two goals for the following quarter:
- A Speakers Bureau to aid the press and local colleges and universities in finding worker cooperators for stories and guest lecturers. Yochai from Boston Tech Collective, Ben from Quilted, Tony Dunn from the fledgling machinists co-op and Eric from Red Sun Press volunteered to be contacts.
- A formal proposal to the group on A) who our group composed of (worker cooperators only? support organizations?), B) how that group makes decisions (consensus? vote?) and C) how to financially support WORC’N activities in terms of food and simultaneous translation in order to create an inclusive local worker co-op movement (membership? sponsorships?).
We concluded the General Assembly with a brainstorm of WORC’N goals for the next year:
- Send a group to the Eastern Conference on Workplace Democracy in July
- Network with community groups
- Talk with the new mayor of Boston
- Network with MassChallenge
- Convene a city-wide symposium on sustainable business and cooperatives
- Buying club for healthcare (group plans?) – the group NASRO was mentioned
- Spread the word, continue to raise awareness of cooperatives and the cooperative model
- Develop more business resources
- Find ways to help each other financially/create financial solidarity (co-ops doing well helping co-ops not doing so well)
- A place to share leads with each other, or needs/have list (declare what we have to share, and what we might need)
WORC’N will be having it’s first Quarterly General Assembly & Social tomorrow, May 9, from 5:30pm to 8pm
General Assembly: 5:30pm
Social: around 6:30pm
Location: Community Builders Cooperative, 24 Webster Ave, Somerville MA
First, we’ll hold a General Assembly, where the Steering Committee will report out on our work, and we’ll discuss ideas and proposals that folks send in advance. If you have a proposal or idea, please send it to Ben Mauer (email@example.com).
Then we’ll have a good old fashioned food and social hour. You are welcome to come to either or both parts of the evening, and are strongly encouraged to invite other members of your co-op to attend.
See you soon!
Location: Boston Collective Delivery’s space. 12 Channel St., Suite 202 Boston. You can get there with a 10-15 minute bus ride and a 4 minute walk. The #4, #7, and Silver line all go near BCD’s office from downtown Boston.
Topic: Sharing some of the challenges we have faced as a worker cooperative in branding, billing, and general operation. We will also be sharing strategies that have worked for us in marketing.
Attached is a report from the WORC’N Steering Committee on our activities of the past couple months. We especially want to highlight two upcoming WORC’N events:
- April 11th: Peer Resource Group, 6pm. Location: Boston Collective Delivery’s space. 12 Channel St., Suite 202 Boston. You can get there with a 10-15 minute bus ride and a 4 minute walk. The #4, #7, and Silver line all go near BCD’s office from downtown Boston. Topic: Sharing some of the challenges we have faced as a worker cooperative in branding, billing, and general operation. We will also be sharing strategies that have worked for us in marketing.
- April 18th: Worker Co-op 101, 6pm at Make Shift Boston, 549 Columbus Ave, Boston
More info will come soon about both events, but you can read the vision and background in the attached report. The Steering Committee is currently Tim Hall, Ben Mauer, James Bachez, Stacey Cordeiro and Micha Josephy
Download: April 2013 WORCN SC Report
Si necesita traducción, envíe un correo electrónico a firstname.lastname@example.org, gracias.
At last month’s meeting we decided to have two meetings on a regular basis: A Co-op 101 for folks who are new to worker cooperatives, and a Peer Resource Group for worker cooperators who are either already in the process of forming or are a part of a worker cooperative.
This month, we’ll be trying a format where the first hour is a Co-op 101, and the second hour is a Peer Resource Group. Both are open to the public, but folks new to worker co-ops are strongly encouraged to attend the 101.
Thursday, March 14
6-7pm. Come at 6pm sharp! Presented by Stacey Cordeiro of the Boston Center for Cooperative Ownership.
Peer Resource Group
7-8pm. Topic: Financing Cooperatives with a short presentation by Maggie Cohn of the Cooperative Fund of New England on “What Lenders Want: Demystifying the Loan Application Process”, followed by discussion
Location: New Economics Institute at Cambridge Innovation Center, 1 Broadway, 3rd FL, Cambridge, MA 02142
Food: We’ll have some light snacks donated by Harvest Food Co-op. Co-ops helping co-ops!
P.S. The Lucy Parson’s Center and the Boston Area Solidarity Economy Network are doing a Cooperative Networking Night on this Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30pm. More info and RSVP: http://lucyparsons.org/calendar.php?action=event&eventid=1342
We will have interpretation at the meeting. Si necesita traducción, envíe un correo electrónico a email@example.com, gracias.
We’ll be getting some pizza or other food for the meeting. We suggest a donation of $5 for food. Or bring food to share.
Date & Time: Thursday, February 7, 6-8pm
Location: Make Shift Boston, 549 Columbus Ave, Boston MA 02118
- Check in
- Review agenda, add items
- Draft proposal on how to move WORC’N forward and help it meet the needs of existing co-op and new/startup co-ops (see background below)
- Possible additional topics for conversation
- Check out
Additional topics for discussion that were brought up that weren’t covered at our last meeting:
- Review the 7 principles of co-ops and discussion (5)
- How do we create and support participation & accountability? (4)
- What co-op trainings do co-ops give? (4)
- Are there equal # of women to men in worker co-ops? (2)
- How do you strike the balance between the enterprise and the mission/value driven organization? (2)
- Looking at structures that can limit or help co-ops grow given the conflict between “do you need big co-ops versus a lot of co-ops? (1)
Background on proposal for moving WORC’N forward:
Aaron, Stacey, Micha and I have been reaching out to various folks in WORC’N to ask them what they want WORC’N to look like and how much they would be able to contribute. We’ve also been reaching out to other co-op networks around the country such as NoBAWC (SF Bay Area), MadWORC (Madison, Wisconsin), VAWC (Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts) to get a clearer idea of their histories, strengths, and challenges.