The Ordinary General Assembly of the cooperative femProcomuns was held in hybrid format, remotely by videoconference and in person in Badalona. It was held on the occasion of the 125 years of the first cooperative assembly held in the city. The assembly approved positive accounts for 2022, budgets with three scenarios for 2023 and strategic lines of internal consolidation and external impact. The Governing Council was renewed and it was approved for femProcomuns to become part of the Federation of Consumer Cooperatives.
On 20 April, we held the 2023 Ordinary General Assembly in Badalona.
We met in Badalona because in 2023 we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the first Catalan cooperative assembly held in this city in 1898, in which 36 cooperatives took part. The assembly was held in the building of “Cor de Marina”, founded in 1882 by sailors and seafarers, self-organized in a choir inspired by Anselm Clavé.
The assembly was mixed, in person and remotely by video-conference. Those of us who were physically present were able to eat cake (coca) from – perhaps – the best oven in Badalona and vote by a show of hands. Those who could not participate in person, voted through the video-conference room chat.
We approved the minutes of the previous General Assembly and ratified the agreements reached at the Trunk “Tronc” assembly, the permanent assembly that takes, online (on the Loomio platform), the necessary decisions between assemblies and whose purpose is to make the cooperative more agile and strategically focused. This year, moreover, we also ratified the change of Raquel Prado’s membership type to collaborating member, and the incorporation of 18 new individual user members and 20 new user member entities (during 2022).
With the new additions, on the day of the General Assembly, the femProcomuns cooperative was made up of a total of 4 worker members, 11 collaborating members, 59 user member organisations and 73 user members individuals. We renewed the positions of the Governing Council (“Consell Rector”) which is formed by: David Gómez Fontanills, David Jacovkis Halperin, Mònica Garriga Miret and Ricard Espelt Rodrigo.
2022 Financial report
In 2022, we have consolidated a working team of 7 people, with the incorporation of a new GAC: COMSOC. We have continued to incorporate people and user member organisations, and their contribution is growing, now representing almost 20% of the social capital and gaining ground.
The results for the year are positive, as they have always been since the cooperative was founded, we have never had large surpluses and we have never had a negative year. We have an income of 221,607.97 euros, 57% of which comes from public subsidies and 43% from turnover and membership fees. We have a surplus of €17,000 (before tax) which will allow us to endow the cooperative funds and we have deferred €24,500 of income from 2022 to 2023.
Income is similar to the previous year with a slight increase. Since last December, we are a partner cooperative of Coop57 (12/2022), we have not yet used their financial services, but if necessary, we will be able to do so.
Activities Report 2022
GAC Transitant/Teixidora➜ within the cooperative is a strategic project, as a methodological backbone, content, discourse and practices around the commons, promotion and accompaniment of projects. In the last few years, Transitant has tested the Commons Sustainability Model, we have produced explanatory texts detailing its theoretical and conceptual framework and we have developed a resource kit with visual canvases and games to explore and work on projects from a more commons-based, ecological and feminist perspective.
In 2022 we carried out the Transitant Ecosystem Project with eight face-to-face thematic sessions on energy, volunteering, territorial defence, housing, care, food, water and methodologies, in Tarragona, Mataró, El Prat de Llobregat, Olot, Manresa, Hospitalet, Olesa and Salt, working with the Commons Sustainability Model. With the Ecosystèmes de Transition working group, we have participated in different working sessions; an international online meeting, a face-to-face meeting in Mondeggi (in Tuscany, Italy) and workshops in La Chapelle district of Paris, in the framework of the École des Communs.
We collaborated in the preparation and delivery of the Seminar on Sustainable Public Food Procurement, organised by Justícia Alimentaria. We have taken part in La Grimpada, a training programme of the Ateneu Cooperatiu Terres Gironines, we continue to participate in the ESS and Degrowth postgraduate courses of the UAB, with practical and playful sessions, where we have practised the Game of the Commons. And we have documented in Teixidora the 1st SomConnexió School, a space to learn and reflect on the conscious and critical consumption of telecommunications, collecting the contents of all the sessions (notes, metadata and projected slides).
We are one of the cooperatives behind the Ateneu cooperatiu del Barcelonès Nord within the network of Ateneus Cooperatius de Catalunya, promoted by the Department of Labour and Enterprise of the Generalitat de Catalunya. It is a triennial edition, until 2025, which coincides in 2023 with the 125th anniversary of the first assembly of Catalan cooperatives held at La Bienhechora in Badalona. We are inspired by historical cooperativism to strengthen the cooperative economy of the present and the future. We are in charge of the migration of digital tools to free and technoetic software, we coordinate communication, we are responsible for the compilation of good practices and we participate in training, workshops and other activities. We participate in territorial roundtables and activities on energy communities, agroecology or local trade, among others.
SomNúvol/CommonsCloud➜ in the cooperative is strategic, in terms of the integral cooperative model around a pooled resource and as an antagonist to the large corporations of digital capitalism. We offer services to work online with technoetic and free software tools. We maintain and diversify our activity with new standardised and tailor-made services, with an emphasis on serving and intercooperating with SSE entities, for example:
- Zimbra and WordPress services with bTactic.
