NASCO Institute 2023

banner, NASCO Institute 2023
NASCO Institute is our flagship annual conference, perfect for cooperators of all skill levels. Institute will take place virtually throughout the month of October and culminate in an in-person Active Member Retreat Nov. 4th-6th, 2022.
Since 1977, NASCO Institute has been widely recognized as one of the most important training and networking opportunities available to members, directors, staff, and managers of group-equity cooperatives. The annual NASCO Institute is always a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network with cooperative leaders and employers, to caucus about pressing issues, and to work on building an inclusive and accessible cooperative movement.

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Growing Back Together

NASCO has worked to adapt to members’ changing needs and respond to the major challenges that have emerged in the last two years. Rather than a 3-day virtual conference, this year’s NASCO Institute will be a full month of educational events, including several virtual event series, social and networking activities, and a small in-person Active Member Retreat and Annual General Meeting. This Institute season will prioritize leadership development within our co-ops, organizational resiliency, collaborative visioning towards NASCO’s future, and building connections in new ways. 

Through this year’s theme, we will hold sessions focused on co-op basics, skill-sharing, anti-oppression, and building new connections.

Member Retreat & Annual General Meeting

We are excited to have an in-person component to NASCO Institute again this year - the NASCO Active Member Retreat! The NASCO Member Retreat will take place November 4-6 in Ann Arbor, MI. Every NASCO member cooperative is encouraged to send at least one person to represent their co-op at NASCO's Annual General Meeting (AGM). Member co-ops may also register additional people for the non-voting parts of the retreat. During the retreat, NASCO member reps will learn new skills, participate in cooperative movement visioning activities, and make connections with other cooperators. AGM reps will receive free registration to the Member Retreat.

Keynote speaker

We are excited to announce Kai Cheng Thom as our Institute 2022 keynote speaker! Kai Cheng is a writer, performer, and somatic healer based in tkaronto, colonially known as Toronto, Canada. Kai Cheng focuses on strengthening liberatory movements by addressing the ways that trauma and oppression prevent people from building strong loving relationships, which in turn stops activist movements from creating sustainable interpersonal change. Her latest book, a collection of essays titled I HOPE WE CHOOSE LOVE: A Trans Girl’s Notes From the End of the World (Arsenal Pulp Press, Sept 2019) dives deeply into the topics of transformative justice, prison abolition, trauma-informed activism, and building queer and trans futures. Her aim is to participate in a paradigm shift that moves beyond the simple politics of identity and diversity: she dreams of a movement that radically re-envisions the ways that we relate to one another.

Who are we?

Since 1968, North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) has been working with housing co-ops, students, worker-owners, activists, and community members who are interested in applying cooperative principles to meet their needs and fulfill their missions. We are the network that facilitates mutual aid and support amongst co-ops. 


“We found the conference to be very beneficial for our small community-based co-op, especially from a financial perspective. We learned so much about strategies for being a smaller worker co-op, with a focus on membership and trust-building.”

“I can't put into words how valuable the educational experience is at NASCO Institute. You get to learn about things that you know you want to know for your co-op and then there are other, newer ideas presented to you. And the networking is priceless.”

“NASCO Institute gave me skills and concrete actions plans for anti-oppression work in my own community, as well as ideas/skills/contacts for creating new worker-owned co-ops and housing co-ops."