Workshops & Activities

Topic keys: The codes in parentheses are a guide to topics to enable participants to search for specific issue areas. Workshops can list up to 3 topics. This is just a guide and an imperfect one at that.

P    = Production                                                     G   = Governance
F    = Finance                                                           M   = Movement building
D    = Distribution & Exchange                         C    = Consumption
B    = Building Inclusivity/De-colonizing the Solidarity Economy

(And DP indicates that you requested a digital projector)

Ongoing activities/Spaces

Asset-Mapping Activity
Halima Cassells, Paul Chander, The Center for Community-Based Enterprise (C2BE)
A space to engage participants in a large-scale asset-mapping activity. The hope is to inspire people to identify whatever productive assets they have so that they can use them for economic self-determination. We will have a huge poster of the city available and allow people to physically mark on it which resources could contribute to the emerging cooperative ecosystem. In collaboration with Data Driven Detroit (D3), the intention is to record this data on an online platform so that it can be saved for reference and added to later. The hope is to build a transformational tool for communities’ cooperative economic determination.

Free Market of Detroit
Bring something to give away! The Free Market of Detroit will host a Swap throughout the entire NASSE Forum!  Place your item on the swap table on the upper level. At any time during the conference, check out the table and take home whatever you like.

Friday 11:00-12:30 (11)

WS12&13 Strategy Session: Labor and Social Solidarity Economy DP
Organizers: Mike Friedman, Center for Community-Based Enterprise, Detroit, Pierre Laliberte, Canadian Labour Congress, Asar Amen-Ra, Detroit UAW, Yvon Poirier, Canadian CED Network, Emily Kawano, US Solidarity Economy Network
Labor and the Social Solidarity Economy Strategy Session is a space for those who are involved at the intersection of the social solidarity economy and labor unions/labor movement to share experiences, dialogue and strategize about ways to build a more just, sustainable and democratic economy.
Workshop 1: Asar Amen-Ra – UAW, Michael Peck – 1Worker/1vote and Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative, Pierre Laliberté – CLC, Deb Olson – Center for Community-Based Enterprise, Yvon Poirier – CCEDNet (M, P, F)
An opportunity to share experiences and analysis about labor/unions and the social solidarity economy including finance/investment and the upsurge in union engagement in worker and consumer cooperatives. After participants briefly share their experience, four presenters will share their work, vision and experiences about the interactions between unions and solidarity economy. Quebec Solidarity Economy Credit Union

WS30 Own Your Own Power: Building Community Wealth Through Clean Energy
Jackson Koeppel and Nikkia Jones, Soulardarity, Detroit
In this workshop, we will use Soulardarity’s story as a starting place for a discussion about the politics and economics of the energy system and concrete strategies for creating clean community-­owned power that protects natural systems and builds grassroots economic and political power. Using the Climate Justice Alliance’s  6 point Strategy for a Just Transition as a framework, we will explore the variety of tactics needed to transition out of fossil fuels and into a clean energy future. (C,G,M)

WS41 Intro to the Solidarity Economy DP
Julie Matthaei, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, SEN
Come learn about the solidarity economy and share with others about movement. This participatory workshop will engage participants in defining the solidarity economy and its principles and values. We will introduce and discuss the Solidarity economy and social forum movements. Participants will exchange examples and examine solidarity practices, particularly in North America. We will also discuss the strengths of the North American SE movement, and challenges and struggles within the movement and with promoting solidarity economy practices. (D, P, M) Slideshow

WS7 Creating Beautiful Solutions in Our Communities and Everyday Lives
Susan Williams, Esme Baltazar, Elandria Williams – Highlander Education Team, Southern Grassroots Economies Project.
This participatory workshop will help people focus on systems of economics and governance and how these play out in their communities;  and to explore potential concrete alternatives as well as to learn more about Highlander’s Economics and Governance Curriculum. (G,M,B)

WS35 Internet as a Human Right: the Role of Cooperatives and the Solidarity Economy
Juan Gerardo Dominguez Carrasco, MayFirst People Link
The Internet is critical not only as a tool in building that kind of economy but a platform for unity and collaboration among movements that would make it possible. It is also a model for work collaboration since it was built entirely within alternative economic culture. (P, M)

WS34 Body-Centered SSE: Creative Explorations Through Breath, Rhythm, Poetry, and Movement
Gwi­Seok Hong, Iyengar Yoga Detroit
Through a series of movement games and exercises, both solo and collaborative, as well as writing prompts, we will engage our capacity to build sustainable social solidarity economies, creatively problem-­solve, and collaborate in surprising, innovative ways. As we tap into body-centered ways of knowing, we open realms of possibilities, make discoveries, connect with each other, and invite healing. A trauma­-informed, all­-bodied space, all movement abilities will be accommodated, and no special skills are required. (M, B)

WS47 Community Savings Group: A community-based alternative to traditional banking DP
Jake Matlak, Philanthropiece Foundation, CO
This workshop is meant to offer an introduction to the basic methodology we teach to communities interested in community savings and loans groups. The workshop will present basic information about a movement that encompasses over 12 million people worldwide. Participants will have the opportunity to role­play and experience what a typical meeting looks like at a community bank. They will leave with a general understanding of the movement and information about how to get more resources so they could start their own community savings group. (F)

WS59 The Anti-Black Geography of Revitalizing Detroit
Jimmy Johnson
The discussion and workshop elucidate how current Detroit political and economic narratives are premised on the social death of Blackness then offer alternatives already in progress based in Detroit’s social movements and solicit ideas based on decolonial praxis.

