How to design a healthy business: The use of the Viable System Model in the diagnosis and design of organisational structures in co-operatives and other social economy enterprises
A manual for the diagnosis and design of organisational structures to enable social economy enterprises and function with increased efficiency without compromising democratic principles

Last week I had a fascinating 3:00 AM cab ride from San Francisco airport to a hotel in downtown Oakland. My cab driver was an immigrant from Pakistan who was putting two kids through college. After working for years as a driver he managed to save enough money to buy his own cab, and more importantly to buy the medallion that gives him the right to operate a cab in San Francisco.

In 1963, in the British journal Anarchy, a short debate took place on the relationship between anarchist forms of organization and organizational cybernetics. Organizational cybernetics, for those unfamiliar with the term, is often defined as the science of communication and control in organic, mechanical and social systems.

Melissa Hoover, executive director of the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), says that coop conversions are one of the most promising sources of new cooperatives as they already have customers, assets and employees, which makes it less risky than a startup.

Dear Coop community,
We are seeking 2 qualified Cooperative Developers to work at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The position would commence July 1st and would entail working in a team setting to provide incubation support and technical assistance to new and mature cooperatives.

There has been a growing buzz about what kind of economy we need in order to address wealth inequality, environmental unsustainability, and lack of democracy. Clearly, many desire something new and dramatically different.

Enormous amounts of capital have been amassed of late under the banner of the so-called "sharing" economy, characterized by companies such as Uber and Airbnb that have garnered multi-billion dollar valuations for creating platforms in which individuals offer their services and property for rent.

Capitalism is in crisis. Yet, well armed, it dominates humanity and the planet. While we may feel trapped in this system, there are tools for building another in its nooks and crannies.


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