Brooklyn Communities Collaborative and Community Worker Ownership Project Fellowship
As a culminating event for our graduate certificate in Workplace Democracy and Community Ownership five Fellows pitched their ideas to a convening of colleagues, comrades and “Dolphins”, (note this was not your standard Shark Tank). With stakeholders, community partners and some financial investors, we discussed four proposals, each grounded with a deep goal of improving social determinants of health in Central Brooklyn.
The four-course sequence gave students the space, runway, and time to meaningfully develop innovative economic democracy projects. It helped students think critically about how they can implement cooperative principles into the work they are already doing or hope to do in the future. The Economic Democracy Fellows framed concepts with foundational principles and language for a Solidarity Economy. Brooklyn Communities Collaborative and CWOP facilitated the network of thought partners and subject matter experts to contribute to, challenge, and assist with projects. As the semester ends and these fellows move towards graduation, the work continues and this larger pod of Dolphins are “in”!
Project synopses are below with some excerpts from the showcase session.
We welcome all to consider how you may want to join a Dolphin Pod and declare: “I am in!”
For more information you can reach:
Amanda Trainer firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Oberkehr email@example.com
Ellie Kahn firstname.lastname@example.org
Androniki Lagos email@example.com
Natasha Joseph firstname.lastname@example.org m
Rebecca Lurie at SLU Community and Worker Ownership project
Gretchen Susi at Brooklyn Communities Collaborative email@example.com
Amanda Trainor: Deepening member engagement developed a project bringing the sociocracy governance structure to the Brooklyn Coop Federal Credit Union.
Androniki Lagos: A Food Guild designed to foster collective power and cooperation among food businesses, while deepening relationships with anchor institutions through shared governance of a multi stakeholder cooperative construct.
Using the food sector as the test case, the Guild leverages a combination of solidarity economy models, bolstering cooperation over competition to strengthen and scale BIPOC businesses. The planning process will investigate a synergistic approach combining the strengths of multi stakeholder cooperatives, secondary cooperatives, and social franchises to advance the operating and bargaining power of otherwise independent businesses working alone to overcome entrenched hurdles to stabilization and long-term sustainability.
Bill Oberkehr & Ellie Kahn: Economic Democracy and Community Ownership in New York’s Energy Systems Training Program, designed to train community based organizations with real estate on how to develop democratic clean energy projects and engage in energy governance systems.
Natasha Joseph: Cooperative Development Districts as a method to reimagine NYC’s ubiquitous Business Improvement Districts, using Special Assessment Districts to model place-based community wealth building strategies that deepen community participation and increase community health and wealth. Coop Development Districts
And as the final moment, we brought more feedback in. Video of a Discussion with our Dolphins