Sun 14 Jan 2018

Introductions -- what do we bring? What do we hope to get?

MN Matt Noyes Public Seen by 440

As a way to get started, should we each post a short introduction stating what we have to offer that might be relevant to this reading group, and what we hope to learn/explore/discuss?


Poll Created Sun 14 Jan 2018

Participant self-Introductions Closed Wed 24 Jan 2018

As a way to get started, should we each post a short introduction stating what we have to offer that might be relevant to this reading group, and what we hope to learn/explore/discuss?


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 5 MC MN MK JT GSF
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 5 LS MDB EM A M

5 of 10 people have voted (50%)


Matthew Cropp
Sun 14 Jan 2018

Do we need a poll for this, or should we just get started?


Matthew Cropp Sun 14 Jan 2018

Needless to say, I've been a co-op geek for a while, and went down a real rabbit hole when getting my MA in history studying the early credit union movement in the USA, so I'll probably be adding a few key readings from that journey to this list, as there's much to learn from both the structure and developmental trajectory of that model over the past century.

I'm also quite interested in effective governance structures and what drives (or disincents) participation in democratic organizations, so would be interested in having some polisci readings on that topic.

Finally, there are definitely some classic co-op movement books I have had on my reading list forever but have not read, so I'm hoping this group will be an opportunity to get them off the pile and into my head... :)


Erik Moeller Mon 15 Jan 2018

My own background is more with conventional nonprofits -- I was an exec and Board member at Wikimedia for a long time and spent a lot of that time studying up on good governance, fundraising practices, etc. I'm pretty new to the co-op world and was drawn into it in part by the Medium piece on social.coop (I bet I'm not the only one here). Even my bank account is still with Wells Fargo :-(. That said, I have long believed that we need more cooperative economic approaches; to date I've been primarily focused on open source, open data, small gift fundraising, transparent governance, etc.

I hope that social.coop can seed communities of change: locally where each one of us resides, and globally through projects like platform co-ops. And I think equipping ourselves with the best available knowledge about co-operative approaches will make this (more) possible.

Not all of these books are going to be light reading, and like Matthew said, a reading group can be a great way to keep the momentum going by sharing highlights and learnings along the way. :-)


Gabriela Avram Mon 15 Jan 2018

I grew up in communist Romania, where people were forced to give up their land and equipment and join coops. Afterwards, these coops were run by unscrupulous individuals appointed by the Communist Party. No need to say I dreaded the word itself! I have been living in Western Europe for the last 15 years, and I had the chance to see successful coops in housing, urban gardening, mobility and so on and I began to wonder and look deeper into the phenomenon. Last year I attended the Open Coop conference in London and I must say it was an eye opener for me. I am currently involved in a European network dedicated to the study of the collaborative economy and I am starting to look at the issue of co-housing in Ireland, from both a scholarly and a personal perspective. I will do my best to find the time for reading, although i know sometimes work will get madly crowded with deadlines. Looking forward to the challenge!


Michele Kipiel Mon 15 Jan 2018

I come from a non-coop background as I never worked in one nor were practically involved in any prior to co-founding social.coop, despite being fairly well-read on the topic. I am an avid political reader with a particular interest in history and economy. I see this group as a way to both expand my reading list and share my experiences and thoughts with you. Looking forward to seeing the first selection of books!


Matt Noyes Tue 16 Jan 2018

My childhood was typical, summers in Rangoon, luge lessons...
Actually, I have lived in Tokyo for 15 years and will move to Colorado Springs this year. My background is mostly in participatory democratic education for movement building (aka popular education), mostly in the context of worker organizations (unions and workers centers). A few years ago, I became more interested in worker cooperatives and ended up doing (online) a Masters in Applied Social Economy and Cooperative Enterprise at Mondragon University. I am a member of an education collective (Social Justice Learning Collective) here. I have also been interested in the relation between internet/web tools and democratic organization. I wrote about using the web for union democracy, in the Troublemakers Handbook and the CyberUnion handbook.
What I want is to get a better grip on what platform cooperativism is, and isn't, and what are the implications for cooperativism and solidarity economy.


