Organizational Support & Development

When you think of the work that needs to be done in order to transition to a restorative society, one that solves problems rather than creates them, one that regenerates living systems – what do you think of? Chances are there's plenty of such work to be done, all around us. And chances are that opportunities to get jobs doing that work are few and far between. But what if we built our new economy on exactly that work? We can.

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cross-posted from Commons Transition

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cross-posted from Shareable

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In this video Marnie Thompson, Co-founder and Co-Managing Director of the Fund for Democratic Communities, talks about the origin of F4DC and how they are working to build a just economy.

Watch more from Fund for Democratic Communities

 

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Unions met with worker cooperatives November 13th and 14th to consider how the two can work together to build an economy balancing profits with wider ownership, higher labor standards, environmental conservation, and community well-being. The Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative (CUCI) organized the symposium connecting varied unions with worker co-ops or planned co-ops across the country.

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[Editor's note: for background information about SolidarityNYC's #SolidiarityCities project, see the first article in the series here.]

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“There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy” (Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 167-168)

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As worker-owners, we’re used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We’re tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows—and it is, rapidly—we’re innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive.

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[Editor's note: this is the fourth installment of GEO founding-member Len Krimerman's new memoir. You can read the preface and introduction and the first two chapters here, here, and here. Look for chapter four next Monday.]

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Two brief interviews with participants in GEO's 2015 Advancing the Development of Worker Cooperatives conference. The theme of the conference was "Regional Cooperative/Solidarity Economy Organizing."

Asar Amen-Ra from Detroit, MI and Georgia Julius from Troy, NY talk about why they came to the conference and developments in their local communities.

 

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This video from the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) looks at two methods of worker co-op development. Keywords: coops, cooperatives, economic development, business incubation, consulting, business development
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cross-posted from matslats.net

Having kept an eye on the altcoins for a good while I wasn't initially impressed by the claims of Faircoin.

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I became an international networker last week. I didn’t mean to. But apparently unexpected things happen at Findhorn Community, in Scotland.

Worker assistance programs and government funded co-op incubators have a poor track record for creating worker co-ops. More effective methods of creating worker cooperatives include converting existing businesses to worker co-ops and leveraging the institutional capacity of already existing co-ops to create new worker-owned businesses. Keywords: ESOP, conversion, worker assistance, economic democracy
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Many people, including those in the labor and worker co-op movements, think that unions and co-ops are singularly mismatched.  Logic has it that worker co-ops don’t need to be unionized since workers own and manage their businesses, and that workers in labor unions just naturally aren’t entrepreneurial but rather are used to resisting “the boss.”  In addition, people may be familiar with large agricultural co-ops in the Midwest that fight with unionized workers, or with food co-ops that resist worker unionization.  

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Since 2011, we’ve been steadily growing the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. We’ve been developing as an organization, establishing programs and services, and building connections among cooperatives and credit unions. In this article, I will discuss our evolution and speak to our successes and challenges with an eye towards helping other cooperative alliances in their own formation.

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