Tue 1 Nov 2016 9:50PM

Livestream Co-op Finance Discussion: Panelist Suggestions Needed.

MC Matthew Cropp Public Seen by 124

First panel's banner image for sharing:

We just had a quick and productive hangout discussing pulling together a live-streamed & recorded "panel" on Google Hangouts on Air, and decided to move forward on two: one on finance and deal structure, followed by one on governance.

The call originated with this Loomio thread by @MairaSutton

~ Spreadsheet for tracking outreach and speakers ~

The plan is to start with the finance/deal structure discussion, and the idea is to have someone kick the conversation off with a bit of vision (Someone like Nathan or Trebor or, if we could get him, Doug Rushkoff?), and then proceed to a lightly moderated discussion with a group consisting of 2-3 people who have deep experience with co-op finance and 2-3 people with deep experience in converting for-profit businesses into co-ops. After introductions, these folks would start by engaging in a lightly moderated discussion with each other about how this might work in the case of twitter, and then we could bring in questions from those watching for the remainder of the session.

Our soft goal is to have all (or at least a good portion) of the line-up confirmed by the Thursday before the Platform Co-op conference, and if there are any gaps, we can hopefully fill them there.

As such, please use the comments section below to "nominate" individuals who you think might fit either the "Finance" or "Conversions" role well (please clearly indicate which you are nominating them for, and provide a 1 paragraph summary of why they might be a good fit), and, once we have a list, go back and "like" up to 3 from each category. Once we have nominations and likes tabulated, we can put out asks to those individuals, starting with the most "liked" nominations.


Matthew Cropp Tue 1 Nov 2016 9:54PM

[Finance] - Dan Fireside, Equal Exchange Capital Coordinator

Dan coordinates outside investment for equal exchange, a fair trade importer worker co-op that has raised $15m+ in non-voting preferred share investment. He's extremely well versed in co-op capital structures, and is generally game for sharing his knowledge with other co-ops. A google hangout I did with him a while back when my organization was helping a student with an independent study on co-ops can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TUoMhn-vgA


Matthew Cropp Tue 1 Nov 2016 10:01PM

[Finance w/ Significant Conversions Experience] Betsy Black, Cooperative Fund of NE

Betsy is the NW New England rep of the Cooperative Fund of New England, which is a loan fund that grew out of the 1970s food co-op movement and now funds all kinds of co-ops in the region. She has extensive co-op loan underwriting experience, and has been the lead source of financing on a number of co-op conversion deals, including several worker co-op conversions that my organization (Vermont Employee Ownership Center) worked on.


Chris Cook Tue 1 Nov 2016 10:01PM

If anyone is interested in complementary (eg LLCs, LLPs, prepay credit) methods for financing & funding Co-ops without using shares (of any type) or even debt then I'd happily contribute.


Matthew Cropp Tue 1 Nov 2016 10:37PM

[Conversions] Noemi Giszpenc - Cooperative Development Institute

Noemi is the ED of CDI, which supports co-op development in the US northeast, and she is also founder of the Data Commons co-op, which she presented about at the 2015 Platform Co-op Conference. CDI has provided technical support to many co-op conversions (though none at this scale).


greg brodsky Tue 1 Nov 2016 11:50PM

Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO of REI - A consumer owned co-op, operating at scale! https://www.rei.com/about-rei/officers.html


greg brodsky Tue 1 Nov 2016 11:54PM

Adam Schwartz, former president of NCBA, and founder of "The Cooperative Way" http://cdsconsulting.coop/consultants/adam-schwartz


greg brodsky Tue 1 Nov 2016 11:55PM

David Hammer, Executive Director of the ICA Group. Technical expert and amazing thinker re converting co-ops at scale. http://ica-group.org/ica-staff/


greg brodsky Wed 2 Nov 2016 12:02AM

Walden Swanson Founder and Chair at CoopMetrics. Co-op metrics is a co-op focused tech company that was formed by Walden as a multi stake holder co-op of employees and outside investors. (very similar to how a twitter conversion could be structured).


john gieryn Wed 2 Nov 2016 3:12PM

I'm happy to reach out to Douglas Rushkoff, unless someone else feels they've got a direct line to him (I'd say I've a solid 2nd degree connection, and I hosted a panel discussion with him on it). Per our timeline, not-withstanding anyone else suggesting they'll take the action point or disagreement with him as speaker, I'll make this outreach early next week and then follow up at the Platform Co-op Conference.