Neil - @neil@social.coop Wed 17 Jan 2018

I don't have much experience of coops (I was a volunteer member of a food co-op at university many moons ago, but didn't really appreciate the politics of it at the time.) In the UK I'm lucky to have the high street Co-op bank and supermarket both of which I'm a member, although that just involves using their services. I work at a charity and recently I've been drawn back into cooperativism through working with tech coops to help us on our projects. I'd be happy to learn something of the everyday nuts and bolts of coops; how (I hope) they can catalyse political movement away from capitalism; and also the intersection with tech, e.g. platform coops.


Frédéric Dufays Mon 29 Jan 2018

I grew up in a family of both actors and beneficiaries of social economy enterprises, including co-ops. So it felt natural for me to chose such enterprises as a topic for my PhD dissertation. I am now working at KU Leuven (Belgium) to coordinate the set-up of a research and teaching centre on co-ops. Needless to say that a reading group could be a useful way for me to get books of my pile and to get insights on them from all over the world..


Michel Alexandre Salim Sat 10 Feb 2018

I've been a member of my university's credit union for over a decade (keeping the account when I left) and was a member of a co-op grocery, but until now I've not actively participated; I've also been involved in open source projects starting around that time, mostly as a package maintainer with the Fedora Project.

My day job is with one of the Attention Economy companies, which led to a period of self-reflection that ended up with me joining mastodon.social, seeing interesting toots from social.coop people, reading the Medium article on its mission and here I am!

I'm an avid reader with an interest in history, politics, and technology, and looking forward to learning more about co-ops together with everyone here. I've been on the lookout for something more sustainable than capitalism ever since reading a George Monbiot column decrying the unsustainability of always chasing economic growth, and I have a hunch co-ops will play a big part of any successful post-capitalist future.

I'm also taking the COOPSx Economic Democracy: The Cooperative Alternative at the moment.


For the past 5 years, I am part of the Northeast Womyn in Permaculture, and we use the 8 Shields Model for collaboration in our group. It was developed by Jon Young from the Art of Mentoring and models cycles of nature in group dynamics. I am a member worker at our local grocery coop in Vermont, and I have been a member of another grocery coop in Atlanta, Georgia. My graduate degrees are in city and regional planning, and I studied valuation and environmental health (community-level actions to reduce human exposures to pollutants). I am a stay-at-home mom in Vermont, USA, and I dabble in many interests.

ADDING: I am part of the Vermont Solidarity Investment Club, and we do collective impact investing into worker cooperatives. I am also a lifelong Unitarian Universalist (UU), and I am part of UU groups working on racial justice, economic justice, and climate justice.

The major goals of my 2018 reading list are to read books written by womyn, young authors (under 30), black and brown authors, Muslims, indigenous people, and on topics related to nonviolence, cooperation, feminism, mysticism, herbalism. I aim to have more than half of the authors be womyn and nonconforming genders, which is not so easy.

I tend to read novels and online articles. I am joining this reading group so that I will read nonfiction that might be about cooperation, collaboration, regenerative industry, solidarity economics, effective governance, pluralism, and group dynamics. My public policy professor husband researches regional and international governance of watersheds, disaster preparedness, climate policy issues. I am curious to learn more about stakeholder analysis, food hubs, network analysis, food justice efforts, cohousing, nonviolent action, decolonization. This reading group would get me reading nonfiction.


mike_hales Mon 18 Jun 2018

hi @caitlinwaddick what is 'eight shields' please? i know four shields of foster & little. links to this? thanks mike


http://8shields.org/ The 8 Shields Model of organizing is described here. I use this model, but I have little training in it. I am not convinced it is a better model than other organizing models, but I like the idea of it.


[deactivated account] Mon 6 Aug 2018

I've worked a bit in the 8 Shields Model as well, mostly with kids using the 'Coyote's Guide' approach. It proved useful to me trying to get my head around how to learn to be a mentor/teacher on-the-job, but I couldn't make a case for it being better than other models either.


Reed Mon 9 Apr 2018

Hello everyone. I am new to social.coop, and looking for ways to become more involved. I am a student at the Evergreen State College and I have been studying and interning with local Cooperative Development centers and businesses. I also study Restoration Ecology, and hope to someday found a restoration worker's coop.

