2nd Annual NYC Worker Cooperative Conference

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Event Details


Workplace Democracy Across the Professions

The New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives will hold its second annual conference of presentations and discussions about economic democracy and the road to economic justice.

The conference will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at CUNY Law School. The public is invited to a day of panels, group sessions, and presentations on workplace democracy, worker cooperative businesses, and the future of economic democracy in New York City.

This year’s conference will focus on the variety of professional callings currently practiced at democratic, worker-owned firms. The keynote speaker will be Professor Frederick Freundlich from Mondragon University. A series of panels will feature worker-members from the following professions: management, personal services, technology, education, and financial services. Alongside these panels, the conference will also host networking sessions and tutorial workshops. Finally, city and state lawmakers will again be invited as special guests of honor.

The conference is co-hosted by New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives and CUNY Law School’s Community & Economic Development Clinic.

Program of Events

Main Auditorium, 2nd Floor

8:00 AM Breakfast & Networking

9:00 AM Introduction

  • Carmen Huertas-Noble, CUNY Law School
  • Christopher Michael, New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives

9:15 AM Opening Address

  • Amy Johnson, United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives
  • Esteban Kelly, United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives

9:30 AM KEYNOTE

  • Frederick Freundlich, Mondragon University

10:00 AM Management

  • Adria Powell, Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Manju Gupta, Equal Exchange
  • Deborah Wolk, Samamkaya Yoga
  • Jeremy Shannon, Build with Prospect

11:00 AM Personal Services

  • Casilda Maldonado, Ecomundo Cleaning
  • Elvira Rojas, Beyond Care
  • Maria Valentina Lopez, Beyond Care
  • Sara Castillo, Golden Steps
  • Deyanira Barrow, UNITY Housecleaners

12:00 PM Lunch

Courtesy of Ginger Moon

1:30 PM Technology

  • Jessie Rose Lee, Palante Tech
  • Jamila Khan, Palante Tech
  • Rylan Peery, CoLab Cooperative

2:30 PM Education

  • Wendy Baranello, Samamkaya Yoga
  • Emily Kramer, Third Root Community Health Center
  • William Vidal Bonilla, OSHA Trainers (Startup)

3:30 PM Financial Services

  • Annie Sullivan-Chin, A Bookkeeping Cooperative
  • Karen Haskins, The Working World
  • Nathan Hixson, The LEAF Fund

4:30 PM Conclusion

Special Programming, 3rd Floor

10:00 AM Worker-member Networking (Two Hours)

  • AORTA

Have you met other worker-members in your industry? Have you thought of partnering with other worker coops? Would your worker coop like to provide or purchase goods and services from other worker coops? Would you like to meet worker-members at more mature worker cooperatives? Have you thought of mentoring worker-members at a startup?

1:30 PM – Internal Capital Accounts and Indivisible Reserves Workshop

  • David Hammer, ICA Group

How does a worker cooperative retain earnings? What does investment look like in a worker cooperative? How are profits distributed? What is the best way to approach growth from an equity standpoint? How can I guarantee that my worker cooperative continues to grow in the future––and stays a worker cooperative?

2:30 PM – Board of Directors Workshop

  • Carmen Huertas-Noble, CUNY Law School

How does representative democracy function in a worker cooperative? How are board directors elected? What are the responsibilities of a director? How can I be sure that directors are making decisions in the interest of my worker cooperative? What are the duties of care and loyalty? How does board governance differ from management? Can we elect non-members or outsiders to the board of directors? Does my worker cooperative need a board of directors?

3:30 PM – USFWC & NYC NOWC Membership Informational

  • Amy Johnson, United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives
  • Esteban Kelly, United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives
  • Christopher Michael, New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives

What is the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives? What is the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives? How are they related? What do they do? And what have they done for my worker cooperative lately? How do worker cooperatives control these organizations? And how does my worker cooperative become a member?

After Event

Brooks 1890
2428 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101