This piece, written by our CEO Cameron Madill, was originally published in B The Change.
In late 2016, I met an unusual character at a business networking event. Blake Jones is the co-founder of Namaste Solar, a 15-year-old Certified B Corporation solar company based in Boulder, Colorado, with over 200 employees and a strong focus on positive social and environmental impact. It all sounded right up my alley.
Then Jones casually let slip that Namaste Solar is a worker-owned cooperative — owned and run democratically by its workers.
All that I really knew about cooperatives at that point was based on shopping trips as a kid with my parents to a local food co-op; a few conversations with clients that followed a cooperative model — one a power co-op and the other a credit union; and a vague awareness that REI is a co-op, which I occasionally shopped at but hadn’t bothered to join.
When I co-founded PixelSpoke in 2003 as a marketing agency that works with credit unions and other mission-driven companies, we structured the company as an LLC because that’s what we were advised to do. Not once did a lawyer or adviser even mention the option of structuring the company as a cooperative.
PixelSpoke became a B Corp in 2014, making a public commitment to our long-held belief that business can be a force for good. And yet, as I began to explore the cooperative model, I started to wonder if we could be doing more.
Read the rest on B The Change »