Conferences, Events & Gatherings

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(Editor's Note: Steven Dawson was president and founding director of the Industrial Cooperative Association (now the ICA Group) from 1978 through 1988. He is currently president of the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), the nonprofit affiliate of the 1600-employee Cooperative Home Care Associates - the largest worker cooperative in the U.S.

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Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/435
By Michael Johnson
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A report from the recent Forum in Tokyo
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Organized by Just, Alternative, Sustainable Economics (JASEcon) in Oakland, CA, the Festival of Grassroots Economics brought people together to imagine an "economy for people and planet."
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Breaking News from the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives:

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The US Social Forum is a movement-building process to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history. It will be happening June 22-26, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The USSF is a large, mostly volunteer effort with stakeholders all across the country and several moving parts.
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Carl Davidson of the US Solidarity Economy Network, on The Daily Kos
Pittsburgh: Worker Coops Meet to Save the Rust Belt and the Rest of Us, Too
Worker and Community Coops Gather in Rust Belt’s Pittsburgh to Build Solidarity

Andrew McLeod's blog, Cooperate and No One Gets Hurt
The Rust Belt shines

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By Jessica Gordon Nembhard (GEO, U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, and The U.S. Solidarity Economy Network)

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By Erin Rice and Lisa Stolarski

The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) held its first "Workweek" in New Orleans (NOLA), after the "Democracy at Work" conference this past June. Twenty-two cooperators stayed for four days after the conference and volunteered their time, energy and skills to local organizations and individuals who expressed interest in cooperatives and cooperative development.

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A gathering in Washington DC examines Venezuela's practices of participatory democracy.
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The "Really Really Free Market" challenges neoclassical definitions of the word "free" and creates gift economies in communities across the U.S.
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The unMoney Convergence is an interactive (un)conference on the systemic transformation of money and its connection to the social transformation of the planet as a whole. 
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By Mary Hoyer, ECWD Lead Organizer

For the first time since its inception in 2002, the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD) will be held in the South. The 2007 regional conference will be co-hosted by the Federation of Southern Co-ops/Land Assistance Fund (FSC/LAF) and the Southern Appalachian Center for Cooperative Ownership (SACCO).

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By Jenna Allard and Julie Matthaei, Guramylay: Growing the Green Economy

Most of the over 10,000 people who traveled to the first-ever U.S.

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By Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo

Credit: http://www.usworker.coopThe Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD) took concrete steps toward coalition building with other workers and unions, inter-cooperation with other cooperatives, and forging alliances with political groups at its 4th biennial conference this summer. It was the first ECWD held in the South.

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By Jim Johnson, GEO Collective

I had such a great time at this year's conference in Asheville, NC. Too many workshops, I wanted to go to all of them! But it's impossible, of course; quality over quantity is the only way. Armed with my laptop, I vowed to take careful notes and make at least a couple of presentations back home that would help my comrades and I become better worker-owners. Of course, my motive also was to demonstrate that attending the 2009 conference would be a worthy investment of time and money.

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By Len Krimerman, GEO Collective

I had expected the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) conference to be extraordinarily good, but it exceeded even that expectation. There was a wonderful mix of energies, ages, languages, cultures, regions, sectors, perspectives...that often found common ground; there were issues discussed that usually are kept off the table; there were ever so many signs of a movement matured, full of experience and promise, ready to take risks and take off.

By Melissa Hoover

Worker co-ops, community organizing, asset-building, economic development, environmental sustainability. These connections came up again and again at the recent national worker cooperative conference, a co-op conference that was exciting to me in part for the number of people attending who weren't --as yet--in co-ops.

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