Active Citizenship in a Room: growing our "Collective Agency"

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Proposal
Long Form
Intermediate

Excerpt

Does your business have customers, people doing work, and/or people investing money and time? In what ways do you have trust/reputation, empathy/reciprocity, and ability to act? What public knowledge and shared experiences do people have? On what choices do they have the ability to make decisions and get stuff done?

Alex Linsker will share his experiences learned from Portland's cooperative workplace "Collective Agency". The focus will be guided break-out sessions for you to grow an active citizenry of your work. What kind of city do you want your business to be? What are non-traditional ways to work with many active, equal citizens, and to be an active, equal citizen yourself?

Description

Does your business have customers, people doing work, and/or people investing money and time? In what ways do you have trust/reputation, empathy/reciprocity, and ability to act? What public knowledge and shared experiences do they have? On what choices do they have the ability to make decisions and get stuff done?

Alex Linsker started “Collective Agency”, a cooperative workplace in Old Town, Portland, with the support of many community organizers he met last year at OSBridge. A lot of lessons have been learned, a lot of choices made, a lot of community observed. His goal was to create a place with more art on the walls, deep conversations, and people, a place with transparent rates and terms of service, a place that is a representative democracy, based on the communities that the people who care about it work to actively make and grow.

Through a guided series of break-out sessions, we’ll explore the four kinds of loosely coordinated autonomy that people can have in a variety of ways, in any business:
- participatory (getting things done) and
- deliberative (meeting and talking),
- direct (doing it hands-on yourself) and
- representative (delegating people to represent the group).

We’ll combine principles from user experience, governance, and business planning, to see how a business based in a room somewhere is exactly like a city. What kind of city do you want your business to be?

What are non-traditional ways to work with many active, equal citizens, and to be an active, equal citizen yourself?

Speaking experience

Interviewed as an expert for radio segments on:
2008 WBAI-FM Indianapolis
"2008 WS-Radio ("The Coaching Show")":http://bit.ly/ydtN0D
2006 eBay Radio

Workshops:
2010 Led a session at the New Communicators Conference, hosted at Research Club.
2010 Led a session with break-out teams on Federations at Portland BarCamp.

Presentations:
2009-2012 Research Club Brunch 3-time presenter, most recently on introducing democracy http://vimeo.com/39435386
2011 Lightning Talk on "What Does a Community Organizer Do?"" http://bit.ly/Ay5JBV
2008 Presented new “company-as-city” social network concept at NYU’s Courant Institute as part of OneWebDay.
2004 NYU UG Business Plan Competition, Second Prize winner. Pitched at Stern School of Business Entrepreneurship Conference.

Speaker

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    Alex Linsker

    Community Organizer: "Collective Agency"

    Biography

    Alex Linsker is a Coordinating Council member at “Collective Agency” in Portland, which he started with many people. As the main Community Organizer, he’s term-limited to June 15th, 2012

    He helped start coworking places New Work City in 2007, and Tisch Talent Guild in 1999, both still successful.

    2005-2009: Started culture of self-organizing teams in a retail company. As subcontractor, recommendations implemented on Subway Sandwich’s behind-the-counter menu boards and Microsoft mouse and keyboard accessory packaging.

    He loves to play classical/jazz/improvisational piano, go hiking, and change his mind from learning new perspectives.