WS22 The Ryter Cooperative Industries – Writing a Righter Future for Sustainability DPAli Dirul, Ryter Cooperative Industries, MI
A presentation on the Ryter Cooperative Industries, its Founder and objectives, RCIs renewable energy projects of 2015, a brief education about solar energy, and RCIs vision for the future renewable energy economy in the US and abroad. Ryter Cooperative Industries (RCI) is a Michigan based engineering group that provides technical and engineering support along with project management services for sustainable development initiatives through the implementation of innovation, art, education, and the application of cutting ­edge technology and designs. RCI executes its projects through the lens of partnership to enhance our client’s vision by applying our team’s collective and individual expertise and utilizing the necessary resources to bring these visions into materialization while envisioning for ourselves taking communities and their industrial outfits into the future with renewable energy solutions and strategies for long term sustainability. Most notable RCI energy projects of 2015 include the construction of a zero emission Electric Lawn Mower Solar Charger/Generator for community lawn care produced for Soulardarity, the design and construction of the Dirul Energy Station, a 40 foot completely off­grid sustainable power station for utilization of agricultural equipment at Detroit’s largest urban farm (D­Town Farm), along with leading community learnshops for the solar energy at the D­Town arm and youth education at the Charles H. Wright Museum. (P, D, M)

WS43 In Inclusive Wikipedia of Impact-research
Toby Grytafey,
Research has been proposed as the first step to addressing many problems regarding how we impact the world, from reparations in HB 40 to climate change in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si.  Research for these goals will be more accurate and legitimate if more people participate in the research.   How do we create a platform as broad as Wikipedia to measure our impact without repeating Wikipedia’s participation gaps?  This workshop will be a brief presentation to start a brainstorming session about benefits, drawbacks and next steps. (M) Presentation

WS65 The Story Of A Detroit Cooperative Developer
Paul Chander, Halima Cassells, Center for Community-Based Enterprise
The vision for this workshop is to describe the story of local cooperative development organization to a global audience. In so doing, the goal is to share common challenges and solutions in order to inspire further success worldwide. The story of the Center for Community-Based Enterprise (C2BE) can be a “case study” from which broadly applicable lessons can be learned. Since Detroit epitomizes the failures of corporate capitalism and systemic racism in the United States, the story of how C2BE is working through these challenges can be particularly useful to co-op developers elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad.


Friday 1:30-3:00 (11)

WS12&13 Strategy Session: Labor and Social Solidarity Economy
Continued from previous session) Workshop 2: Building on the exchange in Workshop 1, participants will in a debate and to strategize about the issues and challenges: how can unions and solidarity economy strengthen each other, worker’s unions in co-operatives, how to collaborate in other sectors such as finance, consumption, democratizing the economy, the movement building, etc. Do we have a common vision on about an alternative model of society? Identify next steps. (M, P, F)

WS5 HOSCO SHIFT: Food Justice & Co-op City Ecovillage…getting back to the root of things DP
Gibron Jones, Mike Ebron, Amanda Walker, Djuan Dobbins, HOSCO SHIFT, St Louis
HOSCO SHIFT (Holistic Organic Sustainable Co-Op) is an organic nutritional food company. Simply put…we are farmers committed to food justice and making food more available and affordable to people. We believe through organic compounds and extracts found in nature it is possible to not only prevent but also cure disease and medical conditions thought normally to require surgery or prescription medicines. HOSCO SHIFT has made it their personal mission to eradicate food deserts and provide low cost organic produce. Food desserts are generally described areas with high poverty rates and low access to healthy food. HOSCO SHIFT urban commercial farms will provide healthy produce within these food desserts. (C,P,M)

WS28 Towards a Cooperative Economy: Values and Visioning
Lisa Stolarski and Brian Donovan, The Cooperation Group, Detroit
What is Cooperation and the Cooperative Business Model? The workshop will include an exploration of the values and culture that helps people succeed in cooperatively-owned businesses.  Attendees will participate in exercises and visioning to learn more about themselves and the potential for cooperative businesses to build a more fair and equitable local economy that responds to the needs of community members. (P, C, B)

WS3 People, Power, Planet: Community-Owned Renewable Energy, Economic Democracy and Climate Justice
J.J. McMurtry, York University, Judith Lipp, Univ. Toronto, M. Derya Tarhan, TREC Renewable Energy Co-op
This presentation will focus on Community Energy (CE) which refers to the direct community participation in, and ownership of, renewable energy (RE) projects. CE is considered an economically positive and (increasingly) a socially necessary development on the way to a sustainable energy future as well as a key component of the Social and Solidarity Economy. In the first part of our talk, we will introduce the concept of CE, report on the current uptake of CE in North America, identify various ownership models under which CE projects are being developed, and highlight some of the main challenges faced by CE projects in the Canadian context. The second part of our talk will approach CE from an “economic democracy” angle applying a practical and theoretical framework: To what extent are CE projects addressing the democratic deficit in the energy sector? What is the nature of democracy and true participation within CE organizations? What factors must CE organizations consider in simultaneously furthering climate justice and economic democracy in a time of unprecedented crises? (P, G, M)

WS31 Black Life in the US and the Social Solidarity Economy
Rose M. Brewer, Ph.D., Univ. Minnesota-Twin Cities, facilitator
Presentation focuses on connecting Black communities to the possibilities of the Social Solidarity Economy.  It takes into consideration the necessity of addressing racism in economic change and especially how a commitment to building a new economy is deeply interwoven with dismantling anti Black racism domestically and globally. (G, M, B)

