Organizational Support & Development

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This article is originally appeared on www.truth-out.org

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In 2012, the Democracy at Work Network (DAWN) was approached by Kiva Zip about being a pilot trustee for its direct micro-lending program. Kiva Microfinance began in 2005, a non-profit that collects funds online from individual lenders and offers loans to individual entrepreneurs abroad. Since inception, it has made more than 1,000,000 loans. These loans rely on in-country field partners to administer the funds. Kiva launched its newer Zip program in order to loan directly to individuals, asking only that a “trustee” vet applicants and vouch for their credibility.

 

Energia in Holyoke, MA is a multi-stakeholder cooperative

(Photo courtesy of Cooperative Fund of New England)

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At the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), our approach has been to help nonprofit organizations develop the financial capacity to keep providing the programming their missions demand. The end goal of this work is the facilitation of social change, but the approach demands an initial focus on the welfare of individual organizations. But what if we approached the question from another angle? What if we started by focusing on the needs of whole communities and then asked what resources individuals and organizations - including nonprofits - could provide to fulfill those needs?
Beverly Bell on the social movements there
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...writing for support to train members of media cooperatives and collectives around the world in consensus decision-making
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New England summit highlights Crowell and others


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Our first stop is another component allied with Mongragon University called SAIOLAN. It's an incubator project for helping to launch new coops and high-tech businesses as well as training new entrepreneurs.
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Our topic this morning is the wider range of the cooperative movement, both in the Basque Country and Spain. Mondragon is a part of the Basque Cooperative Confederation. There are currently 755 cooperatives in the Basque Country, and only 80 of them are the worker-owned MCC coops. There are a total of 537,000 members of all the coops, but only 54,919 are worker members, and 37,860 of these are the MCC worker-owners. 

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I'm with a group of 25 social activists on a study tour organized by the Praxis Peace Project. Our focus is the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, a 50-year-old network of nearly 120 factories and agencies, involving nearly 100,000 workers in one way or another, and centered in the Basque Country but now spanning the globe. We're here to study the history of these unique worker-owned factories, how they work, why they have been successful, and how they might be expanded in various ways as instruments of social change.
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I still have a few more posts on the National Worker Cooperative Conference held in Berkeley last week, but this post isn't about the specific workshops, but a general feeling and vibe that I found at the conference (and at other conferences). The work of building a cooperative society isn't quite like other trade associations or business cultures.

I wasn't able to sit through the entire presentation, however, I wanted to capture as much as I could of this interesting presentation about the ability of labor unions and worker cooperatives to co-exist and to thrive.

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.

A brief introduction from John McNamara in preparation for the Worker Cooperative Conference.
A shadow is hanging over America, the shadow of a wrecked economic system. Tens of millions of unemployed remain despondent about ever finding a job again, an entire young generation despairing of any hope for a good life, while corporate market pundits pontificate that our system creates the best of all societies, and no alternative is possible. A nationwide group gathering in Berkeley this coming weekend is putting the lie to the pundits.
The Association of Cooperative Educators established the John Logue ACE award at its 58th annual conference in Cleveland July27-30, 2010. Ohio Employee Ownership Center staff members, Bill McIntyre and Logue's wife, Olga Klepikova, talk about Logue's work, vision, "moxie" and his impact on Ohio and the U.S. Other ACE awardees for 2010 are also mentioned.
High-Energy Gathering Fires Up A New Generation of Activists in U.S. Left and Social Movements By Carl Davidson Keep On Keepin' On! When 15,000 vibrant and politically engaged people gather in one spot for five days and organize themselves into more than 1000 workshops, dozens of major plenaries and late night parties across five major cultural hot spots, no one article can claim to give a full account and get away with it. But an event on that scale livened up Detroit, Michigan during the week of June 22-26 at the US Social Forum, when Cobo Hall and several nearby universities were buzzing with thousands of people trying to shape a new world. 15,000 Attend Detroit Social Forum I won’t even try to capture it all. I’ll just affirm the common conviction that it was a major happening on the left and a huge success, an inspiration and an affirmation of hope that progress is being made towards a better future. Then I’ll humbly offer my take on it. We’ll start with some highlights and, for those who aren’t familiar with the Social Forum movement, offer a few explanations.
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Anti-Racism in the Workplace two-day training, August 9th & 10th, 2010, UC Berkeley.

The U.S. Federation for Worker Cooperatives has organized an intensive 2-day workshop as part of the conference.  Here's how conference co-organizer, kiran nigam, bills it:    

By the Center for Family Life

The Challenge

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