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In this inspiring talk from TEDxDouglas (Isle of Man), Valerie Miller discusses the founding of Mother T—a community center whose objective is to rebuild community, facilitate connection and tackle problems such as loneliness and isolation.  She also highlights how time banks, unlike traditional social service providers, enrolls the help of the people it supports, and focuses on the assets and abilities of community members, rather than their deficits.  Miller argues that this empowering approach has the potential to revitalize community spirit and improve people's lives and relationships.

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The first Small Business Administration (SBA) loan representative that I approached for a loan stopped answering my calls and emails when he learned that I belonged to a worker cooperative.The federal agency designed to help small businesses succeed has a policy of lending to

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cross-posted from Seeds Beneath

When I first got involved in the co-op movement I didn’t do it because I thought the co-operative model was an end in itself.

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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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There are alternatives: economic, political, and cultural. The trick of any ruling elite is to convince just enough people that there are no such alternatives. There is no magic bullet alternative; no singular alternative institution that by itself can transform or transcend a system. Yet, in combination, as a set, and in a network, such alternative institutions carry the possibility of both building and fomenting system-change.
           

[Author's note: A revised version of this paper will appear in Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality in Washington, DC, edited by Sabiyha Prince and Derek Hyra.]

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(Editor's note: This article emerged out of conversations Michael had with Terry Mollner and his thinking about creating institutions grounded in the idea the common good. We were quite surprised to find out that it turned out to be one of this most read articles on GEO: 10,500 a week or ago; almost 11,000 now. We were more than delighted when a recent article passed the 3,000 mark in page views. 1,500 is a seen as a big plus. But 11,000! We can’t explain it. However, since there has been so much interest in it, we decided to post it anew.

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This is an interview I conducted with my mother, Clauda Davis, over Thanksgiving weekend, 2014.  In it, she describes how a group of families living in student housing on the campus of Montana State University (Bozeman, MT) formed a babysitting cooperative with nothing more than some poker chips and a monthly meeting.  Not only did the babysitting co-op provide childcare, it also had beneficial side-effects for relationships between neighbors and within couples.  This simple cooperative framework is one that could be just as useful for families today as it was for my parents in the early 1

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cross-posted from venezuelanalysis.com

Solidarity, cooperation, and community empowerment are socialist values promoted by the Bolivarian Revolution in contrast to the individualism and selfishness promoted by the corporate-owned mass media. Cooperatives are quietly transforming people's values in Venezuela, and the rest of the world, though they have been mostly ignored by the mass media and by many political leaders, too.

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Early in his D.C. political career, the late Mayor Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. set out to make the District of Columbia a model city for cooperatives.

Soon after he started his first mayoral term in 1979, Barry remarked at a February 1980 conference:

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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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I was asked to speak to a conglomeration of topics at the Global Exchange Conference in Providence, RI, held at the beginning of last August. It felt perfect, since I am a practitioner and as such, a promoter for each of three subjects linked together here—communities, co-ops and social enterprises. But when rising to talk about these individual topics, my head moved aside, letting the real story be told.

 

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Low-income workers in Seattle are getting another economic boost. Five months after the local government became the first in the country to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15—making it the highest in the country—the Federal government's Small Business Administration has funded a local business support group to help train disadvantaged Seattle workers to develop worker cooperatives and home-based or cottage businesses.

 

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[Editor's note: In this presentation from The Sustainable Economies Law Center's 5th Annual Fall Celebration, SELC's staff presents a comprehensive vision of a Cooperative Economic future and, more importantly, lays out concrete steps that can be taken in order to arrive there.  As an additional bonus, the presentation is creative and entertaining.  Enjoy!  (The show starts at 1:50 and runs until 35:52)]

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Developments in New York City and at CUNY

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[Editor's Note: In this interview, Professor Yochai Benkler uses evidence from neuroscience, economics, sociology, biology, and real-world examples to break down the myth of self-interest and replace it with a model of cooperation in our businesses, our government, and our lives.  The interview was conduced by Daniel Dennis Jones of Radio Berkman and is shared under a Creative Commons 3.0 licence.]

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Where to next in the Global Justice Movement? Gopal Dayaneni has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking and direct action since the late 1980's. Cindy Wiesner is a queer working class Latina, and has been a community organizer for the last 20 years, and is the Program Coordinator for the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. Together, they look back on the recent Climate Justice march, and ask what's next for social justice movements.

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cross-posted from New Economy Transtion

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cross-posted from YES! Magazine

From kitchens that buy and sell locally grown food, to a waste co-op that will return compost to the land, new enterprises are building an integrated food network. It's about local people keeping the wealth of their land at home.

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