WS48 Just Transition, climate justice and people’s liberation
Jaron Browne, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Will Copeland, EMEAC, Brandon King, Cooperation Jackson, youth leader from PODER, youth leader from Community to Community Development, and Yuki Kidokoro, Climate Justice Alliance. There is a long­standing myth that environmental protection causes job loss. No matter how many times these myths are repeatedly debunked, corporations, the right wing, and even progressives continue to play into the myth.  All too often, jobs and the environment are pitted against each other, which results in pitting labor unions, environmental and environmental justice organizations against each other as a distraction while transnational corporations continue to profit from pollution, pay low wages and maintain unsafe working conditions for their workers on the frontline and communities on the fence­line. Initiatives are popping up in communities across the United States that aim to create projects that will ensure sustainable jobs and prevent further harm to the planet, our environment and our communities. Increasingly, frontline communities are advancing campaigns that not only challenge the devastating impacts of polluting industries and push for greater action and accountability from the US state and corporations, but also build solutions and alternatives to the extractive economy through a Just Transition for the environment and the people.   Our vision for Just Transition also includes a framework for governance, for how we relate to the Earth, how we produce and consume, for reparations within the US and in the Global South, for how work is defined and valued, and for how people relate to each other. (P,M)

WS14 TimeBanking as a Tool for Getting the Work Done While Building Community
Alice Bagley, Unity in Our Community TimeBank of Southwest Detroit
TimeBanking is a way for people in a community to exchange services without exchanging money.  The market economy routinely fails to value, or undervalues, the important work of building healthy communities: caretaking, teaching, home cooking, and more. This work is often most often performed by women and people of color, perpetuating a discriminatory economical hierarchy. TimeBanking is one way to uproot that, while also providing access for low income people to important services they may not otherwise be able to afford. TimeBanks can be a useful way for all sorts of collective organizations and movements to organize themselves, as they enforce the equality of all members by emphasizing reciprocity. This workshop will begin with a brief presentation on how TimeBanks work and how the model is being applied in Southwest Detroit and other locations. With remaining time we’ll do various participatory activities to explore how TimeBanks can be applied to other work we’re doing in our own communities, with time for group discussion to think about what challenges may arise and how to address them. (D,P)

WS9 Solidarity Economy Research Network,
Julie Matthaei, US Solidarity Economy Network
This is a networking meeting aimed at revitalizing the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network Research and Policy Working Group, a network of academics and activists involved in research and writing about the solidarity economy, including mapping. We need research to identify, study, and share best practices and policies across the various sectors of the solidarity economy, and to visibilize and showcase the solidarity economy to the world at large, and the promise it holds for a new and better economic system.  If you are engaged in research on the solidarity economy or would like to be, or if you are a grass-roots group that has research needs and would like to collaborate with researchers, please come, or email to be added to our list. (M)

WS54 Detroit Community Loan Fund Ecosystem DP
Anthony Holley, Jackson Koeppel, Bryce Anderson, Detroit Community Loan Fund
In preparation for the creation of a community loan fund focused on funding cooperative development & other community projects in the city of Detroit a delegation of community leaders was trained in financial cooperatives.  This workshop will present the Detroit Community Loan Fund Ecosystem and the principles of non-extractive finance which underly the broader Peer Network. We will discuss the 3 frameworks that collectively create the Detroit Framework and discuss the businesses and organizations included. Through a mix of presentation and collaborative discussion, this workshop will introduce ideas and frameworks and move the group towards a shared analysis. (F, D, B)

WS46 Hungry 4 Justice
Kodjo Lee, Baxter Jones, Advocates 4 Baxter
Attendees are welcome to participate in an informal, inclusive, insightful, and collaborative, discussion about the revolutionary influence of unified fasting to promote a shift in our collective consciousness. We will explore  critical factors and characteristics needed to overcome economic injustice, ie; unity, discipline, and courage, with emphasis on society’s most vulnerable populations. We will provide information of how you can get involved in our Hungry 4 Justice relay fast at a local, national, and international level. We are Hungry 4 Justice. ARE YOU?

WS58  Food Justice and the Cooperative Economy
Marcus Hill, Forsyth Community Food Consortium
An effective food movement cannot exist without food justice, and food justice cannot exist without social, economic, and environmental justice. This workshop will explore strategies to better connect all of these facets, producing a more effective local food movement and a regional food system that is sustainable, accessible, healthy, just, and economically resilient. (P, M, B)

Friday 3:15-4:45 (11)

WS38-39 Youth Convergence
May extend into the free space that follows

WS2 WEconomics – Cooperatives promote solidarity in Bologna, Italy, and in Cleveland, OH DP/screen, sound
Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin, Moving Images, Keane Bhatt, Democracy Collaborative, advisor to Evergreen Coops Cleveland.
Screen new 20 minute Moving Images film WEconomics: Italy, about the province of Emilia-Romagna where the cooperative economy directly employs nearly 300,000 people, and represents 48 billion euros annually in the economy.  The film especially features social coops that contract with the government to provide social services, an alternative to privatization which is often advocated in North America. Discussion of how to extend coops to new sectors, and in particular, coops that incorporate marginalized workers and how to design and manage government services so they serve the broad needs of society using multi-stakeholder boards of directors. (G, P, M)

