Eric Magnuson

My unique intersection of cooperation, sustainable business and local living economies.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Web Collective unveiled

There is a project I am involved in that has been so all-consuming that I have not even thought to blog about it. In fact, I have been so consumed I haven't blogged about anything in my life! The project is called Web Collective and it is the largest undertaking of my professional life.

The Web Collective is currently a group of seven people who are combining their talent and energy to serve large-scale projects. We manage ourselves and our projects as a collective, meaning we use consensus decision-making and perform as equals. Together we have decided that we like operating as a group better than a collective of individual businesses so we are also undertaking the process of incorporating as a worker owned cooperative.

The cooperative structure of business is not one that many people have experience with. Sure, lots of us belong to consumer coops, like food stores or REI, but few of us know what it's like to participate in a cooperative workplace. We are attempting to create a truly democratic workplace where every worker is an owner and every owner has one vote. If we can't get democracy to work in our government then why not try it at work!

This is a massive undertaking for me and the six others. It challenges me on more levels than I am probably even aware of, which is probably why I am loving it so much. I never like taking the well-worn path.

I am committing to continue blogging about this project and what I am learning in the process. Consider this my first dispatch from the forefront of workplace democracy.

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