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Ten years ago Freerange Press was an idea and a twinkle in the eye of a few young idealist designers. It’s been a decade of wonderfully surprising twists and turns. In 2008 the architect Gerald Melling embraced our enthusiasm and his last architecture book became our first publishing adventure. In the years between 2012 and 2015 we became embroiled in the complex and exhilarating task of understanding Christchurch as it recovered from a major disaster. We have produced 10 journals covering a wacky range of topics from the commons, feminism, and gardening and violence, and now published over 15 books, and created an academic imprint called Harvest. We’ve had several thousand downloads of our journals, and sold over four thousand books. In 2012 we got an accountant, appointed a board of directors and set Freerange up as a cooperative business. This board has been sailing the boat for the past few years.
Now, in 2016 we want to Freerange to become a true cooperative, one that helps people to create wonderful, meaningful and beautiful publications and projects together. A company that has a group of people that helps imagine and realise amazing things to make and do, and a that uses publishing as a way to address both the problems of, and the beauties in, our world.
The first step in this journey is to open up our membership, so that people (like you) can become part of Freerange. Below we’ve outlined what that means, and what you get from it. But the main point is once you join you become part of our gang, and as a member of our gang YOU get to help decide what our gang is.
A few years ago we did a survey and lots of you said that the thing that most excited you about Freerange was the possibility of meeting and working with other great people. This was great feedback and we want to make sure this happens.
We need a variety of skills that we know you possess – from writing and editing to design, web, business and marketing. We are not going to ask too much time of you, but as they say, many hands make light work. This is an exciting time in our development with many cool paths we could navigate. But we need to decide what we really want as a community to keep developing this thing we have.
We are also excited about putting the collective through a collaborative ‘’Refactor’’ process which will look at various aspects of what we do, how we do it, who is involved and how we can reward people better for their contributions (including paying people!). We will be hosting a discussion with all cooperative members on this process and how the redesign can best meet your needs as a contributor and member and generally amazing person.
How to join us. The process of becoming a cooperative member is easy as. There is no liability or risk involved but will be plenty of piratey perks along the way.
Simply fill out this form and you’re on your way!
Opportunities and Benefits of Membership
· A welcoming present! We’re giving the first 30 or so members a copy of Once in a Lifetime: City-Building after Disaster in Christchurch, and a copy of Songs for Christchurch! ($45 and $20 value respectably)
· You get to participate in making beautiful things with great people.
· You will be able to get involved in and share the profits from commercial Freerange projects
· You get access to some of the skills and knowledge of the other members for your own projects
· You get experience in running a cooperative and transparent company that tries to make profit while also distributing funds to good causes and making wonderful things
· You get access to reduced price and free copies of books and journals
Obligations and Duties
Firstly, Freerange Cooperative Ltd is a limited Liability Company so members and directors are protected financially from any debt or obligation Freerange may incur, and its the Directors job to make sure everything is operating as it should be.
However there are some loose expectations:
· That you have input into Loomio discussions and voting as much as possible
· That you try to join in the yearly AGM or other meetings via skype or in person
· That you become a champion of Freerange and help promote it to friends offline and online
· That you generally try to think of ways to help Freerange flourish and grow
· We want the members to collectively work this out, but we think a commitment of around ten hours a year will be needed.
If you have any questions at all, please give us an email. It’s really important to us that we do this right, and a good chat might be just the thing. Otherwise you can join the Loomio discussion on this topic here.
Barnaby Bennett Joe Cederwall Emma Johnson Federico Monsalve Byron Kinnaird Jessie Moss