I bet that @joshuavial, @alanna, or @keithtaylor1 might have suggestions here (or may be good picks for either the financial/structure session or the following governance session). Keith Taylor is the board-president of the Indiana Cooperative Development Center, Alanna works directly for a digital co-op (Loomio), and Joshua has lots of financial experience too- having developed an virtual banking app for the freelancer co-op that was/became Enspiral


Suresh Fernando Wed 2 Nov 2016 3:36PM

@matthewcropp I'm interested in supporting this but I think the timeline is pretty aggressive if you want the lineup confirmed by Thursday. What date were you thinking of having the actual panel?


john gieryn Mon 7 Nov 2016 2:11PM

This would depend on the speakers availability; I think that we were imagining a week or two after the conference this weekend?
@matthewcropp @mairasutton — I made a timezone sheet, but am eager to know which other countries/ timezones may need adding for this?

Also- I could reach out to Magenta Ceiba (E.D. of the Bloom Network)- she is a facilitator and consultant for businesses seeking more collaborative ways of working, and I think she has solid business plan/ economic chops. I'll start a proposal so that we can move forward with inviting these folks


Danny Spitzberg Thu 3 Nov 2016 6:12AM

For legal expertise, I suggest investment lawyer Jenny Kassan jennykassan.com, co-founder of theselc.org and perhaps startup lawyer Kyle Westaway westaway.co, counsel for many big-name startus as well as for the recent co-op conversion www.nobl.io.

For co-op financing expertise, I suggest Brendan Martin, founder of theworkingworld.org and a regular interlocutor with #platformcoop people.

I've been in touch with all of these wonderful humans about #BuyTwitter and would happily invite them once a range of possible dates emerges.


john gieryn Mon 7 Nov 2016 7:30PM

@gregbrodsky @dannyspitzberg @matthewcropp how likely do you think that the people you've suggested will participate? should we ask everyone who has been listed above? any concerns with particulars that have been suggested?

I made this spreadsheet to track them


Poll Created Mon 7 Nov 2016 7:37PM

Confirming Livestream Event and Speaker-Requests-Round-1 Closed Thu 10 Nov 2016 2:01PM

Should we host the Livestream Panel discussion as suggested by those who met a week ago, and empower those who have suggested these speakers [outreach-spreadsheet] to invite them to speak for this event?

My impression is that, of the names listed, we won't get more than 6, so I think we can proceed that way and/or the outreach folks can coordinate amongst themselves.

More context: The call was sparked by this former Loomio, and here are the notes from that call.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 87.5% 7 SF EC JG C TM MS DB
Abstain 12.5% 1 S
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

8 of 248 people have voted (3%)


Suresh Fernando
Mon 7 Nov 2016 7:43PM

This is a good way to get those with legal and structural knowledge into the conversation


john gieryn
Mon 7 Nov 2016 7:43PM

If even a couple of these speakers come through I think it'll be a great event.


Mai Sutton
Tue 8 Nov 2016 1:30AM

Seems like a solid line-up. Timing-wise, early PT/midday ET/evening CET would probably be the most accommodating.


Tue 8 Nov 2016 8:42AM

don't know most of the people in the lineup but wanted to participate in the process


Tom McDonough
Tue 8 Nov 2016 2:20PM

From the little I've read, these folks with coop experience are doing deals in the $100,000 range. It will be important to cross-pollinate the panel with [perish the thought!] Wall Streeters who can do a $12 billion financing. I could find some.


john gieryn Mon 7 Nov 2016 7:40PM

I set it for 3 days (am open to changing the length); I know this may make it seem quite improbable that we'd get any headliners by Thursday; however, I do think that preliminary outreach could be made prior to the conclusion of this vote, on the basis that the network may (although is unlikely to) choose not to feature any particular speakers that say yes in this period.

