About We Own It

About We Own It

Co-op leaders have called on members to reengage with the businesses we own. Here we are.

Co-op members across the nation are waking up to their role as owners

Our Mission

Catalyzing citizen action for democracy, participation, and excellence in cooperatives, through member education and organizing. Our vision is an economy that works for all of us, with many democratically-owned businesses working to build civic leadership and local assets, equity and economic security, and long-term sustainability.

In 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, leaders of the international cooperative movement and national cooperative business sectors called for a fundamental shift in how co-ops engage with their member-owners, and vice versa.

Whether to ensure that the co-op will still be in business in the face of changing markets, or to ensure that the co-op is well-run and serving the needs of its members and community, or to make cooperatives the preferred business model by the end of the Cooperative Decade, or to bring cooperatives into the movement for a just transition to a New Economy, the prescription is the same.

Members must rediscover their role as owners of a democratically-controlled enterprise.

Why We Founded We Own It
We Own It: the national network for cooperative member rights, education, and organizing was founded in 2015 to serve an unfilled need for a national association that represents co-op member-owners, rather than a trade association of cooperative businesses. We aim to bring the 130 million members of co-ops into the movement to build a cooperative economy, and to help both member-owners and their co-ops navigate the necessary transition in how they engage with each other.
Our People
Staff and Fellowship Team
Jake Schlachter
We Own It Executive Director
Ana Babovic
We Own It Fellowship Lead Trainer and Executive Director, Leading Change Network
Ben Zolno
Filmmaker
Teaching Fellow Team
Dusan Stojicic
Fellowship Associate Trainer and Head Teaching Fellow
Kiera Hatton Sena
Teaching Fellow and Communications Team Lead
Daniel Mintz
Teaching Fellow and Campaigns Team Lead
Enet Mukurazita
Teaching Fellow and Resources Team Lead
Justin Rogers
Teaching Fellow and Data & IT Team Lead
Board of Trustees
Dulce Anayasaenz
Realtor, Entrepreneur, Political Strategist
Kate Anderson
Environmental Sociologist, University of California - Berkeley
Don Kreis
Consumer Advocate, State of New Hampshire and We Own It Board Chair
Nathan Schneider
Journalist and Media Scholar, University of Colorado-Boulder
Avery Edenfield
Assistant Professor of Technical Communication and Rhetoric, Utah State University
Board Members Emeritus
Jim Blaine
CEO (retired), North Carolina State Employees Credit Union
Patrick Cox
Historian and Author
Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions that aren't on our list? Let us know.

What is a cooperative?
MORE LESS

The short answer is, a co-op is a democratic association that owns and controls an enterprise.  Common co-ops are rural electric co-ops, housing co-ops, credit unions, and food co-ops.  It can be any sort of business, and just about any kind of business you imagine has been done as a co-op.

For the long answer, see our page on, "What is a cooperative?"

Take Action
Change comes to a co-op when member-owners get involved. Find out how you can start big changes at your co-op by joining with others and engaging your co-op.