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Speaker Series: Empowering Communities through Social Ventures - Melanie Conn, Common Thread

  • Groundswell Community Space 566 Powell Street Vancouver, BC, V6A 1G9 Canada (map)

On Tuesday, meet Melanie Conn from Common Thread, Groundswell’s neighbour and a co-op with demonstrated impact, providing employment to marginalized folks, including immigrants and other local women who need support.

Melanie will share her Common Thread story, her experience and knowledge about co-ops and Community Economic Development, and the nuts and bolts on sustainable social enterprise operations.

See you at Groundswell!

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Common Thread is a social enterprise that sources street banners and other fabric to convert into colourful and durable products. Above is a photo of the Hope in the Shadows bag production.

Common Thread is a social enterprise that sources street banners and other fabric to convert into colourful and durable products. Above is a photo of the Hope in the Shadows bag production.

More About our Speaker

Melanie Conn is a feminist and community activist who has been working in co-op and community economic development (CED) in Vancouver since the 1970s. She believes that co-ops are CED in practice, and has worn many hats to implement co-op ideas: founding member and director of the East End Food Co-op, CCEC Credit Union, Plane Jane Construction and the Yew Street Housing Co-op. 

As a member of Devco, a co-operative of consultants, Melanie has provided technical and development assistance for dozens of new co-ops. She also designs and delivers train-the-trainer programs and other curriculum related to co-operatives.

She is the Director, Founding Member, & Marketing Manager of Common Thread, an innovative co-op that provides marketing and production coordination for local women who thrive in a flexible work environment. Common Thread upcycles materials such as street banners into unique tote bags, and other beautiful and useful products.  

Melanie is a recipient of the Canadian Co-operative Achievement Award in 2013 and the Winner of the Mark Goldblatt Award in 2016.