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July 2016 Newsletter

NASCO Strategic Planning Report-back

Group photo of NASCO board and staff

The NASCO Family boards took a major step toward renewing a strategic vision at our planning retreat the weekend of June 17-19, 2016. The three boards met to affirm their united intentions for the NASCO Family. NASCO aims to grow and serve more co-ops through increased member engagement. We will more proactively pursue cooperative development opportunities in partnership with historically marginalized communities, continue to develop more robust cooperative leadership and social/economic justice education opportunities, and reassume a prominent position among cooperative social justice organizations. NASCO also resolves to be a focal point for pro-cooperative advocacy.

The retreat brought members of all three NASCO Family boards, our advisory committee, and our staff together from across North America to a beautiful, wooded Michigan campus for a three-day planning session, meetings, and training led by the phenomenal facilitators Kristin Schwab and Jean-Jacques Gabriel of Philadelphia. The NASCO Family plans to present a draft strategic plan at our Annual General Meeting in November at NASCO Institute for member comment and feedback.

NASCO Institute Keynote Speaker & Theme Statement

Photograph of Ed Whitfield

We're very pleased to announce that Ed Whitfield, Co-Managing Director of the Fund for Democratic Communities, will be joining us November 11-13th to keynote this year's Cooperative Education and Training Institute. Ed's speech, titled "Changing the World in a World that is Changing," will explore how we go about changing the world for the better, recognizing the motion and counter-motion all around us. In particular, Ed will talk about how access to tools and resources is the key to the power to direct change along the path we care about, toward a wholesome, equitable, sustainable and just world.

Ed's keynote speech will build on this year's overall conference theme, "Cooperative Resilience," focusing on the innovative and resilient nature of cooperatives, and how these qualities are essential to adapt in a changing world as we build the next economic systems. We're excited to explore this theme with you, investigating the role of cooperatives as a driving force for grassroots democracy and community stability.

Member News: Boulder Co-ops Continue to Fight Zoning Regulations

Photograph of Picklebric Co-op members moving out of house

Since 2013, groups in Boulder, Colorado have been tirelessly calling on their City Council to loosen regulations that currently prohibit shared households of more than 3 or 4 unrelated people, to provide clear avenues for the creation of co-op households, and remove other barriers to affordable housing in their city.

Local advocates have continually moved the issue forward, gaining allies from the city level to a U.S. Congressperson. The Boulder City Council is currently considering revisions to their cooperative housing ordinance, which would be a major victory for local co-op advocates.

Unfortunately, the local legislative process is moving too slowly for some members of the local co-op community. Picklebric Co-op, a new NASCO member, is being forced to find a new home due to pressure from anti-cooperative neighbors and an unwelcome regulatory climate. We applaud the ongoing efforts of local advocates, and stand in solidarity with co-ops that are continually driven to relocate.

Apply to Lead a NASCO Institute Session

Photograph of NASCO Institute attendees in a workshop
We are inviting proposals for sessions at this year's Cooperative Education and Training Institute, November 11-13, 2016 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, August 19, 2016. Proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis, so apply early! Final programming decisions will be made by the end of August.

We are happy to discuss your session ideas - email to get in touch.

Call for Nominations: NASCO Hall of Fame

Photograph of NASCO Hall of Fame ceremony

The NASCO Cooperative Hall of Fame, created in 1989, honors the best of our movement. As a member of the NASCO community, you may have knowledge of someone past or present who is deserving of recognition.

We encourage you to consider nominating a member of your community. The induction ceremony will take place on the Saturday evening of NASCO Institute, November 12, 2016. Nomination forms must be returned by August 25, 2016. See our website for more information.

Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance Launches “20 Book Clubs → 20 Cooperative Businesses”

20 Book Clubs 20 Cooperatives banner

Over 15 months, 20 groups of people will form community-owned and worker-owned cooperative businesses in the Philadelphia area. Before starting businesses, these groups will meet twice a month for six months in study circles, a method rooted in African American and Philadelphia cooperative history.

Through study, reflection, and discussion, each group will identify an unmet need in their community and create a shared vision of a new cooperative business to meet that need.

After six months, groups that are ready to move forward with their business idea can access training, business advice, and financing to help them open their cooperative business.

Are you interested in forming a study circle to learn about cooperatives? Do you live in Philadelphia? Apply by August 14!


Upcoming Events

Worker Cooperative National Conference

The World Social Forum

Twin Oaks Communities Conference

Global Social Economy Forum - GSEF2016

International Summit of Cooperatives

National Association of Housing Cooperatives Annual Conference

NASCO Cooperative Education & Training Institute

Donate to NASCO

How can you promote affordable, community-oriented cooperatives and support the next generation of cooperative leaders? Donate to NASCO!

We depend on a broad community of people who see cooperatives as a critical part of our future to support our efforts to educate and organize cooperatives and their thousands of dedicated members. NASCO provides free and low-cost training and consulting for youth-led cooperatives that are creating the leaders of tomorrow. But we can't do it without you. Join us in cooperation!

Submit Resources to our Library

One of the most valuable assets of the cooperative movement is our collective knowledge, and NASCO’s Shared Resource Library, a constantly growing collection of documents and files, is a tool for sharing that knowledge. Our library relies upon your contributions. Please follow this link to share your co-op’s governance documents, member education materials, and resources.
Copyright 2016, North American Students of Cooperation, All rights reserved.

The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) Family [of associations] organizes and educates affordable group equity co-ops and their members for the purpose of promoting a community oriented cooperative movement.

Our mailing address is:
The Blue Lacuna
2150 S Canalport Ave STE 2A-11
Chicago, IL 60608

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