2013 Archived Posts

December 9, 2013

Welcome….. and please consider how you could use this format

Welcome.  As chair of the Communications subcommittee of the NY Cooperative Network Steering Committee, I have endeavored to initiate a platform for us to collaborate in our work developing the Network.  I hope that you will find this template for a communications platform easy to use, engaging, and organized to make access to our shared projects simple.

For the moment, our Steering Committee are the only people who have been invited to participate.  All Steering Committee members have been invited to add themselves as content providers.  This means that all of us can post to this home page via email, as well as read and respond in comments to posts made by others.

Additionally, pages are designated by number.  Each page is dedicated to a different aspect of our work together.  Conversations on pages are carried on primarily through comments, however, initial page content can also be changed or augmented by agreement, followed up by action by the Admin users (Communications subcommittee members).

At some point in the future, we may decide to transition this blog to one that is open to all our members, or to the public at large.  At that point, we can decide whether or not we want our beginning conversations to be available in our archives or not. I would hope that we would want to make these early deliberations completely transparent and available to whomever joins the organization in future. The blog will automatically save and organize our work by date, unless we choose to remove material.

May 14, 2013

Considering Cooperation: A Guide for New Cooperative Development

Considering Cooperation is a 2001 guide from Brian Henehan and Bruce Anderson from Cornell Universty’s Cooperative Enterprise Program.  It is available to download as a .pdf.

This publication reviews the key elements needed for successful formation and development of new cooperative businesses. The motivation for and process of forming cooperatives are discussed. Six phases of cooperative formation are presented including:

  1. identifying the opportunity
  2. building consensus on the potential for a cooperative
  3. developing trust among potential members
  4. securing member commitment
  5. involving other stakeholders, and
  6. starting up the cooperative enterprise

April 22, 2013

The 2013 New York Cooperative Summit

Planning for the second annual New York Cooperatives Summit is underway!  After a successful event in 2012 we expect an even larger gathering of New Yorkers committed to democratic businesses and economic development. The Summit will be held in Syracuse on Saturday, September 28th.  It will be a day-long event, with lunch served.  Attendance will be on a sliding scale so that all who want to can attend. Join us on Facebook to get updates on speakers and other news.  If you are interested in helping to organize the event, or sponsor it, or have questions, please email newyorkcooperative@gmail.com.

See the whole schedule and more details about the presenters.



April 17, 2013

Business Design Presentation hosted by Colab Cooperative

The Colab Cooperative in Ithaca will host a presentation on progressive business trends, including cooperativism, on Tuesday 4/23/2013:

Next Economy Now: Key business trends to build into your company today

Is your company doing all it can to ensure its long term growth and development while maximizing your triple bottom line impact? Come and learn from a pioneer in progressive business design about some of the most important trends in the Next Economy and how you can apply these trends to the sustainable operation of your company today.

Since 2010 LIFT has worked strategically with over 50 companies in this field and will share some of the important trends we see emerging in progressive businesses today. Citing case studies and sourcing content from the room we will take the conversation further in this highly interactive session. We will stoke your inspiration and give you ways you can implement these in your current business operations.

The Presenters:

Shawn Berry is an organizational strategist inspired to harness the power of business to create a resilient local economy as a model to be open sourced and scaled globally. Shawn first founded the Woodshanti Cooperative in 1997, then joined in the leadership of the Ananda Dhiira Eco Retreat Center in 1999, and founded the Urban Alliance for Sustainability in 2000. In 2010 he launched LIFT in order to help more amazing enterprises that are all doing some part of making the world a better place.

LIFTLIFT is a business design and coaching firm located in San Francisco, working exclusively with companies already dedicated to doing business in a way that is beneficial to all life. We understand the dynamics of operating under these constraints and have developed a streamlined strategic approach to empowering companies to stabilize and grow in today’s economic conditions.

Rylan began working in the technology industry during the late 90s when he graduated from Stanford University and began a short stint in venture capital.  Rylan went on subsequently to found a social enterprise startup, Giveback.net, using music to raise funds for charitable projects with luminaries like Damien Marley and Michael Franti. As a front-end engineer Rylan coded user interface solutions for web applications used by Fortune 500 companies like Bizrate and Shopzilla. He co-founded CoLab – his current home – with his fellow cooperative members to focus on developing technology solutions for social and environmental change initiatives. Most recently he is launching Storied.us, a startup funded by Eric Schmidt of Google, to use storytelling to improve lives.

CoLabCoLab was born out of a collective desire to do good. We are passionately committed to people, partnership, planet and performance. We work with brands and organizations that prioritize social value, community and sustainability. Our clients include entrepreneurs, social ventures, non-profits, professional associations and educational institutions. We have the technical chops to meet many of your web needs along with a talented creative team that can evaluate your brand and design collateral across various media. Lastly we posses the business acumen to help you succeed without compromising your values.

April 17, 2013

Worker Cooperative Bakery in Rochester Expanding with Kickstarter campaign

Small World Bakery, a worker cooperative in Rochester, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to seek expansion funds.


From the Kickstarter page:

We’ve been feeding Rochester nourishing & delicious food for five years now, since 2007. All the while, we’ve been supporting local organic farmers by buying ingredients from them directly, teaching our interns and the general public, and working with local businesses and community groups to build a sustainable local food system.

We started out renting space from a restaurant, baking bread during the middle of the night. When we outgrew that, we built ourselves a commercial kitchen into the back half of an 1860s brick house in the Plymouth Exchange neighborhood.  Now we’re bursting at the seams at this space, and we’re ready to move into a new space on Canal Street.

Things we’re excited about in our new space:

  • more production space (less tripping over each other)
  • more storage space (less risk of avalanche)
  • loading dock (no more playing “pack mule”)
  • retail space (can’t make it to market? No problemo!)
  • hosting classes and workshops (learn with us!)

We will be moving our current kitchen equipment with us, but we will need a few more things to flush out our new location. Initially we will be building a larger walk in cooler, adding more work tables, and doubling our oven capacity. This space will also give us the ability to do more of the projects we’ve been dreaming of such as rolling oats, sprouting grains for bread, and making koji.

We love what we do and are looking forward to being able to do even more of it! With your help, we’ll have the resources to keep the business growing. Together we can keep supporting local agriculture and providing great food to more people.