026: Julia Shkatova becomes a co-owner of Village One

Posted by Harry Keller on Jan 21, 2024; updated on Feb 23, 2024

We’ve got exciting news to share, because something marvelous happened last week: Our designer Julia finished her six months probationary period, bought a company share for 100€ and thereby became the sixth member of our worker-owned cooperative. She now owns 1/6th of this company, just like the rest of us. Here’s a page from our garden describing the whole process in more detail: How to join the team.

How did we get here? More than a year ago we were looking for an interaction designer, received many fantastic applications and ultimately decided to go with Julia. She finally became an employee of Village One in July 2023. In just six months she…

  • worked with alv foundation on a new website, doing design and implementation all on her own in Webflow
  • led the rebranding and site redesign with Youth Policy Labs, launching very soon
  • has been working closely with Dekoder on a special reporting project, also launching soon
  • designed a bunch of new modules for the recently updated Publix website
  • is currently extending Sovereign Tech Fund’s site with new functionality
  • evolved our own website—in structure, design and text
  • always brings a calm and inquisitive perspective to our internal discussions

Saying she hit the ground running would be an understatement. And so the decision to make her a full member was, well, not particularly hard.

“I became a real co-owner of Village One. 🫶 And it’s been the easiest bureaucratic thing I’ve ever done in Germany”

—Julia on her Instagram

Gif of Julia signing a contract, sitting at a desk
“Germany”, “bureaucracy” and “easy” in one sentence, that’s a first!

Even two years after starting Village One, I’m still amazed how fluidly we handle ownership and power in this company. In conversations people often assume that it should bother me to see my power diluted when new members come aboard. The opposite is the case: Each of us ceases a little power, to lift up a new person, so that we can all achieve more together, benefitting everyone. I don’t have less, because someone else has more—we all have more, as equals.

Julia, this is also your company now, congratulations! Let’s make it count!

Until next time,
Harry and the other five villagers

PS: If you’ve got five minutes, would you share with us how your workplace handles ownership and power? Is there a profit-sharing program for employees? Can you attain shares? How’s the power distributed? We’re curious—just hit reply and let us know. Merci!

Stronger together: Come along for the ride!

The Villager’s Dispatch

Subscribe to our newsletter

Virtual office hours

Got a project to discuss or simply want to say hello? Book a video call right away!

See office hours

We’re on Mastodon

Our main social presence is on Mastodon, follow for inspiration and regular updates:

Follow along