Strategies for Change

“Co-operative culture eats co-operative governance for breakfast!”   

An article gleaned from England’s Co-operative News talks about how to generate and nurture a strong co-operative culture. It identifies six factors for sustaining a co-operative culture.

Editor's note: This excellent documentary by Ric Sternberg details the "re-cooperativisation" of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative in central Texas as well as the steps towards environmental sustainability that some other electric co-ops are taking.  You can find more from Ric on his Youtube channel,  and be sure to check out his latest project:

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Movements Self-Reflecting.

One role a journal like GEO can play is to provide a platform for our movements to reflect on their doings. The “Scaling-Up” theme currently running is an example. Also, a recent article by Carl Ratner is another as was one of my recent blogs.

Editor's note: Today we present the testimony of more worker-owners, delivered this past February at a hearing convened by the New York City Council Community Development committee.  Read more hearing testimony from co-op practicioners here.  Read about the end results of the hearing here.  Complete written testimony from the hearing is embedded below this article.

 

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Editor's introduction: Today we present testimony from four worker-owners, delivered at the the New York City Council Committee on Community Development hearing this past February.  the hearing was to consider a proposal for a city budget line devoted to cooperative development.  Given that we don't often get to hear directly from worker-owners, we've rescued this important documentation from the bowels of the NYC Council website

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Please, for the sake of our movements, some humility and self-criticism.

Every movement for social change involves  long periods of great frustration that can even lead to despair as well as sudden moments of breakthrough opportunities that spur hope and confidence. Unfortunately these moments of breakthrough also produce star-struck fantasies of unrealistic expectations. Such fantasies and mis-visions are a major way we shoot ourselves in the feet. Often, even, shoot our feet off.

 

"One cheer for democratic culture; another for democratic structure; three cheers when they join together in collaboration."

~Anonymous

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Before the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperative’s 10th anniversary conference in Chicago, GEO asked some co-op veterans to talk about what they thought the USFWC had achieved in its first 10 years.

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"It's you, it's me, it's us."
 

This blog is connected to TTC 6, which I posted yesterday.

I am watching a PBS series of short documentaries on Shakespeare called Shakespeare Uncovered. They are really good. They are opening up his mind and his writing to me as never before. Also showing how dramatic writing can be more powerful and more precise than my didactic prose.

With cold, clear eyes and a warm, loving heart.

We embody our culture. Each of us in our unique way.

Our culture is many things in many complex ways. One of them is that it is very oppressive.

[Editor's note: GEO recently published a transcript of Duncan Kennedy's presentation at Unbound's "This Land is Your Land: Remaking Property after Neoliberalism" conference.  David Bollier also spoke at the conference; these are his reflections.]

cross-posted from David Bollier's blog

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I approached the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound conference  fully expecting the majority of plenaries and workshops to be platforms for Coalition members to herald their own projects, or to preach to the converted about the necessity of cooperatives and democratic governance.

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Duncan Kennedy had some interesting things to say about our conceptions, and misconceptions, of property during the Spring 2014 Conference put on by Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left.  The title of the conference was "This Land is Your Land: Remaking Property After Neoliberalism."  Kennedy's comments run until 47:30.

 

 

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The Austin Cooperative Summit brought together more than 100 people interested in cooperative businesses to help move the Central Texas economy toward shared abundance and prosperity. The summit is a program of the Austin Cooperative Business Association and NCBA CLUSA.

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More than 450 people attended the sold-out fifth biennial conference of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) in Chicago at the end of May, continuing to build a movement and celebrating 10 years since its founding.

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MOVEMENTS MOVING TOGETHER  6.

When I try to explain what solidarity (or social or social-solidarity) economics is all about to someone who has never heard of it, I often ask them to imagine a rainforest, those awsome ecosystems that are often called such things as "incubators of life" and "lungs of the planet."  I quote from Wikipedia to help them make their picture:

[Editor’s Note: this article by Tony Patterson originally appeared on the Co-op Canada Accelerator blog in June of 2013. One year is an eternity in internet-time, but the suggestions Patterson makes have relevance today as much as last year, and in other countries as well as in Canada.]

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