The purpose of this textbook is to introduce the ideas of cooperation and mutualism. Consequently, it is likely to be used in an introductory course on cooperatives and mutuals as opposed to a graduate seminar course. As an economist, it stands to reason that much of my discussion is written through the eyes of economics. After all, a cooperative or mutual will not survive unless it achieves an economic purpose. Another goal I have with the book is to make it accessible, affordable, and easy to update.

Inner Landscapes: Activists' Community-of-practice Part III.

Activist-Practitioners Share Practice Experiences

By Pamela Boyce Simms

Harvest started in late September and these are the last few days of work in the olive groves of the Contrada Feudotto, the headquarters of the cooperative society La Goccia d’Oro.

Cooperatives are an international movement, yet as we looked around the U.S. food co-op sector, most of the people we saw were white. We asked ourselves a simple and powerful question:  Why?

Canada’s Desjardins, the largest association of credit unions in North America, has decided to lift a moratorium on loans for energy and pipeline projects, noting that it will weigh its clients’ environmental, social and governance practices in all future lending decisions.

This piece involves a bit of an epiphany about myself. You know, like when you are surprised into seeing yourself a bit more as you really are. Some background is necessary to lead into how this unfolded.

Since Trump’s election I have become a democracy-freak. Writing a book about it in fact.  And that is taking me on a new journey within myself and across our political spectrum. Here is the opening of my draft Introduction:

When calculating the likelihood of the current economic system protecting our bond with clean, accessible, and life-giving water, the situation seems impossible.

Cooperatives should be the foundation for bringing high-speed Internet service to rural America. Internet service from satellite, dial-up, and DSL is too slow and unreliable for modern applications. Small towns and farming communities need high-speed Internet service to support their local economies, educate themselves, and generally improve their quality of life. Cooperatives have quietly proved that they can build Fiber-to-the-Home networks that  are capable of speeds of more than 1 Gigabit per second (1,000 Mbps).

The trailer to a feature-length documentary currently in development. A film exploring the transformative possibilities of the cooperative model of business.

Now in it’s 3rd year, Platform Coop 2017 brought together [1] a diverse group of technologist, entrepreneurs and cooperative veterans to challenge the status quo around platforms.

The ballot for elections to the Phone Co-op has just opened and – as usual, since this is a co-operative which has traditionally had strong member democracy – the election is not a foregone conclusion.  No shoo-in here:  there are seven candidates for two places.

But despite the Phone Co-op’s traditional democratic traditions I think there are questions which this year the Phone Co-op’s members need to ask their board when the AGM takes place in early February.

I’ve been thriving in the past half a decade in an organization with radical transparency. So I’m not only witnessing the tectonic shifts in this domain of the evolution of capitalistic companies, I’m also experiencing almost every ripple.

To be a pirate is to set yourself against society and its rules. To even the odds, pirates come together. They co-operate.

It might sound like an extreme claim, but there is a body of evidence of early mutuality and even democracy among some of the most successful seventeenth century Caribbean and Atlantic pirates.

Pamela Boyce Simms

Resistance mobilizes the troops and galvanizes the base. It gives warriors on the front lines a sense of purpose and the oppressed, glimmers of hope. It's an opportunity to put our best analysis of social ills and resistance movement models to the test. Economic and political liberation, social and eco-justice resistance struggles seem so essential, so vital, and are so seductive.

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