If we do get a yes that is significant enough to warrant making a call-out of some nature about it at the Platform Co-op conference, another Proposal on a separate thread could be made IMO


john gieryn Mon 7 Nov 2016 7:45PM

Some folks I think will want to vote on this: @mairasutton @dannyspitzberg @chriscook1 @matthewcropp @priscillagrim @asolache @tommcdonough @davidbacker @thomaseuler1


David Backer Mon 7 Nov 2016 7:52PM

Shaping up to be a great panel! Could I feature audio of it on Commonsplace (https://commonsplace.org/), the cooperative economy podcast I've been working on? Going to be featuring an interview with Nathan in our next episode and this would be a great addition.


john gieryn Mon 7 Nov 2016 8:00PM

Shoot- no way to edit the proposal at this point please see this link to get access to the consolidated speaker-outreach-list ← sorry I messed up the link in the proposal :P


Matthew Cropp Mon 7 Nov 2016 9:21PM

Looking through the proposed speakers list above, some of the suggestions seem to fit more in the proposed second session that will focus on Governance/Operations. With that in mind, below are the folks who appear relevant to the first session (correct me if I'm wrong and other should be added to the list), with an * for people who also have significant experience in the other category as well.

-Dan Fireside, Equal Exchange
-Betsy Black, CFNE*
-Chris Cook, ("If anyone is interested in complementary (eg LLCs, LLPs, prepay credit) methods for financing & funding Co-ops without using shares (of any type) or even debt then I'd happily contribute.")
-Brendan Martin, The Working World*

-Noemi Giszpenc, Cooperative Development Institute
-David Hammer, ICA Group*
-Jenny Kassan, SELC co-founder, lawyer
-Kyle Westaway. Start-up lawyer, converted www.nobl.io

As such, would it make sense to invite all at once, or do so sequentially (for instance, it seems like having a conversions lawyer would be useful, but two might be less desirable if the second slot bring in someone with a different expertise?


john gieryn Tue 8 Nov 2016 6:32PM

That would be awesome @tommcdonough.

+1 to all your comments Matthew Cropp- as I imagine you're doing a significant segment of the outreach, I think you could go ahead and implement the strategy that makes most sense to you unless someone else feels strongly that the urgency requires we reach out to more than what you're thinking. I don't know the strength of your connections; if we're aiming to have some people relatively confirmed before the conference this weekend then I might suggest reach out to two unless you feel like they'll both say yes.

I've modified the excel sheet to reflect that some of the selections are intended for session two— I think the way I wrote the proposal warrants that change without invalidating the current votes please let me know if you think otherwise :)


john gieryn Tue 8 Nov 2016 7:02PM

@chriscook1 I think we should confirm you right off the bat, if you're interested! I love the quote that @matthewcropp shared in his comment just above


Chris Cook Tue 8 Nov 2016 8:26PM

I'm in


Danny Spitzberg Wed 9 Nov 2016 1:41AM

fwiw- Kyle Westaway deals with multi-million dollar deals, and is also familiar with co-ops after helping www.nobl.io convert. Jenny Kassan has experience with million dollar deals.


john gieryn Wed 9 Nov 2016 1:03PM

Do folks (especially @dannyspitzberg who i wager has greater familiarity) feel that Michel Bauwens would be a good for for thr second event on Gov & Ops? I was talking to him (to get Rushkoff's email) and i thought i might check his interest- he's happy to participate


Danny Spitzberg Fri 18 Nov 2016 8:10PM

Michel is great as an orator about the commons movement in general, but for this discussion, I suggest we recruit technically-inclined people (including law and finance folks). Update: Brendan Martin from Working World is up for it


john gieryn Mon 14 Nov 2016 5:51PM

Rushkoff is available Tues.12/6 and Fri.12/9 in the morning (EST). he's completely booked the week (of the 28th) before that; he was responding to my ask of availability 2-3 weeks out from now @matthewcropp @mairasutton p.s. Matt it was a great pleasure to meet you this weekend; the work you're doing and the insight you brought were amazing!


john gieryn Fri 18 Nov 2016 10:02PM

very much agree- was thinking MBauwens as the Gov+Ops opener. What about Rushkoff? Possibly even as the moderator who makes opening remarks? @dannyspitzberg


Matthew Cropp Sat 19 Nov 2016 1:38AM

Apologies for my unresponsiveness; been flat out since I got home from NYC, which was excellent.

