NYC Fall Worker Cooperative Training Weekend, hosted by the Democracy at Work Institute and Democracy at Work Network

Please join worker-owners from around the country for our fall training weekend, Oct 24th-26th in New York City. We will be offering a series of workshops on worker cooperatives and cooperative business development, presented by some of the nation’s leading experts on cooperative development, as well as one-on-one consultations with Democracy at Work Network Peer Advisors. 

The workshop is free of cost, but we ask that you RSVP HERE

Full Schedule and Workshop Descriptions 


6:30-9:30                              NYC/Democracy at Work Network/Institute Coop Happy Hour



10:00am-12:30pm         Building Systems of Evaluation and Accountability in Worker Cooperatives-                                                                            Alison Booth Gribas, Democracy at Work Network

10:00am-12:30pm            Popular Education Tools For Communication and Conflict Resolutionin Cooperatives-                                                          English- Nikki Marin, Cooperation Texas

12:30pm-1:30pm              Lunch

1:30-4:00pm                       Managint Growth and Scaling Values: Growing Our Cooperative Economy Through                                                                Busienss Expansion- Dave Hammer

1:30-3:30pm                      Popular Education Tools For Communication and Conflict Resolutionin Cooperatives-                                                             Spanish-Nikki Marin, Cooperation Texas

3:00-4:00pm                       Creating Engaging Presentations with Power Point, Prezi, and Pop Ed.

4:00-5:30pm                       DAWN Peer Advisors and Worker Coop or Coop Developers 1-on-1


10:00am-1:00 pm           Frameworks for Business Planning: Industry Mapping and Worker Cooperative Business                                                     Model Canvas- Joe Rinehart and Michaela Holmes

Event Date, Time, Location:

  • Friday Night: Worker Cooperative Happy Hour at 61 Local, 6:30-9pm- 61 Bergen St., New York, NY 11201 (Directly off the Bergen St. F/G Stop)
  • Saturday, 10am-5:30pm- Brooklyn Law School: 250 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11201
  • Sunday, 10am-1pm- Brooklyn Law School: 250 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11201

Workshop Descriptions:

  • Managing Growth and scaling Values: Growing Our Cooperative Economy Through Business Expansion - David Hammer, ICA Group 
    •  In order to grow the worker coop sector and create meaningful change in the economy, coops need to figure out how to increase the rate of successful development and expand their businesses, all while maintaining the values we hold most important. This workshop will relate some of the successes and failures of the past and provide practical guidance on steps coops need to take in order to seize a significant part of the market.
  • Designing Effective Systems of Evaluation and Accountability in Worker Cooperatives- Alison Booth-Gribas, Equal Exchange, DAWN
    • Drawing on the forthcoming handbook of the same name this workshop will walk worker owners and cooperative developers through the process of laying the groundwork for,  creating, and implimenting systems of accountability and evaluation in small to medium sized worker cooperatives.  This workshop will focus on how to set expectations and how to support cooperative members in accomplishing their goals.  From there, we will look at tools for evaluating worker-owners in a supportive and clear environment in ways that support their personal, and business, growth. 
  • Popular Education Tools For Communication and Conflict Resolution in Cooperatives- Nikki Marin Baena, Cooperation Texas
    • In this workshop we’ll (very briefly!) establish basic popular and participatory education principles and methodology. We’ll explore the common causes of conflict in cooperatives, and use workshop participant experiences to guide a conversation around useful tools to improve communication.  We’ll share methods and activities that have been successful (or not!) in the cooperatives we’ve worked in/with.
  • Creating Engaging Presentations with Power Point, Prezi, and Popular Education- Melissa Hoover and Joe Rinehart
    • Can PowerPoint presentations be a tool for creating participant engagement in workshops instead of deadening it?  This workshop will explore strategies for using PowerPoint to engage audiences, and increase comprehension of your workshop.  Techniques will range from workshop and presentation design strategies to tips on designing slides that encourage your audience to think, not look to the presenter for answers.  We’ll also explore an introduction to Prezi, an engaging online presentation tool.  Participants are encouraged to bring their laptop if possible.  
  • Frameworks For Business Planning: Industry Mapping and Worker Cooperative Business Model Canvas- Joe Rinehart and Michaela Holme
    • Making a tight business plan, and understanding your industry are keys to the success of a start-up or growth project. Unfortunately, the tools available for business planning are often overly-complex and don’t encourage engagement by large groups.  This workshop will share two tools, the Business Model Canvas and Porter’s Five Forces Industry Analysis, which help make that process simpler.  We will explore each tool will through a brief presentation, and then presenters will break into groups to use the tools on their start-up, or on a fictional business.  Participants will be provided with handouts and sample workshops to help use these tools in the future with their business, or with businesses they are supporting. 

 Presenter Bios:

  • Alison Booth Gribas
    • Alison Booth Gribas has been a worker-owner at Equal Exchange since 2002. She currently lives in Seattle and works as a Café Manager and Foodservice Sales Rep. She has previously served as Equal Exchange's Worker-Owner Coordinator and co-chair of the Board of Directors. She is a founding Director of SLICE, a Seattle-area cross-sector coop network. In addition to her local co-op experience, Alison is a Certified Peer Advisor and Intake Coordinator with DAWN, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives’ Democracy at Work Network. Alison is featured in the worker co-op documentary, Shift Change.
  •  David Hammer:
    • David Hammer is the Executive Director of the ICA Group, a business consulting firm with a focus on helping worker co-ops start-up, scale and succeed. David’s areas of expertise include data analysis, market research, business planning, and financial modeling. 
  • Joe Rinehart
    •  Joe Rinehart is the Director of Cooperative Development at the Democracy At Work Institute.  He got involved in the worker cooperative movement as a Peer Advisor in the Democracy at Work Network. Joe is a former worker-owner at Firestorm Café & Books and instructor at Appalachian State University.  Prior to that, he completed a Master’s degree in Industrial Technology at Appalachian State University, and taught in the Technology department where he co-created and taught a course on Cooperatives and their role in sustainable development. 
  • Melissa Hoover
    •  Melissa Hoover is the founding Executive Director of the Democracy at Work Institute and the Executive Director of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives. She worked as a cooperative developer with the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives in the Bay Area, where she assisted in the development of two new Arizmendi cooperatives and provided ongoing support to existing cooperatives. Melissa started in worker cooperatives at Inkworks Press in the Bay Area.
  • Michaela Holmes
    •  Michaela Holmes is an Associate Cooperative Developer at the Democracy At Work Institute.  She achieved her M.S. in Organizational Change Management from the New School for Public Engagement in 2013,  where she focused on cooperative organizational structures and leadership development. She has also done extensive research, through her summer 2013 internship with Praxis Consulting Group, in Philadelphia, on leadership development and succession planning for employee owned organizations.
  • Nikki Marin Baena
    • Nikki Marín Baena heads up the education and outreach program at Cooperation Texas. Nikki currently serves on the USFWC board. She can be found making friends with ladies at churches and arguing that cows are just like profit-and-loss statements.


  • Democracy At Work Institute
  • Democracy At Work Network
  • CUBE (at Brooklyn law)