Today’s global social economy debate on inhibiting inequalities (wealth aggregation, social mobility, and basic opportunities) illustrates the vital roles that structure and values play to foster community-focused, triple bottomline, socially-oriented businesses that can’t be outsourced. Similar to the progressive advocacy media depiction of Jackson Rising: Creating the Mondragon of the South there is so much Appalachian hilltop and valley academic centers can do to organize and network inspiring rust belt graduates into a better future that allows them not only to be home-schooled but also locally and gainfully employed.

On the face of it, Loconomics and Bring It Local sound like typical tech startups.

But behind the scenes, both companies are fomenting a quiet revolution in their business structures. They are organizing themselves as cooperatives - for-profit enterprises owned by the people who work for and use the services.

Read the full article at SFGate

‘Building Resilience in the Malawian Co‑operative Movement’, by Sara Vicari and Alexander Borda-Rodriguez, is the outcome of a one-year, Leverhulme-funded collaborative research project between the Co-operative College and The Open University.

In the Bronx borough of New York City stands a proud pioneering housing co-operative affectionately known as The Amalgamated.

Could Jackson, Mississippi become the capital of cooperative economics in the south?  Mayor Chokwe Lumumba imagined it this way, championing a vision of solidarity economics to heal the city's economic wounds and move forward into a new, more inclusive economy.

Watch more at GRITtv

A vision of a community-led “solidarity economy” is capturing the attention of a new generation of progressive New Yorkers.  Seeking to address the ecological, economic, and political crises of our time, local groups are reinvigorating cooperative economic models and inventing new ones, putting into action a vision for an economic system that is based on values of social and racial justice, ecological sustainability, c

On Sunday, Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday.

The Marriage of Abuse and Vulnerability.

The title comes from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. I don’t know if his theme relates to the theme of “two under-cultures” or not. The title does relate, however, at least superficially.

Chang believes co-operatives need to demonstrate their relevance. He points out that people are unaware of the number of co-operatives, while high profile co-operatives “have done things that you wouldn’t normally associate with being a co-op” and businesses like Waitrose “don’t shout about being a co-op”. Quite simply, “co-ops haven’t kept up”.

We the Owners is an award-winning documentary film of three US companies that share ownership and responsibility with their employees to achieve common goals of having meaning and purpose at work, creating participative and empowering work places, and defining success beyond shareholder value.

Watch the full documentary at PBS

These last few weeks many in national media have been mesmerized by the saga of Donald Sterling and his confessions of personal and systemic racism. Black communities have engaged in a lively discussion of “what they should do,” “what I would do” and “what I have done” when confronting institutional racism in the workplace.

The Worker Cooperative National Conference is coming up, May 30th - June 1st. 

400+ inspired participants. Dozens – even hundreds – of worker cooperatives in all stages, from concept, to conversion, to growth. The U.S.’s leading lenders, funders, educators, and businesses supporting the cooperative economy. International guests bringing their wisdom and perspectives.

And you.

At the close of 2013 there was a 23% increase in the creation of worker cooperatives than at the same time the previous year. Up to 2013, there had been 10 points’ worth of fewer job losses in cooperatives than in other company types. Worker cooperatives are currently creating net employment, in a country where there are 5 million people unemployed.

Read the full article at CECOP | CICOPA Europe

The workers of Buenos Aires Hotel Bauen, who had occupied and renovated an abandoned five star hotel in Buenos Aries after it went bankrupt in the economic crisis of 2001, are now facing a permanent eviction order, after 11 years of successful operation of the hotel as a worker-owned cooperative.

This week, Black Agenda Radio focuses entirely on the recent “Jackson Rising” conference on cooperative economies, organized by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). Organizers had hoped the event would be hosted by Chokwe Lumumba, the revolutionary Black nationalist and MXGM co-founder who was elected mayor of mostly Black Jackson, Mississippi, last June.

[T]he first step to success is evaluating your strategy and capacity. Co-ops are valuable tools, but they’re not a quick fix to poverty. It's true that successful worker-owned cooperatives almost always opt to pay their worker-members more than traditional businesses, and that's great for workers. To do that, co-ops have to get results as a business. Cooperatives don't provide any shortcuts.

One thing I use my blog for is to think about themes that I think are strategically critical for the success of democracy movements. Recently I have been focusing on empowerment of ordinary people. Below I kind of sketch out the main lines I have been thinking along.

The idea to start a series of blogs on this theme came to me as I read a blog from a friend who is exploring what’s going on in Palestine. The story she tells in her blog is very moving. Great example of ordinary people empowering themselves. And she writes well. I urge you to read it.

Pages

Subscribe to Grassroots Economic Organizing RSS