@coopchange, Friday, 12/9 looks completely open for me. Since he's East Coast, let's see how close to noon he can go (11am? 11:30am?) so West Coast folks can participate @ a reasonable hour.

Once we have him confirmed, perhaps we should convene another planning call to discuss process for outreach? One other person who was at Platform Co-op who seemed like he would have good insights on the conversions front was Jason Weiner.


john gieryn Sat 19 Nov 2016 4:52PM

Awesome! I'm checking if Rushkoff is available Friday, 12/9 for 11:30am/12pm (EST/ UTC-5), and it'd be great if @dannyspitzberg could check on Brendan Martin's availability for that time or even 11am (per @matthewcropp 's timing suggestion).

@chriscook1 how's that time for you?

Towards the 2nd session, which is optimally IMO either between one week to a week and a half after or a full month after (to get some kind of cadence/ momentum), Michel Bauwens would be an awesome participant who's said he'd be honored to participate—his availability is after 12/15 and I believe he's closer to UTC or UTC+something...


john gieryn Sat 19 Nov 2016 11:04PM

Rushkoff is available at 11:30am EST on Fri. 12/9; I say we call it and make the outreaches @mairasutton @matthewcropp @dannyspitzburg


Matthew Cropp Sun 20 Nov 2016 9:47PM

Sounds great; will start putting out the asks soon.

How does this sound for a rough agenda, and do you think we could do 75 minutes, or do we need to aim for 60?:

-"Host" introduction (agenda review, etc.; John, Maira, or Myself) [2 min]
-Round of participant introductions [1 min each, overview of background and relevant experience].
-Introductory remarks by Doug Rushkoff [5 min]
-Remarks from "Conversions Experts" on process of, common challenges of, and lessons from conversions of conventional businesses into co-ops [10 min, divided by # of participants]
-Remarks from "Financing Experts" on process of, common challenges of, and lessons from financing conversions [10 minutes each, divided by on # of participants]
-"Scaling up" Reflections round, started by Rushkoff, and then rotationg among the participants, on the specific challenge of buying Twitter. [25 minutes, divided by # of participants]
-Open discussion of this challenge for the remainder of the session, with stack managed via the chat interface by the "Host". [Remaining time, if any]


Danny Spitzberg Mon 21 Nov 2016 2:36AM

Can we aim for 55min, using Google Hangouts on Air and/or Crowdcast to facilitate audience participation? (I haven't found a decent FLOSS option for that, and jitsi.org tends to crash with more than two participants.)

Also, for the co-op conversion segment, I'd like to recommend Hilary Abel from project-equity.org, a group that has experience and expertise actually doing this work.


john gieryn Mon 21 Nov 2016 1:18PM

Let's meet up and nail down these details! Please doodle your availability for the next three days, or comment here if these times don't work but you'd really like to join in.

@dannyspitzberg sounds awesome! Per the spreadsheet, I see you have 3 folks you'd planned to invite? Maybe the easiest way to start getting these invites out is to have @matthewcropp invite his 2-3 preferred participants, and you to invite your 2-3 preferred participants, and then at worst we'd be dealing with a panel of 8 people (or you could each limit your outreaches accordingly to keep it for sure under 6/ not have to tell anyone thanks but no thanks in retro)


Poll Created Mon 21 Nov 2016 1:24PM

Confirm Rushkoff to Speaker list for 12/9 Livestream Panel Closed Tue 22 Nov 2016 1:01PM

I'm seeing an average of 8 folks participating on agreements now, with the recent "engagement check-in" bringing in the highest yet w/ roughly 21 votes. I'm going to suggest a threshold of 4 votes→ if < 4 people engage within the 1 day window that I've given this proposal, then let's consider this agreement null. I'm mostly basing "4" off of that engaged participants in this process.

