Open Collective
Open Collective
OCF Solidarity School Syllabus Phase 1: Building On Our Shared Capacity
Published on August 15, 2022 by Mike Strode

Solidarity School is a current experiment within Open Collective Foundation to anticipate capacity building, learning, and structural needs of our collectives that will expand their impact. We design, deliver, source, or aggregate training that addresses those needs.

Many of these sessions are focused on fostering deeper collaboration between our collectives, connecting them to the movement for a solidarity economy articulated in our strategic plan, building intersections between social movements in which our collectives are engaged, or supporting collectives with imagining what new work might be enabled by intentionally building their skills.

Below is our Phase 1 syllabus which is actively evolving. What new learning would you like to take on as a collective in the future? What new work would you like to enable if you only had the internal skills to move it forward?

Let the Solidarity School be a map for the territory which supports you in figuring out answers to these questions

Solidarity School Syllabus (Fall & Winter) Phase 1

Hosted by us

The Offers & Needs Market on August 25th: Learn a reciprocal skill sharing technique that you can use in your collective, meet potential collaborators and build relationships with others throughout the OC community

OCF Monthly Community Forum w/Concerts for Indigent Defense on September 2nd: Our recurring monthly container to ask questions, meet other collectives, share your blockers, and hear a spotlight on how one group is using this platform to move their mission forward

Participatory Budgeting for Orgs 101 on September 12th: Learn how you can design and use a participatory budgeting process among core contributors or a broader community to determine how funds raised in your collective should be spent

OCF Mass Orientation on September 19th: An open space for those who would like to get more familiar with the Open Collective Foundation fiscal sponsorship offering and see how it can apply to projects in their community

OCF Monthly Community Forum w/Guest TBD on October 7th: Our recurring monthly container to ask questions, meet other collectives, share your blockers, and hear a spotlight on how one group is using this platform to move their mission forward

Solidarity Economy 101 on October 10th: Our returning fall offering of a deep dive introduction into the values, principles, practices, and examples of solidarity economy and how this framework has evolved our strategy at Open Collective Foundation

Money Conversations w/Money Health Collective on October 20th: In order to share decision making around how money is spent within our collectives, we need to become more comfortable and confident discussing our histories around money and what feelings arise when we have to engage with it. Money Health Collective creates virtual safe spaces to share these money experiences and stories together with others.

OCF Monthly Community Forum w/Guest TBD on November 4th: Our recurring monthly container to ask questions, meet other collectives, share your blockers, and hear a spotlight on how one group is using this platform to move their mission forward

Introduction to Democratic Decision-Making on November 11th: An introductory workshop on the values, practices, and processes for democratic decision-making which allow us to share power, autonomy, and accountability when collaborating within a group.

OCF Monthly Community Forum w/Guest TBD on December 2nd: Our recurring monthly container to ask questions, meet other collectives, share your blockers, and hear a spotlight on how one group is using this platform to move their mission forward

Participatory Budgeting for Orgs 101 on January 16th: Learn how you can design and use a participatory budgeting process among core contributors or a broader community to determine how funds raised in your collective should be spent

Hosted by others

Emotional CPR Introductory Workshops in August, September, October, November, and December (Ongoing): Members of OCF collective, The Missing Piece, host these training spaces where you can build new skills for facilitating emotional support within your collective.

Steps to End Prisons and Policing: A Mixtape on Transformative Justice by Freedom Lifted (On-Demand): This mixtape is an offering of nourishment and care to the abolitionist community. Learn from some of the people who have been practicing and thinking about and creating organizations around Transformative Justice over the last two decades.

Using the Power Flower to Explore Identity by Freedom Lifted (On-Demand): Use this tool to explore your own identities, start conversations about identity with others, and begin thinking about relationship between identity and power.

Story-based Strategy Core Concepts (On-Demand): This 90-minute self paced workshop will introduce you to Story-based Strategy Core Concepts in theory and use. Participants will be provided with a practical framework for understanding the power of knowing and using a Story-based Strategy in their work.

The 4th Box: DEI + Story-based Strategy (On-Demand): This 90-minute self paced workshop will introduce you to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in theory and use using Story-based Strategy. Participants will be provided with a practical framework for understanding issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in their work and how using a Story-based Strategy can assist in both assessment and planning.