WS24 Communities as Their Own Developers: Building a Just Economy One Grocery Store at a Time DP
Ed Whitfield and Marnie Thompson, Fund for Democratic Communities and Renaissance Community Coop, NC
When the Renaissance Community Co‐op (RCC) in Greensboro, North Carolina opens its doors later this year, it will provide 28 good paying jobs and affordable healthy food to a predominantly low income African‐American community that has suffered in a “food desert” for more than 18 years following closure of the last grocery store in 1998. Unlike many other food co‐ops that specialize in higher priced organic and natural foods, the RCC will offer products at a price point that will be competitive with major chain stores, because these are the products the community that owns the coop wanted. To date, the store has 728 owners who collectively govern what will be a $2 million asset by the time the store opens in late August. We will discuss the steps the community worked through to launch their co‐op grocery store, including community organizing and attracting owners, building capacity for democratic decision-making, financing the store, finding and working with grocery experts, hiring and working  with a qualified General Manager, etc.  Workshop participants will learn about the market study and business planning done by the RCC, the non‐extractive financing model used in the project, and the wholesale distribution options the RCC is using to provide fresh, quality food at a competitive   price. Participants will discuss the community organizing aspect of the RCC project and its central role in the effort’s success, and from there go to a discussion of the importance of communities acting as their own developers instead of waiting for outside developers to tell them what their   community needs or should look like. (C, F)
Source & Uses   Executive Summary   Community as Developer

WS29 Vision, Strategy and Action for a Just Transition DP, big wall sp
Gopal Dayaneni, Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan, Movement Generation, Oakland, CA
This workshop will present a framework for understanding the pillars of Extractive Economy and the pillars of Regenerative Economy as well as strategies and concrete examples of how we  can build movement and campaigns for a Just Transition. We will root the workshop in an ecological framework (knowledge of home), and explain the inextricable relationship between reorganization of economic life (management of home) and ecological integrity.
On the strategy side, we will present Resilience­-Based Organizing as a model to build both economic and political power, rooted in ecological integrity. We will share concrete examples (videos, stories) and encourage participants to reflect on how this can be applied/related to their work in their own communities. The Just Transition Framework was developed by Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project with the Climate Justice Alliance, and is now being used more broadly in the movement. (M,P,F)

WS23 Expanding our Solidarity: Co­ops owned by incarcerated and returning citizens DP
Jessica Gordon Nembhard, US SEN, GEO, SGEP
This participatory workshop will start people thinking about and discussing building cooperatives in prisons with incarcerated members, and outside with members who were formerly incarcerated and to support re‐entry. Gordon Nembhard will open by setting the context of exploitation against and marginality of people of color in the criminal justice system, and the roles economic and community justice can play. She will discuss what we know about Italian social and worker co‐operatives in offender rehabilitation, along with Italy’s enabling laws; and Canadian and Puerto Rican examples of using cooperatives in and outside prisons. She will engage participants in discussion about how to bring these models to the US, in small group work around these issues and in developing an action agenda to create national dialogues around this strategy.(P, B)

WS67 Grape Seeding a Beloved Community: A Place-based Economics and Governance
Frank Joyce – Grape Seed Detroit, Reg Flowers -altspace Detroit, Rob Yanagida – Visionary Organizing Network
The workshop will be a conversation on the application of concepts developed by the late philosopher-activist Grace Lee Boggs to a new cooperative economics effort, Grape Seed Detroit. Grape Seed Detroit is creating a cooperative of urban farmers and partners to grow grapes. Detroit’s New Work/New Culture Economy can sustain many plots beyond the current demonstration vineyards at Freedom Freedom Growers on Manistique and at alt space on Field Street. Grace Lee Boggs in her last book “The Next American Revolution”, as author Robin D.G. Kelley puts it: “calls on us to transform the urban economy and landscape by ‘taking back the commons”’in order to promote self-sufficiency, ecological sustainability, and human interaction. She emphasizes community development, values of cooperation, mutuality, non-violence, equality, and love—in other words, what the Beloved Community is supposed to look like.” We’ll be discussing the challenges and opportunities in these projects. (P, B, G)

WS45 International SE
Jason Nardi, Banco Etica, Yvon Poirier, RIPESS and CCEDNET
This workshop will present the growing international movement for a solidarity economy. Examples that we’ll discuss include RIPESS, the Intercontinental SSE Network which connects national and continental SSE network, International Labour Organization which runs an annual SSE Academy, the United Nations Working Group on the SSE, as well as national and sectoral  engagement in building the solidarity economy. (M) SSE Sustainable Development Goals

WS32 It’s Nice to Share: Refraining for a New Economy
Makani Themba, Higher Ground Change Strategies, Detroit
This workshop will explore how to build public support for our transformative work at a mass scale  We will explore effective narrative and change communications strategies that are explicit about racial justice, gender, class, etc.(M, B)

WS56 Networks and Coalitions: Building the Coop Movement beyond the Shop Floor
Ethan Earle, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, NYC, Esteban Kelly, US Fed. of Worker Co-ops, Emily Kawano, US SEN, Laura Smoot, NoBAWC
By creating democratic alternatives to conventional business models, worker cooperatives challenge dominant narratives of neoliberal orthodoxy. Oftentimes, however, the challenge of running a democratic business soaks up much of the energy of cooperative members, leaving them little time to advocate for their model beyond the shop floor. Successful networks and coalitions can provide this interstitial support, connecting worker cooperatives to each other, to other sectors of the solidarity economy, and to the broader political process. Unsuccessful networks and coalitions, on the other hand, can take up a lot of time without providing tangible benefits to their members. What does a good coop network or coalition look like? What are some pitfalls and challenges to overcome? (P, G, M)

WS53 Creating Economic Solidarity Movement Building Conversations around Women’s Ways of Knowing and New Culture DP
Barbara A. Stachowski, Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, Detroit.
This workshop will address the need to develop conversations around “women’s ways of knowing” and New Culture to inform and nurture effective economic solidarity movement building at the grassroots level. Through conversations, we are able to come together to discuss common issues and discover the commonalities we share as global citizens. The workshop is being developed under the guidance of Silvia Federici (“Caliban and the Witch”, etc.) and Dr. Frithjof Bergmann (New Work, New Culture, Founder). The writings of Maria Mies, especially “Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale” provide foundational information. (M)

