But we have a real tension here between digital and deliberative democracy, if I can use that shorthand. I think the digital people are obsessed by numbers, and the funny thing is that this can very easily end up as an old politics – who is shouting the loudest? How many people are ‘liking’? That reminds me of standard electoral politics. Proponents of this approach come to you saying, “Look how many people have engaged with this!” Maybe it is a matter of political taste. The point about citizens assemblies is that it is not a large group, but it is diverse.

But if we are to rethink the use of land, does this also mean new ideas about ownership? Neil McInroy, chief executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, is working on an agenda to shape local economic strategies for land, property and other assets to be held in commons – creating “a means by which wealth can by held by and for the people”. This offers an antidote to the problem of wealth being “extracted and disappearing offshore”.

Free. Donations are appreciated to support the expansion of the USFWC's policy work.

Webinar Details:
The USFWC Policy and Advocacy Council hosts quarterly public webinars on current topics. This quarter, we will be focusing on the resources you need to communicate with your local small business development centers, who are responsible for sharing information about worker ownership after the Main Street Employee Ownership Act.

Since the privatisation of Victoria's coal-fired power stations in the 1990s, the Latrobe Valley has been known for high unemployment.

But now one group of workers has taken the task of creating new jobs into their own hands.

The Earthworker Cooperative has been around for about 20 years, but since the closure of the Hazelwood power station in 2016 the group has taken steps to realise its dream of a worker-owned factory in the industrial town of Morwell.

In the social realm, critical feedback serves the same function as pain in the biological realm. Just as pain comes in a wide range of degrees of severity, so does criticism. Some pain you can safely ignore; other pain can alert you to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate attention. (As many of us experience critical feedback as painful, this analogy is not such a stretch.)

We are members of the Park Slope Food Coop and stand in solidarity with PSFC staff who are organizing to create positive change in their workplace and build a structure where all staff have equal rights and protections.


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