The Stockwood Community Benefit Society has two Custodian Trustees who have the power to appoint Directors to the Board and who will receive the remaining assets of the Society should it be wound up.
The Biodynamic Land Trust is one of the Custodian Trustees and by its very name it is easy to see that the purpose of the Custodian Trusteeship is related to land and ensuring it is biodynamically managed. However there is nothing in the name of the Elysia Commons to reveal what its purpose and role is.
The Elysia Commons is an eco-system of organisations which all share a common purpose. This purpose can be summarised as a belief that work should be, and can be meaningful. For work to be meaningful there has to be understanding and engagement with the task being done. Work experienced as meaningful is more fulfilling for the worker, and is likely to be of a higher standard, which will in turn be recognised by the customer.
The intention of the Elysia Commons is to foster a virtuous-circle in which productivity and fulfilment rise as the organisations and co-workers engage with their tasks through training, workshops and co-worker participation in ownership. Not-for-profit member organisations of the Elysia Commons are already owned in their own right and the Elysia Commons does not effect that. However for-profit organisations are normally owned by shareholders that might or might not actually work in the organisation. In the Elysia Commons that is changed, and for-profit organisations are owned by all the co-workers together, with profit being shared and the Boards of Directors being appointed on merit rather than by shareholders taking the company over through the purchase of shares.
The famous cases of Scott Bader and John Lewis show that employee ownership creates stable long lasting organisations. The Elysia Commons is intended to go a step further – connecting many employee-owned organisations to form an eco-system that wins further competitive advantage through pooling resources, inter-organisational co-operation and through co-worker training and development. This is achieved by a third of the profit going to cultural / personnel development. The Elysia Commons pays a third of the profit back to the co-workers in proportion to their earnings, and the final third is used to provide funding to member organisations, to fund start-ups and to buy existing companies in.
The Elysia Commons was founded in 2012 and although it has a long way to go to realise its founding intention, it has a very clear aims, structure and passionate founding members.