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America's Autoclinik

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Greenvitalize Urban Growers

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[Editor's note: below are video profiles of three worker cooperatives.  Each of these cooperatives have benefited from Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF) loans. LEAF’s mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people.

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[Editor's note: this history of the Evergreen Cooperatives is the first of a two-part series written by Atlee McFellin, who was intimately involved in the Evergreen Cooperatives as a consultant and then an employee of the Democracy Collaborative from February, 2011 until November, 2012.  Part one focuses on some of the usually unmentioned contradictions inherent in the "anchor-institution model" of co-op development, and details how those contradictions played out in the particular case of Evergreen.  Part two will look more closely at the role of the Democracy Collabor

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Free Twitter from Wall Street

For a lot of us Twitter is the fastest, easiest way to know and share what’s going on around us. It sparks urgent conversations, spreads vital information, and energizes movements.

But Twitter is under threat of being sold and selling out its users.

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Originally published in GEO vol. 1, issue 44, 2001.

We all want to get away from top-down management. We don't want to tell people what to do, or be told what to do. Yet if it weren't for the inspired leadership of a few dedicated people, many co-ops wouldn't exist. Since in worker-managed co-ops we are going to have leaders—in fact we're all leaders at times —we need democratic leadership. But what is that?

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[Editor's note: below are two short videos that profile rural cooperative enterprises in Latin America: a dairy cooperative in Ecuador and a weaving cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico.]

Salinerito

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[Editor's note: this talk was delivered in Cuba, during a trip organized by the Center for Global Justice in June, 2016.]

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[Editor's note: below are two videos that, while separated by over 50 years in time, share a common theme.  First, Ed Whitfield of the Fund for Democratic Communities and Renaissance Community Co-op, dicusses cooperative economics in the context of reparations for historical and on-going racial injustice.  Then, in priceless archival footage, Father Albert McKnight from Lafayette, LA discusses the founding and operation of the Southern Consumers' Co-op, their impre

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Abstract

This paper provides an explanation of why worker cooperative startups are rare. If true worker ownership is to be maintained in the startup period where losses occur, members face either a 'pay to work' or 'expected investment loss' problem. Founding members must either pay money to cover the losses resulting from their labor, or make investments upfront which will be expected to decline in value as losses occur. These two issues are completely foreign to modern finance and current labor practice, and also ignored by the worker coop community.

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[Editor's note: below are three short videos highlighting just few of the growing number of community-owned pubs in the UK.  As detailed in the videos, these community institutions are much more than just a place to drink a pint of beer.]

The Ivy House

The Ivy House website

 

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Cities are investing in support systems for worker cooperative development as a tool for sustainable and equitable economic development.
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The public, the people, will find a way to create forms we cannot even imagine, forms that could solve problems that seem insuperable to us. So what is needed is this constant creative activity from the public, and that means mainly everybody’s passion for public affairs. ~Cornelius Castoriadis [1]

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Originally published in GEO vol. 1, issue 61, 2004

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Professor Arun Agrawal of the University of Michigan responds to a number of questions about the importance of common pool resources, their use and their governance.

 

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“This is a female moment in time,” observes Rev Dele, founder of the Virginia-based, Soil Souls. “The Earth and society are about to give birth to a new culture. It’s women who give birth to that which is yet unseen.”

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The cooperative business and community model is both older than you think, and probably not what you think. Cooperatives have a history, especially in Buffalo, NY, and in minority communities everywhere. Clinton Parker explains how co-ops really work, how they can help some modern problems, and how you can get involved.

 

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