Open Cafe Cooperative Network Model

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Introduction to the Open Cafe Cooperative Network Model

The Open Cafe Cooperative Network Model helps a community group to create a cafe right in the middle of their community to serve as a third space gathering place and a shining example of community ownership and governance in the heart of your neighborhood.

Why an Open Cafe Cooperative Network Model

The new agora. The importance of third space. Lloyd's started as a cafe. All the important connections happen in the market where everyone is looking for something and everyone is offering something. The whole community knows the place where you can sit in peace with your friends and feel that sense of ownership even though it's a public spot. I'm thinking global and acting local. I'm being the change I want to see in the world, patronizing a community owned business, and participating in the governance of community assets. I connect with the world through the light of joy in the eyes of my neighbors and those I see regularly. By building strong local projects I can connect with the world. It just works and I like it.

The cafe has become the new public space in the community. People gather to work, chat, relax, read, and meet the people they want to be with. They sit for hours, meet friends for a quick bite, and go one about their business.

For those involved in building Commons Based P2P Networks a cafe could be a place to start in your community. It can serve as a great place to meet new people who want to join into your community enterprise, and the cafe itself can be a shining example of the tip of the iceberg for the work that could be done in the community.

Many people know things about cafes. They are relatively simple to run, and in some ways only a bit more complex than a buys home kitchen when it comes to daily operation. A cafe operates at a level that many people in the community can understand and get involved in. Making it a great place is liking covering it in honey to attract the bees who will do the work of making their community beautiful feeding from the inspiration of this cafe centerpiece.

What is the right cafe to start?

The right cafe is the one that serves the members of your community in the following ways, prioritized by your community:

Access to casual public space 
3rd space. Between work and home. A park, but inside with warm and cold drinks and snacks.
Comfort and aesthetics 
The place feels like the place between. Clean, where a visitor can enjoy the decor and the decor serves their enjoyment and use of the space.
Welcoming friends 
A visitor can be proud to share it with friends. The hope is always that there are enough places to sit. Luckily there aren't enough chairs in the place to make it uncomfortable.
I can hear you 
The place is muted enough that on a crowded day no one has to shout too loud. Music works for the mood, but works with the people inside, instead of trying to set the mood on top of them.

Inspirations for this Model

This model takes as consideration the work of the Open World Cafe that is produce by the Open World Foundation and the Replanting a Rainforest project of the Open World Foundation.