Workplace Democracy

While many organizations use ambiguity to strategically build a "unified diversity" around an organization's mission, democratically managed organizations need to tread a narrow path between necessary ambiguity (which allows flexibility) and dysfunctional ambiguity (which causes disarray).
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James Boggs was a black socialist autoworker, philosopher, writer, activist, and husband of Grace Lee Boggs. This article considers his legacy as a little-known working class thinker, and what Jimmy Bogg's wisdom has to offer us today.
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A plan to convert large, publicly-traded businesses to worker cooperatives, even when the current owners don't want to go along. Financing provided by modern financial instruments.
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Vernon and Jim discuss the process of establishing a worker co-op, and the steps companies should take to prepare for the transition to a worker co-op. 

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[Editor's note: this article was originally published in GEO Newsletter vol. 2, Issue 8, in 2011.

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cross-posted from YES! Magazine

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Do your meetings get side-tracked and off-topic? Does your group have a difficult time following through on decisions? Jennifer Rau of Sociocracy For All (SoFA) offers some tips for getting the most out of meetings and avoiding common pitfalls.

 

 

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cross-posted from Shareable

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There is fresh interest in initiating and maintaining a digital commons to provide vital restbite against the wave on demand mobile apps and share economy services. This can be witnessed in tech start-ups and entrepreneurs shifting towards a co-operative business model, in what has been named as platform co-operavatism.

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[Editor's note: Ajamu Nangwaya has been a cooperative educator and trainer with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, served as a board member for the US Federation for Worker Cooperatives, and is the co-author (with Kali Akuno) of the forthcoming book Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi.

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Mandela MarketPlace is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through cooperative food enterprises in low income communities. Our approach is based on a systems model that addresses issues of economic disinvestment, food insecurity, and health inequity, building on community assets to cultivate a thriving food hub.

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"Cooperative Care: Empowered Caregiving" is a 40-minute documentary about a home health care coop in Wisconsin. The film explores the philosophy of the group and the daily activities of the CNAs who work there.

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This article was originally published in 2007 as part of GEO Newsletter #72/73: Worker Coops Unite!

Waushara County Director of Human Services Lucy Rowley, obtained a grant from the State of Wisconsin’s Community Links program in 1999 to study the possibility of creating a direct care worker cooperative. “I read about a cooperative of direct care workers out in the Bronx in New York,” said Rowley, “and I asked myself: why couldn’t we do something like that here in Waushara County?”

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Every business creates documents such as emails, memos, policies, and governing handbooks.  These organizational documents are not impartial or neutral. Even everyday writing like handbooks and emails can have social effects that ripple throughout an organization.

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Robert Matney is Co-Owner and COO of Polycot Associates, a web development agency and is a co-founder and Technology Director of Whirligig Productions. Robert is also Technology Director for Hidden Room Theatre and a Board Trustee for Austin Shakespeare, a multi-award-winning stage and voice actor and director, and a web technologist with Polycot Associates...

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