Strategies for Change

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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More than 450 people attended the sold-out fifth biennial conference of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) in Chicago at the end of May, continuing to build a movement and celebrating 10 years since its founding.

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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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THE EVERGREEN EXPERIMENT.

GEO recently posted a link to a must-read article on the Evergreen experiment in Cleveland: Can the Co-ops Save Us. It’s a must-read because it is an excellent piece of journalism by Steve Friess that reports on the financial and economic side of the experiment, its warts and its roses.

This May, Baltimore played host to an Economic Democracy Conference, organized by It's Our Economy.  We've rounded-up coverage  from across the web so you can read reports from the conference, listen to conference organizers and watch video of conference sessions--all in one place.  If you couldn't make it to the conference, this round-up is the next best thing!

Here's a report from It's Our Economy:

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We need to deeply democratize ourselves and others in order to move cooperation and democracy from the margins toward the center of our collective lives.

An unusual perspective

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Dramatically redistributing ownership and restructuring the institutions of wealth administration to align resource allocation decisions with the interests of people, communities, and nature is essential to a healthy and prosperous human future. Sorting out how to accomplish a transition from the system we have to the system we need is a defining — and so far largely unaddressed — question of our time.

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Joe Guinan is a Senior Fellow at the Democracy Collaborative and Executive Director of the Next System Project.

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The Marriage of Abuse and Vulnerability.

The title comes from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. I don’t know if his theme relates to the theme of “two under-cultures” or not. The title does relate, however, at least superficially.

One thing I use my blog for is to think about themes that I think are strategically critical for the success of democracy movements. Recently I have been focusing on empowerment of ordinary people. Below I kind of sketch out the main lines I have been thinking along.

The idea to start a series of blogs on this theme came to me as I read a blog from a friend who is exploring what’s going on in Palestine. The story she tells in her blog is very moving. Great example of ordinary people empowering themselves. And she writes well. I urge you to read it.

I think we are in rather desperate need of a sharp, rigorous cooperative/empathic economics that goes after this kind of thing with intellectual brutality and compassion for all of us struggling with love relationships:

Sexual Behavior as Predicted by a Social Exchange Model: Three Tests of Sexual Economics

TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST                                                                                                

In this series of blogs I am developing a narrative about how we maintain and change ourselves and our cultures. Here’s the core of it (taken from the first in the series):

In this series of blogs I am developing a narrative about how we maintain and change ourselves and our cultures. Here’s the core of it (taken from the first in the series):

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This may be a challenge to read. It’s unusually long, but particularly because the first part gets a bit dry and conceptual. However, I share an intense story to bring that to life, and then I reflect on that story.

IN PRAISE OF BRENÉ BROWN  

Blame and punishment head toward destructive outcomes. Empathy and loving move toward creation. The first are grounded in an relational under-culture of scarcity and fear; the second, in a relational under-culture of abundance and basic goodness. Both of these relational under-cultures are intertwined within every individual I have known (whatever their original culture), within every situation I have been in, within every social change movement I identify with, in every historical event I have read about.

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