Rob Barnett & Chris Cohen

Rob Barnett is an Air Force veteran, permaculture educator and facilitator based in Ventura County. He cooks freshly harvested meals and hosts workshops at community gardens and resource centers in Ventura and Oxnard. His workshops are on topics on Permaculture include: Relational Urban Ecology, Collective Economics, Cooperative Development and Sociocratic Governance. Rob is a co-founder of entrepreneurial education company and founding member of activist groups Ventura County Climate Hub and Showing Up for Racial Justice Ventura County Chapter, a volunteer for the Ventura Food Co-op, and he serves on the Board of Directors of worker-owned Eco Action Cooperative and also a nonprofit bicycle community center, at the HUB (Helping Urban Bicyclists). Connect with Rob at

Chris Cohen is passionate about helping forward-thinking leaders and activists use business, cooperation and creative projects to drive positive social and environmental change. Through his practice in Ojai, California, Chris also provides estate planning services for families and individuals, with a particular emphasis on planning for US Forest Service Recreation Residence cabins.

Prior to practicing law, Chris was a government relations professional for Scripps Institution of Oceanography for nearly 10 years, where he advocated for earth and ocean science programs and acquired an in-depth knowledge of environmental science and policy issues.

Chris serves on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors’ Ojai Valley Municipal Advisory Council.  He also volunteers on the Board of Directors of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, the Center for Regenerative Agriculture, and the Blue Sky Sustainable Living Center, as well as the Legal Advisory Committee for the Ojai Valley Defense Fund. Connect with Chris at

Rob and Chris co-host the #CoopLegalClinic: Legal Frameworks for a Collaborative Regional Economy.

Workshops & Presentations

  • Introduction to Worker-Owned Businesses

    75 min | Lucid University

    This introductory workshop attempts to bring forward basic legal and structural questions such as what is a cooperative, what is a legal entity, and more. This workshop provides an overview of the cooperative principles, entities, governance, and flow of money content contained in SELC’s Think Outside the Boss: How to Create a Worker-Owned Business manual and experience from facilitators Rob Barnett and Chris Cohen.

  • Sociocratic Governance Practice

    75 min | Lucid University

    Let's play a game! We're all member-owners, employees, or investors of a cooperatively owned and controlled business in Santa Barbara County. We have arrived at the annual meeting to update each other on our progress and to find a solution for an existential challenge to our organization. But first we must discover it together!

    Attendees will receive a role-playing card. We will discuss and draw upon personal experience of dysfunctional workplace communication patterns to craft a regenerative policy of interaction.

Festival Locations:

Scheduled Appearances: Check Schedule for all event times.

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