We're just recently returned from the Radical Routes gathering, and when I say recently, I mean within the last couple of hours. As usual it was busy and tiring and intense, but also incredibly inspiring. Being around other co-op members is a great reminder of why we're doing what we're doing, and more importantly, that we ought to be doing more.
Sven and I had a great blather, both at the gathering and on the way home, concerning the lack of co-ops in south Wales and what we could do about it. It's not that there aren't co-ops, but in an area with a significant need for affordable housing and relatively low property prices, it's genuinely surprising that there aren't more. We'd like to be surrounded by co-op people more of the time, and so it's up to us to build it where we are.*
So this is our** plan, which I am recording here in order to help it happen, and also to start garnering interest from you lovely lot. Just to point out that Sven and I are in no way experts, but we are keen learners with lots of contacts, and most importantly, we have done this recently.
We're going to plan a detailed set of modular workshops covering the whole housing co-op set-up process and related topics (such as consensus decision making), and then offer to run them for small groups in South Wales who are interested. You can tell us where you are in your process (anywhere from random, interested people who are wondering what a co-op is, to registered co-ops who are looking for funding inspiration) and we'll come and run relevant workshops in your garden/living room/community space.
So, are you interested? Could you get together a group of 3+ people who are also interested? Let us know and when we are ready to roll, we'll get in touch. And if we don't get around to it, please feel free to tell us off.
* A concept that is often talked about, summed up nicely in a phrase from Sven.
** Other members of Golem might be interested too, but I was too excited about the idea to run it past them all before posting this.