- PegaElSalto service with Colectic
- Customised ERP and CMS services with LliureTIC
- Operation and management of services with Cooperative Code (Backoffice of the XAC and Comunalitats)
- CommonsCloud implementation projects for partner entities (and for some entities that cannot be partners).
We improved our server infrastructure by diversifying suppliers and locations. We always stay within the EU, under the protection of the GDPR. We prioritise SSE suppliers, the use of renewable energy and responsible consumption of resources. We currently use services from: Hetzner, Scaleway, bTactic, OVH and Gandi.
COMSOC➜ in the cooperative is strategic as an experience of confluence and integration of an external project as GAC, as an expansion towards new sectors (children, young people, teachers) and as an empowerment of collectives through communication.
We started in 2022 making effective the confluence with the Associació COMSOC – Comunicació Social, which has joined femProcomuns bringing its experience in educommunication, education for global justice and community dynamisation. Over the past year we have held radio workshops for children, young people and adults and we have set up two projects with local schools and young people in Mozambique.
School radio workshops have been held in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Cardedeu, Sant Quirze de Besora, Tortosa, Banyoles, and Figueres. Activities aimed at children and young people of different ages have allowed them to get started in the world of radio, to make radio and at the same time to build community, to immerse themselves in human rights. These workshops have also served to raise awareness of the languages of origin present in the school beyond Catalan and Spanish, such as Arabic, Tariffito, Polish and Romanian.
We are promoting projects linked to education for global justice. On the one hand, together with Arquitectura Sin Fronteras (ASF) and the cooperative Almena Feminista, we have started an ecofeminist education project with young people from Inhambane, in Mozambique, and from Barcelona. Specifically with the 1º Maio School and the Institut Maria Espinalt. On the other hand, we have launched a project with the Akwava Foundation, aimed mainly at students and teachers in Catalan schools to make caring visible inside and outside the schools. In both projects we have the support of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD).
GAC COMSOC has also accompanied and trained adults through a training course for teachers on school radio in Cardedeu, and in Sant Antoni de Vilamajor (Baix Montseny), within the framework of the “Podcast course, the new narratives that the world listens to” and the “Practical radio course to connect with the world”, a weekly workshop was held from February to June and from October to December 2022.
XOIC➜ in the cooperative is a strategic project for the participation and support to a community that “tinkers”, for the articulation of a commons oriented and open infrastructure, to provide services to municipalities, to technologically accompany processes related to the ecosocial transition.
2022 has been a year of reactivation of the Open Network of Internet of Things (XOIC) in femProcomuns. The cooperative has continued to participate in and support the Catalan community The Things Network, in parallel, projects have been activated or reactivated with local councils, and training and workshops have also been held. We have increased the number of city councils with which we collaborate, new pilot tests have been launched and others have been converted into services. In Manlleu, Granollers, San Andreu de Llavaneres, Rubí and Alcover. 23 new gateway antennas have been added to the open network in Catalonia, 9 of which are the result of the workshops of the manufacturing athenaeums (“ateneus de fabricació”).
Strategic lines 2023
Internally, we highlighted the need to review the cooperative’s governance, rethink spaces, bodies and channels of participation.
Now, we have: the annual Ordinary General Assembly, the Trunk (a permanent assembly that dialogues through a Telegram channel and makes decisions through voting on the digital tool Loomio). The Governing Council (“Consell Rector”), which also dialogues through a Telegram channel and we also hold meetings of working partners. The Agora, a digital space for consultation, mutual support, information and debate). And the information channels, which are the femPinya and SomNuvol/CommonsCloud newsletters, published irregularly. The work team meets daily, through “stand-up” meetings (meetings lasting between 30 minutes and an hour, to catch up on what everyone is doing), works in person at the Canòdrom or virtually in a videoconference room, and we use another digital tool, Zulip, to communicate asynchronously.
In 2023 we want to review the role of the Trunk assembly and how to facilitate the participation of collaborating partners. We want to better delimit the functions and role of the Governing Council in relation to the Trunk and the Working Assembly and to advance in the degree of participation of user members, partner organisations and the Agora.
In the external strategy of femProcomuns, we seek to promote inter-cooperation, external advocacy from Catalonia, in the recovery and emergence of old and new commons; we want to identify and influence the axes of eco-social transition and participate in the emerging movements in this field, in Catalonia and beyond.
The 2023 budget respond to the consolidation of the current activity and the move towards strengthening this double strategy, internal and external. As in previous assemblies, three scenarios were approved, from the most prudent to the most optimistic, which provide the economic parameters for the cooperative’s work team and bodies to work on over the coming year.
It was also approved to apply to join the Federation of Consumer and User Co-operatives of Catalonia (FCCUC). We are already part of the Federation of Worker Co-operatives of Catalonia (FCTC) but as an integral co-operative we wanted to take this step, for advocacy, for inter-cooperation and for services aimed at consumer co-operativism.