An Introduction To Lean Co-op (On-Demand): By combining the best of the values-aligned cooperative ownership with the lean start-up approach we will share with you some of the best practices that entrepreneurs in our accelerator use to lay a solid foundation upon which they can build a robust business.

Transformative Justice Mini-Class (On-Demand): This course is an introduction to the basic principles and frameworks of Transformative Justice. It will introduce you to the values of Transformative Justice, its history and roots, how you likely already practice transformative justice in your everyday life, and some strategies to apply TJ to the different relationships, communities and organizations you are part of. Understanding the cultural and historical waters we swim in, where the benefit of some is based on the exploitation of many, this course offers some simple tools and frameworks to start creating a new reality for yourself, the people you love and the people you work with

Emotional CPR Certification on August 22 thru 24th: Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a community education program that teaches people how to support another person experiencing emotional crisis.  It is a hope-based public health approach to build strong, resilient, cooperative communities.

Understanding How Consensus Works in Cooperative Groups on August 23rd: An introduction to how to develop depth and cohesion with consensus by building relationship facilitated by Laird Schaub

Offers and Needs Market Basic Facilitator Training starting September 6th: An 18-hour virtual training which will help you facilitate inclusive meetings; build new leadership skills; and learn a reciprocal skill exchange technique which can be a valuable addition to other community organizing strategies

World Cafe Hosting Fundamentals starting September 11th: This rigorous, highly interactive online course is designed for serious practitioners who are looking for a solid understanding of the World Café method and philosophy and want to work with peers, guided by senior practitioners, to learn how to host powerful and effective engagements using World Café.

Liberatory Governance: Building Belonging in Organizational Structures on September 13th: A conversation about how we organize ourselves and make decisions together while building a shared understanding of power, accountability, belonging, and liberation in our collectives

Intro to Decolonizing Non-Violent Communication starting September 18th: A 10-week course on the principles of Non-Violent Communication with a decolonial lens facilitated by Meenadchi

Next Economy MBA Cohort VIII starting on September 20th: A 9-month journey for emerging leaders of an equitable, inclusive and regenerative economy

Culture is Our Weapon: Cultural Organizing 101 September 21st thru September 22nd: A two-part workshop that covers the basics of cultural organizing including how the practice can be used in service of collective liberation to design and deliver cultural organizing campaigns

The INKubator Program starting on September 30th: A virtual 8-week program and critical hub of community and support, focused on BIPOC designers building big, bold and equitable ideas for our collective future. For our fall pilot, we will open up seats to 16 participants. We created this program to support people working on tech and media-connected projects, because these industries have immense global impact and are where equity is urgently needed. You don’t have to be a technologist like a coder or engineer, or a professional media maker to have tech or media components to your project. Deadline to apply August 26th or first 200 applications.

Liberatory Facilitation Retreat on September 30th: The Liberatory Facilitation retreat is structured around the questions, “What does it take to be free together? And, what is the role of the facilitator / educator in supporting that freedom?” The six-hour retreat is great for anyone who facilitates learning experiences, whether they are teachers, trainers, community accountability facilitators, or leaders. Through dismantling notions of what ‘should’ happen in facilitated spaces and how people ‘should’ learn, participants learn skills to lead people and spaces towards differentiation and self-directed learning.

What collaborative funding makes possible: celebrating 8 years of Cobudget on October 3rd: To celebrate 8 years of Cobudget, we're bringing together to our team to share Cobudget’s story, our vision and plans for the future, and invite four Cobudget groups to talk about their collaborative funding journey; challenges and all. In this session, we will hear directly from Cobudget groups applying collaborative funding in a variety of ways. What got them started? What barriers did they encounter, and what unexpected benefits emerged? What challenges and opportunities lie ahead for collaborative funding to become an established way of moving money? 

Sociocracy and Money (Patterns of Transparent and Consent-based Financial Systems) on October 6th: If we make all decisions together, we also need to make financial decisions together, for example, for setting salaries and for budget allocation in our organization. How do we set these? In this class, we will look at the different options, the centralized and the decentralized option, with hybrid solutions. A centralized solution means that there is one policy organization-wide that everyone needs to follow, e.g. standardized pay scales or ranges. A decentralized approach means that every circle or role can make their own decisions. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each of these approaches – we’ll look at them to help you design a system that is based on shared power and transparency and that works for you!

