Gaia Host Collective

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= an example of Worker-Owned Tech Collectives


By Brian Van Slyke:

"Gaia Host Collective, another worker-owned entity, offers internet hosting services with an environmentally and socially sustainable business model. Gaia began when two neighbors purchased a fledgling web hosting service, starting them off with two servers and fifty monthly customers. Today, Gaia has grown all of those numbers: the servers, the worker-owners, and the clients. It hasn’t all been rosy, however. The first several years were a constant struggle, with members working long hours and barely scraping by financially.

And even though their employees (the worker-owners) aren’t making a killing just yet, the benefits they see from sharing the responsibilities of ownership go much deeper.

“We have a stable and growing financial outlook that we manage collectively as worker-owners,” says Charles Strader, one of the founding members. “Being a cooperative has benefited our workers with working flexible schedules, the ability to have passion and time for things outside of work, the ability to be supportive of social justice and environmental organizations and business allies as part of our regular for-profit work, to be able to have some freedom of geography in where we choose to live, to be able to work from home or from a coworking space,” says Strader. “There's also a lot of intangible benefits to the camaraderie of being a co-owner in a worker cooperative that aren't easily expressed as benefits.” (