Strategies for Change

Local Reports, Interesting Commentaries, Worth Noting
We do not need theories so much as the experience that is the source of the theory.
  --R D Laing, The Politics of Experience
over 200 U.S. solidarity events and Facebook pages
Visions & Models: 
Movements & Struggles: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 
from an Adbuster editor, a radical anthropologist/one of the inititial organizers, and a savvy movement/internet writer
I was trusting in two things. First, that there was enough cooperative drive among developers to overcome whatever fears, conflicts, and challenges that could (and hopefully would) arise. Second, the power of listening could successfully drive the development of the project from start to finish.
The unpalatable fact is that we, the ardent left, count for less and less in the public's thinking about how to live together... You become creditable when others take you seriously even though they may not agree with you. To be taken seriously, you need to know when to keep silent and how to listen well; you are then extending respect and recognition to others.
Visions & Models: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

John Duda, of Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, a worker-owned and operated business in Baltimore, writes in the spring issue of Indypendent Reader about the process of building a just and sustainable economy by examining a local worker dog-walking cooperative called Just Walk, Cleveland's Evergreen Cooperatives, and the Sojourner-Douglass College plan to rebuild a neglected part of Baltimore called Oldtown with a community wealth strategy that will include cooperatives. 

Read Duda's article here

The top/down system we seek to change is embedded in us--in our nervous systems, our beliefs, our attitudes, our habits, and our behavior. We are what we are seeking to change.  It is not just out there.  And not only is it in here, but it is out there to a large extent because we, the change agents, re-produce it over and over and over in every kind of relationship we have. This is by no means just a tragic irony. No way. This is a great opportunity.

San Francisco Community Congress: background and update

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A very interesting grassroots development happening in SanFrancisco: The San Francisco Community Congress.The goal is to devise practical, locally actionable proposals to shape and direct future policy affecting the local economy and the provision of critical human services.”  Their mantra, “another San Francisco is possible.”  If the devil is in the details, then this appears to be the beginning of a premier Solidarity Economy project.

GEO is...
Economic Sectors: 
An article in The Nation magazine tells how Boston's Green Justice Coalition is creating "a model to connect the struggle for environmental justice with the fight for living-wage jobs, helping to lay the groundwork for a new generation of community-labor coalitions across the country."
Economic Sectors: 
In 2005, Johnston Birchall addressed the International Co-operative community. It was the occasion of the the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Statement on the Co-operative Identity. Prof. Birchall called for the community to "operationalize" the statement. Researchers at St. Mary's University in Halifax have created a tool to help worker co-ops do just that.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I wandered into the meeting room. The description discussed the important role of compassion in dealing with conflicts as opposed to the more common acts of assigning blame.

It was led by Michael Johnson who is part of the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives, GEO and has been living in an intentional community for 30 years. Part of this workshop was based on his real-life experiences in attempting to find more productive methods of resolving conflict.

The Evergreen cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio was the story everyone wanted to hear at the opening session on Saturday Aug. 7, 2010 of the U.S. Federation for Worker Cooperatives conference in Berkeley. 

From grocery stores and bakeries to bike shops and day care centers, worker-owned cooperatives are gaining popularity across the country. How are they faring in the recession? What solutions do co-ops offer for today’s recession/depression? If they gain even more popularity, could they transform the economy and the way we think it should work?

Guests include Dan Thomases, a founding member of Box Dog Bikes co-op, John Kusakabe of the Arizmendi Bakery co-op, and Hilary Abell of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES).





Institutions & Structures: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 
We are not going to become the solution any time soon, but I believe that we have the opportunity to achieve a lot, like laying down a foundational strategy and infrastructure open to diverse approaches for the generation to come.


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