Ethical Purchasing

cross-posted from FairCoop

It’s time to take control of our lives. Now is the time. We are building a socioeconomic system by the people and for the people, totally decentralized, open, cooperative and managed horizontally by all of its participants and taking all the decisions in assembly form. Meet and participate.

Experience freedom

This is the map of a new way of approaching economics. It is not a theory. It is working

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A conversation with Darya Marchenkova and Brian Van Slyke of the Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) worker co-op. Topics include TESA's new board game Rise Up!, what it's like to work in a geographically distributed collective, and how the collective has balanced consensus  and autonomous decision-making.

Toolbox for Education and Social Action website

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One simple strategy for supporting the growth of co-ops in the U.S. and Canada is for cooperatives, collectives and their members to use their purchasing power to support the cooperative movement.
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This Kickstarter funded documentary begins with the following sobering statistics: In New York State a farm is lost every 3.5 days. 215,000 acres of farmland lie idle. Noticing the alarming rate in which local farms were being be sold off, in 2012 documentary filmmaker Sarah Teale (HBO’s The Weight of the Nation) formed a cooperative of grass-fed beef farmers called the Adirondack Grazers. Grazers follows the Co-Op’s first two years.

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After our article Crowdfunding Worker Co-ops: 15 Examples came out, Anton from dna merch in Berlin, Germany contacted us via email about their current crowdfunding campaign to "support workers in Croatia and South Asia with limited band t-shirts".  Supporters purchase t-shirts from their favorite bands, a worker co-op makes the shirts, and a portion of the proceeds go to

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Columbia City Farmers' MarketWinter farmers’ markets are tests of fortitude and patience, even in Seattle, where the climate is reasonably temperate much of the season.

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Are the identities of activist and entrepreneur compatible? Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur and author who’s work has taken her from the Zapatistas in Mexico to neighborhood activism in Philadelphia. She co-founded the Free People's Store, which later became Urban Outfitters, and is the author of Good Morning Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer. Also, activist and movement theorist Gopal Dayaneni takes us on a journey through critical economic analysis and how to resist capitalism.

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[Editor's note: this short documentary looks at the multi-faceted company Alaffia, based in Togo, West Africa.  Alaffia's three cooperatives (producing shea butter, baskets, and coconuts) provide economic independence for the women involved and fund empowerment and development projects for local communities.  In the US, Alaffia's fair trade products are sold at many food co-ops and natural food stores.  While the company may not be entirely cooperative (the US part of the company does not appear to be run cooperativ

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[Editor's note:This is part three of Jim Johnson's interview with Ben Sandel of the CDS Consulting Co-op.  In this section, Ben discusses the recent explosive growth of food co-ops, cooperative responses to increased competition in the organic food market, and possible ways to expand food co-operatives beyond middle-class neighborhoods.  Parts one and two can be found here and

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Approaches for creating sustainable livelihoods assume that a rural household has the ability to make rational decisions to respond to often changing opportunities and constraints, including those offered by markets. In sync with this assumption, envisioning livelihood opportunities for illiterate and unskilled populations (particularly women) has been the most coveted goal of every development agency, both within government and beyond.  While sustainable livelihoods are desirable, they are not easy to attain and there have been few success stories. (Gillet et al., 2008).

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In the middle of the Greek monetary (Euro) crisis, people have discovered a way around the system that's been rigged against them. They are setting up local currency and exchange systems and doing business, effectively, without government money. The breathless story can be found at Raw Story and it is well worth reading and thinking about. But, for me, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

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.

Asset Building for Cooperatives
Cooperation: Unique Prescription for Health
Mondragon and Steelworkers Union Alliance
Cooperatives and Peace
Overcoming Barriers
Ohio City Bike Cooperative tour

Today was another amazing day of presentations at the ACE conference!....

Unlike other conferences that I'm used to attending, you don't have to choose from workshops at the Association of Cooperative Educators. There is only one track, and everyone is on the same one.

 Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/403

by Bob St.Peter

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