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Dr. Jon Altuna, Mondragon's chief innovator 

Ideas and the mentality, they promote areas indispensable for the progress of our cooperatives as are the buildings and machinery. 

--Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta in the book, Reflections·

 Author's self-portrait outside of Mondragon headquarters.

 

Five of nine of us touring Mondragon arrive on Sunday in Bilbao, make our way to Mondragon-Arrastata, get settled and find food at the Monte bar a short walk from The Hotel Mondragon where we are staying for the week-long tour.  I fall into bed at about 10:30 (4:30 pm EST), the 12 hour journey and time zone change wearing me out.  Tonight there is no reading of The Kemetian Tree of Life, my nightly fix.   

This story by Karen Thomas, of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, is reprinted from the Winter 2011 issue of Owners at Work.  It is the story about how eight workers took over a local restaurant, and turned it into a worker cooperative called Casa Nueva.  But the work did not stop there. In the 25 years that it has been operating, Casa Nueva has also helped build a regional economy. The Athens, Ohio area where they are located is a national model for food literacy because of their work.  For more information, visit the OEOC website at http://www.oeockent.org/.

Brahm Ahmadi, CEO of People's Community Market in Oakland, and founding board member of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, won a Food and Community fellowship that will allow him to deepen and expand the food activism started when he helped found People's Grocery.  See Brahm's GEO article last year on the importance of developing community leadership.  

The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy released its press release with all the details for it's July conference activities: 

2011 Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy | Connecting Our Workplaces: Building Cooperative Economies

In the Unites States of America, socialism and communism are considered by many to be bad, tabu words, but cooperation exists, and "worker-owned cooperatives" existed and prospered for many years to this day, thanks also to the spirit of enterpreneurship that is widespread and to the practice of democracy, practice that is tought at school, starting from the elementary grade. Cooperatives are part of the self-help tradition of America.
by James West on March 30, 2011 Utah is the first State to officially recognize gold as money, according to a CNN. “The Beehive State has a new measure on the books that eliminates state taxes on the exchange of gold and silver coins and directs the legislature to study an “alternative form of legal tender.” The law, signed by Gov. Gary Herbert last week, also recognizes gold and silver coins issued by the federal government as legal tender in the state. Of course, they already are. But people use them as investments, not pocket change.

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