Solidarity Economy Organizing

Movement building happens face to face. Groups of people meet, build common visions, and organize to change the world. So what does data, such an impersonal and abstract figment of bits and bytes, have to do with regional movement building? Quite a lot!

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In order to create a fully cooperative society, co-ops of all varieties need to reach out to other, similarly-aligned groups, such as racial, social and climate justice movements. Groups such as Solidarity NYC and the Southern Grassroots Economies Progect (SGEP) are already working along these lines. Len Krimerman suggests adopting an 8th co-operative principle to address this reality. Keywords: solidarity economy, co-ops, regional development, social development
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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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In Ferguson and St. Louis, solidarity economy activists are coming together with social justice advocates to create innovative ways of fighting for justice in their communities. Keywords: MORE, Decarcerate St. Louis, cooperatives, poverty, #BlackLivesMatter
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[Editor's note: the following is a critique of  Survey of Co-operative Capital, by A. Michael Andrews; published in March 2015, by the International Co-operative Alliance’s blueprint for a co-operative decade.]

This is a disturbing and potentially dangerous report for three reasons:

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Considers the difference between cooperative economics and economic democracy. The two viewpoints are not the same. The potential for collaboration between cooperators and proponents of economic democracy is explored as are methods for injecting economic democracy into consumer and producer co-ops. Keywords: cooperatives, co-ops, economic democracy, democracy, solidarity economy, governance.
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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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Dr Denison Jayasooria, Principal Research Fellow at KITA-UKM and Dr Benjamin Quinones, Chairman, ASEC/RIPESS-Asia provide and overview of the state of the Solidarity Economy in the ASEAN.

Watch more videos from DurianAsean on their Youtube Channel

 

Go to the GEO front page

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by Josh Davis

Something struck me as odd while I was looking through the slide presentation of the recent public opinon poll conducted by NCBA and Consumer Federation of America.  The poll looked at knowledge of cooperatives and attitudes about them in the general population.  One of the slides breaks down respondents to the survey by educational attainment level.  Here it is:

[Editor's note: in these two videos from NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation), Laurent Levesque of l'Unité de travail pour l'implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE) discusses the local and global impacts of individual student co-ops and the student co-op movement as whole.  More videos from NASCO are available on their Youtube channel.]

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This Swedish documentary film on worker-owned cooperatives considers some of the most common criticisms of cooperative businesses and confronts them with real life experiences from worker owners from the US. Worker co-ops, cooperatives, solidarity economy
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Worker Cooperatives – An Alternative for Youth

By Alexander Kolokotronis

Worker cooperatives are rising, and youth are increasingly becoming a part of their success. In the United States youth involvement in cooperativism is taking on two forms: multi-chapter college-campus groups with strong connections to the broader cooperative movement, and youth themselves starting non-university based cooperatives.

 

Campus Student Groups – SODA and Aynah

 

The 2014 Worker Coop Academy helped two existing worker cooperatives to improve their business practices. Mandela Foods Co-op streamlined produce ordering and display, while DIG co-op developed a business plan and mapped out improvements to their by-laws. New Economy, Solidarity Economy, economic development, business education.
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Originally published in the April, 2015 edition of the The Shuttle

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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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Following last week’s feature on the start-up co-op New Hope Farm, this post continues our series on the 2014 Worker Coop Academy (WCA) in Oakland, California by focusing on “converter” co-ops On the Spot Massage and Sarana Community Acupuncture. Converters are businesses or organizations that have existed as conventionally owned entities but whose owners want to transition into a cooperative.

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A documentary film by Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler about the factory RiMaflow in Milan, Italy, which has been recovered by the workers after the former owners engaged in a fraudulent bankruptcy. The facility used to make auto parts but is now run as an open factory and is owned and controlled by its workers as a worker cooperative.
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If cooperative and solidarity economy organizers are serious about creating democratic, cooperative culture, they need to focus more on working in middle and high schools.
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