There is a widespread belief that the driving force of innovation is competition between companies. The government is viewed as an obstacle holding back the full potential of entrepreneurs with outdated regulation. However, practically all tech start-ups that are poster-boys for innovation are built on two profound inventions, both of which are born out of publicly funded research: the digital computer and the internet. These inventions were not born from profit driven competition, but instead cooperation between scientists.

Enspiral is a rather unique organisation, often featured in this blog. Over the years the number of participants, its core structure and overall network have evolved in fascinating and informative ways. This evolution along with the many lessons learned is chronicled in their collective book “Better work together”.

Kirk Vartan, founder of 10 year pizza businesses, presnts on experience of converting to worker-cooperative in 2017. April 2018

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The US rural electric cooperative movement dates back to the economic development programs of the 1930’s New Deal, when 9 out of 10 rural households had no electricity. Now RECs are recasting themselves as solar power leaders of the Green New Deal, before there is even a Green New Deal.

Before Sophie Slater lived in a housing co-operative, her homes, across south London, were precarious. There was the illegal house share in New Cross where she slept under a dodgy boiler for six months. (Eventually the gas man snitched and they had to move out, which was probably for the best, on account of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.) There was the flat on the Old Kent Road where she paid £300 to sleep in the living room and her friend, who had the bedroom, paid £600. The worst thing about that flat was that Slater slept by the kitchen bin.

More than 26,000 Kentucky businesses, employing more than 300,000 people, are owned by baby boomers, many of whom have not identified the next generation of ownership and could be at risk of closing their businesses when they retire. Transitioning to a worker-owned cooperative or another form of employee ownership could keep these businesses thriving and locally owned.

Here is a link to the video recording of the chat where Nicolas Dimarco of presents the formula for federated work among cooperatives. Here is a link to the notes from the meeting on 3/20/2019 and some past Show and Tell meetings.

More information on Show and Tell.

WORCESTER — On the top floor of an old industrial building at 41 Jackson St., steps from a factory where garment workers a hundred years ago made women’s corsets, a printers’ cooperative is stoking a political revolution, one T-shirt and one coffee mug at a time.

The Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED) is thrilled to announce that Baltimore has joined other leading cities in committing public support for worker cooperative development. With the award of a $47,000 Community Catalyst Grant, the City of Baltimore is enabling BRED to launch a new initiative designed to pilot the creation of a worker cooperative conversion pipeline.

We’ve all heard stories about conference behavior getting out-of-hand. It’s glorified in ostensibly benign comedies dating back decades, and it seems that every office has its own lore about so-and-so doing such-and-such while under the influence or, perhaps, out from under the influence of so-and-so’s spouse. From what I’ve observed, at least, that type of behavior has either become less typical or has become less overt (hopefully from becoming less acceptable) even in just the last ten years or so. That’s good, right? But there is plenty of work to be done on

“I am living my full purpose in my work. I feel a deep sense of comradery with my co-workers. I feel agency without the overwhelm of total responsibility. I am deeply happy with my job.“

The women of the Mujeres Emprendedoras Cooperative started their small catering business for more than just themselves.

Co-ops allow their employees to also be the owners. But state law doesn’t recognize them as a business entity, which makes it hard to get financial backing.

State Rep. Carol Ammons, a Democrat from Urbana, is sponsoring legislation that would change that.

“It’s very difficult for traditional banking institutions to work with a cooperative model, unless we correct the legal definition of cooperatives,” Ammons said.

Advocates say worker co-ops create dignified jobs with living wages in areas with low employment.

Atlanta, GA (March 19, 2019)- This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced that the Federation of Southern Cooperative's Executive Director, Cornelius Blanding, is one of five recipients in the Leadership Award category. The Leadership Awards are part of the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs, which works to establish a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership.

Tony Silvernail grew hemp for the first time in June 2018. He was ready to give it up by the fall — his small farm of only 20 acres made it difficult for him to get the attention he needed to purchase quality seeds and the prices he could afford to process his CBD oil for this year.  

I don’t think it is inherently unjust to have an organisation with some hierarchical forms. You might have a communications department, alongside an engineering department, and they may both be contained by some coordinating function.


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