The gift economy questions an order that is already established, a trend where people accumulate more and have more difficulty in sharing, in giving, because they want to fit a global model that says that there’s not enough in this world for all of us, that says that the most intelligent people are the ones who are able to exploit others and gather more. That paradigm has been failing people for the longest time. Everyone thinks is the only model, which is not true.
Solidarity Economic perspectives develop from penetrating reflection on our actual experience to find the questions we need to be asking

A lovely TED talk by Frans de Waal on moral behavior in animals. Lots of research into animals that certainly carry over to humans. Their experiments show "prosocial behavior" (as opposed to antisocial competition), empathy and consolation, and reciprocity and fairness in monkeys and other animals. The point is that human morality is an evolved morality many elements of which we share with others in the animal kingdom.

On TruthOut.org, a couple of short video interview segments with Bill Ayers. Very down-to-earth and sensible criticism from which all of us should draw comfort and strength. His point about Revolution is that it probably won't be a repeat of the War of Independence, the French Revolution, or the Overthrow of the Czar.

The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is asking members and all friends of cooperatives to demonstrate their support of S. 2231, which will enable credit unions to support economic growth through increased small business lending. The bill is in the US Senate, and critical action on this bill could come in the next few weeks. It’s important that members of the Senate hear from the cooperative community about the importance of voting in favor of this legislation.

USFWC Members and Worker Coop Supporters,

I’m writing to ask you to support the completion of the documentary film about worker cooperatives, “Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work.&rdquo

GEO Associate Member, Joe Maraffino recently presented a session "How Worker Cooperatives Work" at the 2012 Upstate (NY) Cooperative Convention (Building Our Economic Future). People are much more familiar with consumer co-ops, credit unions, and the like so Joe introduced worker co-ops. Click Read More for the slide show.

Nicole Foss, an economist and writer on the coming problems of resource depletion, is touring Australia and New Zealand. She posted an article with the title above on The Automatic Earth. The topic is really cooperation (small "C" cooperation) but it talks to the values of cooperation in general. Most important, cooperation is a productive, feel-good activity in this telling and that makes it worth the read and watching the embedded video.

I see economic democracy at three main levels: 1) workers gaining greater control of the workplace and participating in management, 2) collectively controlling investment funds to benefit local and regional economies, and 3) democratically allocating resources through a national investment fund to achieve social goals.
The purpose of the working group, "is to take a comprehensive look at the economic benefits, innovative companies and emerging policy issues around the growing 'sharing economy.'"
The Union Co-op Model: this country’s largest industrial labor union teamed up with the world’s largest worker-cooperative to present a plan that would put people to work in labor-driven enterprises that build worker power and communities, too.

In "the success of small businesses depends on how well they play together" Adrian Aston extols the virtues of co-working or close cooperation and collaboration by small businesses. The short article means small as in solo practitioners and tiny two and three person shops. There's a reference to "your coffee shop office" either in the piece or one of the links directly from the piece.

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Teju Cole is a novelist (Open City, winner of this year's PEN/Hemmingway award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) troubled by US interventions in and emotional response to Africa's problems. His piece in the Atlantic starts, "If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement."

At a time when so many are so clear that the current system is not working—what might? Is it already happening? There’s more information about OurGoods.org at their website and you don’t have to be officially ordained as an “artist” to join it.
At the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), our approach has been to help nonprofit organizations develop the financial capacity to keep providing the programming their missions demand. The end goal of this work is the facilitation of social change, but the approach demands an initial focus on the welfare of individual organizations. But what if we approached the question from another angle? What if we started by focusing on the needs of whole communities and then asked what resources individuals and organizations - including nonprofits - could provide to fulfill those needs?
SolidarityNYC has worked to "challenge the social justice movement to take up grassroots economic community development" as a way of building solidarity and concrete alternatives to capitalism.

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