How can we ensure an active participation in a cooperative as big as Suara? Participation is one of the four key values that govern Suara and it is present in every day and at different levels. In Suara we understand participation as a right and a responsibility of all the members. It is also a tool for sharing people's skills, a strategy to create a sense of belonging, an instrument so that members can feel satisfied with their work, a guarantee of legitimacy in the decisions, a warranty of the governance model, a renovation engine and the way to be permanently in Suara.
In a cooperative, the priority is people, not money, and therefore, participation is not only an instrument to achieve the economic objectives of the company, but also a human right in democratic societies like ours, and a necessity that we have to feel good and grow as people. Participation is the specific way how a cooperative is organized. Managing a cooperative can never be the same as managing a different kind of business, so democracy and participation must be noticed in everything. Without participation there is no cooperative.
Suara has different spaces of participation that especially involve the working members and the contracted workers, but they end up favoring the way of attention to the people attended, the clients and the environment, because to participate is to decide and do with others.
Aware of the multiple dimensions of participation in a large organization, in 2016 we have conceptualized it with the support of the Hobest cooperative, summarized in a dossier, a drawing and an explanatory video.