Strategies for Change

Movements Moving Together 14.                 

The loss of perspective around 6th Principle solidarity that I spoke of in my last blog seems to be in play in Madison, WI. A recent report from the March 18, 2015 issue of the Credit Union Times Magazine critiques its own sector in this regard:

The best kept secret about credit unions might be the opportunities that exist in partnering with other local cooperatives.

Unlike many alternative economic projects that have come before, solidarity economics does not seek to build a singular model of how the economy should be structured, but rather pursues a dynamic process of economic organizing in which organizations, communities, and social movements work to identify, strengthen, connect, and create democratic and liberatory means of meeting their needs. ~Ethan Miller, from Other Economies are Possible

Movements & Struggles: 

Jaques Kaswan (June 14, 1924 - January 28, 2015) studied cooperatives for 50 years and was a developer of systems to support the formation of worker coops and housing coops for over 35 years. He was a co-founder of the Arizmendi Assn, as well as Walnut Street Cooperative. 

Obituary at the San Francisco Chronicle

 

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Movements Moving Together 13.                      

An email was recently sent out from NYC Worker Cooperative Coalition with this subject head:

Organising, Mobilising, and Building a Worker Cooperative Ecosystem from the Ground Up.

[Editor's Note: later this month, GEO and Level Translation will release an English edition of the most recent report on Argentina's recovered businesses (of which there were 311 in 2013, employing over 13,400 people).  The inspiring successes of the recovered business co-ops in Argentina--their failure rate so far has been less than 5%--no doubt has much to teach us, in the North, about how to successfully transition from capitalist to worker control.]

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[Editor's note: in this important webinar, Elandria Williams and Jessica Gordon Nembhard of the US Solidarity Economy Network (SEN) host a discussion on the issues and conflicts surrounding race and colonization in the Cooperative/Solidarity Economy Movements.  Presenters include Shamako Noble of Hip Hop Congress, Cecilia Martinez of the Center for Ea

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Presencing, being present, and video journalism.

A friend of mine who is developing a digital business asked what I thought of the overview of personal and collective transformation mapped out by the Presencing Institute, which is connected with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is someone who finds my thinking that learning how to build small transformative cultures for self-empowerment and deeper cooperation makes some sense.

[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 owner

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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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OPEN CO-OPERATIVISM EMERGING

There is a very interesting development coming out of the UK and Western Europe. A network of folks over there are working hard on developing a framework for the convergence of co-operative, commons, solidarity, open source, and all the alternative economic movements. 

At this point they have identified three long term objectives:

[1] Build and Expand New Regimes of Law, Governance and Management; 

[2] Aggregate Patient Capital (aka “Co-Operative Accumulation”); 

[Editor's note: J Rainsnow is a novelist. His unusual review of Bulding Co-operative Power: Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-Operatives in the Connecticut River Valley comes from an artist’s perspective, outside of that of most co-operators, organizers, and activists.  His view is large and his grasp of details surprisingly rich.

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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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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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Movements & Struggles: 

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 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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Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

[Editor's note: this video from FairShares Association provides brief introductions to two new on-line collaborative decision making tools from New Zealand's Enspiral network.  Loomio is a tool that allows group discussion and consensus building, while Cobudget is for use specifically with group budgeting decisions.  Loomio was successfully crowdfunded in 2014 and released version 1.0 t

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