DAWN conducts a yearlong training program for worker cooperators to become DAWN peer advisors. The goal of this training is to give worker cooperators the tools and resources they need to effectively provide technical assistance and support to other cooperatives, community groups and startup projects. Trainings are given by webinar and in person; they focus on communication, project staging and management, the ethics and practices of cooperative development, and the larger legal and financial landscape for worker cooperatives.
When trainees enter this training program, they join DAWN as an “apprentice” peer advisor member. Apprentices attend two in-person weekend trainings and ten 2-hour webinars, plus a required internship with a cooperative development organization or a guided advising project with a mentor. Training is provided by cooperative developers, more experienced peer advisors, and in some cases the apprentices themselves. There will be occasional light homework for the trainings.
We expect peer advisors to bring their own specific areas of knowledge and expertise to the program. Some examples of areas of expertise are: personnel and training, cooperative governance, finances, facilitation, conflict resolution and mediation, IT systems, policy, and corporate secretary skills. The trainings aim to help peer advisors effectively share the knowledge they already have from working in their cooperatives, not to create this knowledge (though you will pick up some things as you go along).