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– Keynote Address, Good Economy Conference, Zagreb 2015

I want to speak today about a crisis that has gripped Europe, and the western democracies, over the last 30 years.

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cross-posted from YES! Magazine

Death. Darkness. Deceit.

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Are the identities of activist and entrepreneur compatible? Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur and author who’s work has taken her from the Zapatistas in Mexico to neighborhood activism in Philadelphia. She co-founded the Free People's Store, which later became Urban Outfitters, and is the author of Good Morning Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer. Also, activist and movement theorist Gopal Dayaneni takes us on a journey through critical economic analysis and how to resist capitalism.

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The Social Solidarity Economy is an alternative to capitalism and other authoritarian, state-dominated economic systems. In SSE, ordinary people play an active role in shaping all of the dimensions of human life: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental. SSE exists in all sectors of the economy—production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption and governance. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals.
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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

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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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[Editor's note: In Greece, Thessaloniki's VIOME cooperative recently celebrated their second year in operation.  Like many "recovered businesses" in Latin America, VIOME has faced continuing legal threats to its existence since workers first occupied their factory.  Despite the fact that the former owners stole hundreds of millions in wages from their employees—a crime for which they were found guilty— the cooperative is now being faced with a possible liquitdation order from

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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: 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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This article was first published in GEO Newsletter Vol. 1, Issue 72/73, 2007

The contemporary U.S. worker cooperative movement is somewhat ambiguous about its relationship to capitalism.  Members of our movement today range in perspective from viewing cooperatives as an anti-capitalist tool of struggle, "embodying the world that we seek to build," to seeing them as worker-empowering additions to an economic system believed to be either inevitable or in need of only minor modification.

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[Editor's note: GEO first published these two essays on the hurdles faced by coopeative and solidarity economy enterprises in 2001.  While the cooperative movement has made great strides in the intervening 14 years, the roadblocks identified here by the authors are still concerns for both new and existing co-ops.  In light of the recent surge in support that cooperatives of all kinds hav

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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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[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 owne

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cross-posted from Generocity

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[Editor's note: Farzana Serang, Executive Director of CoFED (The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive), discusses the concept of equity and how it relates to the principles and values of cooperative enterprises.

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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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[Editor's note: In this video, recorded by the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), John McNamara of the Northwest Cooperative Development Center draws on his experience as a Cooperative Development Specialist and worker-owner at Union Cab in Madison, WI to present a number of useful insights for managing growth and maintaining cooperative culture and values at worker co-ops.

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Additional resources for worker co-operators are available from TESA through their website.

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