Join us for an explorative workshop on how to organize in a cooperative. You will learn about the many wonderful potentials and get inspiration about where to begin if you want to start a co-op. Everyone interested is welcome.
Starting a cooperative business can look similar to starting any other business; you need to figure out what you are selling as well as where and how you are going to do it. However, starting a co-op also means that you are joining forces with others and as a group you are choosing to build your business on values of democratic governing and ownership. Making decisions about all aspects of your business is a shared and common responsibility and that takes an entirely different process starting up and structuring the organization.
Thus, the focus of this workshop will be on the people, the values and structures, that are elementary to running a cooperative business.
Cooperatives are known for having a more equal share of profit and power as well as a close link to and support of local communities. In a time where our wellbeing and work lives are threatened by accelerated and precarious conditions causing stress, insecurity and loss of meaning, cooperative organizing can also be an alternative collective approach to the current quit-your-job energy that many feel. It is not a quick fix, however, in the long run, co-operation can be a means to choosing to create a value driven way of doing business that gives you the control to claim and prioritize your time and work.
The workshop is facilitated by Flexwerker, a worker-owned cooperative and start-up. Flexwerker will share their first-hand experiences with starting a cooperative and introduce you to nonhierarchical leadership, care practices at work and other important aspects of organizing.
You as a participant will also get involved in exercises about organizing. Together we will discuss how to deal with different dilemmas you face as a co-op, and how to ensure a democratic dialogue about distributing work, power, and profits.
Flexwerker is a worker-owned cooperative and start-up. Flexwerker works in the field of education, research, communication and design. They explore collective organizing and work to promote good and meaningful work lives through consultancy work, self-initiated projects and experiments, while also trying to figure out how success can be measured in other ways than money. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or www.flexwerker.dk.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL:
This workshop is part of Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke Aarhus’ second annual Cooperative Festival (https://fb.me/e/1KDIuuC1e). Throughout this festival, we hope to bring the concept of cooperatives back to common knowledge and public debate, as well as provide practical tools to get your own ideas for cooperatives up and running.