Brendan Tronconi of Trusty Amigos, a Dog Walking and Pet Care co-op in New York with 9 members, shares his experience starting a worker-owned business, collaborating with people who speak different languages, and working together effectively online and offline.
I had worked for a Dog Walking service for 3 years in the past. We trained the dogs and sometimes use collars for keeping barking down. I liked the work, but at the time I had no benefits and I had reached the maximum hourly wage. I thought a co-op would be a great opportunity to be a co-owner instead of just an employee. I really liked the idea of working with a co-op instead of trying to start my own business alone.
SolidFund is a grassroots commonwealth fund for worker co-op members. John Atherton talks about their aspirations and operations, and how using Loomio is helping them build the worker cooperative econoomy in the UK.
Guest post by Kevin Davies, Senior Public Engagement Manager, National Assembly for Wales
The Welsh Government’s mission is to “help improve the lives of people in Wales and make our nation a better place in which to live and work”. One of the ways the National Assembly for Wales looks at how effectively the Welsh Government is doing its job is through committees.
It’s important that the National Assembly hears from a wide range of people affected by the decisions the Welsh Government makes. Traditional approaches tend to encourage a response from a select few who are already very well engaged with the political process. In order to engage with more diverse audiences, different approaches are needed.
Nati from Loomio had the chance to interview Stacco Troncoso, strategic director of the P2P Foundation and co-founder of Guerrilla Translation, a commons-oriented translation collective who is currently crowdfunding an innovative initiative called Think Global / Print Local.
Guerrilla Translation was inspired by the P2P Foundation, specifically the theoretical work of its founder Michel Bauwens. We’ve tried to apply what an Open Co-op should be to translation — things like active creation of commons, copyfair licensing, contributory accounting, and post-credentialism. The collective is three years old now, and we’ve provided a wealth of pro-bono translations from English to Spanish and vice-versa.
Paul Stone, Programme Leader for Open Government Data at Land Information NZ, tells the story of how a consultation to develop a framework for consistent licensing of New Zealand Government open source software has been carried out successfully in an open and transparent manner.
Since Loomio first launched, the team has been fielding requests from clients to help make the tool and collaborative processes work for them. In response, Loomio has offered consulting Services that discover needs, identify changes to work processes, and coach key team members to understand the magic and the practicality of Loomio’s mission: “Enabling everyone to have a say in decisions that affect them”.
Now Loomio is starting to work with independent consultants, like me, to offer these services to a wider range of clients.
Alanna from Loomio met Vica Rogers in London, to learn more about her world of citizen education and activism. Vica was involved in the Occupy movement in the UK, and has continued working on related issues ever since. We took some time in Vica’s back garden to hear about how group collaboration is helping citizens in her community organise around the issue of debt.