cooperative economy

Memory moves us as surely into the realm of what shall be as it moves us back to what has been: by extracting what is indeterminately lasting from the latter, it allows the former to come to us. --Edward S. Casey1

 

Why Do Some Worker Co-ops Succeed While Others Fail?
The Role of Internal and External Social Factors.
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Frank Lindenfeld and Pamela Wynn, Bloomsburg University, PA

Valve is a Software game development company founded by an alumnus of Microsoft. Self-funded, it has about 300 employees. Its first product came together quickly and paid off handsomely. Most importantly, it has no bosses. It is entirely flat. There have been several write-ups recently about Valve in the mainstream (Capitalist) business press pointing out the "no boss" structure.

The Post Carbon Institute's Energy Bulletin just posted an article titled "The Hidden Power of Coops" by Michael Shuman.  It is a glowing report with lots of numbers and good words. The segment is a reprint of a piece of the author's book Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

Report on the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Conference, Berlin Germany, November 3-5, 2011

 

Is the time right for worker-owned enterprises to socialize or nationalize traditional businesses to create a more humane economic system?

That and other questions were debated at an international conference on cooperatives and advocates of worker self-management and control.

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: This article emerged out of conversations Michael had with Terry Mollner and his thinking about creating institutions grounded in the idea the common good. Terry’s book, The Love Skill: We Are Mastering the 7 Layers of Human Maturity, explores these ideas in depth. It will be out in May of this year. He has written a lot on the Mondragon Cooperative experiment, which can be accessed at www.trusteeship.org).

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The International Year of the Cooperative is inspiring people in many ways. A month after the official UN declaration, cooperative organizations in Pittsburgh, including The East End Food Cooperative, Ujamaa Collective and those interested in starting cooperative organizations, gathered at The Big Idea cooperative bookstore for kick-off program.

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What Steps Will You Take to Observe the International Year of Cooperatives?

 

Over the past year, staff of the National Cooperative Business Association has traveled the country talking with members and staff from cooperatives of all types, across all sectors of the economy. The topic has been how to take advantage of the marketing opportunity that is the International Year of Cooperatives. I’m writing here to talk about what’s being planned and what is available to cooperatives—but also to discuss the importance of marketing in and of itself.

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Support Passage of the National Cooperative Development Act!

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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 middle of the Greek monetary (Euro) crisis, people have discovered a way around the system that's been rigged against them. They are setting up local currency and exchange systems and doing business, effectively, without government money. The breathless story can be found at Raw Story and it is well worth reading and thinking about. But, for me, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Jim Hightower, over at Nation of Change published quite a long and detailed article on Cooperatives as a practical and desirable alternative to the usual Corporations. Cooperatives Over Corporations has a lot of valuable information about the size of the movement here in the United States and some terrific comments about why Cooperatives are so preferable to Corporations.

From California to Maine, over the last 15 years low-wage workers have steadily organized employee-owned small businesses
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By Emily Kennedy, Huffington Post

I bet you haven't heard of the global movement that's demanding a democratic economy. The one that's unsatisfied with the corporate business model and the way banks dominate the system. The one that's been occupying the social change arena since 1844. They're the Co-Operative Movement.

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By Stephen Healy and Boone Shear, Truthout.net

The early characterization of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement as a group of rudderless kids with no real chance of success was fantastically misplaced. The 99 percent continues to occupy more cities, more headlines and more of our collective imagination.

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By Mira Luna, Shareable.net

Local currencies generally develop for one of two reasons — the desire for local economic control (for a variety of reasons, from democracy to sustainability to social justice,) and a scarcity of national currency. In the current situation, both reasons weigh heavy.

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