Floating like a butterfly and humming like a mockingbird                                                                                                                                                              

Here's one reflection on the first of the four questions I identified in Movements Moving Together 2:

In November, Mondragon – a conglomerate stretching from banking to supermarkets with revenues – decided to let its oldest member file for protection against its creditors.

A new worker-ownership evolution-revolution featuring more virtuous capitalism communities of practice is demonstrating that doing well can realistically and profitably be based on doing good. This brave new economic world is emerging from green-shoot, “made in America” antidotes to structural unemployment and income inequality, sprouting ubiquitously among increasing absentee-owner-plagued urban and rural geographies.

The objective of this conference is to promote and support the development of Cooperative Enterprises and Development in the City of Jackson, MS.

Chris Agee is loading boxes of food and drink products on to a conveyor belt down in the basement of a grocery store in Brooklyn, New York.

One floor above him, shoppers push trolleys up and down the aisles, picking up their weekly groceries.

The problem of informality represents one of the major challenges in the fight against poverty. To address this issue, the traditional response has often been to apply Western entrepreneurial rationality to informal actors and consider small informal productive units as pre-capitalist firms whose growth potential can be realized, it is supposed, by providing them with adequate tools such as credit or training. But do informal initiatives really share the capitalist spirit of entrepreneurship or do they develop other rationales, such as the ones which spread in a "solidarity economy"?

Mervyn Wilson looks back at how Nelson Mandela and the struggle against apartheid shaped the cooperative movement in the UK

"As the world mourns the passing of a man whose life was dedicated to the type of inclusive society co-operators would describe as “the co-operative commonwealth”, it is worth reflecting on the impact that he and the struggle against apartheid had on the co-operative sector."

Whenever possible at SMC, we like to measure how we’re doing...our financial progress, our work backlog, our internal social factors, our longer-term future, in design and project planning, And, of course, building is a process of constant measurement.

michael johnson

FOUR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

What I am trying to do in this series of Movements Moving Together (MMT) blogs is think out loud about how movements that want to advance democracy more deeply and broadly into our cultures can work together in this multi-century project that is probably in its 3rd century at this point.

Here’s a short TED talk that might send you off wondering about empathy and compassion.

 GEO Collective member Jessica Gordon Nembhard's new book on the history of the African-American cooperative movement is now available for  pre-order from Penn State University Press.  

SolidarityNYC's animated short explains what the solidarity economy framework is and how housing co-ops and community land trusts, worker co-ops, community supported agriculture, and credit unions help to meet everyone's needs within it. 

This is my response to Michael Johnson's recent blog post, Movements Moving Together, Part 1.

Conversions are potentially so important for several reasons. Most broadly, there is a tremendous potential with such a large number of “baby boomer” business owners retiring in the coming years and decades. What will they do with their businesses? With conversions we have a huge opportunity to save businesses and jobs that might otherwise be lost if the retiring owner closes the doors or sells the business.

Instead of just battling the big banks, activists are working to strengthen a diverse alternative financial system that pursues social goals and offers affordable lending, but that currently remains undercapitalized, and in the case of credit unions serving low-income communities, is even shrinking.

This keynote address by Robin Seydel from the 2011 California Cooperative Conference deserves to be widely seen.

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