The 2021 NASCO Institute theme is Mutual Aid. Cooperativism and mutual aid go hand in hand as practices rooted in social solidarity and collective care. Mutual aid has blossomed over the past year to address many of the challenges brought on by the pandemic and has provided a pathway for communities to become more resilient in times of crisis. This year we will bring together cooperators to learn from each other about community resilience.
We are seeking workshops on the following course tracks:
This year’s Mutual Aid theme track will spotlight examples of mutual aid networks, inter-cooperative mutual aid organizing, skillshares, and explore how you and your co-op can build and support mutual aid networks wherever you are. Workshops or presentations of mutual aid projects. Workshops here should offer examples of mutual aid that can be replicated. We are looking for sessions that share real-life examples of successes and challenges from the past year.
We will accept co-op basic skills workshops outside of these suggestions but below are some core skills that we are looking for.
Kitchen management (especially safety and hygiene)
Conflict resolution / Member management
We will accept Anti-oppression workshops outside of these suggestions but below are some core skills that we are looking for.
Economic accessibility (sliding scale rent, rent funds, payment plans, co-op tools for serving as affordable housing)
Building a board that is anti-oppressive
LGBTQIA+ safe cooperatives
Survivor resources and prevention resources for cooperatives
Cooperation Amongst Cooperatives
There are so many different types of cooperatives! Housing co-ops, worker co-ops, consumer co-ops, producer co-ops, and more! Workshops in this track can be about any type of co-op! A workshop in this track could answer the question “How can my co-op cooperate with other cooperatives?’
This track is for the Staff of cooperatives. A workshop in this track will be tailored for staff working with members to operate the cooperative. Skills like member management, communication, board education, balancing work/life, and organizational planning all fit in this track.
Creating New Co-ops
NASCO provides a 6-part track walking attendees through the overall process of co-op organizing and development. Any additional workshops in this track would be targeted more at specific types or features of cooperative housing development, or opportunities therein. Additional development courses will be by invitation to present only.
Presenters are eligible for conference registration compensation. This year institute will be held remotely (online) and we will be accepting fewer presenters due to the nature of the event.
The deadline to submit proposals has been extended to Friday, September 10, 2021.