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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.