In the twenty plus years I’ve been bouncing around the co-op sector – from a parent’s daycare co-op, to student co-op housing, to worker-owned collectives – I’ve noticed a pattern in the successes and failures, a key point on which the success of a cooperative (ad)venture seems to hang: communication.
That is the need Sassy Facilitation was created to serve. Through facilitation, education, and group process design I partner with intentional communities and cooperatives to improve their ability to communicate for cooperation.
Because it’s about taking “We own it, we run it,” and adding “we grow it.”
Hello again Folks!
This year I – once again – was privileged to participate in that gigantic experiment in cooperative creation, Burning Man. The citizens of Black Rock City work hard year-round to build, run, and break down a one-week-long civic experiment based on a code of Ten Principles – which are surprisingly congruent with the Seven Cooperative Principles.
This year I found that comparison to be blatant – on playa I co-led a 65-member ‘camp’ called the HeeBeeGeeBee Healers dedicated to gifting free alternative medicine services to the citizenry, and I noticed how much like a co-op we operate: we have open membership, participate economically, make decisions democratically, cooperate with 4 other camps to form Nectar Village (powered by 2 large solar arrays – a service gifted by one camp), and conduct our clinic with almost zero waste! We hit almost every co-op principle, and hit them with style!
I came away with the conviction that Burners and the Co-opers natural allys, with much to teach and learn from each other. I am excited to be exchanging knowledge already – this year I taught 2 co-op workshops out there!
Back in the ‘default world’, its an exciting time for worker co-ops in California – especially for groups looking to start or convert to a democratic workplace. NoBAWC and the SELC – along with many other co-opers – have pioneered new Senate legislation called AB 1161, which creates a new worker cooperative statute in the California Corporations Code and modernizes existing California Cooperative Law. The process continues with feedback and info sessions, culminating with a NoBAWC General Membership Meeting at which the final text will be presented. Stay tuned to nobawc.org for updates!
Coming up, I will be facilitating two workshops at the Art of Community conference held in Occidental, Sept. 23rd-25th. It promises to be an amazing weekend full of knowledge sharing, community building, and fun in the forest!
Keep on doing what you do, fellow citizens and co-opers – of BRC and beyond!