cooperative economy

cross-posted from Shareable

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by Devra Gartenstein

The more I read and learn about cooperatives and the more experience I get participating in one, the more provocative I find the question, “What is a cooperative?”

The legal definition is reasonably clear, covering two main prerequisites:  one vote per member, and equity and profit allocations based on patronage—or participation—rather than monetary contribution.

Uberfication has become shorthand for many new concepts—from the sharing economy to any significantly disruptive digital business model. But what exactly did Uber do that was materially different to earlier disruptive digital businesses? In short:

  • It created software…

  • To replace existing industry-wide operational structures…

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In this interview, Esteban Kelly of the AORTA Collective (Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance) discusses the problems of exclusivity in food co-ops with Professor Andrew Zitcer of Drexel University.  Zitcer has recently published an article on the topic in journal Antipode:

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

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cross-posted from Medium

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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 cooperativ

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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 collectiv

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The first Small Business Administration (SBA) loan representative that I approached for a loan stopped answering my calls and emails when he learned that I belonged to a worker cooperative.  The federal agency designed to help small businesses succeed has a policy of lending to

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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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[Author's note: A revised version of this paper will appear in Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC, edited by Sabiyha Prince and Derek Hyra.]

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(Editor's note: This article emerged out of conversations Michael had with Terry Mollner and his thinking about creating institutions grounded in the idea the common good. We were quite surprised to find out that it turned out to be one of this most read articles on GEO: 10,500 a week or ago; almost 11,000 now. We were more than delighted when a recent article passed the 3,000 mark in page views. 1,500 is a seen as a big plus. But 11,000! We can’t explain it. However, since there has been so much interest in it, we decided to post it anew.

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cross-posted from venezuelanalysis.com

Solidarity, cooperation, and community empowerment are socialist values promoted by the Bolivarian Revolution in contrast to the individualism and selfishness promoted by the corporate-owned mass media. Cooperatives are quietly transforming people's values in Venezuela, and the rest of the world, though they have been mostly ignored by the mass media and by many political leaders, too.

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Early in his D.C. political career, the late Mayor Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. set out to make the District of Columbia a model city for cooperatives.

Soon after he started his first mayoral term in 1979, Barry remarked at a February 1980 conference:

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