2012 CA CO-OP CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS
Location: 685 14th Street, Oakland, CA (First Unitarian Church of Oakland)
WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS: 2012 CA CO-OP CONFERENCE
* workshop presented in Spanish
** workshop presented in English with Spanish translation
MCLE = Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit
To see speaker bios, click here
FRIDAY, MAY 4
Keynote Address: John Restakis, author of Humanizing the Economy, Co-operatives in an Age of Capital and Executive Director of the British Columbia Co-operative Association, will share how cooperatives offer an alternative to "business as usual." He will share examples from around the world that serve as enduring evidence that there is another model of enterprise: the cooperative model. Cooperatives offer intrinsically community based economic and social exchanges that are based on cooperation and reciprocity. Restakis' modern examples from varying industries in different parts of the world present "YES WE CAN" case studies of the cooperative model.
Celebrating and Respecting Cultural Diversity Among Co-op Members (Allan Heskin, PhD) will share research and experiences about the practices and strategies that promote good communication and practices among cooperatives with racial, cultural and lingual diversity.
How to Start a Co-op (E. Kim Coontz) will cover the fundamentals of starting a co-op. Information will be applicable to all types of cooperatives and address significant nuances. Includes an overview of the fundamentals of organizing a cooperative including incorporation, bylaws, and operating procedures. The session is designed for people who are new to cooperative development or cooperators who would like a refresher course.
Democratic Management with Accountability MCLE (Tim Huet, JD) will discuss how cooperatives can incorporate system of checks-and-balances, evaluation systems, and discipline that support and simplify decision-making by individual members and remain legally compliant.
Housing Co-ops (Rick Lewis and Jessie Palmer) will share from personal and professional experiences how various housing co-op models keep housing costs affordable and create community.
The workshop will discuss how each model works and why people typically choose to live in, or set up, each model. The workshop will present an overview of the development process and briefly discuss operational issues faced by housing cooperatives.
Emilia Romagna Co-ops in Italy (John Restakis): Workshop will discuss how the cooperatives of Emilia Romagna in northern Italy have succeeded in building a powerful, autonomous co-operative economy alongside an advanced capitalist economy. The Emilian Model also demonstrates how co-operation supports the success of small firms and enables them to successfully compete in the global marketplace.
Bylaws and Legal Tools for Worker Co-opsMCLE (Sushil Jacobs, JD & Janelle Orsi, JD) will present the legal fundamentals involved in forming a worker-owned business.
Creating your Co-op Image—Tools & Tips for Maintaining a Consistent Message (Melanie Madden and Bija Young, Davis Food Co-op) will discuss the basic concepts for developing a marketing strategy and materials for cooperative organizers that are at the membership recruitment phase. Topics will include understanding your audience, creating a brand that is authentic to your community, and developing marketing materials for different types of media.
Meetings that Don’t Suck (Eris Weaver) This workshop will share strategies for creating productive meetings that people look forward to! During the workshop participants will discuss and practice planning and facilitation techniques how to promote group cohesion, decrease conflict, and effectively deal with “difficult” people. Bring your examples of real-life challenges and go home with real tools you can use!
WAGES: Role of Cooperative Incubators in Transitioning Workers to Management Roles (Deb Goldberg, WAGES Cooperatives) shares the successful experience of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security in boosting leadership and an ownership perspective among previously dis-empowered workers.
Co-op Self-Financing Approaches MCLE (Therese Tuttle, JD) will discusses the legal aspects of raising funds for capital improvements and cooperative development by issuing preferred shares, and member gifts and loans.
Understanding Financial Statements (Melissa Hoover). Monitoring the financial status of the cooperative is a fundamental necessity that members often hope “someone else” will do. The truth is that it is fundamental to the co-op’s survival that EVERY member be able to read and understand what is presented in these statements. This workshop presents the basics in a fun, easy-to-understand format. The session is designed for co-op members, directors, staff, and developers who do not currently have a good understanding of financial statements, as well as experienced cooperators who need to refresh their memory.
Creative Financing Tools: What the JOBS Act means for Co-ops MCLE (Jenny Kassan, JD) will discuss strategies to secure capital from the general public and include information about crowd funding and legislation that will clarify many aspects and open new opportunities.
SATURDAY, MAY 5
Starting a Cooperative through a buyout of an existing business: Consumer and Worker Case Studies (Mickey Kaiserman and Dan Thomases) will share their experiences and lessons learned from organizers involved in developing a cooperative by buying out a sole proprietor business to form a consumer food cooperative (Placerville Natural Foods Cooperative) and a worker cooperative (Box Dog Bikes).
