Highlights

Learning opportunities…

  • Join us for a video tour screening of cooperatives across North America led by local members and is free to attend on Friday (If you are interested in submitting a video of your co-op reach out to Info@nasco.coop

  • Collective Liberation Caucus - This is a forum to examine how our movements for liberation intersect with each other and to build our work based in a common vision of a liberated world.

  • Identity-based Caucuses - Caucuses are spaces for participants from similar identities to co-create, share experiences, strategize, and build power. 

 

Co-op Development Track

With the cost of living constantly on the rise, the demand for affordable housing solutions is greater than ever. NASCO has pulled together a team of experts to take future co-op founders through the process of starting a new housing co-op, from clarifying the initial concept to drafting your business plan. Workshops in this weekend-long series provide a comprehensive training on the development process.

 

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is where NASCO members can voice their opinions and engage in NASCO’s governance. It is also the forum for active members to nominate and elect an Active Member Representative, who serves a one-year term on the NASCO board of directors. AGM delegates will receive a reduction in their registration fees (1 per co-op). This year it will be held at a time that does not conflict with workshops to make it easier to attend. 

 

Scholarships

Scholarships funded by donations from private individuals and charitable organizations are offered to attendees whose co-ops have limited resources.

Many co-ops offer their own scholarships and arrange travel for their members to attend the Institute. Additionally, many colleges or universities make funding available for students to attend educational events. Contact your co-op office and/or educational institution for more information.

 

Community Agreements

We ask that conference attendees use the following agreements as ground rules throughout the Institute. These are offered as tools for participants to hold themselves and each other accountable as we engage in a respectful and challenging educational process.

 

One Diva, One Mic

Please, in both large and small groups, one person speaks at a time. It can also be useful to ask people to leave space between speakers, for those who need more time to process words or are less comfortable fighting for airtime in a conversation.

 

No One Knows Everything; Together We Know A Lot

This means we all get to practice being humble because we have something to learn from everyone in the room. It also means we all have a responsibility to share what we know, as well as our questions, so that others may learn from us.

 

Move Up, Move Up

If you’re someone who tends to not speak a lot, please move up into a role of speaking more. If you tend to speak a lot, please move up into a role of listening more. Listening is often seen as a passive skillset and is often less valued - when you choose to prioritize your listening skills, you help the whole group. This is a twist on the on the more commonly heard “step up, step back.” The “up/up” confirms that in both experiences, growth is happening. (You don’t go “back” by learning to be a better listener.) Saying “move” instead of “step” recognizes that not everyone can step.

 

Recognize Intent and Address Impact 

We recognize people’s best intentions when unintentionally causing harm. The impact of someone's actions may not have been intended but nonetheless should be addressed. 

 

What’s Said Here Stays Here; What’s Learned Here Leaves Here

Respect confidentiality. Don’t share people’s personal stories outside of a workshop, but do share the lessons that you learn. Also, don’t use what you’ve heard to shape your full conception of a person or an organization.

 

We Can’t All Be Articulate All of the Time

As much as we’d like, we just can’t. Often, people feel hesitant to participate in a workshop or meeting for fear of “messing up” or stumbling over their words. We want everyone to feel comfortable participating, even if you can’t be as articulate as you’d like, and create a space of learning and dialogue. This helps us move past the barriers of language, class, and institutional education access.

 

Be Curious

We make better decisions when we approach our problems and challenges with questions (“What if we…?”) and curiosity. Allow space for play, curiosity, and creative thinking.

 

Expect and Accept a Lack of Closure

The goal of this conference is to be learning new concepts, developing questions, making connections, and beginning ideas. With such a short amount of time and such diverse content, it is an unrealistic goal to expect closure on every topic. Move beyond a ‘fear of missing out’ and embrace the process.

 

The framing and language for these community agreements were created in partnership with AORTA: Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance. Most of these agreements were not created directly by AORTA and are borrowed from various people’s movements for justice. Get in touch: www.aorta.coop.