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Why we're always asking about co-ops

Recently, our question of the week in the Forum had to do with co-ops, space shares, and group-purchasing arrangements. Here on the blog, we sometimes write about sharing offices and studios. What do these have to do with one another--and with affordable health insurance? The simple answer is that everyone does better in a group. That's why we're able to offer less expensive insurance than individuals can buy. It's also why people live with roommates, carpool to work, and trade childcare. Now, Freelancers Union is trying to figure out how to help people come together in groups. What's next after group-rate insurance or retirement planning? We're not sure what these groups will look like, or how we'd facilitate them. Workers might form traditional co-ops, such as the Sunkist citrus growers and Land O'Lakes dairy farmers have: they market and distribute their products together. Maybe what people really want is a group purchasing organization that negotiates a discount on business supplies (such as needles for acupuncturists). It could be that freelancers want something else altogether. Over the next several months, Freelancers Union is going to continue investigating these questions. In addition to the research we do, what we really need is input from our members. Please share your ideas or ask questions here on the blog, in the Forum, or in Member Chatter.

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