Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Participate in the Co-op Conversation!

The Olympia Food Co-op has grown and evolved to meet the needs of our membership, yet it’s been many years since our organization came together to decide upon our collective future. During this time our community and world have changed in many ways. We face a weakening economy, rising inequality, and unprecedented ecological crises. The Co-op is also confronting challenges, such as the changing market, expanding customer demographics, and the cost of maintaining an equitable labor system. How can we respond to this climate as a collectively-run, consensus-based not-for-profit business, and what can our organization do to make the world and our community a better place for the next generation? As the Co-op expands to better serve our community, it is time to check in with the membership, staff, and the board to understand where best to put our energy and focus, and to build mechanisms for increased communication organization-wide, in order to foster unity and strength as a food Co-op.

The Co-op Conversation has been developed to hear and engage the entire Olympia Food Co-op community in a process where all voices are heard. It has been designed based on inclusivity, anti-oppressions, collaborative, and deep democracy models. This gives you, a Co-op member, a chance to create and answer questions about where best to put our energy and focus for the future direction of the Co-op. With the guidance of a skilled facilitator, the conversation will take place in three stages. In light of the Co-op's mission to "support efforts to foster a socially and economically egalitarian society," a goal of Stage 1 is to reach out to individual members whose voices are under-represented in mainstream society. Their voices will resonate throughout the process. In the second stage, participants will analyze the outcomes of Stage 1 to create themes and powerful questions for the large, Stage 3 meeting, where the entire membership will collaborate on envisioning the Co-op's future direction.

Stage 1 – Saturday, January 28th 2012 –Olympia Center, 9am-3pm - For Board, Volunteer Members, Staff and Co-op Members whose voices are least heard in mainstream society.

Stage 2 – Saturday, February 25th 2012 –Olympia Center, 9am-3pm - For participants selected randomly, space is limited so please pre-register.

Stage 3 – Saturday, March 24th 2012 –Olympia Center, 9am-4pm - Large scale Co-op community Open Space Meeting, entire Co-op membership is welcome with pre-registration.

You must register to participate. You can do it by coming into either the East or Westside store to fill out a handbill, or take the survey here!

Childcare and food will be provided at all three events.

For questions and special accommodations for the events, or to volunteer, please email 
the Member Relations Committee: coopconversation@olympiafood.coop, and, check out thewebsite for more information. See you there!