MadWorC has begun bringing the worker cooperative community of Madison together over beers and appetizers. We held our first “Hug and Chug” at Genna’s lounge, right off the Capitol square, on November third.
In attendance were members of the Interpreters Cooperative, Isthmus Engineering Cooperative, Natures Bakery Cooperative, Union Cab Cooperative, Union Technology Cooperative, The UW Center for Cooperatives, and Clifton-Gunderson, an accounting firm that works with cooperatives. Two graduate students who are doing a comparative study between cooperative and corporate-structured businesses, using Isthmus Engineering as a case study, were also there. In attendance as well were two people interested in starting a Health and Wellness Worker Cooperative and an Incubator Cooperative that would act as space for the creation of new inventions.
MadWorC hosted the Hug and Chug to encourage communication between cooperatives as a means of sharing ideas and connecting people. One of MadWorC’s goals is to help create and sustain worker cooperatives. We believe connecting people strengthens community and that worker cooperatives benefit from a strong community.
Many people in attendance were already acquainted but got the chance to talk and get to know each other better. Others got to make new acquaintances and contacts. I personally was excited to see the individuals there that were interested in starting cooperatives and the graduate students studying cooperatives. Between all the worker cooperatives in Madison, there exists over 100 years of experience just waiting to be tapped into and shared!
Keep an eye out in the future for more Hug and Chugs. I hope to continue hosting these get-togethers but doing a little more community outreach so that in attendance as well are those just interested in learning about worker cooperatives. This would serve MadWorC’s third mission of educating the community about worker cooperatives. If anyone has any feedback, please contact us through our website, MadWorC.org (look for the “contact” link!).