Tue 17 Nov 2020

Shadowing Sion in international worker co-op forums

Sion Whellens from Calverts and the Workers Co-op Council has, since at least 2019, been the UK rep to CICOPA (the global worker co-op/producer co-ops/service co-op sector body which feeds in to the International Co-op Alliance).

In 2019 (I think) he got a seat on the CICOPA board and is Vice President for the North Western Islands on the CECOP board (European body). Back in January 2020 he was working on a call for global co-op support for Rojava and working with Trademark Belfast on developing an All-Ireland Co-op federation/support network and he has recently been trying to push research and promotion in CECOP of more non-hierarchical and democratic governance structures for workers co-ops.

In the Workers Co-op Council it seemed sensible that he shouldn't be carrying all of this responsibility by himself and that having someone to shadow him would be both a good backup plan, spread the communication channel a bit wider and be a great opportunity for a younger co-operator to learn the international ropes and develop international links. This might be particularly useful for any workers co-ops who trade internationally or for any under-represented folks who want to network internationally.

By the end of November I will start a thread in the Loomio group for members of the Workers Co-op Solidarity Fund to discuss whether we can/should fund travel expenses (or more?) for a potential shadow and for how much. I thought i would pick up thoughts from the wider movement here first and also encourage anyone who hasn't yet joined the SolidFund to do so: solidfund.coop/join

For further context, Co-ops UK recently set up an International Board Working Group, for people who do international co-op representation to meet and share agendas. There is a seat empty on this group for a UK rep to the ICA Youth Forum.


Jeff Regino Tue 17 Nov 2020

I think this is a great idea and no-brainer. The young and older ones should work together for succession, continuity, and promotion of cooperatives all over the world. As someone who has zero cooperative experience, I think cooperative practitioners should do a lot more to promote cooperatives and their work.


Martyn Johnston (Chapel St) Tue 17 Nov 2020

Hello Cath, there seems to be an issue with the join form. Could you please pass this on for someone to take a look at? It just won't submit...


John Atherton Wed 18 Nov 2020

The application form should be working again now, so do try it and let me know via email if it doesn't work from you


John Atherton Wed 18 Nov 2020

Thats weird wonder whether its a browser thing as worked when I tested it the other day, will talk to @Aaron Hirtenstein (Agile Collective) about it


Graham Wed 18 Nov 2020

Great idea. I'd suggest perhaps going a step further and having a small team, if there's interest. Whilst I certainly don't fit the brief of "younger cooperator" I'd be up for joining a small group that could provide support for Sion.


Alex Sat 28 Nov 2020

I think having several people in the role is an excellent idea. Everyone brings different things to the party!