Instead of just battling the big banks, activists are working to strengthen a diverse alternative financial system that pursues social goals and offers affordable lending, but that currently remains undercapitalized, and in the case of credit unions serving low-income communities, is even shrinking.

This keynote address by Robin Seydel from the 2011 California Cooperative Conference deserves to be widely seen.

People of Shambhala interviews  Michael Johnson, a co-founder of SolidarityNYC and GEO editor, about what he describes as “a very positive,” “non-ideological” movement of businesses and cooperatives that aim to make the world a better place while supporting themselves and improving their own lives.

Some time ago, Paul Hawken accurately proclaimed “a blessed unrest” pulsating across the planet. Few folks were seeing such rich possibilities for a better world. A few years later came Occupy Wall Street and all that responded to it. That phenomenon lit up the “blessed unrest” like a global Christmas tree.

By Mike Leung

 

This article deals with the conversion of an existing business to a worker-owned cooperative. Specifically, it lays out a basic strategy for allowing employees of a profitable company with publicly-traded securities to effectively convert to a worker cooperative in the absence of owner permission.

 

Sofia Gallisa Muriente talks about her experience with people-powered disaster relief during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Click here to make a donation to Occupy Sandy.

Proposition: first, experience; then, words and stories.

In this video, Rick Juliusson--farmer and owner of Free-Range Consulting--discusses issues concerning financing, ownership and governance of ecovillages.

 

Pope Francis just released his first encyclical, "The Joy of the Gospel." And indeed, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, the new Pope's primary spokesperson, seems to have been a genuine herald.

The co-op movement has been getting a lot of mainstream press lately...mostly bad.  The bankruptcy of Fagor Electrodomestics in Spain and the near-failure of the Cooperative Bank in the UK have made front-page news, but the focus on these two outliers is obscuring the fact that cooperative businesses have proven exceptionally stable and resilient throughout the on-going economic crisis.  This post by Rochdale of the Breathing Lessons blog provides some much-needed perspective:

The Mondragon Cooperative Group is ranked not only as the world’s largest worker-owned industrial cooperative group, but also as the top Basque industrial group, tenth in Spain with 80,000 personnel, a presence in 70 countries, and winner of the 2013 Financial Times “Boldness in Business” award.

In this video, Jenny Kassan of Cutting Edge Capital goes further in depth about determining whether your co-op's fundraising technique qualifies as a "security." 

Click the link to watch the video on Youtube.

 

 

This talk by Jenny Kassan of Cutting Edge Capital (sponsored by the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives and recorded by JJ Noire) is a must-watch for anyone looking to start or expand a cooperative. Click the link to watch the video on Youtube.  <

It seems like the Pope Francis team is rejecting "neoliberal dictatorships that rule democracies" and promoting "the globalization of mercy and solidarity"

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