Members of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation get a 50% discount on all offerings except the Participatory Management Certificate in partnership with Rutgers University, which members can access at a 15% discount. Email for U.S. code or for the Canadian code.


Democratic Management Skills Check-Up

A free assessment of your democratic management skills, conducted through a 60-minute webinar offered the third Thursday of each quarter in 2019.


June 13, September 12, December 12


9:00-10:00 PST / 12:00-1:00 EST



Each webinar in this series is taught by a manager of a successful employee-owned company who speaks from their direct experience. 

Building Trust: In Your Organization and with Each Other

Taught by Linshuang Lu, Praxis Consulting Group

Trust contributes to a positive working environment, effective collaboration and participation in decision-making. This webinar will explore the concept of trust, and how it is developed over time, and provide practical guidance on how to strengthen trust with others and in your organization.


July 24


9:00-10:15 PST / 12:00-1:15 EST





Crash courses are one- to two-day courses in Open Book Management, decision making, board–management relationship, and functional democratic structures. Offered in person, in regions across the US.

Ownership Culture Building Blocks:

Training, Communication and Decision-Making

Mapping the Ownership Training Challenge – The task of creating a democratic workplace involves a wide range of practical and human challenges. Start-ups and conversions alike must clarify and prioritize the training that member-owners will need to function effectively. This session will introduce a full spectrum of training topics and invite participants to rate their companies on a readiness scale to help think through their future training strategy. We will also focus in on a specific tool that assesses who holds influence in the workplace to support decision-making clarity.  

Communication — Engaging in Difficult Conversations – To work effectively with others and to create truly inclusive and democratic workplaces, we often need to engage in challenging conversations-- giving and receiving feedback, navigating disagreements or frustrating experiences that we have with each other. This session will cover helpful tools, and practical skills to engage in difficult conversations.

Presented by the Democracy at Work Institute, in partnership with Rutgers University School for Management and Labor Relations. Participants will become familiar with ownership culture concepts.


June 21, 2019


40 Broad St, Floor 5, New York, NY 10004



Successful companies need to be agile, and successful managers know that the more employees are engaged, the faster they can respond and pivot to meet changing conditions. More and more companies are seeking to create a participatory work environment and an organizational culture where managers willingly share information, encourage employees to think and act like owners, empower employees to be more accountable, and involve employees in decision-making. Yet most managers are not sure how to do this. 

Upon completion of this certificate program, business owners and managers will understand and use:

  • Open book management tools and techniques to communicate critical financial metrics and engage employees in tracking them, including how and when to include employees in critical business decisions; 

  • Strategic thinking and decision-making tools and techniques that invite broad participation and account for multiple stakeholders; and

  • High-performance human resource tools and techniques to enhance employee engagement, improve performance, develop effective communication skills, and promote leadership development.


October 7 – 11, 2019


The Heldrich Hotel and
Conference Center
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


$2,500 *
Early bird registration by June 28, 2019,
receives a 15% discount: $2,125  

* Inquire here for scholarship and
discount opportunities for group registration.


Interested in OTHER webinars and courses IN 2019? Leave your information!

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What Works Webinar Series

Our 2018 webinars were on three topics: Finance, Governance, and HR.


Opening the Books, Closing the Circle  May 23, June 6, June 20  (Past)
In this series, Jen Briggs (formerly of New Belgium) simplifies Open Book Management in stages.  Participants walk away with practical tools for building a financial score card, a business literacy checklist and a company wide training plan.

How Ready Are You for Open Book Management?  July 18 (Past)
Jen Briggs walks you through an assessment tool to help align you and your leadership team on what numbers to share with members.

It’s Like Magic: A Financial Report Template that Gets People Engaged  August 1 (Past)
Joe Marraffino of the Democracy at Work Institute demonstrates a visual tool you can use to input numbers, print out trends and better prepare workers to engage in strategic decision making.


Assessing Your Threats Using These Easy Tools  August 15 (Past)
John McNamara (formerly of Union Cab) shares easy tools to prepare managers and board members for strategic decision making.

Creating Strategy Collaboratively  August 29 (Past)
John McNamara shares ways to productively engage members in mapping your company's strategic direction.

Who Gets to Decide What? Create Clarity with Decision Zones  September 26 (Past)
Jen Briggs shares a best-practice mapping tool to clarify who makes what decision and why:  board, manager, owner or ‘shop floor’ worker. 

Membership Defined: Balancing Rights and Responsibilities  October 10 (Past)
Jen Briggs lays out a model set of rights and responsibilities and a template for you to use in your workplace to help build and strengthen your ownership culture.

Who Needs a Work Plan?  October 24 (Past)
Anne Reynolds (formerly of University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives), together with a worker-owner from Cooperative Care, shares a model management work plan, built out of a challenging management transition.

Human resources

Hire Carefully, Fire Quickly, Support Intensively: Lessons Learned the Hard Way  November 7 (Past)
Joseph Tuck (formerly of Alvarado Street Bakery) reflects on how they made “every mistake possible” to arrive at some of the very best practices in working with people.

Welcome On-board! On-boarding Tales From the Field  November 14 (Past)
Learn strategies to recruit and orient workers to become owners from Teresa Mansell, Founding Mother of ChildSpace.