cooperative economy

 Author's self-portrait outside of Mondragon headquarters.

 

Five of nine of us touring Mondragon arrive on Sunday in Bilbao, make our way to Mondragon-Arrastata, get settled and find food at the Monte bar a short walk from The Hotel Mondragon where we are staying for the week-long tour.  I fall into bed at about 10:30 (4:30 pm EST), the 12 hour journey and time zone change wearing me out.  Tonight there is no reading of The Kemetian Tree of Life, my nightly fix.   

This story by Karen Thomas, of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, is reprinted from the Winter 2011 issue of Owners at Work.  It is the story about how eight workers took over a local restaurant, and turned it into a worker cooperative called Casa Nueva.  But the work did not stop there. In the 25 years that it has been operating, Casa Nueva has also helped build a regional economy. The Athens, Ohio area where they are located is a national model for food literacy because of their work.  For more information, visit the OEOC website at http://www.oeockent.org/.

The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy released its press release with all the details for it's July conference activities: 

2011 Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy | Connecting Our Workplaces: Building Cooperative Economies

In the Unites States of America, socialism and communism are considered by many to be bad, tabu words, but cooperation exists, and "worker-owned cooperatives" existed and prospered for many years to this day, thanks also to the spirit of enterpreneurship that is widespread and to the practice of democracy, practice that is tought at school, starting from the elementary grade. Cooperatives are part of the self-help tradition of America.
The Salinas reality helps us to pose the big questions we need to pose if we are preoccupied with processes of radical social transformation.
Those who have done it talking about how
Regions: 
Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
Movements & Struggles: 
The New America Foundation (NAF) has made a large size policy proposal for basic economic development in the US.  To these untrained eyes and ears it would seem that it is offering a public home for building on and expanding our cooperative economy here in the states.   So I am passing it on to the more knowledgeable for assessment and action.
A step-by-step DVD on starting a workers cooperative
Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
Movements & Struggles: 
Economic Sectors: 
a Bay Area template that works in the US
Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
Movements & Struggles: 
Economic Sectors: 

Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/584

By Christina Clamp, GEO collective member

Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
Economic Sectors: 
Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/583

By Len Krimerman, Willimantic Inter-Cooperative Zone (WICZ)

Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
35% growth since 2005, study claims
Regions: 
Institutions & Structures: 
Movements & Struggles: 
Suggests a creative way to sell your business
Regions: 
Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
Movements & Struggles: 
In an age of open source, custom-fabricated, DIY product design...
Institutions & Structures: 
Economic Sectors: 
We are writing you today because that is what friends do when they need help. We want you to know that we need your help now and that we are thankful for all the support that you have given to us in the past.
Economic Sectors: 
New England summit highlights Crowell and others


Visions & Models: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 
Where will our movement be in another 30 years? In 2040, I will be 76 years old. Chances are, if I am still alive, I will be hopefully still be blogging (or whatever the kids will be doing in those days) but I will likely not be fully involved in the movement or physically working a 40-50 hour work week. Almost all of our current leadership will be in the same position. The current crop of  Toxic Soil Busters will be pushing 50 (like I am now). What should our movement look like in that age?
Regions: 
Movements & Struggles: 

The top/down system we seek to change is embedded in us--in our nervous systems, our beliefs, our attitudes, our habits, and our behavior. We are what we are seeking to change.  It is not just out there.  And not only is it in here, but it is out there to a large extent because we, the change agents, re-produce it over and over and over in every kind of relationship we have. This is by no means just a tragic irony. No way. This is a great opportunity.

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.
Regions: 
Most new small businesses fail. That's a fact, whether they are in the Basque Country or in the U.S. Or anywhere else. Yet the Mondragon Coops, which all started as small worker-owned businesses, have hardly ever failed. Why? The key is in Father Jose Maria Arizmendi's original founding conception of cooperatives as the interlocking of school, factory and credit union.
Regions: 
Movements & Struggles: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - cooperative economy