Community Development

Columbia City Farmers' MarketWinter farmers’ markets are tests of fortitude and patience, even in Seattle, where the climate is reasonably temperate much of the season.

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For the last six months, a coordinated dialog has been taking place among a number of the key worker cooperative development and networking organizations in the Bay Area community, a collective initiative to lift the movement onto a higher scale, and make a truly significant regional impact. The Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC) has been a participant in this process.

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Matthew Slater sums up his experiences visiting European ecovillages. He considers their strengths and presents questions aimed at addressing the lack of financing and true economic alternatives within the ecovillage movement.
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– Keynote Address, Good Economy Conference, Zagreb 2015

I want to speak today about a crisis that has gripped Europe, and the western democracies, over the last 30 years.

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[Editor's note: GEO first published these two essays on the hurdles faced by coopeative and solidarity economy enterprises in 2001.  While the cooperative movement has made great strides in the intervening 14 years, the roadblocks identified here by the authors are still concerns for both new and existing co-ops.  In light of the recent surge in support that cooperatives of all kinds hav

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[Editor's note: these two documents from Croatia's EBank (English translation) lay out an alternative type of financial institution for solidarity economy projects and enterprises.  While utilizing an ownership structure similar to a credit union (all customers are owne

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Here at GEO, our Scaling Up the Cooperative Movement ebook has been flying off the e-shelves. It would appear that a lot of people are interested in what it's going to take to create a cooperative economy that can provide an alternative to our traditional ways of doing business.

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[Editor's note: this report by Pat Conaty and David Bollier presents an in-depth look at the how our often disparate movements might begin to work together more closely in order to create a more just, open and equitable economy.  David Bollier describes the scope of the report on Shareable:

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[Editor's note: This piece originally appeared in the Colombia Support Network’s fall 2014 newsletter.]

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[Editor's note: this interview with journalist and civil rights activist Esther Cooper Jackson was broadcast by GRITtv for Martin Luther King Day, 2014.  Along with Shirley Graham Du Bois, W. E. B.

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[Editor's note: this short documentary looks at the multi-faceted company Alaffia, based in Togo, West Africa.  Alaffia's three cooperatives (producing shea butter, baskets, and coconuts) provide economic independence for the women involved and fund empowerment and development projects for local communities.  In the US, Alaffia's fair trade products are sold at many food co-ops and natural food stores.  While the company may not be entirely cooperative (the US part of the company does not appear to be run cooperati

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Kwanzaa is an African-inspired holiday practiced by millions of African Americans from December 26 - January 1.  African values, which are geared toward care of the whole or the collecti

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In this inspiring talk from TEDxDouglas (Isle of Man), Valerie Miller discusses the founding of Mother T—a community center whose objective is to rebuild community, facilitate connection and tackle problems such as loneliness and isolation.  She also highlights how time banks, unlike traditional social service providers, enrolls the help of the people it supports, and focuses on the assets and abilities of community members, rather than their deficits.  Miller argues that this empowering approach has the potential to revitalize community spirit and improve people's lives and relationships.

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cross-posted from Seeds Beneath

When I first got involved in the co-op movement I didn’t do it because I thought the co-operative model was an end in itself.

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