Networking & Collaboration

The Co-operative Trade Movement is being launched at Willy Street Co-op to support small, local farmers/producers and cooperative or not-for-profit businesses. The Movement invites consumers to join in ethical commerce and economic democracy, the kind that Willy Street Co-op and hundreds of other grocery co-ops in the U.S. have been championing for nearly 40 years.

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Dear Jesse,

Here is a chart that will help keep hope alive. On the top line it tells what the actual wealth distribution in the US is. The middle line shows how wrong a cross-section of Americans is in how they think the wealth distribution plays out.

And the third line is a grand-slam...

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San Francisco Community Congress: background and update

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A very interesting grassroots development happening in SanFrancisco: The San Francisco Community Congress.The goal is to devise practical, locally actionable proposals to shape and direct future policy affecting the local economy and the provision of critical human services.”  Their mantra, “another San Francisco is possible.”  If the devil is in the details, then this appears to be the beginning of a premier Solidarity Economy project.

GEO is...
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An article in The Nation magazine tells how Boston's Green Justice Coalition is creating "a model to connect the struggle for environmental justice with the fight for living-wage jobs, helping to lay the groundwork for a new generation of community-labor coalitions across the country."
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The 2010 Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation AGM and Conference is being held from Thursday, October 28th to Saturday, October 30th, 2010 in Vancouver, B.C. at the YWCA Hotel.  The theme is "Worker Co-operatives and Sustainable Development."
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How do we create a competitive advantage through the worker coop model when we treat ourselves so much better than the workers in our industry and pay for the higher cost of democracy?

From grocery stores and bakeries to bike shops and day care centers, worker-owned cooperatives are gaining popularity across the country. How are they faring in the recession? What solutions do co-ops offer for today’s recession/depression? If they gain even more popularity, could they transform the economy and the way we think it should work?

Guests include Dan Thomases, a founding member of Box Dog Bikes co-op, John Kusakabe of the Arizmendi Bakery co-op, and Hilary Abell of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES).

 

 


 

 

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I still have a few more posts on the National Worker Cooperative Conference held in Berkeley last week, but this post isn't about the specific workshops, but a general feeling and vibe that I found at the conference (and at other conferences). The work of building a cooperative society isn't quite like other trade associations or business cultures.

We are not going to become the solution any time soon, but I believe that we have the opportunity to achieve a lot, like laying down a foundational strategy and infrastructure open to diverse approaches for the generation to come.
I am just going to briefly give my impressions and what seemed to me to be the highlights.  This was the first meeting I have attended, so I lack a lot of perspective.

David Roach is doing incredibly important work in Oakland with Mo' Better Food, schools, intergenerational learning, farmer's markets, and other things.  He was our incredible improvisational tour guide of Oakland.

...we are coming to our national worker co-op conference sounding the theme that worker co-ops are the solution. My worry, however, is...

A striking depiction of one million organizations working for a better world.  By Chris Jordan

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High-Energy Gathering Fires Up A New Generation of Activists in U.S. Left and Social Movements By Carl Davidson Keep On Keepin' On! When 15,000 vibrant and politically engaged people gather in one spot for five days and organize themselves into more than 1000 workshops, dozens of major plenaries and late night parties across five major cultural hot spots, no one article can claim to give a full account and get away with it. But an event on that scale livened up Detroit, Michigan during the week of June 22-26 at the US Social Forum, when Cobo Hall and several nearby universities were buzzing with thousands of people trying to shape a new world. 15,000 Attend Detroit Social Forum I won’t even try to capture it all. I’ll just affirm the common conviction that it was a major happening on the left and a huge success, an inspiration and an affirmation of hope that progress is being made towards a better future. Then I’ll humbly offer my take on it. We’ll start with some highlights and, for those who aren’t familiar with the Social Forum movement, offer a few explanations.
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Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/440

By Aaron Dawson, Equal Exchange

In reflecting back to the 2009 Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, what impresses me the most is how much more action it has generated since the meeting! This is exciting to me as I have been to five worker co-op conferences and this is the first time that I feel so much movement is happening on so many levels.

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Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/410
by Michael Johnson, GEO Collective

Tuesday November 3 marked a milestone for the book project of the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives (VAWC).  Food for Thought Books, a 33-year collective and member of VAWC, hosted an advance book sale for CO-OP VALLEY! THE WORKER COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT IN THE CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY.  They organized the event to help finance the writing and publishing of the book.
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The theme of this issue is worker cooperative replication. It addresses an issue which is central to the growth of the democratic worker cooperative movement. How do we reproduce the success stories we have already achieved? That is, how do we replicate successful worker cooperatives in different locations? Inherent in the challenge of replication is a long standing conundrum of worker cooperative development. Replication is analogous to "franchising" in a capitalist company. Capitalist companies have a compelling motive to replicate successful stores - maximizing profit.

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By Joe Marraffino, Arizmendi Development and Support Cooperative

Since the mid-1990s a group of worker cooperative organizers in the San Francisco Bay Area has been developing a new model for cooperative development.  Our organization, the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, is a network, incubator, and technical assistance provider that is owned, governed, and funded by the member workplaces it creates and serves.  Our primary activity is to replicate and offer continuing support to new retail bakeries based on a proven cooperative business model.   

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By Erbin Crowell

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