This is a list of co-ops I’d like to start one day and where (if applicable).
- DIY Bike Kitchen (Cobb County, GA)
- There is a DIY bike shop, Sopo Bike Co-op in Atlanta, but Cobb has historically been very transit-averse and it’s hard to get into Atlanta by bike if you need to get it worked on. Having something local to Cobb could encourage biking and start to change attitudes to biking on the local city councils and among the county commissioners.
- Traditional bike shop (anywhere)
- I’d like to start a traditional bike shop (people pay us to fix their bike) as a worker owned co-op. I’d do this anywhere, though I think Atlanta needs this more than most cities.
- Coffee Shop / Bar (Atlanta, GA)
- This one’s a classic. Back when I lived in Austin, TX there was a great co-op brewpub that I loved hanging out in and I’d love to have something similar in Atlanta (or anywhere really).
- Farm (NE Georgia)
- I’ve always wanted to work on a co-op farm, but am not aware of any close enough to where I live to make it practical. This would probably be more of a co-housing or commune situation, I suspect, but whatever really. I’d do this anywhere, but I’d really like to see a good co-op / regenerative farm started in North East Georgia, the area could really be doing so much better economically than it is if people would work together and to a certain extent it’s still my home and I care about it, so I’d love to start something like this there.
- Co-op housing and/or Co-housing (anywhere):
- I’ve wanted to live in a co-housing arrangement or co-op housing generally (the distinction isn’t super important here) for a long time, but generally speaking they don’t exist in the South East or are too expensive where they do because they end up being desirable and, in the situation of co-housing, still follow market housing rates. Starting one would be ideal since there’s not a lot of co-op housing here of any description.
- DIY Auto Garage (anywhere)
- Back when I was living in Austin, TX I was trying to start a DIY auto garage. I don’t like cars, and wish we drove less, but I also recognize that in many places we’re completely dependent on them due to the built environment. As we try to work towards a less car dependent future, we should also encourage people to repair their existing cars instead of buying new ones. Also many people can’t afford to pay for repairs or a new car and having a place to safely work on their car without being harassed by the police or their HOA or similar would be good. I still own the domain https://cornergarage.coop but the effort mostly fell apart when I moved back to Atlanta.
- Internet service provider (Atlanta, GA)
- This would probably be a hybrid consumer/employee co-op, or maybe an exclusively consumer run (no employees, just “volunteers” from among the owners which would keep it small and community focused) co-op that creates a mesh network. I own the domain “mesh.coop” and was trying to use it for this for a while, but wasn’t able to find anyone else interested in the idea. It probably makes sense to do this in a specific apartment building to start, not in a neighborhood in the suburbs like where I am. This would probably require that I move back into the city first, which is just not feasible financially.
- Internet radio station
- I’ve always wanted to start one of these, but I’m aware that most people don’t care about this sort of tech anymore. Something that highlights smaller local bands.
- Instant Messaging
- A group that runs instant messaging using non-venture-capital funded technologies (probably with Snikket).
- Code Hosting
- A co-op code hosting site funded and run by its members. Think Codeberg except explicitly a co-op and U.S. based. It’s good to have more co-ops in more diverse locations so that one doesn’t become the defacto centralized place to host code.
- I’m a member of one co-op that already does email, but I’ve never managed to make it work and it’s not well integrated with their other offerings (but I’ve also never found a way to contribute where I could usefully help change the situation). Having something specifically focused on hosting email seems like it could be good.