Vision: Creating collaborate space of mutual support for what is emerging within individuals, communities, and the globe in a connected humanity.

Co-op Media has been co-creating since we started this project in 2005. Our goal is to provide a ways and means of collaboration on any project, at any level, for anybody, with any group.

We love you. Your passion, your dreams, your vision, as individuals and as communities, are important to us here. This is why we exist.

Social Impact Model and Idea Generation:

There is a need with media services in our society: Access to resources needed to launch and maintain their business (Kim, Aldrich, and Keister 2006) . New entrepreneurs, startups, and those with a dream to do their own work report having trouble finding the services they need to succeed, at an affordable cost. There are crowd-sourced media services available, but these lack cohesion, are not local, and make it difficult to collaborate together. At the same time, many people with media skills are left without the resources to offer these as a second or third income, or to start their own business. Right up the middle of all of this comes Co-op Media. This is a crowd-sourced media network with a focus on local, starting with the networking in Vancouver and being scalable around the world. In each city or region, there is a Co-op Hub with an operational model that brings together members in a dynamic and collaborative hub. Just as Uber solved the transportation issue for many and are making taxis outdated through disruptive competition (Schneider 2015), online collaborative services of Co-op Media will do the same for traditional and online-only media companies. At the centre of the hub is the Co-op Media website and the central coordinators, organizers, producers that are signed on to work with Co-op Media projects. This allows members to offer their profile online, show their connection and community resources, and work together with coordinators if needed on larger projects. Co-op Media can take on large projects centered around the values of social enterprise and for-cause and effect ventures. We believe there is always a way to work together in mutualism with partners and in the world, and that there is a solution for every problem and hurdle that we encounter in our projects. Through root-cause analysis, looking at social needs and assets, societal trends, personal experience, and barriers to market, we are developing a social enterprise network that will empower anyone with a dream and the passion to make it happen.

A network, a hub, a crowd-source media service; Co-op Media is a community, and this connection is absolutely key for entreprenurial success (Lechner and Dowling 2003). The mantra for Co-op Media is: “Working Together in Creation.” Through our research, surveys, and discussions, we have identified a problem we have solved using root cause analysis. The social need we found is that many people and organizations have dreams, passions, and projects they would like to create, but lack to resources to create them. As we traced this root cause back, it appears that the main hurdle in creating these relationships is a lack of accessible networking to connect with those they need to complete the project. Secondary root cause is that access to funding to do these projects, even when the team is ready, is often lacking. To solve both of these root causes, we have created Co-op Media. Co-op Media creates a crowd-sourced network of local people with media skills, willing to do hourly/contract/barter/share structure/partnership type agreements. These people are coordinated around the central hub of Co-op Media as needed, or can offer their profiles and portfolios through the website as well. To solve the secondary problem of funding, Co-op Media has at it’s core a team of crowdfunding experts, and the Co-op network around them, to raise funds in partnership. As Co-op Media evolves, it is turning into a network of available social enterprise-minded media professionals, with an on-demand crowdfunded granting/fundraising structure built into it’s core. This also brings the needed managerial experience into projects that would not otherwise have access to this resource.

Co-op Media was started as a response to a market need for new entrepreneurs to do SuperLean Startup businesses with their passions, skills, innovations, and talents. We seek to work as a mutualism hub by connecting those with the skills to those that need them, depending on what kind of agreements they are open to. We also provide a canvas for people to post their skills or projects and help advertise to those that may be interested in partnering, or putting up a web presence for the concept before the website is ready. As we have outlined, there are many social needs that need to be met through simple connection of what we already have to offer, tools for collaboration, and the ability to fund-raise for social enterprise ideas. Co-op Media offers all of this and more, to bring together the assets we already have as a society in a way that empowers and enables the fulfilling of our social need to create, to improve, to bring our truth and value from our heart.

