Submitted by Michele Metts on
Wow, that was fun. The very first event for the Boston/Cambridge Worker Ownership Meetup group on October 10th, 2014, was a great success. We met at The Industry Lab, Agaric's new co-working headquarters and event location. We had a great discussion that was led by our friend Gonzalo Chomon of EvoVelo, a cooperative located in Spain.
Gonzalo Chomon shared a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of cooperatives that engaged everyone from the start. About a dozen attendees talked about the different ways cooperative companies are structured, laws governing different types of companies in Spain and the US and about the different internal processes used to add or remove members from the group.
Attendees were very engaged in the discussion from the start. One member asked about the company structure, how does it work, are there contracts, bylaws? A cooperative company can be structured in any way the partners agree upon. Usually the company is formed as an LLC between the partners with equal shares, but that is not an absolute. An organization the size of Mondragon has an entirely different structure, it is a federation of cooperatives.
The pizza from The Just Crust rocked and was totally consumed by the end of the evening. Many thanks, to our friend Kay Van Valkenburg who brought some lush fruits and scrumptious chocolate chip and dark chocolate dipped cookies—oooooh. Thanks to everyone that came to the first Boston/Cambridge Worker Ownership Meetup at the Industry Lab in Cambridge, despite the brilliant New England weather.
We will talk with Carolyn Edsell-Vetter, from A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative, based right in Waltham, MA, about transitioning to a coop from another ownership/governance structure. Meet some local people that are currently working in successful worker cooperatives in any industry, doing what they love to do. Let's discuss how they started and how they continue to thrive in this economy. What are the benefits and what are the hurdles to overcome when forming a cooperative relationship with your partners?
Join us! Visit the Boston/Cambridge Worker Ownership Meetup, we have started to list some great coop resources and links, and if you are in the Boston area, let us know.