I began learning about platform cooperatives this year. I wanted to know more, so joining one seemed like a good idea. Coops need to adapt to the modern economy, and connect to and support social movements for justice and liberation if they want to have a chance at changing the world. I want to help the cooperative movement find ways to aggressively compete against the emerging tech monopolies and their neo-feudal policies of wealth accumulation.

I have founded several grassroots political projects and continue to write and organize every day. For political-economic theory, I am a big fan of Kali Akuno, Michel Bauwens and Murray Bookchin.

Check out outgrowingcapitalism.wordpress.com and demandutopia.net to see some of my work.


Matt Noyes Mon 9 Apr 2018



Neil - @neil@social.coop Mon 9 Apr 2018

Welcome Reed! You are in the right place at social.coop, good to have you on board. I'm also very inspired by the work of Kali Akuno, Michel Bauwens and Murray Bookchin.

You might like to also post your introduction in the main introductions thread: https://www.loomio.org/d/4gjvlwLu/welcome-please-introduce-yourself


mike_hales Mon 18 Jun 2018

Expanding my Loomio profile a little . . Am English, baby-boomer, 'retired' (as if!), live in Sussex.

70s Radical Science Journal, Workers Self-management in Science conference, Chemco News/ICI shop stewards' research coop. Follower of Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards' Combine alternative plan. Rank-&-file organising.

80s Living Thinkwork: 'cultural materialist' politics of knowledge production, working life & emotional life. Science or society perspective of radical-science movement. Greater London Council: strategies for workers’ counter-knowledge, women and IT, participatory development of IT based work infrastructures, computers beginning to be everywhere - first word processor! Experimenting in 'the Partner State'.

90s: participatory configuring of workplace IT, work practice R&D, knowledge intensive services in national systems of innovation, ethnographic & ethnomethodological R&D strategies; globalising of radical practice. Business school self-management/R&D context.

Direct making of society in ordinary life is central, theorising essential ('organic intellectual' capability), technologies pervasive (digital, profoundly so), platforms helpful, commons fundamental (and 'hot' at this time for deep reasons), facilitative practice crucial, emotions and emotional skill pivotal, the State unavoidable but a pain in the arse and a problem. Publications on Lulu.com https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1295273


mike_hales Mon 18 Jun 2018

Thanks Caitlin / Hard to tell from the website how well-founded the approach is - the site gives very little away regarding its foundations and, like many personal development organisations, seems to rest on the inspiration of its core teachers. Suck it and see?!


Derek Kozel Tue 19 Jun 2018

Hello folks,

My partner and I have been talking about our lifestyle and the structures of the community around us and social issues of the world. All a bit overwhelming, but we've been trying to find what actions we can take day to day to proactively make improvements. I read Humanizing the Economy and Owning our Future, both of which helped fill out thoughts and questions we were having.

I've been slowly moving my online activities to either self hosted or paid for and privacy conscious businesses. I haven't figured out Mastodon at all yet, but am probably more interested in how social.coop is being run than the service itself!

I work as an electronics engineer and am an officer for the GNU Radio project. One of my responsibilities there is to maintain and grow the community. We have a pretty good and positive community, but there's certainly lots of potential to be better. I'm hoping to apply the lessons learned through these reading discussions and just being a member.


Derek Kozel Wed 25 Jul 2018

I'm clearly a Mastodon beginner as I can't find most of the people in the Reading Group on Mastodon. Can folks link to their profiles from here please?



[deactivated account] Mon 6 Aug 2018

Hi folks,

I'm new to social.coop, but a longtime participant in cooperative organizations. I've lived in cooperative housing, been a member of my local food co-op and credit union for a long time, and was a worker-owner on a small cooperative farm in Portland, Oregon for a few years.

For work, I do a few different jobs. I'm a freelance front-end web developer, an occasional part-time teacher (nature connection with 6-13 year olds), and co-owner of a small kombucha brewery (which we hope to grow as a worker-owned cooperative if grow we do).

I'm an avid reader, and have found great pleasure in book clubs. Lately, I've been delving into anarchist theory, Bookchin, consensus process, etc, but I like to read about a wide variety of topics, from as many perspectives as possible. This working group appeals to me for exactly that reason!


Michele Kipiel Sun 12 Aug 2018

Hello! glad to have you on board. We'll be catching up at the end of august to discuss our latest book, feel free to participate!