WS8 Solidarity Cities: stories, lessons, and best practices from cities creating cross-sectoral solidarity economy networks
Ben Blackshear & Zara Serabian Arthur (SolidarityNYC), Béatrice Alain (Chantier de l’économie sociale), Julia Ho & Amanda Walker (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment), Jeuji Diamondstone & Ali Soofi (Worcester Solidarity And Green Economy Alliance)
A panel highlighting stories, lessons, and best practices from cities creating cross-sectoral solidarity economy networks. (M)

Saturday 11:00AM-12:30PM (11)

WS40 Pieces of Peace – Ryter Coop DP
Kodjo Lee is the lead designer at Ryter Cooperative Industries and CEO of Pieces of Peace, his upstarting youth development platform.  A mechanical engineer for 10 years with experience in manufacturing and product development.  Kodjo is currently focused on serving the community through youth empowerment initiatives and furthering RCI’s mission statement of “writing a righter future from word to reality.”
25 minute presentation about the various engineering disciplines that exist, 25 minute workshop, 10 minute Q&A (P,M, Y)

WS52 Occupy, Resist, Produce. A talk with workers of the occupied Vio.Me factory in Greece DP
Workers from Vio.Me Factory, Salonica, Greece
This workshop will feature (via Skype) workers from the occupied Vio.Me factory in Greece, a vibrant experiment in solidarity and self­management, who will share their experiences with the occupation of the factory, their democratic decision making processes, how they have resumed production under a worker­-controlled and worker-­managed factory and their current fight against the owners and the greek government who are trying to auction off the land and the factory. (P,G,M)

WS44 Peer Network Caucus
Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities, Brendan Martin, Working World (F)

WS16 Mapping the US Solidarity Economy – movement building with interactive mapping technology DP
Craig Borowiak, Solidarity Economy Mapping Project, Jason Nardi, ESS Global Mapping, Tom Llewellyn, Shareable
In this workshop, we will present a few mapping initiatives including the RIPESS Global SSE map, Shareable’s Map Jam and an interactive mapping platform for the US solidarity economy. This platform has been developed over the past two years as part of a collaborative research project involving four colleges/universities, the US Solidarity Economy Network, two tech cooperatives, and scores of community partners. It includes locational data on over 14,000 solidarity economy organizations and is designed to help build awareness of the solidarity economy as a whole in the US and how it spans geographies and economic sectors. The platform is searchable and is meant to be interactive to encourage solidarity among organizations and so it can be useful for different types of neighborhoods and different types of initiatives.(M, F, C)

WS10 De-­Mechanizing Ourselves for the New Economy
Reg Flowers, Falconworks Artists Group, Detroit
Participants will use Theater of the Oppressed and other popular education methodologies to explore the ways in which “old economy” ideas have become embedded in our bodies and explore new ways of “being” on the physical level, that can support our new ways of thinking needed to develop an economy based on the values of solidarity.  (M)

WS1 Incubation for social economy ventures DP
Elia Irigoyen Garcia, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, México
First we will talk about the differences between a traditional venture and a social economy venture. Then I will expose our point of view of this subject and explain the four dimensions than conform a Social Economy Venture. At the end, in groups, we will build a simple model of a Social Economy Venture than integrates all four dimensions and other elements found in the group. (M, G)

WS33 Community Economic Development using the Lenses of Race and Class:  Chicago Public Schools and Advanced Manufacturing
Erica Swinney, Doug Gambel, Stranja Burge, Manufacturing Renaissance, Chicago, Nina Gregg, Communication Resources
Learn how Solidarity Economy values and analysis of race and class informed a strategic intervention at the intersections of education and workforce and community economic development.   Participatory workshop opens with discussion of opportunities and challenges for youth, moves to presentation by youth alumni of the Manufacturing Connect program in a public high school on west side Chicago, shares a template for community development based on the Chicago experience, concludes with exploration of assets, opportunities and leverage in participants’ communities.

WS17 Cultivating solutions through community roundtable action planning
Lorenzo Herron, Ty Diggy, Detroit
This activity seeks to introduce the concepts of finding solutions to our social, political, economic, and environmental problems. After introducing the concepts we will mind map strategies that we have personally employed and source some from the crowd to develop strategies for the people to employ also. Long short of this activity is that it is designed to layout ways in which we have experienced post capitalism in Detroit, how do we employ this in our daily bread, and encourage others to join us in this journey of finding post capitalist solutions. (D, P, C)

WS36 Knocking the Hustle: Cooperatives for Racial and Economic Justice
Kazembe Balagun, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Elandria William, Highlander Center, Aaron  Tanaka, Ashley Scott, Community Activist, Jessica Gordon Nembhard, William Copeland
Cooperatives have long been at the center of the fight for racial and economic justice, from cooperative farms in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement to First Nations development work. This radical tradition has taken on new importance in an age of neoliberalism which has witnessed unprecedented attacks on social safety nets, a drive to privatize public services, and increasing incarceration as a solution for unemployment and lack of health care.
This nuts-and-bolts workshop will look at three key case studies that show us how grassroots, people-of-color-led cooperatives are fighting for racial and economic justice. How did these cooperatives emerge? How do they measure success? What are the challenges? (P, G, B)