I think that it'd be prudent to confirm Rushkoff as soon as possible, as he was initially contacted nearly two weeks ago, and I believe the 11:30am time is in line with Maira Sutton's suggested timing which received no apparent diagreement.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 85.7% 6 MC ED JG C ES MS
Abstain 14.3% 1 JV
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

7 of 248 people have voted (2%)


Rachael Lamkin Tue 22 Nov 2016 9:33PM

Hi All - i realize I'm late to the party but question: what is the goal of the livestream? Having a hard time seeing how we can get real meat set forth with that many speakers and that short timeframe. Are we actually wanting to teach some real co-op finance strategies or are we just introducing players?


john gieryn Wed 23 Nov 2016 9:34PM

I'm feeling similarly disconcerted about this moving forward; it's two weeks and two days from now (if we aim for the 12/9 date for Rushkoff, who I chose not to concretely confirm with yet), and we only have Rushkoff confirmed (and maybe Chris Cook, who confirmed but not to this specific date)


john gieryn Sun 27 Nov 2016 8:48PM

UPDATE: This is moving forward, just waiting on David Hammer to confirm the change in time, based on Rushkoff's change in availability, to 12:30pm EST on Fri. 12/9.

I would love to hear if anyone has energy to begin a graphic for social media advertisement? A draft, that is, that can be modified per David Hammer's reply.
The text overlay would include the date and time, #BuyTwitter and/or #WeAreTwitter, some title reflecting the topic (Platform Co-op Conversion & Financing), and would likely include at the very least "A Panel Discussion w/ Douglas Rushkoff", if not also including Chris Cook, and David Hammer when/if he confirms (hopefully we'll hear from him by Monday).

@dannyspitzberg @matthewcropp @mairasutton

wondering if you'd be available/ interested to participate- would love to have your input during the session @ntnsndr @samtoland @tommcdonough @thomaseuler1 @sureshf @johnnyhaeusler @bonniefoleywong @whit537


Poll Created Sun 27 Nov 2016 8:53PM

I'd like to support the Livestream Panel on 12/9 by... Closed Wed 30 Nov 2016 8:01PM

Please click "agree", and indicate how you'd like to support this effort; there are numerous ways to do so:
* promote (via social media) and/or create a graphic for this event
* help out with the finalizing of the format and/or provide a question for the panelists
Please indicate if you're planning to attend, thanks! Time is 95% confirmed to be 12:30pm EST. The panel will include Douglas Rushkoff, Chris Cook, Matthew Cropp (as a facilitator or speaker), and possibly David Hammer.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 7 PG JG DR SJK RD MS MS
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

7 of 248 people have voted (2%)


john gieryn
Sun 27 Nov 2016 8:54PM

attending (and facilitating?). I'd like to focus on the format and questions, but if we don't have a graphic by the time that David Hammer confirms, I commit to whipping something up real quick.


Stephanie Jo Kent
Mon 28 Nov 2016 3:12AM

Will do my best to watch the livestream. Will retweet about it for publicity and post info in groups on Facebook. Can't offer more help at this time.


Michael Siepmann
Mon 28 Nov 2016 4:17AM

I can help review from a UX perspective a draft graphic (created by someone else), and help out with the finalizing of the format and/or provide a question for the panelists. I plan to attend.


Dunia Reverter
Mon 28 Nov 2016 6:48AM

I will support via social media.


Rosen Dimov
Mon 28 Nov 2016 6:30PM

Count me in for both! :thumbsup:

  • Social media: the channels of mine and the organisation that promotes co-op initiatives worldwide (International Young Professionals Foundation - IYPF) that I lead;

  • Questions bY the IYPF to fwd to the panel.


Priscilla Grim
Mon 28 Nov 2016 6:36PM

I can help promote online and create a graphic possibly.


Mai Sutton
Tue 29 Nov 2016 11:05PM

I'll be attending and work up a draft graphic to share for the event.


