Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Democracy in Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/ConventionĀ Center

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Monday 12th March 2012

  • Tech Cooperatives: A Better Way to Make a Living

    by Raeanne Young, Andi Shively, Drew Stephan, Poonam Whabi and Jack Aponte

    Most experienced IT folks have faced the choice of freelancing versus working for an established business. Freelancing offers creative autonomy but not necessarily steady income. A job with a larger company provides a steady paycheck but often comes with creative and personal constraints.

    We are part of a growing movement among creative professionals who want an alternative to traditional business structures. The worker-cooperative business model enables IT professionals to maintain control of their work and life, produce excellent work, and retain the benefits of the value that they create, without sacrificing security. Our tech cooperatives offer the support and team approach of a firm but are entirely owned and democratically governed by the folks who work in them - us.

    This is a moderated panel with a focused, first-person discussion of different experiences of working in tech cooperatives. We will explain why a growing number of IT professionals prefer working in a co-op setting, the advantages and drawbacks of a democratic workplace, and the processes of starting and maintaining a worker cooperative.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 12th March

    In Brazos, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

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