One of the unique features of a co-op is that its members are also its owners, such that everyone has a say in how the organization is run and stands to benefit from its collective success. That also means that all members are responsible for contributing some mix of time, money, and labor keep the co-op up and running in the service of its mission.
Cosmos is structured as a multi-stakeholder cooperative, meaning that we offer multiple levels of ownership and participation. At the broadest level of involvement—requiring no particular commitment—you can contribute some of your time and attention, by signing up for our mailing list, joining our discussion forum, or following us on social media and spreading the word about our work to your networks.
Formal membership in one of the following categories is required to become economically involved with the Co-op, and to participate in collective decision-making and governance. In general, both equity and influence are proportional to the amount of resources you put in. However, our ownership design ensures that no strictly financial investor can ever control the company over the interests of our workers and creatives.
- Worker Members: provide essential services for Cosmos related to the organization’s overall infrastructure, processes, and operations—i.e., “keeping the lights on”; support all members in contributing to and making the most of their time in Cosmos by maintaining social spaces, facilitating communication, and coordinating projects; earn an income through the Co-op.
- Creative Members: participate in creative activity within the Co-op—e.g., producing books, courses, media, or events; may earn royalties, patronage, or other income specific to their productive work through opportunities provided by Cosmos. Creative members are required to contribute some mix of time and money to the Co-op as a whole or to other members’ projects—on a sliding scale, according to their ability—to remain in good standing.
Important note: In order to foster a cohesive sense of community, we are limiting the number of Creative Members to 150 during our start-up phase.
- Sustaining Members: sponsor the Co-op as a whole, as well as individual creative members and their projects, through monthly or yearly contributions; through in-kind, informal, and non-monetary support; and through their participation/presence in the community, as conversation partners, patrons, and “true fans.”
In addition, we recognize two special (advisory, but non-voting) types of membership:
- Partner Members: companies and allied organizations who collaborate with Cosmos on specific projects or events, or who provide or are provided with services from Cosmos in an ongoing relationship..
- Benefactor Members: generous donors who provide substantial support and seed funding, such as one-time gifts and recurring capital infusions to the Co-op, through patronage and project sponsorship, and through their social networks by helping Cosmos connect with aligned organizations.
To learn more about membership in Cosmos, please join an upcoming informational meeting (see all upcoming events), where you can talk to other members of the community and ask any questions you wish. Informational meetings are scheduled monthly (with the exception of summer and winter breaks).
Apply now to become a member of Cosmos Co-op.