Chris Cook Sun 27 Nov 2016 9:16PM

Just to confirm the changed time works for me, but what's the online venue?


john gieryn Mon 28 Nov 2016 4:27PM

Zoom.us is my default; as it can record and host unlimited participants. If there was a substantial reason to use a Google product, I'd have to re-test Google Livestream on Air/ Hnagouts because I believe they just changed that service and I haven't used it to livestream since.


john gieryn Mon 28 Nov 2016 4:44PM

Hi @mairasutton and @matthewcropp - shall we meet up sometime today, Tues. or Wed.? Please share your availability & interest by filling out this doodle, thanks! Times are in EST. @dannyspitzberg - maybe you'd like to pop in too?


Matthew Cropp Mon 28 Nov 2016 8:12PM



john gieryn Mon 28 Nov 2016 9:27PM

Thanks all for offers to support the initiative!


john gieryn Tue 29 Nov 2016 8:14PM

If anyone wants to join us for a call tomorrow, Wed. at 1pm EST we're meeting to finalize some details about the Livestream Panel Event using https://appear.in/buytwitter/


Matthew Cropp Tue 29 Nov 2016 8:39PM

Oh, crap, just scheduled a meeting with the chair of my org's board for 1pm on Wednesday. I will email her to see if we can bump it.


Danny Spitzberg Tue 29 Nov 2016 11:38PM

I'm off the grid this week BUT I believe we could really use an in-person event to turn talk into tangible materials. So, if you all could do me a small favor: please share your thoughts on the call about syncing this livestream chat with a barn-raiser event in the Bay Area (likely also on Dec 9, but possibly Dec 10 or 11).


Matthew Cropp Wed 30 Nov 2016 3:16AM

Got her to agree to move the meeting to Friday, so I'm in! :)


john gieryn Wed 30 Nov 2016 6:21PM


john gieryn Wed 30 Nov 2016 7:41PM

Great meeting y'all! All, you can check out the notes here. Looking forward to next Friday's panel!

@rachaellamkin - per the meeting, we would like to invite you to participate as a panelist; the timing again is 12:30pm - 1:30pm EST, and will be streamed on Google Hangouts on Air. You'd be on stage with Rushkoff, David Hammer, and Chris Cook (and potentially Brendan Martin from the Working World, and if not, our resident expert Matthew Slater of VTEOC.org)

@chriscook1 - it'd be great to get consent to use your LinkedIn photo for the promo-graphic, and if you could, we'd much appreciate if you'd share a 2 sentence bio as well. (Rachael, same for you, if you are interested). Please and thanks :)


Rachael Lamkin Wed 30 Nov 2016 7:49PM

John - happy to help in general and be on the panel specifically. I'm in a 2 day conference on platforms so apologies for brevity but yes as to LinkedIn and I'll get to you a short bio tonight.


www.linkedin.com/in/rdlamkin ( http://www.linkedin.com/in/rdlamkin )


Rachael Lamkin Thu 1 Dec 2016 3:00PM

@coopchange - John. Here is my two sentence bio. If you need something else, let me know and i can do tomorrow:

Rachael is a technology lawyer & finance professional and founder of Right Dog Capital, which is working to democratize and decentralize capital. She will be talking about, inter alia, the recent 2-day workshop at the Institute for the Future on platform cooperativism.


john gieryn Thu 1 Dec 2016 10:26PM

Hi friends! Please share on via facebook [event-page] and twitter [sample-tweet]

If you have a question you'd like to ask, you can post it in the #communications channel; and you can vote for others' questions by reacting with a :white_check_mark: Thanks everyone, hope to see you Friday after this, December 9th, on https://s.coop/buytwitter !


john gieryn Thu 1 Dec 2016 11:32PM

just a heads up @chriscook1, you can promote the event via the above links. sorry for double pings but I'm not sure which notifications you receive :)


john gieryn Wed 7 Dec 2016 12:39PM

ping @chriscook1 @rachaellamkin :) I sent you both slack messages about getting emails for coordinating, so just in case you don't receive those.

Reminder for all: please post any questions you'd like prioritized for the Q&A portion of this Friday in the #communications channel on slack.