PopSockets

Why We Partner

PopSockets is required by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to engage with civil society in a variety of areas and believes in strong partnerships with civil society organizations to improve working conditions in their factories. They also look to engage factories in their highest risk and highest production countries, one of which is Mexico. One method of engagement is the design and implementation of worker leadership training.

In August 2020, PSYDEH was selected by PopSockets to co-create a summer 2021 educational initiative to train workers in their partner factory XB in Tijuana, Mexico. This project model was then replicated for their partner factory Sanmina in Wisconsin, USA in 2022.

Where We Focus Our Efforts

PSYDEH was selected by PopSockets as a partner because our areas of expertise align with their focus on training that improves workers’ lives.

Our partnership aims to create a replicable, sustainable process where workers are empowered to own their role as creators and maintainers of equitable, fair, and safe working conditions. In early 2021, PSYDEH began the appreciative inquiry process hand-in-hand with PopSockets and XB to understand worker demographics and their interests in 1-2 training topics from this list: autonomy, storytelling as a feedback tool, leadership values (and their disciplines), conflict resolution, or teamwork skills.

Informed by inquiry results, where workers chose leadership training as key to resolving conflicts and building teams, PSYDEH and PopSockets co-developed the training curriculum and a manual to foster a “train-the-student-to-train” model where workers share what they learn with their peers unable to attend the training. PSYDEH executed two days of training in June and then provided basic support to help students sustain progress through July. We wrapped up the project in August 2021 with a final report for PopSockets and the factory on better practices learned.

2021 success became the foundation for 2022 success when we produced a second iteration of the project model, this time 100 percent in English, with PopSocket’s factory partner Sanmina in Wisconsin, USA in 2022.

Why it is a Win-win Partnership

Our alliance helps PopSockets trailblaze new ways a brand can empower workers and their employers to create equitable working conditions while meeting FLA standards. It helps their factory partners and their workers to think outside the box about what is possible for improving working conditions in a human-led, sustainable way, e.g., hones the disciplines and skills we need to improve worker-management communication channels. And it leads to PopSockets employees understanding more fully how doing good is good business.

For PSYDEH’s part, the collaboration helps us to expand our reach across the Republic and the Globe, while showing how our unique leader values-based, adult leader empowerment methods are as useful for the worker (and her employer) as they are for the rural citizen. It is a way for us to show others across the Americas and the Global South how civil society can create a win-win partnership with the global private sector. It represents a new income stream for covering flexible funding needs while being the platform for us to build new partnerships with outfits like the FLA.