Movement Ecology Workshop w/Ayni School on October 6th: During this introductory workshop, participants will learn the concepts and frameworks of Movement Ecology, which is a framework to understand and analyze the 5 distinct strategies that arise when attempting to make social change.

AORTA presents Uprooting White Supremacy in Organizations on October 9th: This public version of our Uprooting White Supremacy in Organizations training is 3 hours long and designed for individuals (rather than entire organizations). It will be useful for folks who want to strengthen racial justice inside their organizations, or who simply want to better understand how patterns of white supremacy commonly play out inside of organizations and groups. AORTA will share specific examples from our work with hundreds of nonprofits, grassroots organizations, academic institutions, worker co-ops, and progressive businesses; highlight common challenges and missteps in policy and practices; offer select interventions we have seen disrupt these patterns; and lay the groundwork for ongoing discussion and change work within your organization.

Understanding My Org's Finances on October 12th; Multiple Futures: Cash Flow and Scenario Planning on October 20th; and Budgeting with Values on November 10th: Three workshops from A Bookkeeping Cooperative designed to help you build your financial acumen and comfort with managing organizational budgets while learning new skills for making group decisions around money which are grounded in our shared values

Thriving Networks starting October 12th: Starting networks can be easy, but sustaining them is not. This course will help you take your network to the next level, by creating a space for you, with a cohort of peers, to safely explore these uncomfortable topics and equip you to navigate these challenges.

AMP Seeds presents Community-Rooted Development on October 13th: How can organizers and community builders respond in the face of rapid gentrification and exploitative development? Is it possible to center justice and equity alongside property ownership? Yes, it’s possible. Movement leaders work to resist gentrification while investing in the ownership of space that is accessible, inspirational and responsive to the needs of their community. Join us for a rich conversation with Detroit leaders to discuss the complexities of investment and ownership that decentralizes capitalist gains and encourages relationships with a community’s history, culture, and legacy.

Emotional CPR Certification on October 15th thru 16th: Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a community education program that teaches people how to support another person experiencing emotional crisis.  It is a hope-based public health approach to build strong, resilient, cooperative communities.

Trauma Informed Collaboration starting October 18th: Regardless of the role we play in a group, as collaborators, we find ourselves in need of a trauma-informed approach. This course invites a small cohort into a safe learning container to explore how to create connection without pushing too far, how to equip ourselves as we invite others to dive into self-exploration and vulnerability, and how can we make sure that, at least, we are not creating more trauma.

Movement Ecology 2-Day Workshop w/Ayni School from October 19th thru 20th: The purpose of the Movement Ecology Training is to bring together new and experienced leaders and activists in Social Change who are looking to support their communities but may be feeling uncertain or stuck and in search of new ideas and strategies to bring their mission and organizations to the next level.

Conflict Transformation for Movement Leaders starting October 21st: The training will incorporate experiential exercises, role-plays, and hands-on opportunities to practice accountability and intentionality, compassion for self and others, facilitative participation, and the power of storytelling/narrative as leaders.

Microsolidarity Gathering in Denver, CO from October 26th thru 29th: Microsolidarity is a practice for building small high-trust communities. We create spaces where people develop relationships of mutual support & belonging & purposeful action. Microsolidarity communities start with a kind of emotional intimacy (authentic, supportive relationships) and some of them graduate into economic intimacy (sharing money or resources). This gathering is an opportunity to learn a lot of practical skills, find deep personal insights, and connect with a truly inspiring network of community builders.

AMP Seeds presents South & Resistance on October 27th: Resistance music is everywhere. Music and movements have a reciprocal relationship. Inspiration bounces and weaves across the speeches of leaders at rallies and the cries of singers on a stage. When Esperanza Spalding asks, “what is the frequency of healing?,” when Nina Simone proclaimed, “You are Young, Gifted and Black,” and when Marvin Gaye reckons with “What’s Going On” – this music influences how we think and feel about justice, and calls for us to hold on to  dignity & grace in a world on fire and the love we need to survive. Join is for an evening of musical performances whose sound draws from the sparks of movements.

