Above: CoopEcon 2012 participants, fired up!

People from across the Southeast gathered in Epes, Alabama at the Rural Training and Research Center of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives from July 27-29 to begin the hard work of building democratic ownership in our communities.

Those new to the world of cooperative business development learned what it takes to put together a business that is responsive to the community it grows from. People involved in functional cooperatives gained valuable insight into the steps needed to grow them, make them more sustainable, and contribute to region-wide development.

Open space technology sessions covered a wide spectrum of topics including worker-ownership, financial record-keeping, nonprofit and coop interaction, technology use, and many more.

The conference was deeply informed by Jessica Gordon-Nembhard’s keynote address. Several panels featuring developers and current cooperators featured some of the most talented people in the movement from around the country.

Special thanks go to all of our great sponsors and supporters. Without you, this conference would not have been as successful. Special mention goes to the Federation of Southern Cooperatives who made their amazing facility in Epes available to us for this gathering. They are continuing to do the important work they began in the late 1960’s, building self-sufficiency and liberation among historically oppressed people in the US South.

Click here for downloadable conference materials, photos, and coop resources.

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