[TheThinkTank] THE LIST
aniola at gmail.com
Thu May 21 17:11:33 PDT 2015
Both of the bike collectives I have volunteered at are consensus-based
organizations. The Davis Bike Collective spent a year putting together its
by-laws and running them past a lawyer to ensure that the board had no
formal decision-making power, but was instead beholden to the decisions
made by the core volunteers. I believe the legal definition of a co-op has
to do with purchasing power, where as a collective we didn't have to have
that orientation and could instead focus on our priority, which was helping
people learn how to fix bikes. Food co-ops are usually co-ops because they
are about *buying* food. So I'm not sure that a co-op is actually less
capitalist, and given what I hear you saying you value, I would be also
asking how the various organizations are making their decisions. Also,
have you checked the wiki page of community bicycle organizations? It has
a long-standing list including the criteria that I believe more or less
helps guide who might be interested in participating in, say, this list.
The more lists the better! I look forward to thr day when there are so many
lists of community bike organizations that you need lists of lists to keep
track of them! Thanks for creating one such list!
On May 21, 2015 1:17 PM, "Joshua Hoffman" <joshuahof at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks to Eric, Paul, Jeff, Kevin, and Matt for taking the time to engage.
> Also thanks to everyone who shared new shops to add. I'll get on it (that
> includes you Jeff). It turns out I was only subscribed to the "list" email
> that arrives once a week so I missed a few of your replies.
> The line is fine but its clear. I agree that cooperatives and community
> shops are often different. I also agree that for-profit shops can engage in
> so called "non-market" activities. My main criteria is DIY
> (free/barter/cheap). If there is a second criteria it's a *free* EAB
> program. My not-completely-arbitrary preferences in descending order are
> cooperatives > community shops > service-oriented for-profit. That logic is
> based on my assumption that orgs designed with cooperative structures will
> find engaging in non-market behaviors easier. When we share the
> risk/rewards of acting there is less incentive to shirk, pass important
> ethical decisions "up the ladder", or use the "bottom line" as an excuse.
> Yes, cooperative work can be messy and slow, but it can also liberate. For
> many people their experience with a cooperative bike shop is the first time
> in their lives when their voice mattered.
> My reason for creating the list was to get new ideas for how people doing
> community bike work engage with their communities. Shops that focus on
> sales, or who use sales as their measure of success are going to engage in
> a different manner that is less interesting to my aims. We can start
> another thread on cooperatives if anyone wants. ;) If anyone wants to
> learn more about worker directed non-profits there is a webinar next week.
> PLEASE NOTE: I'm getting most of my information by snooping through
> websites and facebook pages. If I missed a shop or if I misunderstood what
> a shops/orgs mission please correct me. I think Eric pointed out that
> Uptown Bikes is for-profit (WB and Blackstone are both on the list). You
> can leave a comment on this google.doc
> - Joshua
> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:01 PM, Joshua Hoffman <joshuahof at gmail.com>
>> Here is a searchable document
>> if you want to check for your shop.
>> NOTE: So far THE LIST <https://www.facebook.com/lists/792013340883812>
>> only includes shops that run cooperatively or at very least include some
>> DIY elements. I've done this for a specific reason.... I'm an
>> anti-capitalist. I'm interested in how bikes build community and engage
>> people in acts of cooperation and self-determination. There are many
>> "non-profit" shops that sell used bikes for high prices because they
>> believe it will "raise the perceived value" of bikes. There is nothing
>> inherently wrong with this approach except that I'm not interested in money
>> or perceived value. I'm interested in more people learning to do more
>> things for themselves and for others. Cooperatives have the potential to
>> lower costs by focusing on mission rather than profit. They can also
>> transform the social relationships between humans by substituting hierarchy
>> for equality. The benefits of encouraging DIY are obvious.
>> What do you all think? Should I include all "non-profit" bike shop
>> regardless of their mission? What are the arguments for/against?
>> On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 6:52 PM, Joshua Hoffman <joshuahof at gmail.com>
>>> I've put together a Facebook list of all the community bike shops who's
>>> pages I could find. 133 in total from around the world. This list is
>>> constantly turning up amazing stories and new insights (lots of job
>>> opportunities as well).
>>> Please let me know if I need to add other shops.
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