I frequently encounter a notion, among those drawn to cooperatives, that a cooperative should be an amorphous, faceless collective in which old-world skills and norms of leadership can be discarded. How does this work out for them? Not well.

Come and learn about the solidarity economy, which seeks to build an economy that serves people and planet. It's a framework, a global movement, and a broad set of practices that align with its values of solidarity, democracy, equity, sustainability and pluralism (not a one size fits all model).


* Sharon Hoyer, General Manager, Dill Pickle Food Co-op

*Vanessa Stokes, Co-Founder & Project Lead, Austin Food Co-op

*Gregory Berlowitz, Co-Founder & Director of Funding, Chicago Market

Moderated by Nancy McClelland, Certified Public Accountant, Nancy McClelland LLC

When the advertisers shift their interest from newspapers and online papers into social media, when these same newspapers are not in a  position to pay their journalists a decent wage  or cannot afford actual reportage and news coverage and prefer reporting the original content of some other paper or broadcaster, the information sector shows its gloomiest face.

The movement toward more community engagement in journalism has continued to pick up steam over the last several years, and it seems inevitable that this trend will continue. Participation is the logical next step.

In the summer of 2009, economists reported that one-third of the capital equipment in the United States stood idle while some 17 percent of the workforce were either unemployed, forced into part-time jobs, or “discouraged” from even seeking work.

On a sunny December morning dozens of people gathered at Gateway Community College’s Central City Campus to learn about Arizona’s co-op landscape.

Nigel Forrest, a postdoctoral research associate at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, hosted the day long workshop with support from the Arizona Cooperative Initiative and volunteers.

Forrest said out of approximately 50 to 60 co-ops in the state, credit unions dominate. Worker co-ops are the least common.


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