WS61 Another World Is Necessary: Articulating our common struggles, towards the World Social Forum 2016 in Montreal
Rapaël Canet, Émile Langlois-Vallières
This partipatory workshop will focus on a discussion meant to shed light on the potential power of civil society in global policy making and societal change. How do North American activists contribute to the Global justice movement? How can social forums strengthen our struggles? The purpose of this activity is to address today’s world challenges in the scope of collective and social actions as a solution. Civil society is the milestone of social and economic changes. The question of the importance of continuation throughout different social forums will also be brought up, including the links between the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) and the World Social Forum (WSF), which will be held for the first time in a city of the Global North (in Montreal-Canada), from August 9 to 14. (M, G)  WSF Newsletter  Participation Newsletter

WS64 Community Investing (DP)
Daniel Fireside, Equal Exchange
It’s becoming increasingly popular for cooperatives to raise money by selling shares directly to the public so that anyone, friends, family, customer, neighbors and the community can invest in their values. Equal Exchange has been a pioneer of selling non-voting shares to the public for decades. This workshop will present some successful examples and draw out key how-to lessons. (F, M)

Saturday 1:30-3:00 PM (11)

WS26 Redesigning work and joyfully, voluntarily redistributing wealth through Mutual Aid Networks
Stephanie Rearick, Mutual Aid Networks, Madison, WI
We’ve designed a new type of cooperative, with expanded core principles (based in Rochedale, Commons governance, and timebanking values) where people come together around a common goal and steward various resource exchange tools to meet everyone’s needs. These tools are most typically timebanking, other mutual credit, shared resources,and savings pools. The mission is ‘to create means for everyone to discover and succeed in work they want to do, with the support of their community.’ It is designed to spring up locally everywhere, linked in a global coop of mutual support. (P, D, M)

WS50 Self­-Sufficiency & Systems Thinking DP
Anthony Holley, Nigel Tharpe, Conscious Community Cooperative, Detroit
Conscious Community Cooperative facilitates an interactive workshop on needs­-based organizing and development through asset mapping.  In this workshop we  will discuss a systems thinking approach to solidarity.  With the audience participants we will populate needs that are essential to a healthy and whole community.  What are the programs, activities, businesses, co­ops, etc and how they interact.  We will then look specifically at Detroit and the cooperative projects and programs.  How did this process begin? What has worked well? What are the challenges? (D, C, M)

WS25 Everyday Solidarity for Everyday Sexism
Zara Serabian-Arthur, SolidarityNYC
In the fall of 2014, SolidarityNYC put out a call for women and gender non-conforming people to come together to share a meal and reflect on how patriarchy affects our experiences within the cooperative and solidarity economy movements. Over the last year and a half, this group has met monthly to share experiences, build relationships, and develop our leadership within and across our movements. Given the impact of this work on both our personal and professional lives, we were interested in creating a similar space for women and gender non-conforming attendees of the SSE forum to come together with similar goals. In this caucus, we hope to share stories and patriarchy in our movement and professional spaces. (M, B)

WS37 SSE Education Working Session DP
Emily Kawano, RIPESS, Susan Williams, Highlander Research & Education Center
This working session is a space for people involved in SSE Education whether in formal education or in the community. We know that often there is a strong inter-linkage between the two. This session is an opportunity for people who have been part of the RIPESS global initiative on SSE Education to meet and continue the exploration of how to move this work forward. Newcomers with a background in SSE Education are welcome to join. The intent of this working session is to network, share best practices and strategize about how best to strengthen this important work. (M)

WS49 Living in the Golden Cage: The Current Fight Against Detention and Deportation DP
Josefina Mora, Community to Community Bellingham, WA
Bringing a panel discussion of organizations and organizers that are working for immigrant rights and working to end deportations, detentions, and the larger scale of colonization both at a national and international level. Organizations TBD, but hopefully will include members from Not1More, Northwest Detention Center Resistance, Puente Arizona, and more. This panel aims to both address the work that is currently being done, and bring to light the intersections that we can make when talking about a solidarity economy. (M, B)

WS55 Peoples Movement Assembly for Governance & a Just Transition in Detroit
William Copeland, Detroit Just Transition Peoples Movement Assembly Committee
The Peoples Movement Assembly (PMA) is a movement building process for bringing people and organizations together for collective action.  It comes out of the global Social Movement Assembly process and has made its way to the USA alongside the US Social Forum process.
4 Key Fronts of Struggle for Detroit’s Just Transition are:  Water & Food, Environmental Justice, Education, and BLM/ Black Liberation. We are guided by the goal of building one self-determined system that can respond to external threats, and provide for quality of life of Detroit residents.  We will take advantage of the PMA to build relationships in Detroit, around Michigan, and around the Midwest region.
In this workshop we will introduce people to the Detroit Fronts of Struggle and engage in a lively discussion This session is connected to a national Just Transition workshop at the SSE Forum. This is part of an intentional process building towards a Detroit JT PMA on April 23. It is part of a national process of Just Transition Assemblies from 2015-2017. We invite all workshop participants to take lessons learned back home and to join us on April 23 and move the conversations forward. (G, B)

WS4 Updating Cuba’s Economic Model: The Role for Social and Solidarity Economy Practices
Eric Leenson, SOL Economics, CA, Rafael Betacourt, Havanada, Cuba
The workshop will provide an overview of the changes taking place in Cuba as a result of their “updating” of the economic model. The discussion will explore the potential role of solidarity economics practices in this process within the context of a Socialist system.  Speakers, all experts on Cuba, will focus on the role of cooperatives in the new model, as well as the Cuban experience in organic agriculture and urban gardening. Addressing the promise and the threats of the new diplomatic opening with the US from a social/solidarity economy perspective will also be a prominent theme. (P,G)

