Conferences, Events & Gatherings

[Editor’s note: Below are summations of two parts of an Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy workshop that was held July 17, 2005. It is encouraging to note how many of the goals that were set for the movement a decade ago have been, or are in the process of being, accomplished.  Besides offering some recent historical perspective, these notes also provide a still-relevant list of prescriptions for forwarding our movement both domestically and on the global stage.

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[Editor's note: This synopsis of William Greider's keynote address at ECWD 2005 first appeared in GEO #68: Celebrating the 3rd Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy.  Although it was delivered almost 11 years ago, Greider's message is one that bears repeating still today. ]


"Be joyful even though you know all the facts."

~Wendell Berry

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The World Social Forum (WSF) is organized by several entities and social movements from many countries “that are opposed to neo-liberalism and to [the] domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Mankind and between it and the Earth” in a self-managed, decentralized and networked way.

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Unions met with worker cooperatives November 13th and 14th to consider how the two can work together to build an economy balancing profits with wider ownership, higher labor standards, environmental conservation, and community well-being. The Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative (CUCI) organized the symposium connecting varied unions with worker co-ops or planned co-ops across the country.

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A movement to build worker cooperatives as a tool of economic and community development is blossoming in Cincinnati.  Much of that work is attributable to three decades of work and personal sacrifice by Raymond West, a cooperative developer who was also a Catholic who tried to live out his values and who encouraged other religious leaders to do the same.

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In October of 2014, the First South American Regional Meeting on “The Worker Economy” was held in the town of Pigüé. More than two hundred workers, cooperators, and university students from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil participated in this meeting. The intent was to create a space for debate, reflection, and coordination between self-managed workers, different kinds of cooperative experiences, unions, and social movements related to the working class and economic debate, together with social and political activists, intellectuals, and academics committed to these struggles and processes. This article explores the genesis and development of this experience that, together with the European Meeting in Gémenos, close to Marseilles, and the Meeting of North and Central America in Mexico City, consolidated the preparation for the Fifth International Meeting in Punto Fijo, Venezuela, in July of 2015.
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[Editor's note: the three interviews below were recorded during the 2015 Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD).  Armando, Joe and Labbe talk about their respective co-ops and their experiences as worker-owners.  Be sure to watch our other interviews from ECWD and GEO's own conference (ADWC 3) here and here.]

 

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[Editor's note: below are notes taken at our Advancing the Development of Worker Cooperatives 3 conference.  This interactive one-day event was centered around the topic of regional cooperative/solidarity economy organizing, with a group conversation broken into four sessions - each addressi

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A diversity of kindred approaches to alternative political economics is emerging across the country.  Many of them share a regional focus. This is showing unusual potential for advancing the development of worker co-operatives through inter-cooperative and cross-sector networking.  We are calling this Regional Cooperative/Solidarity Economic Development (C/SE) (Please see the note below on why we are using this unusual phrase, “cooperative/solidarity.”)

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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 E

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Last year, in December 2013, my daughter decided to visit Twin Oaks, a long established, egalitarian income sharing community in Louisa, Virginia.  Her hope was to find a community that would support her commitment to living sustainably, connecting with the earth on a spiritual level, and supporting her egalitarian cooperative values.  Her initial reports were t

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[Editor's note: In the opening speech from this year's CommonBound conference, Ed Whitfield, co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC), discusses the necessary conditions for creating an economy that provides not only the knowledge, but also the means, for economic security to everyone on an equal basis.  He discusses the intersection of economic and environmental justice, the inherent biases of  our

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Tall luxury condominiums, new restaurants, coffee shops, and health food stores now punctuate most of the neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, bringing (what some consider) prosperity the likes of which the one-time "Chocolate City" has never before witnessed.

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[Editor's note: Here is a long video with some great panelists from the Elevate Festival 2014, held in Graz, Austria.  Amy Goodman's opening statement begins at 22:56; Friederike Habermann's segment begins at 39:20; Felix Stalder begins at 45:43; and Silke Helfrich gives her intial statement at 52:08.  At 2 hours and 20 minutes, there's a lot of food for thought here.]

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