Co-ops & Employment Laws (Janelle Orsi, JD) MCLE will discusses the unique labor and employment law questions that arise in worker, consumer, housing and producer cooperatives, and in other collaborative economic activities. How can consumer cooperatives involve member volunteers and interns in their work? How can housing cooperatives implement resident work-trade programs? When are members of worker cooperatives considered employees, and what rules apply? How should producer (e.g. artisans, practitioners …) structured to avoid application of employment laws? What issues come up when cooperatives pay members in benefits other than dollars?
Board/ Co-op Leadership Roles & Responsibilities (Kate Sassoon) introduces the basic roles, responsibilities, and processes of a cooperative Board of Directors. This workshop includes education on legal duties and functions, as well as tools for fostering productive meetings and resources for ongoing learning.
En Espanol--Como crear y controlar los presupuestos de su cooperativa/Understanding and Monitoring Budgets (Meche Sansores, WAGES) teaches how to create and monitor budgets for a worker cooperative.
Developing a Budget for Creating a Food Cooperative (Stuart Reid) shares how to create a realistic development budget for starting a food cooperative.
Legal Issues with Cooperative Incubator ProjectsMCLE (Tim Huet, JD) will discuss some of the issues that arise when a cooperative is developed by an outside entity rather than the members themselves and how to address them.
Marketing the Co-op Advantage (Panel)—How do cooperative communicate that they ARE the 99% and they are local, sustainable businesses in a manner that supports the co-op’s membership and business goals?
En Espanol: Five Things You Should know about the Difference between being an Employee and a Worker-Owner of a Cooperative-Cinco Cosas Usted Debe Saber de la Diferencia de Ser Empleado de Ser Miembro-Dueno de una Cooperativa (Spanish only). Araceli Gembe and members of Teamworks cooperative will share their experiences as long-time worker-owners from TeamWorks cleaning cooperative about what it takes for someone to succeed in the cooperative. While anyone is welcome to attend the workshop it is aimed particularly at a Spanish-speaking new co-op employees or members who are learning to participate in the democratic life of their cooperative and build a culture that will ensure their co-op's long-term success
Trabajadores-propietarios de largo plazo del equipo de la cooperativa de limpieza “Teamworks” compartirán sus experiencias y las lecciones principales que han aprendido sobre los años, pero en especial de como tener éxito en una cooperativa. Todas las persona interesadas están bienvenidas a asistir, este taller esta dirigido en especial para nuevos empleados de cooperativas, hablantes de español , que están aprendiendo a participar en la vida democrática de su cooperativa y que están empezando a construir una cultura que asegurara el existo de las cooperativas al largo plazo.
Development Process: Using an Organizational Timeline for starting a retail cooperative business. (Stuart Reid) will present how to manage the development process, including the various steps to include, the approximate amount of time to allow for each and how to assess progress.
In English with Spanish Translation: Case Study: Human Development at TeamWorks/Estudio de Caso: Desarrollo Humano y “TeamWorks” (English with Spanish translation). The founder and members of TeamWorks cooperative will share the advancement path they use to promote member personal and professional development to move from cleaning work into other responsibilities within the cooperative, such as accounting and training. This will include a discussion of the framework for this process, which draws on theories of participatory management, popular education, and community organizing. The session will also address the practical challenges of implementing this approach in real life. While anyone is welcome to join the workshop it is aimed at co-op developers and leaders who are responsible for creating and implementing management systems and training programs.
Los fundadores y miembros de la cooperativa de limpieza “Teamworks" compartirán el camino de adelantamiento que utilizaron para promover el desarrollo personal y profesional de cada miembro de su equipo, últimamente con el objetivo de pasar de trabajar en limpieza a obtener otra responsabilidad dentro de la cooperativa, tales como trabajar en la contabilidad y entrenamiento. Esto incluirá una discusión de la estructura del proceso, basada en las teorías de la administración participativa, educación popular, y organización de la comunidad. La sesión también se dirigirá a discutir los problemas prácticos de la aplicación de este enfoque en la vida real. Todas las persona interesadas están bienvenidas a participar, este taller esta dirigido en especial para desarrolladores de cooperativas, lideres responsables de la creación e implementación de sistemas de administración, y programas de instrucción.