AORTA presents Skill Up! INTUITION on October 31st or November 2nd: Join  us for our newest Skill Up! Training to learn AORTA’s agenda design framework and hone your facilitator intuition of how to help a group reach its goals in a meeting. Participants will leave better able to tune into the context and needs of a group and experiment with different designs for tricky meeting scenarios. ***Participants must have attended a Fundamentals training before registering for a Skill Up! Training.***

AORTA presents Uprooting White Supremacy in Organizations on November 2nd: This public version of our Uprooting White Supremacy in Organizations training is 3 hours long and designed for individuals (rather than entire organizations). It will be useful for folks who want to strengthen racial justice inside their organizations, or who simply want to better understand how patterns of white supremacy commonly play out inside of organizations and groups. AORTA will share specific examples from our work with hundreds of nonprofits, grassroots organizations, academic institutions, worker co-ops, and progressive businesses; highlight common challenges and missteps in policy and practices; offer select interventions we have seen disrupt these patterns; and lay the groundwork for ongoing discussion and change work within your organization.

Restorative Justice Public Trainings starting November 4th: The training will incorporate experiential exercises, role-plays, and hands-on opportunities to practice facilitating a variety of circle formats, including: Value and Agreement Circles; Community Building Circles; Discussion Circles; Academic Content or Issues Circles

Harm Systems Design Retreat on November 11th or November 12th: The six-hour Harm Systems Design retreat is great for organizational leaders, people from Human Resources or community accountability teams or entrepreneurs thinking about how to create systems in their endeavors. Harm is pervasive in communities and institutions, how an organization responds to the harm is its accountability in action. The six-hour Harm Systems Design retreat is great for organizational leaders, people from Human Resources or community accountability teams or entrepreneurs thinking about how to create systems in their endeavors. This retreat requires a minimum of two people from an organization to participate to share the learning. Through an examination of Organizational Accountability, what harm looks like in the participants’ context, and consideration of the legal liability requirements of organizations, participants will leave with examples and inspirations of how they can respond to harm given their unique context.

Liberating Structures Studio starting on November 14th: Liberating Structures quickly foster lively participation in groups of any size, making it possible to truly include and unleash everyone. They offer disruptive innovation that can replace more traditional approaches, that can be controlling and constraining. And most Liberating Structures are easy to learn, and scalable from small to huge groups (300+), in-person and online.

Leadership and Organizational Sessions on November 16th: This workshop on Seasonality is about the cyclical patterns that exist in our leadership and social movement organizations. Seasons and cycles help us to understand, appreciate and protect the ebbs and flows that occur throughout our time in this work.

Doing Better Work Together Online Gathering from November 29th thru December 2nd: Join us to explore practical challenges at the frontiers of collaboration and organisation building including shared perspectives on growing strong relationships, collaborative decision making, coordinating action, allocating resources, and gathering together well.

Patterns for Self-organising Teams in Denver, CO from December 2nd thru 3rd: This intensive 2-day training is ideal for people working with less hierarchy and more collaboration: DAOs, cooperatives, self-managing teams, Teal organisations, Agile teams, startups, collectives. You will find practical guidance on how your team can share leadership, distribute decision-making, stay aligned on priorities, deal with conflict, and create a thriving culture that cares for everyone. 

Emotional CPR Certification on December 5th thru 7th: Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a community education program that teaches people how to support another person experiencing emotional crisis.  It is a hope-based public health approach to build strong, resilient, cooperative communities.

Foundational Mediation Skills from February 4th thru 5th (12-Hour Online): Are you interested in learning more about mediation but not ready to commit to our full 40-hr certification training? Then this is for you! In this training you will learn the SEEDS approach to effective communication, mediation, and conflict resolution.

Foundational Mediation Skills from February 4th thru 5th + February 11th, 18th, 25th (40-Hour Online): Are you interested in learning more about mediation but not ready to commit to our full 40-hr certification training? Then this is for you! In this training you will learn the SEEDS approach to effective communication, mediation, and conflict resolution.