Relatively little attention has been paid to democratic and critical approaches that look into the embedded power dynamics that influence who is allowed access to organizational decision making: whose voices get heard and whose get left out. Where practice is concerned, we see a “democratic deficit” in board governance—that is, an absence of democratic structures and processes.1 Many nonprofit boards fall short of being broadly representative of the public.

It is becoming increasingly obvious to people that profit maximization has very little to do with meeting actual human or ecological needs. According to the Economic Policy Institute and other researchers, corporate profits and worker productivity rise independently of workers' real wages. And increases in corporate profit are more likely to enrich shareholders than to be reinvested in new jobs with good wages. We need better ways of doing business.

Shared-equity homeownership programs just had a big win: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”) committed in their Underserved Markets Plans to increase access to mortgages for shared-equity homebuyers over the next three years.

It’s 1939 and a group of famous civil rights leaders are gathering to discuss the future of the Negro race…and you’re invited.

In an increasingly competitive grocery market, it is common to recruit and train with a focus on business acumen. A prudent board will hire management who have the skills to run the business. The question remains, how is managing a cooperative business different? 

This decidedly unique business is a worker co-operative based in Toronto. Founded in 1997, the co-op has been voted the best sex shop by Now Toronto readers almost every year since then. No doubt, this display of affection is due in large part to its “sex positive,” safe, comfortable approach to (and wealth of information on) all things ever-present but rarely spoken of out loud – ie: the more sensuous of human activities.

To preserve a community institution and a great place to work, business owner Susanne Ward is selling Rock City Roasters and Cafe to the people who helped build it -- the employees -- with the help of the Cooperative Development Institute.

The people behind Coops Vidriana wrote to us to let us know about their new gorgeous-looking magazine on Platform Cooperativism. It’s bilingual (German/English) and features a bunch of new articles and some drop-dead stunning design. Jana Pirlein has been kind enough to pen the following intro for the P2PF blog.

I received a familiar email from a long-time friend and start-up founder.  She has founded a unique brand and business model that has created a market where one had not previously existed; the dream of most entrepreneurs.  The start-up has grown rapidly and has received international acclaim in mainstream press.  A great position for any growing start-up to be in, right?  Like many start-ups, however, cash is scarce and “sweat equity” is abundant.  She said: “I’m not ready to invest in turning my business into a full-fledged cooperative, but I’d like to start down the path.

...while collaborating across sectors has become a familiar mantra of strong strategies and good governance among organizations, it took many of us by surprise when the collective impact framework proposed by FSG became synonymous with any and all forms of coordinated action in the public and nonprofit sectors.

A CUMA is an agricultural equipment co-op that provides farmers the use of large, expensive machinery, and decreases the cost to access up-to-date equipment. 

Farmers seem to be one of the groups that will benefit the most from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Under the new tax law, farmers in 2018 will be able to deduct 20 percent of their total sales when they sell their crops to a cooperative, which for some farmers could mean zero taxable income.

Reuters reported last month that ethanol producers and privately run grain handlers fear they will be cut out of the equation. ADM told Reuters it was evaluating the provision and "various potential solutions" to it.

Yet across the country, many of the nation’s most disenfranchised are writing a different story. In dozens of cities, worker-owner cooperatives are establishing new enterprises based on joint decision-making, dignified work conditions and fair pay.


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