United States

[Editor's Note: In this section of our interview with Ben Sandel of the CDS Consulting Co-op, Jim Johnson asks how food co-ops can increase their share of the growing organic and local food markets.  Sandel suggests re-investment of profits along with a focus on growth, and points to Austin's Wheatsville Cooperative as a notable exemplar.  The need for new co-op finacial models, appropriate for urban and lower-income co-ops is also discussed.  You can read part one of the interview t

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Amherst, MA – September - 2014 - Levellers Press, a worker co-operative, announced the publication of Building Co-operative Power! Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-Operatives in the Connecticut River Valley. 

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[Editor's Note: This interview with Ben Sandel of CDS Consulting Co-op was recorded in November of 2013.  CDS provides consulting and resources for start-up food co-ops across the country.  Ben was also involved in starting the Friendly City Food Co-op in Harrisonburg VA.  Ben was interviewed by GEO Collective and Democracy At Work Network member, Jim Johnson.  Parts two and three of this intervie

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[Editor's note: This episode of Clearing the Fog Radio features interviews with GEO member Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo and author Janelle Cornwell, whose new book Building Co-operative Power (co-authored with Adam Trott and GEO's Michael Johnson) is out now from Levellers Press ($19.95).  Janelle's interview starts at 5 minutes in, Ajowa's begins at 29.] 

 

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[Editor's note: Below is an interview with Robin Hahnel about the Participatory Economics movement or "Parecon."   Parecon is a theoretical economic system based on participatory decision making as the primary economic mechanism for the allocation goods, services, resources and the guidance of production.  In this interview, author and political economist Hahnel talks about his book Of the People, By the People: The Case for a Participatory Ec

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A Hidden Disease

If there's one thing we American's love, it's a health fad. Whether it's the paleo diet, cross-fit, vitamin supplements or hot-yoga, we gravitate towards just about anything that promises us improved health and well-being. And why shouldn't we? Health is wealth, after all.

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The following is a personal story about corporate cooptation at my food co-op in Northern California, North Coast Cooperative Inc.

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Co-op attorney Don Kreis discusses the legal framework under which co-ops operate in Vermont and the US, as well as a number of specific issues unique to co-ops.

 

See more interviews by Cooperative Vermont on their Youtube channel

Go to the GEO front page

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“The word ‘pathbreaking’ should not be used casually, but this is, in fact, a pathbreaking book. There is nothing like it. Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s study of Black cooperatives opens a door on a critical aspect of Black history in general and cooperative history in particular" ~ Gar Alperovtz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland

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In 2013 Acorn Community suffered fires to two of their buildings. The first was an accident in their steel building, home to their auto shop and clothing storage, among other things.

Editor's note: This excellent documentary by Ric Sternberg details the "re-cooperativisation" of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative in central Texas as well as the steps towards environmental sustainability that some other electric co-ops are taking.  You can find more from Ric on his Youtube channel,  and be sure to check out his latest project:

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There is a problem with corporate governance at traditional capitalist firms that often goes unmentioned in discussions of our current social and economic ills. It's a problem that I have reason to believe also effects some of our largest co-ops. It is a perverse dynamic that has lead to extremes of income and wealth inequality, and it is all the more pernicious for being largely invisible. (I'm going to have to dive into the weeds a little bit to get to where I'm going, but stay with me and I promise you, this will come back around to co-ops.)

Editor's note: Today we present the testimony of more worker-owners, delivered this past February at a hearing convened by the New York City Council Community Development committee.  Read more hearing testimony from co-op practicioners here.  Read about the end results of the hearing here.  Complete written testimony from the hearing is embedded below this article.

 

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Editor's introduction: Today we present testimony from four worker-owners, delivered at the the New York City Council Committee on Community Development hearing this past February.  the hearing was to consider a proposal for a city budget line devoted to cooperative development.  Given that we don't often get to hear directly from worker-owners, we've rescued this important documentation from the bowels of the NYC Council website

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Please, for the sake of our movements, some humility and self-criticism.

Every movement for social change involves  long periods of great frustration that can even lead to despair as well as sudden moments of breakthrough opportunities that spur hope and confidence. Unfortunately these moments of breakthrough also produce star-struck fantasies of unrealistic expectations. Such fantasies and mis-visions are a major way we shoot ourselves in the feet. Often, even, shoot our feet off.

[Editor's Note: this is the second of a two part series by Ajowa Ifateyo on the history of the USFWC.  You can read part one here.]

2008 CONFERENCE GOES TO HELP OUT IN NEW ORLEANS

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"One cheer for democratic culture; another for democratic structure; three cheers when they join together in collaboration."

~Anonymous

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