WS11 Community Wealth Building at the Neighborhood, Policy, and System Levels, Keane Bhatt, Steve Dubb, Democracy Collaborative, MD, Halima Cassells, Center for Community-Based Enterprise, Detroit
Community wealth building has gone from an obscure phrase to becoming an increasingly common form of solidarity economy related activity in the United States. This panel will involve discussion of work at the levels of neighborhood action and municipal policy, as well as explore the implications of these developments for the broader work of forging economic democracy as a systemic alternative to our current capitalist economy. Halima will discuss the work the Center for Community-­Based Enterprise is doing in partnership with neighborhood­-based groups in Detroit. Steve will discuss recent policy breakthroughs, including the creation of a Department of Community Wealth Building in Richmond, Virginia.  Keane will highlight the work of the Next System Project, which seeks to open discussion and debate about systemic alternatives, rooted in the real world experience of community builders.
We envision presentations lasting about 10 minutes each, which should allow considerable time for audience participation.  In particular, audience members will be asked to think about how their local community-­based work connects up with larger visions of systemic transformation. We also anticipate considerable discussion about the challenges inherent in this work, including the challenges of building multi­racial coalitions and the difficulties in avoiding “projectism” – that is, the difficulty of maintaining focus on the big picture even as you need to get the nitty-gritty work of the project(s) done. (P, M, B)

WS21 Abolish Corporate Constitutional Rights and Legalize Democracy
David Cobb, Ruthi Engelke, Keyan Bliss, Move to Amend, national
We will explore how the definition of legal “personhood” has been a critical component of  how a small ruling elite have ruled over the vast majority of this country, all the while masquerading as a “democracy” and confusing people (especially white folks). We will cover the links between corporate constitutional rights and capitalism, imperialism and white supremacy, and describe the MTA strategy to win a constitutional amendment to abolish the court­ created and utterly illegitimate legal doctrines of“ corporate personhood” and “money equals speech” and describe ways for people to get involved.(G,M,B)

WS20 Fostering Equity in Community Land Trusts DP
Naim Edwards, Aaron Handelsman, Shea Howell, Detroit People’s Platform and Voices for Earth Justice, Detroit
Community Land Trusts (CLT’s) have been used in the U.S. as a grassroots, democratic tool for enabling communities to exercise agency over the land within the trust for decades, but their popularity is rapidly growing, as communities confront new challenges related to housing and the preservation (and enclosure) of the Commons. One valuable aspect of CLT’s is that there are a variety of ways to structure them, depending on the objectives, needs, interests, skills, and governance preferences of the community in question. In this workshop, we will provide a brief description of the legal tool known as a “community land trust” and examine current trusts throughout the spectrum and how they are being used as tools to further broader strategies such as community control of land, democratic self-determination, foreclosure and eviction defense, and preservation of public space. After that, we will divide up into small groups, let individuals envision what their ideal community land trust would look like, or collaborate around exisiting CLT projects. (C, G)

WS51 The Praxis of Social Solidarity Amidst a World in Crisis DP
Pavlos Stavropoulos, Robert Chanate, Liberty Shellman, Roshan Bliss, Woodbine Ecology Center, CO
Throughout the world, individuals and communities are increasingly faced with both natural and anthropogenic disasters. Climate change, refugee crisis, evictions, foreclosures, mass layoffs, police brutality, state repression, and the collapse of social services to austerity – these and other crises are affecting people across the world. However, in the face of these threats, people are banding together with their neighbors and communities to forge new solutions, economic structures and societies based on solidarity.
This workshop will look closely at what we can learn from such efforts and communities and explore what “solidarity” really means and what it looks like, particularly in crisis. Drawing on experiences from the austerity fronts in Greece, the decolonization struggles of indigenous peoples, and of other communities in crisis, we will explore how solidarity economy projects and structures can contribute to and thrive within a broader praxis of social solidarity. Join us as we seek to build our own solidarity praxis amidst a world in crisis. (M,B)

Saturday 3:15-4:45PM (11)

WS27 Public Money for Public Purpose DP
Matthew Forstater, Univ. Missouri-Kansas City, Yeva Nersisyan, Franklin & Marshall College, Emma Coleman Jordan, Georgetown Law Center
Money is the “engine” of global commerce. Its logic shapes the logic of the market, and disciplines the political imagination. This workshop offers a vision of how money, and more broadly, the monetary/financial system, can be designed, harnessed, and repurposed to build a more inclusive and just economy.
The presenters will respectively focus on: 1. Complementary and social currencies, and grassroots monetary reform, 2. The relationship between monetary power, centralized vs decentralized government, and local capacity-­building, and 3. The importance of democratic transformation of federal and international monetary institutions (Jordan) Together, they will connect the theory and activism of grassroots monetary activism (social currencies, community banking), with effort to transform the apex of the global financial hierarchy (monetary and fiscal policy, international banking regulation). Note: This workshop proposal was organized by the Modern Money Network, in dialogue with Ed Whitfield, one of the organizers of the proposed Public Banking workshop. (F,D,G)

WS18 Declaring our Wealth: The importance and practice of declaring and leveraging our privilege within community and activism work DP
Atiena Nyar Kasagam, Detroit Urban Farmers Network, Lorenzo Herron
The workshop will involve a series of activities that will help the group identify the various kinds of privilege/wealth/resources/skills/networks that they have access to, and to be able to name them, leverage them and even extend them to others within their working spaces and communities. We will also reiterate the importance of recognizing our different economic/social/political standings that have evolved over generations due to historic injustices, favoritisms and exploitations. This is especially important to be aware of as we reimagine community, and move towards more just and sustainable ways of living. (M, B)

