Gleanings

For people who participate in commons, peer production or co-operatives, the emerging economy presents a frustrating paradox in the enormous mismatch between cooperative culture on the one hand and the organizational forms, on the other hand, that can sustain it and advance the general well-being of society.

While still in architecture school, María García Mendez and Gonzalo Navarrete drafted a plan to re-design a high-density area of Alfafar, called Barrio Orba, using the principle of co-housing — in which residents trade and share space and resources, depending on their needs.

The reforms of second reconstruction of the 1950's and 60's, removed the blatant hard edges of national oppression against African descendants in the U.S. but they did not change the structural divisions between "citizens and subjects" and the "haves and the have-nots" at the foundation of the American project.

In October 2008, at the beginning of the financial meltdown, Praxis Peace Institute was in Mondragon, Spain, with a group of 20 people. We were there to study the Mondragon Cooperatives, the largest consortium of worker-owned businesses in the world.

Think of a co-op, and REI might come to mind. The outdoor gear retailer is a huge consumer cooperative. In Everett, the Sno-Isle Natural Foods Co-op sells organic groceries to hundreds of members. Now, a local coffee shop is working to become a cooperative business.

AltGen is an organisation that helps young people set up workers’ co-operatives as an alternative to competitive, precarious and low-wage career paths. Recent graduates ourselves, we are well acquainted with this situation.

In coming days, the Rochester City Council will take up what could be a good idea, even a transformative idea, if all the parts of this town, public and private, are in sync.

[Editor's note: This article from 1991 examines the Wholly Grains Cooperative Bakery in San Francisco.  While it comes from the perspective of an outside academic, it nonetheless offers some interesting insight into the functioning of this particular enterprise.  Especially interesting is the bakery's use of an "efficiency standard" in place of a straight hourly wage.  I can find no trace of the bakery now, either online or in GEO's national directory of co-ops and solidarity economy enterprises, An Economy of Hope, which we published a number of years a

We are gearing up for our Grand Opening of the Lumumba Center and Commemoration for our late Mayor, Chokwe Lumumba. We need to raise at least $20,000 to continue the renovations of the Lumumba Center, including the future space for Nubia's Place Cooperative Cafe, named after Nubia Lumumba.

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