Workshops and Presentations

We offer the following workshops and presentation in communities settings, classrooms, for entrepreneurs and professionals.  Most content can be adapted to shorter lengths, but generally our workshops are about 2 hours in length.

We focus on creating engaging workshops using popular education techniques with facilitated discussion and participatory activities.


Feeding our Communities: Intro to Food Cooperatives: This workshop looks at the role of cooperatives in our food system from early worker and farmer cooperatives to retail consumer co-ops.  We look at current models that are inspiring and innovative.  We engage participants to explore possibilities for creating a cooperative in their community.

How to start Worker Cooperatives:  This workshop specifically looks at worker cooperatives and the steps to creating these democratic businesses in your community. We share stories of working and relationships with owners and bosses and explore how we can break through our “employee” culture to become co-creators of our work.  We learn about inspiring examples from around the world where workers have created successful businesses.

Creating Holistic Cooperatives:  This workshop looks at how we can bring healing, spirituality, community and mutual support into creating cooperative businesses.  We explore the balance of getting business, while being present as whole people.  This workshop engages people in dialog and practices that bring out their knowledge and experience.

Empowering Workers in Food Cooperatives:  Through this workshop, we explore how workers can organize in a cooperative to have a strong voice in the governance and management of the cooperative.  While specifically geared towards retail consumer cooperatives,  this workshop is applicable to any cooperative project that want to give workers a voice and seat at the table.

Cooperative Fermentation: This hands-on workshop shares fermentation skills with people through making sauerkraut and fermented hot sauce.  We work together, learning about each others food cultures, and create a foods that we will all take home to ferment.  Along with the hands-on learning, we share about food preservation, sustainable food systems and how we can take food back into the hands of our community.

Building Collaborations in your Community:  This workshop explores how to create powerful collaborations in your community so that you can create new projects with multiple partners.

Creating a Community Cafe:  This workshop explores how to create a community cafe including organizing structures, legal requirements, creating a menu, building a licensed kitchen and more.

Seasonal Cooking with Local Foods:   This workshop provides hands-on learning about using local ingredients to make delicious seasonal meals.

Cooperatives as Economic Development: This workshop shares economic development models that are being used in Cleveland, New York City, and San Francisco to support new cooperatives to form and to provide jobs for local residents. It provides economic development officials and advisors with resources on cooperatives so they can support them in their town.

Intro to Cooperatives or Worker Cooperative: This workshop shares basic information about cooperatives, their different types and structures.  We share about the cooperative movement and provide examples of different types of cooperatives in a variety of industries.


Co-op Design Day

We will host a Co-op Design Day that will bring together a group of farmers and food producers that are interested in starting cooperatives. During the day, farmers will get the basic knowledge and skills they need to start a co-op. After the program they will get connected to a mentor and to the resources of Cooperative Fermentation to continue their cooperative development process. The Co-op Design Day will be focused on young farmers that have been apprentices or journeypersons on Maine farms. The Co-op Design Day will be on October 6th at MOFGA’s Fairgrounds in Unity.


Cooperative Design Lab

Have you been interested in creating a community business but don’t know where to start?  Do you have dreams that need support to be brought into the world?  Do you want to create a cooperative?

The Cooperative Design Lab is an in-depth process of co-creation where we work with you to share the grounding, knowledge and skills that are needed to create a cooperative.  Through this program the possibilities of creating a cooperative project in your community can become visible and supported.  This program is intended for people that are serious about turning a vision into a reality and working to meet basic needs in their community through cooperation. The intention of the programs is that participants will be able to launch a cooperative in their community that will work to meet basic needs.

Our innaugural 2015 Cooperative Design Lab will focus on Creating Cooperatives in the Food System.  This could include cooperative stores, farms, distribution, processing, cooking, food preservation, herbs, and more.

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