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Mike Strode

Kola Nut Collaborative
Chicago, Illinois
Mike Strode is a writer, urban cyclist, facilitator, and solidarity economy organizer with the Kola Nut Collaborative residing in southeast Chicago. The Kola Nut Collaborative is Chicago’s only time-based service and skills exchange (otherwise known as a timebank) providing an open platform for mutual aid, community organizing, and network weaving. The Collaborative recently launched an initiative to develop a network of Chicago-based facilitators trained in the Offers and Needs Market. Mike enters facilitation through the pathway and for the purpose of organizing towards a solidarity economy. When holding space for groups within the Collaborative or elsewhere, his North Star is skill sharing, the free exchange of resources, and deepening the possibilities of a more just future through cooperation. He is a Program Manager at Open Collective Foundation and serves on the boards of the US Solidarity Economy Network, South Deering Manor Community Association, and Dill Pickle Food Co-op.

The Collaborative blooms out of 7 years providing technical, operational and strategic support for Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living and its distribution subsidiary, Healthy Food Hub. Mike's community engagement work has included ride leadership with the Chicago chapter of Red, Bike & Green; editorial and archival oversight for Fultonia; and co-facilitation of Cooperation for Liberation Study & Working Group.

His current practice draws upon all of these experiences to interrogate the intersection of timebanking, social economy and community resiliency with skill based asset mapping as an essential tool for building social infrastructure within and between neighborhoods. Mike's passion include experimental percussion, social dance, emergent strategy, and capturing the relationship between natural, social, and sacred places in poetry and prose.

His grounding philosophy is mycelium, collaborative agility, empathic individualization, and all things human glue.
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