There are many societal trends pointing towards the need for creation of the Co-op Media network and hub. First and foremost, the trend towards connection, networking, and community is key for entrepreneurship (Lechner and Dowling 2003). Crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding are taking off, with Kickstarter alone raising over $1 billion dollars since inception (Kickstarter 2015). However, this trend goes much deeper to a continuing decentralization of resources and power. The internet is allowing the return of the power of creation to the grassroots, no longer requiring large corporations to create, but just central hubs for communication, networking, resource-sharing, and facilitation. These will be the large corporations of the future: Online community hubs that provide access to resources and empower individuals and groups down to the local level. The key with Co-op Media is that it is organized around a local hub in each region, that the network is vetted and organized by experienced coordinators, marketers, and facilitators that can assist with larger projects. At the same time, it is resilient in the ability to be small, for each member to simply show off their portfolio and connections to potential clients and partners. Societal trends are also showing the importance of the story (Sandercock 2011), the ability to share not just where we are now, but where we can go. Co-op Media helps people of all types dream big, by offering the resources and network to do this.

Personal experience has been key to bringing Co-op Media to life. Founder, Cody Wicks, has been on this path since first teaching himself HTML at the age of 13, and while trying to raise funds for games, did wood stacking instead of the web design he could have. Fast-forward 17 years, and we have a lifetime of experience in the workforce and entrepreneurship that has led to this point: The need to connect, the network, to form community. It is truly simple. In the past few years, this concept has been incubating and growing. Cody brought this concept into projects such as Drake: The Dragon Wargame, helping raise over $250,000 through two Kickstarter campaigns (Drake 2014), and Wicks Electric (Wicks 2015), his brother’s electrical company, to bring in clients such as Tesla Motors. The strength of this concept is in it’s fluidity. The ability to dream any dream, and then bring the people in that can do it. Cody helped brought in 3D designers and printers, artists and play-testers to work for hourly/contract/shares at Drake, which enabled the project to happen. With Wicks Electric, he went for a web 3.0 design and brought in a visionary graphic designer to create a logo, a photographer with an eye for detail to do stunning full-screen background shots. Less than a year in, Tesla came to us saying we “had the best web presence of all electricians in Vancouver” and made Wicks Electric a preferred installer for Vancouver (Tesla 2015). It all starts with a vision, and using a fluid hub process of Co-op Media allows for collaboration in a natural, organic, and mutually beneficial way.

With this growing network, we are truly “Working Together in Creation,” having room for all sizes and configurations in each unique project that touches Co-op Media.

Thank you!

Cody Wicks

founder, Co-op Media

 

 

 

Works Cited

Kim, Phillip H., Howard E. Aldrich, and Lisa A. Keister. “Access (Not) Denied: The Impact of Financial, Human, and Cultural Capital on Entrepreneurial Entryin the United States.” Small Bus Econ Small Business Economics 27.1 (2006): 5-22. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Lechner, Christian, and Michael Dowling. “Firm Networks: External Relationships as Sources for the Growth and Competitiveness of Entrepreneurial Firms.” Entrepreneurship & Regional Development 15.1 (2003): 1-26. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

McDonald, Ben. “Action Games Miniatures | Drake: The Dragon Wargame.” Action Games Miniatures. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

“One Billion Dollars.” One Billion Dollars. Kickstarter, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Sandercock, Leonie. “Out of the Closet: The Importance of Stories and Storytelling in Planning Practice.” Planning Theory & Practice 4.1 (2003): 11-28. Web.

Schneider, Allison. “Uber Takes the Passing Lane: Disruptive Competition and Taxi-Livery Service Regulations | Schneider | Elements.” Uber Takes the Passing Lane: Disruptive Competition and Taxi-Livery Service Regulations | Schneider | Elements. ELEMENTS, 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

“Support.” Find an Electrician. Tesla Motors, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Wicks, Adam. “Wicks Electric.” Wicks Electric. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.

Wicks, Cody. “Co-op Media.” Co-op Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.