Jan 8

CDL Weekend: Culture Work

The theme of the third and final weekend of Cooperative Design Lab will coalesce around active Culture Work. Participants will tackle challenging issues pertaining to core beliefs and values, diversity and anti-oppression, democratic decision making, vision and mission work, marketing plans and strategies, facilitation practices, and working with technical assistance.

In this culminating weekend, cohort participants will synthesize learning from both the Organizational Design and Membership skills weekend to pick a set of tools for moving forward, a set of goals for their project timelines and a personal leadership practice. 

2016 Cohort members meet in Gray Maine at George Perley House for a weekend intensive. Homework assignments will be given. Guest speakers vary. Contact CDL for a full syllabus.

6:00 pm18:00

Business Feasibility

In this webinar with John Entwistle, of Maine Land and Sea Cooperative participants will use a process for analyzing community needs and consider how to use that information to refine their cooperative business plan and assess it.

Now retired from of Small Business Development Center in Portland ME, John returns as a guest contributor with Cooperative Design Lab. He is Treasurer of Maine Land and Sea Cooperative.

Oct 16

CDL Weekend: Membership and Membership Skills

The theme of the October Co-op Design Lab weekend will center on Membership and Membership Skills. We will be unpacking issues around recruiting and keeping members, workplace accountability and evaluation systems in cooperatives, communication, conflict management, network and relationship building, and leadership development.

2016 Cohort members meet in Gray Maine at George Perley House for a weekend intensive. Homework assignments will be given. Guest speakers vary. Contact us for a full syllabus.


6:00 pm18:00

Living a Collective Vision and Mission: Group process for Cooperative Leaders

Why are vision and mission important? What is the difference? How do we, as cooperatives create a collective vision and mission that can breath life in to our communities? 

In this webinar Rachel Lyn Rumson, from Royal River Collective and Cooperative Design Lab's own Program Director, will provide some theory and tools for hosting a process for your cooperative enterprise to co-create a powerful, living mission and vision. Participants will take away a process for doing this work collaboratively as a way to craft a culture and lead from the inside out.

6:00 pm18:00

Legal Structures and Resources for Co-ops

In this webinar Participants will understand various the legal structures that cooperative entities can use.

Entity formation is an important milestone on a cooperative development or conversion pathway. This session will help Cooperative Design Lab participants and interested parties in the New England Grassroots Environment Fund community prepare for a meeting with legal counsel. 

We are pleased that a lawyer from Conservation Law Foundation, Carrie Yardley, Esq. is presenting on this topic. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is a regional environmental advocacy organization that uses the law, science, and the market to create solutions that preserve our natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy.  The Legal Services Food Hub provides pro bono legal assistance and education to farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food-related organizations.

This webinar is supported by New England Grassroots Environment Fund. Register here.

Aug 11

Meeting Community Needs through Cooperatives: Creating Cooperative Ecosystems in Maine and Beyond.

Jonah Fertig, of the Cooperative Development Institute, will present an exploration of cooperative models that are meeting community needs and build resilient community ecosystems. Participants will hear stories of other cooperatives and be inspired to incorporate new ideas, models, and concepts into their cooperative design. We will look specifically at cooperatives in Maine and the Northeast and how these cooperatives are building democratic, participatory leadership structures for community energy, food systems, makers spaces, housing and more. 

An original founder of Cooperative Design Lab, Jonah is now working as a cooperative developer with Cooperative Development Institute in their rural cooperative services program. Jonah co-founded Local Sprouts Cooperative in Portland, Maine and helped to develop it from an idea into a successful worker-owned cafe, catering business and learning programs. He has been a perennial initiator of cooperative projects including the People’s Free Space, a community space and project in Portland, ME, Burdock Gathering, a community learning gathering in Central Maine, and Greater Portland Community Land Trust, to name a few. He lives at Celebration Tree Farm in Durham, Maine with his partner and two children.

In this talk Jonah will talk about some cooperatives, how they make decisions and what structures and policies they have in place to help them function day to day.

6:00 pm18:00

Financial Reporting and Organizational Transparency

In this webinar with Joe Marraffino of Democracy at Work Institute will provide participants an understanding of specific ways to present financial information to support organizational transparency and other reporting needs their cooperative might have.

Joe Marraffino, is a guest facilitator with Cooperative Design Lab. He joined the Democracy at Work Institute in 2015 as a cooperative developer, focusing on tool-building and training. He coordinates the Development Fundamentals program for new developers and runs a monthly startup workshop for worker cooperative entrepreneurs. He lives in Ithaca, New York. Joe was the Finance Manager for GreenStar Cooperative Market in Ithaca for three years. Previous to that he was a worker-owner of Arizmendi Bakery in San Francisco for seven years, and worked as a bookkeeper and business developer for the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives to help launch two bakeries. Joe was a founding member of the of the New York Cooperative Network and the Democracy at Work Network.


6:00 pm18:00

Demystification of the Books: Financial systems for Co-ops

In this webinar with Annie Sullivan-Chin of A Bookeeping Cooperative Workshops, participants will understand the functions of accounting systems and ways to share financial data. 

A Bookkeeping Cooperative provides full-charge bookkeeping and financial services to non-profits, worker cooperatives, and small businesses in NYC and beyond.  Annie started working with ABC in 2012 as an intern with the Democracy At Work Network. She is working both as a freelance bookkeeper and ABC bookkeeping services provider. 

Register here.