Western Europe

[Editor's note: GEO first published these two essays on the hurdles faced by coopeative and solidarity economy enterprises in 2001.  While the cooperative movement has made great strides in the intervening 14 years, the roadblocks identified here by the authors are still concerns for both new and existing co-ops.  In light of the recent surge in support that cooperatives of all kinds have

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OPEN CO-OPERATIVISM EMERGING

There is a very interesting development coming out of the UK and Western Europe. A network of folks over there are working hard on developing a framework for the convergence of co-operative, commons, solidarity, open source, and all the alternative economic movements. 

At this point they have identified three long term objectives:

[1] Build and Expand New Regimes of Law, Governance and Management; 

[2] Aggregate Patient Capital (aka “Co-Operative Accumulation”); 

[Editor's note: This article from the European Company and Financial Law Review looks at why cooperatives are formed, considers their advantages and disadvantages compared to other forms of governance, and sets out a legal research agenda for determining how changes "in the institutional environment, i.e.

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[Editor's note: Jo Bird of the UK's Co-operative Business Group (CBC), has asked GEO to share this petition with our readers (see below).  The Co-operative News recently published an article about the petition.  Marie-Claire Kidd explains:

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“Co-operative culture eats co-operative governance for breakfast!”   

An article gleaned from England’s Co-operative News talks about how to generate and nurture a strong co-operative culture. It identifies six factors for sustaining a co-operative culture.

[Editor's note: this is the third entry in a series of articles on European ecovillages by Matthew Slater.  Parts one and two looked at Spain's Lakabe and Amalurra communities.  Watch for more stories in this series as Matthew continues his tour.]

Sieben Linden (Seven Linden trees) sits amongst forests, fields and sparsley populated villages in the plains of Northern Germany.

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Amalurra, Basque for 'mother earth', was formed from a meditation group with life coach Irene Goikolea over 20 years ago. Wanting to take their practice further, they bought an old seminary and oriented their lives around making it beautiful and offering hospitality. Fast forward to now, and there are several gleaming buildings, including a hotel, hostel, spa, cafe, restaurant, many spaces for meetings and workshops, and a sweat-lodge next to a stream and extensive gardens.

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A continuing conversation with Thomas M. Hanna of the Democracy Collaborative, cross posted from Cooperate and No One Gets Hurt

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This article is originally appeared on www.truth-out.org

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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.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: In the article below Alberto Corbino gives us a view of the Solidarity Economy movement in Italy. He will be doing a lecture tour in the US this summmer. The idea is to continue discussing the subjects he reports on in the article here at universities, colleges, and centers of solidarity economic justice movements.

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Building a new economy and new wealth through democracy networks, green jobs, and an alternative financial system
The unpalatable fact is that we, the ardent left, count for less and less in the public's thinking about how to live together... You become creditable when others take you seriously even though they may not agree with you. To be taken seriously, you need to know when to keep silent and how to listen well; you are then extending respect and recognition to others.
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Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/584

By Christina Clamp, GEO collective member

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Our first stop is another component allied with Mongragon University called SAIOLAN. It's an incubator project for helping to launch new coops and high-tech businesses as well as training new entrepreneurs.
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