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.

Nearly 500 people turned out over the May 2-4, 2014 weekend for the ‘Jackson Rising’ conference in Jackson, Mississippi. It was a highly successful and intensive exploration of Black power, the solidarity economy and the possibilities unleashed for democratic change when radicals win urban elections.

Has raising up more black millionaires been a successful economic development strategy for our communities?  Evidently not. What's the alternative to gentrification, to stadiums, to ruthless exploitation? It's the solidarity economy. It's cooperation. It's democratically owned, worker-run cooperatives for child care, retail, auto repair, factories, health care, you name it.

Access over ownership. After decades of excessive consumerism, this prospect sounded revolutionary. At first. Now that the sharing economy has become mainstream, more critical voices are appearing. So, what will it be? Empowerment or exploitation? A revolution or business as usual?

City Hall Steps--May 14, 9 am

Join us as we gather on the steps of City Hall to call on elected officials to support the creation of worker cooperative jobs through two reforms:

There's been rumors of Oprah Winfrey being interested. But a couple of Clippers fans, Tim Nguyen and Russell Curry, have an idea that would not only take the team from Sterling, but move it in the direction of economic democracy too: Clipper fans should own the team.

I think we are in rather desperate need of a sharp, rigorous cooperative/empathic economics that goes after this kind of thing with intellectual brutality and compassion for all of us struggling with love relationships:

Sexual Behavior as Predicted by a Social Exchange Model: Three Tests of Sexual Economics

Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation recently published a short essay noting that the economic fruits of peer production in today’s world tend to be captured by capitalists – whereas what we really need is a system to enable capital accumulation for and by commoners themselves.  To that end, Bauwens embraces the idea of a Peer Production License, as designed and proposed by Dmitri Kleiner.

TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST                                                                                                

In this series of blogs I am developing a narrative about how we maintain and change ourselves and our cultures. Here’s the core of it (taken from the first in the series):

by Josh Davis

The links page of the wonderful Naked Capitalism site today, included this one from VoxEU:

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