2015 Board Candidate Biographies

June 2015

2015 Board Candidate Biographies

Julia Poznik

Biography:

I am a graduate student interested in studying and promoting the cooperative business model as a tool for radical systemic change. By the end of this summer I will have completed my coursework and be ready to begin dissertation research and writing. The degree sought is an interdisciplinary PhD in Economics (co-discipline: Social Sciences Consortium) at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. My department takes a heterodox and pluralist approach to the study of economics and therefore we do not confine ourselves to the textbook (neoclassical) school of economics that is dominant in academia (and politics). Personally, I am studying economics in search of a better system of provisioning - one that incorporates environmental concerns and promotes a more equitable and just society. I think cooperatives are a key aspect of that alternative economy and am excited by all the work being done to promote democracy in the workplace. I recently coauthored a case study on the Greater University Circle Initiative, a public-private-philanthropic based effort to revitalize the local economy of Cleveland, OH using environmental and economic justice conscientious programs. My future research will continue to explore, critique, and promote creative approaches to increasing democracy and environmentalism within our economy.

Before commencing my graduate studies I was the office manager of a medium sized non-profit that promoted sustainable urban planning. This experience distilled in me an appreciation for alternative transportation and smart zoning that promotes community and efficient use of city resources. I am also interested in local food systems and view them as a vital (and delicious) aspect of the new economy. Worker cooperatives and agricultural cooperatives have long been an interest of mine, both as a topic of academic inquiry and as a personal way of life. I helped create and worked in a collectively managed cafe and have lived in housing cooperatives. These passions motivated me to return to school so that I may better serve the movement for economic democracy. I am interested in serving as a board member of the Data Commons in order to facilitate a deepening of the relationship between cooperatives and academics to their mutual benefit.

A brief description of your relationship: I am a member of the Data Commons.

David Morgan

Biography:

David Morgan has long been involved with social movements—from public space activism to anti-poverty work—that make use of the kind of everyday democracy that is at the core of his work at the Toolbox for Education and Social Action. His background is in cultural organizing, as co-founder of the Groundswell Collective, a group of artists/activists who produced and researched critical cultural works, and as a committee member the HONK! Festival of activist street bands for more than five years. After graduating from Hampshire College, he focused on nonprofit communications work with such groups as the Boston-based housing rights organization City Life/Vida Urbana before becoming involved with the worker cooperative movement. David also sits on the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. I am interested in serving as a board member for the DCC to help streamline the infrastructure our movement needs to be most effective and to promote a collaborative culture among member organizations.

A brief description of your relationship: I am currently Treasurer of the Data Commons Cooperative, and affiliated as a member through Cultivate.coop.

Leah Feder

Biography:

I am on the board of Sarapis, which helps the free/libre/open-source (FLO) movement produce comprehensive solutions that enable groups and individuals to overcome common challenges. I first learned about FLO technologies during fall 2011. Invigorated by the cries of activists taking democracy into their own hands, I was surprised to find a revolution taking place behind computer screens — one involving data standards and documentation and revealing the potential to transform our economy and our world. Since then, I've been organizing within the FLO movement to increase our collective capacity to take on challenges and innovate effectively.

I have almost a decade of marketing and communications experience, developed in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. I have worked on community development projects in the Northeast and internationally, and am especially passionate about FLO’s potential to transform local communities and our relationship to natural resources.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College.

A brief description of your relationship: I serve on the board of Sarapis, which is a member of the DCC.