WS19 Old Money Is The New Money: Creatively Combating Capitalism DP
Chinyere E. Oteh and Julia Ho, The Cowry Collective, St. Louis
What does an abundant life feel like or look like? How can we live a rich, healthy life under the pressures of a capitalist economy? Can your human currency become a tool in reaching self­-actualization? Join Chinyere E. Oteh and Julia Ho in an inquiry of alternative currency, abundance and community wealth. In this workshop, Chinyere E. Oteh founder of The Cowry Collective, and Julia Ho, leadership member of the timebank based in St. Louis, MO will teach about the history of timebanking in the United States, its ties to earlier currency use throughout the world and it’s every day applications to improving quality of life particularly for communities of color. Chinyere will share the history of the development of The Cowry Collective, a timebank that has grown over the past five years to include a racially and socioeconomically diverse membership of individuals and organizations. Participants will learn about the development of two projects within The Cowry Collective: Time For Food which facilitates the exchange of volunteer time for local, organic produce at urban gardens and farms and Hour Power which introduces local, small business owners to timebanking and encourages them to accept timedollars as a method of payment for their products. Participants will learn the basics of hOurworld, free software that tracks exchanges between members of a timebank. We will conclude the workshop with a discussion on current practices of solidarity economy that participants engage in in their respective cities.  (D)

WS6 Beyond the Job System: New Work, New Culture and Community Production
Frithjof Bergmann, Center for New Work, Flint, MI
In this workshop Frithjof Bergmann will facilitate a conversation on the possibilities and present realities of Community Production—from Russia, to India, to Austria, and Detroit—and offer a framework for how we can achieve greater unity in our alternative economy movements. We will explore plans for creating a Center for New Work in Detroit. Our focus will be on ways of building together that involve us in designing and fabricating everything we need to support our own activities, and that enable us to achieve energy self-­sufficiency. (P, C, M)

WS42 Detroit Chinatown: Not Your Slice of Cultural Nostalgia. Building Transcultural Co-Resistance to Gentrification, Displacement and Historicization DP
Soh Suzuki, Gwi-Seok Hong, Shane Bernardo, Natasha Tamate Weiss, Bri Wilson, Cristina Do, Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) Program
In this interactive workshop focused on transcultural coalition-building against the gentrification of Detroit’s neighborhoods, we will pivot our strategizing around the subject of Detroit’s Chinatown. Participants will learn about the historic and current significance of Chinatown, both within the context of Detroit’s Asian-American community and the broader struggle of communities of color in a rapidly gentrifying city. Participants will collectively explore possibilities of employing historic designation as a tool for community building, resistance against gentrification, and cultural survival for the long term. The workshop will focus on movement building across communities, inviting exploration of how communities with relative access to visibility and resources can recognize and leverage opportunities for collaborative co-resistance. ”… if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” (M, B)

WS57 Cooperative Finance in the Post-Recession Age DP
Jules Epstein-Hebert, Vernice Arahan, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
As some of the largest co-ops in the US, credit unions are cooperatively owned and governed. Building on this, community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) are credit unions with a mission of serving low- and moderate-income people and communities. They specialize in providing safe, reliable and affordable products and services to populations with limited access to secure financial services, including low-income wage earners, recent immigrants, and people with disabilities. Every CDCU was founded on the belief that those who work hard deserve the opportunity to achieve financial security. Each CDCU can tell a story of beating the odds, helping the vulnerable, and pursuing a mission that is as large as the American Dream and as specific as the future of a single child. Join the Federation as we explore the history, work and impact of CDCUs in our communities, understanding the stories of these vital organizations and their members, sharing their hopes, triumphs, and changes in the post-recession era. (F, C, M) Cooperative Finance in a Post Recession Age

WS60 Working Together is Better: People, Community, & Cooperation
PODER SF- Teresa Almaguer , EMEAC –Darryl Jordan, Cooperation Jackson- Brandon King, Climate Justice Alliance Members (National) Specifically representing work in San Francisco, Detroit, Jackson.
The Literacy & Skills Training sessions utilize popular education to explore, apply, and practice the solidarity economy. We’ve been experiencing economic crisis, one after another, and it always hits harder in our working class communities. We have been exploring neighborhood-based solutions that come out of our greatest strengths, our people, our traditions, and the collective power of working together. In this workshop we will be exploring the generations of experiences of laboring in our families and how it shapes what we create moving forward.

WS62 Making education relevent for the economy
Jules Fernando, Claire Bayler, James Patin, Fiona Barrett, Brittany Dennis, Jacob Folsom-Fraster, Clark University.
This workshop explores  the potential contribution of critical  padagogy and solidarity economy. It draws on many different padagogical strategies aimed toward building a just and equitablr society. Examples are drawn from many different parts of the world. The focus will also be on decorporatization of the academy and learning. (M)

WS66 Authenticity in Action: A conversation exploring how communities and individuals can thrive
Brandi Keeler/Jarret Schlaff
This conversation will encourage individuals to practice vulnerability as a tool for personal and community growth. We aim to shift stigmas about selfcare so that participants see the correlation between being their transformation and the transformation of their community. This will be done with individual self-exploration, pair sharing, and provoking group conversation prompts. Participants will walk away with new perspectives, new connections, and innovative self care resources. (P, M, B)

WS63 Share the World
Doc Richey
What sacrifices are we willing to make in regards to our presumed right to consume and take up whatever spaces we have the cash to pay for in order to render our world just and sustainable? How might we all benefit from galvanizing inter- introspection around our shared but individual economic habits and the various ways our political notions are formed? Participants will explore how they would live, learn, grow, and play in a world with a home-management system that generates people power by utilizing care as currency. After, participants will watch interviews of people in everyday places around Detroit reflecting on their own habits and what they would be willing to contribute, sacrifice, and share for a better world. (M, G, C)