Networking & Collaboration

I approached the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound conference  fully expecting the majority of plenaries and workshops to be platforms for Coalition members to herald their own projects, or to preach to the converted about the necessity of cooperatives and democratic governance.

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The Austin Cooperative Summit brought together more than 100 people interested in cooperative businesses to help move the Central Texas economy toward shared abundance and prosperity. The summit is a program of the Austin Cooperative Business Association and NCBA CLUSA.

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MOVEMENTS MOVING TOGETHER  6.

When I try to explain what solidarity (or social or social-solidarity) economics is all about to someone who has never heard of it, I often ask them to imagine a rainforest, those awsome ecosystems that are often called such things as "incubators of life" and "lungs of the planet."  I quote from Wikipedia to help them make their picture:

[Editor’s Note: this article by Tony Patterson originally appeared on the Co-op Canada Accelerator blog in June of 2013. One year is an eternity in internet-time, but the suggestions Patterson makes have relevance today as much as last year, and in other countries as well as in Canada.]

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Today, corporate profits are at an all-time high and employee wages are at their lowest ever as a percent of GDP.i Worker cooperatives embody the hope that we can reverse the downward spiral in wage stagnation, wealth distribution, and concentration of ownership to build an economy that truly serves people and communities.

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cross-posted from Shareable

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[Editor's Note: This article was originally published at Responding Together in April of 2013.  It has received minor editing for clarity.  The original version of the article can be found here.]

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Wolfgang Hoeschele

With this post, I am introducing a new series here on GEO – occasional blog posts around the themes of solidarity economy, the commons, and abundance.

This interview, shot May 2013 in Oakland, CA begins to introduce an idea that has been floating through my mind the past several years around the need for community colleges (in particular) to include training on cooperatives in their business programs, not as a form of  "kinder, gentler capitalism" but as community-based, capital subordinated business models hewing to the seven International Cooperative Principles.  The unemployed have headed back to community colleges to upgrade skills or to learn new skills. One of our local community colleges has a trades program.

This keynote address by Robin Seydel from the 2011 California Cooperative Conference deserves to be widely seen.

The debate over who lost Detroit and how to fix it rages on while Politico reports in “Break-up-the-big-banks fever hits the states” that legislators from “at least 18 states have introduced resolutions this year calling on Congress to split up banking giants by putting back in place a wall between commercial banking, taking deposits and making loans, and investment banking, the world of traders and deal-makers.” It turns out that quarantining the banksters and salvag

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

 

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.

(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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Could Cooperatives Become the Fastest Growing Business Model?

 

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