Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy
The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD) is a non-profit organization, which is managed cooperatively, that was created to assist in the ongoing cultivation of the workplace democracy and worker cooperative movements. The conference takes place every two years, with the last conference happening in 2009 (Pittsburgh) and the next in July 2011 (Baltimore), with the stated purpose of "bringing together worker-owners, employees of democractically run ESOPs, companies and organizations that provide support to democractic workplaces, and anyone interested in the workplace democracy movement." The Eastern Conference is often held in towns or cities with a rich co-op movement or a history of cooperation. Prior locations for the ECWD include Amherst, MA - which is home to many worker co-ops in the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives.
According to the ECWD website:
The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy supports an economy that utilizes cooperative and democratic organizational structures to support equitable systems for exchanging goods, services & products and stewardship of the commons for mutual benefit by all. We believe that democratic workplaces are the fundamental building blocks that power our work towards economic, social, and environmental justice and solidarity.
The ECWD is managed by a "Coordinating Council" (or the ECC), which is a group consisting of both worker-owners and members of worker co-op support organizations. Members of the ECC are elected by the general membership of the ECWD. The ECWD also works in cooperation with the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives to promote and develop worker-owned enterprises regionally and nationally.
Scholarships for attending the ECWD are often provided by the Ralph K. Morris foundation.
Current workshops planned for the upcoming 2011 ECWD can be seen here.