National Worker Cooperative Conference 2010
The Work We Do is the Solution
2010 National Worker Cooperative Conference
August 6-8, 2010
Clark Kerr Conference Center at UC Berkeley
Co-hosted by the USFWC and Bay Area worker cooperatives.
As we looked around at our crumbling economy, our damaged planet, our laid-off friends and family, our disempowered citizenry, our communities that have been abandoned by industry, and all the challenges we face in this year 2010, it occurred to us that the work we do is the solution. It's that simple. Worker cooperatives can be economic engines that generate the surplus we need to tackle the big problems. They can create jobs that offer opportunities for meaningful personal and professional growth. They can build community power and shared wealth. They can choose to conduct business in a restorative and sustainable way. They can create a powerful values-based and principled framework for making decisions about work, industry, and the economy.
And so our theme this year focuses on solutions. Workshops and speakers will look at worker cooperatives as a possible solution to larger social and economic problems like job loss and environmental damage. But they will also present nuts and bolts solutions for worker cooperatives themselves -- innovative approaches to common challenges our businesses face in accountability and management, financing, governance, vision and growth.
A Weeklong Event
We couldn't hope to cover everything in two days, and so we're encouraging conference participants to think of this conference as a weeklong event. We will start the conference with tours of the Bay Area's hidden histories that link our vibrant worker cooperative economy to those histories. We'll follow up the conference with several intensive multi-day trainings in topics that can help strengthen existing worker cooperatives. We're also planning to put on the wildly popular volunteer work week again in 2010, again with a mix of physical work and technical assistance to startup worker cooperative projects. And at the conference itself we'll offer workshops, speakers, and our famed conference party on Saturday night.
New This Year
Heeding past attendees' requests for more structured childcare, we have actually created a track of workshops for young cooperators. These workshops will be focused on and targeted to children and youth, so participants can bring their kids and share the conference experience with them.