DCTB + Allied Coop + MAN exciting updates


russian-nesting-dollsA lot has been happening in every level of our work. And the kind of work needed for each level of cooperative economic organizing is self-similar, which makes it a bit easier to grapple with it all.

First, Dane County TimeBank (DCTB) continues to undergo a beautiful transformation and DCTB annual meetingour new Board of Directors reflects that. We have some new young energy in people from diverse backgrounds. Our Annual Meeting on January 24 was a very hopeful and rich conversation. The overall direction of the DCTB for this year will be reflected in the materials from the Builders Workshop of Jan. 28, which I’ll write about in another post today or Monday. Check it out!

Cassandra Sonko, ACC Board President, testifies at City Council meeting

And Allied Community Coop, of which DCTB is one organizational member and has a seat on the Board, is   AlliedCoopTownHallMeeting1.17.15rolling along. We held another monthly Town Hall meeting on the neighborhood food access emergency, activated work groups focused on Transportation, Outreach, Advocacy, Food, and Resource Development (notes here), and then testified at the Jan. 21 Madison City Council meeting in favor of a resolution to release $15,000 in emergency funding to subsidize short-term transportation solutions, and to release $300,000 later in order to help bring in a full-service grocery. The resolution includes some great language about the coop. Although they didn’t take up our item until 10pm, requiring all the residents who came out to sit there for 4.5 hours, we were very happy that the resolution passed unanimously!!

And last but not least, Mutual Aid Network development is also rolling along splendidly. Read the blog post I’ll write shortly on Builders Workshop #20 for details, including DCTB’s plans going forward and how MANs may emerge from there.

On the Main MAN (the umbrella cooperative to support projects and infrastructure development) front:

The Social Working Group is hammering out language for the Memorandum of Understanding we’ll be signing between pilot sites (there are at least 14 potential pilot sites now!) and the Main MAN. This is after implementing a plan to test out Consent decision-making with the assistance of Sociocracy trainer James Priest.

The Communications and Tech Working Groups are designing a coherent web presence for us while also playing with our new MAN instance of Wezer(!), Sybille Saint Girons’ beautiful open source software that will serve as our Mutual Aid Platform (the MAP of the MAN). We love it already! You can learn more about Wezer here, and believe me we’ll gladly invite you into it once we’re done learning the basics and getting it ready.

The Financial Working Group is tackling fundraising and resource development for the creation of the initial Main MAN infrastructure and also exploring internal funding mechanisms. In Madison, we have pulled together some philanthropists to help co-produce the vision of new funding mechanisms that work better for everyone. We aim to work with a well-rounded team to create a vision that they’ll want to help test through making their own investments into MANs when the time is right.

The Legal Working Group will connect with the Social group and hammer out Main MAN member policies, shortly after our next working board meeting. We hope to figure that out very soon so we can start inviting you to join officially!

So, life is filled with work groups working. But even though it can be a bit overwhelming, it’s really mainly exciting and fun, not least because wonderful people have joined up to do the work. Also not least because we expect the work to result in a more beautiful world.

Speaking of a beautiful world – Madison is really beautiful in Summer, when we’ll encourage you to join us for a MAN Up summit here in August.We’ll host work sprints, training sessions, collaboration confabs, parties, and introduce a MAN Up simulation game to help get us started on MANning up for real! Matthew Slater and Sybille Saint Girons, our tech advisors/software programmers/ overall MAN developers will be here, plus Stephen Hinton from the JAK Bank in Sweden who will help us design our own savings/investment pools, James Priest from Exeter UK to help us with complex organizational development and governance, and more to be announced as we get it organized. We’ll have ways for you to share your ideas and offers of your own contributions.

Stay tuned for details!

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