As we outlined in a previous blog post, the Collective met yesterday (Thursday, August 10th) to talk more about our long-term planning process. The original goal of this meeting was for the Collective to come to alignment on where to focus our engagement with Member-Owners going forward: either relocating in the neighborhood or opening a second store.
Because of the feedback that we received from Member-Owners and some new information from our feasibility research, the Collective did not narrow down or rank the potential projects that are on the table. We spent the majority of the meeting talking about what getting meaningful engagement and feedback from the community looks like and how it will factor into a decision. We will be working to revise our process map and creating a comprehensive plan to allow for abundant Member-Owner input going forward.
Also as a part of the meeting, we spent some time in small groups brainstorming new and innovative ways that the Co-op could adapt the plans on the table to be more financially viable (a clear need arising from our feasibility research) as well as fulfilling community needs that we haven't actively considered up to this point.
We also spent some time sharing perspectives about what the last few weeks have been like for folks on the Collective: what feedback they've heard, what they've been wrestling with, what emotions have come up for them, as well as how we're generally very encouraged by the participation and passion of our Member-Owners.
This meeting brought us to a pretty open place in terms of what our next steps are. We're in the process of planning a community forum so that we can hear from more community members and also share some information with you all -- plan to hear an announcement about that very soon. We're also planning more feedback sessions in September and opening them up to more people (though still keeping them small enough to have meaningful conversations -- we're planning to cap them at 20 folks). We'll save conversations with vendors and other community stakeholders until we have a clearer idea of what our plan is.
We're not putting this planning process on pause, but we are making space for more research and more input from our community. At the same time, we're actively tending to our financial responsibility to the Co-op given the expense of this process.
If you have questions, input, or ideas that you'd like to share, you can send them to the Long-term Planning Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get in touch with the Board of Directors at email@example.com. For more framing about our planning process and a catalogue of past blog posts and articles, check out people.coop/vision.