Everyone’s talking about romantic love. But what about collective love? We asked some of our favorite solidarity economy groups to talk about how they practice love, just in time for Valentine’s day.

Read the story from SolidarityNYC on Buzzfeed.com

“Food is the best, the clearest manifestation of ‘a tale of two cities,’ ” said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, contrasting brownstone Brooklyn, thick with farm-to-table restaurants and of-the-moment cafes, with the borough’s eastern and central areas, where many can barely afford to eat.

Every year the Future Co-operatives conference tries to engage delegates in an active debate on a given topic. This year’s theme was “Relationship counselling for co-ops”.

This may be a challenge to read. It’s unusually long, but particularly because the first part gets a bit dry and conceptual. However, I share an intense story to bring that to life, and then I reflect on that story.

In the UK and across the world, co-operatives help provide a better life for immigrants and asylum seekers. While the British media continues to debate the positive and negative effects of immigration, little attention has been given to successful enterprises set up or led by immigrants – many of these being co-operatives.

Saturday, March 1st, 2014
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: The Shop at 97D Webster St, Worcester, MA

Worcester Roots will be holding a 10th Year Anniversary Celebration for all the hard work we have done over the years and to create a lasting vision for change in our community.

Last summer, I was interviewed in Vienna, Austria by “Dr. Future,” i.e. Allan Lundell and his wife, Sun Marian McNamee-Lundell. We were joined in the conversation a couple of times by Franz Nahrada, who had brought us together here in his hotel. It was quite an interesting conversation about how our economy generates scarcity and about some possible alternatives, and I am sharing the audio file with you here.

It was a small cooperative store on a little known island off the coast of South Carolina. During the harshest days of the civil rights struggle, embattled black leaders came through its doors seeking inspiration.

"Most clients gifted me with payment, and the payment is more than I ever received in the traditional model, which was based on negotiation and the lowest bid wins, instead of the Gift model which is based on mutual respect and fairness.

Working in the gift does not mean that I work for free, or that I give my work away without care. It means that people trust me to build them a website, and I trust them to support my work as they believe fair.

By Rebecca Burns, for In These Times  

Do companies like Lyft and Airbnb help democratize the economy?

The occupation of businesses by workers and their democratic self-management through horizontal decision-making processes is a centuries-old practice. More recently, however, it has reemerged as an increasingly common phenomenon — most prominently in Argentina around the turn of the century, which currently counts about 300 “recovered” workplaces employing over 15.000 workers.

IN PRAISE OF BRENÉ BROWN  

Blame and punishment head toward destructive outcomes. Empathy and loving move toward creation. The first are grounded in an relational under-culture of scarcity and fear; the second, in a relational under-culture of abundance and basic goodness. Both of these relational under-cultures are intertwined within every individual I have known (whatever their original culture), within every situation I have been in, within every social change movement I identify with, in every historical event I have read about.

It is lunchtime at Suma Wholefoods' distribution warehouse. While most workers across Britain are preparing to inhale an overpriced chain-store sandwich at their desks, the 140 staff of the West Yorkshire co-operative are filing in for a plate of good, old-fashioned hot food.

Mr. Alperovitz tells Paul Jay that the experience of Spain's Mondragon, the world's largest workers' co-op, shows that workers' ownership can go to scale, but on their own co-ops will not transform society or the economy

 

Go to the Scaling-Up the Cooperative Movement theme page

INTERNAL OPPRESSION. 

Three keys to that ‘other world’ we know is possible: empathy, sane rationality, and compassion. Empathy is our biological capacity that enables us to get another in their reality. That other includes everyone and everything, human and non-human. Empathy gives rationality the gut-level information it needs to make sane decisions, to keep it from running amok. It makes compassion—the deep caring for someone or something you have gotten—possible.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: We received that as an email and are passing it on to our readers. The formation of regional co-operative associations is a major development in the co-operative and solidarity economic movements. These are happening in western Massachusetts, Madison, WI, the Bay area, and elsewhere  as well as in Austin, TX with the ACBA. In addition, some valuable information about financial co-operatives follows thier invitation.)

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