Posts

Hello there!

So, I tried to retire this blog in favor of a different blog setup on my home website, carolinesavery.com/#/co-ops, but I was unsuccessful.  Until I figure out a solution, I will continue blogging here.

Check out my latest blogs, published on joiningvisionandaction.com:

Being a Skillful Rule-breaker: Optimize your ObedienceSelecting Good Rules, and the Beauty of Good Structure
JVA is a great resource for start-up nonprofits, social enterprises, and co-ops--definitely check them out! I now proudly work part-time with them. :)

I've been writing a whole lot more--synthesizing my unique perspective combining philosophies of consciousness, sustainability, systems-thinking/holism, cooperative organizing, dialogue and deliberative processes, and Buddhism, which I hope to be publishing more of on the following site... I've also been and continue to be heavily involved in the starting up of Cosmos.coop, a intentional community/platform co-op for visionary people. Check it o…

Congrats on your progress, West Colfax Food Co-op!

Today I am so proud of my role in helping cohere and kickstart this community initiative for a food co-op in their neighborhood... keep up the great work, everyone!  And thanks to Rocky Mountain Farmers Union for funding my initial consulting with them.

Check out the article here:

"West Colfax Food Co-op Seeks Diverse Outreach." North Denver Tribune, Jan. 20, 2016

Co-ops 101 Session at Mi Casa Resource Center

I am pleased to announce that, thanks to the gracious partnership with Marcus Weathersby at Mi Casa Resource Center, I will be providing a Co-ops 101 workshop FREE and open to the public on October 20!  The workshop will occur at 6pm on Tuesday, October 20th at Mi Casa's headquarters: 360 Acoma St, Denver, CO.

This workshop is presented to coincide with Mi Casa's current run of the Business Success Training for low-income entrepreneurs, however the co-ops workshop is open for anyone to attend.  If you're looking to learn more about what co-ops are all about, this is for you!

Please help me spread the word about this great opportunity to learn about co-op organizations.  Click here to download a flyer, and post freely!

Hope to see you there!

Caroline

Join me in creating co-ops education for Denver's communities!

Dear followers,

I am delighted to share this one-page synopsis on my plans for a community-based educational series on the co-ops model for metro Denver.  Over the past year I have felt a strong sense of the need to spread education and training about co-op models among low-income urban communities, i.e. those who could most benefit from realizing the model in their own communities.  This is a gap I see in Denver's current "co-op ecosystem" and in bridging that gap, I hope to build overall capacity through increased collaboration between stakeholders toward more, and more successful, co-op development in the region.

This synopsis is meant as a one-page version of the proposal.  The full proposal is about 15 pages long.

I would be grateful to receive your feedback on the synopsis.  I am currently seeking matching funders for an upcoming crowdfunding campaign, and collaborator-partners in the curricula design, outreach and implementation.

What do you think?  Would you lik…

New job with The Bike Depot!

I have an exciting announcement to make.  I am pleased to report that I have just accepted the position of General Manager with The Bike Depot, a wonderful non-profit organization serving Denver's Park Hill community and beyond with affordable access to used bikes, bicycle repair resources, bicycle repair and riding classes for youth and adults, and so much more.  Although a different structure, the work is very much akin to my long-term involvement with Free Ride, based in Pittsburgh, PA.

While I am pleased with the stability and growth opportunity presented by accepting this new position, it is not easy to set aside the co-op consulting business I have worked so hard to grow.  My heart remains with co-ops, but at The Bike Depot, I have a chance to really make a direct positive impact in people's lives, and strengthen the organization as it grows to serve more of the Denver community through applying my skills and sensibilities to the job.

However--and this is important!  I d…

The Need for Widespread Co-op Education

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Two Mondays ago, I participated on a panel about cooperation in the local food system.  This 1.5 hour-long panel was part of the Local Food Summit, a regional convergence of various local food interests created by the Mile High Business Alliance.

Participants on the co-op panel ran the gamut from lead staff of diverse farmer co-ops in the Colorado region (such as High Plains Food Co-opHeadwaters Growers Co-op, and more) to urban co-op organizers in Denver (such as Neal Zelarney of the Northeast Community Co-op Market and myself, representing West Colfax Food Co-op) to innovative urban farm models like Revision and GOFarm.  The discussion centered on: how can cooperation and the co-op model enhance our local food systems?

In the middle section of the panel discussion, we were invited to speak about successes, challenges and barriers. After listening to the other panelists speak about difficulties with financing, cooperative leadership, etc. I presented my perspective on challenges …

Union Co-ops present a hopeful model for achieving worker co-op growth

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This weekend, I had the privilege of attending an eight-hour seminar on the union co-ops model, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center, Communication Workers of America Local 7777, Adams County Board of Commissioners Charles "Chaz" Tedesco, and many others.  The event was hosted over a two-day period at the Denver Pipefitters Local 208 building on North Broadway.  Our inspiring guest presenters included Kristen Barker of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative and Rob Witherell of the United Steel Workers based in Pittsburgh, PA, who generously shared a wealth of experience and knowledge over the course of the event.
In attendance were about thirty people, made up mostly of union staff, members, and supporters, with a handful of co-op champions and developers (such as RMEOC, RMFU CDC, and myself) and a couple interested community members and graduate students.
Rob presented on…