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On Transition

By the GWI Team

When Matt approached the team about becoming a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit back in April, we were unanimously and emphatically in support of the idea. It seemed like a genuine opportunity to model our organization on the values of the Just Transition, which was, and is, an exhilarating proposition. We would be “walking the walk” as Matt has said a number of times. 

Jumping into the actual transition process, however, our excitement has given way to something deeper, more nuanced. Over the past four months, we have been working as a team to build our structure, craft our policies, and practice a new way of being. Now, where we were once giddy and curious, we are thoughtful and dedicated. This has been an intense and enlightening process, and our goal at the end is to share our work and our experiences as a tool for other groups to use as they rethink their own systems of governance. 

In a few months we will share our internal policy document, which we modeled on the work done by the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) but tailored to the unique circumstances of the Good Work Institute. We like to say this document, and the structure it describes, is our new Executive Director. Through it, we all collectively hold a shared way of working that informs all aspects of our work. It is evolving now, and we are incredibly proud of it.

Before it’s done we want to share more about our thinking and experience as we make the transition; about how this process is changing the organization and changing us, the individual personalities that make up our organization. Over the next weeks and months, we will be posting here regularly, detailing important milestones and sharing our experiences. Every member of the team will be a part of this narrative, and we envision this series will be a companion to the formal policies we will share at the end of our transition. We are on a journey;  as a team, as individuals, and as a part of this community. We look forward to sharing, and we hope to hear what you think when we see you out and about throughout the Hudson Valley.

This series is broken into two parts: articles from the team about our organizational transition to a Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit, and “Notes from the Field” journal entries sharing our personal experiences as part of the transition team. Next up is Micah’s Notes from the Field, followed by our first article sharing our new GWI Circles Policy.



We launched this series of articles and reflections in September 2019 to share our journey of moving from a traditional hierarchical nonprofit to a worker self-directed nonprofit. We hope by opening up this transition it might help others take the first steps towards sharing power in their workplaces.

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