Tony Silvernail grew hemp for the first time in June 2018. He was ready to give it up by the fall — his small farm of only 20 acres made it difficult for him to get the attention he needed to purchase quality seeds and the prices he could afford to process his CBD oil for this year.  

I don’t think it is inherently unjust to have an organisation with some hierarchical forms. You might have a communications department, alongside an engineering department, and they may both be contained by some coordinating function.

In this 2018 GDC session, KO_OP's Saleem Dabbous explains the reasons behind the structure of KO_OP and how that structure lays out a different vision for game development, one that is more ethical and survivable.

KO_OP describes itself as an “an artist run game studio,” and is your quintessentially quirky modern video game developer, having worked on everything from experimental soundscape projects like Skipping Stones, to the monster face puzzle solver GNOG, and even expansion packs for the Tomb Raider mobile spin-off, Lara Croft GO. Despite this, it’s not what makes KO_OP stand out. It’s the way KO_OP, as a developer, is structured; KO_OP is also a co-op.

A statewide convening focusing on the advancement of a worker ownership movement as well as the broader solidarity economy in Massachusetts.

Blumenthal got the idea for transforming his business into a worker-owned cooperative because of his friendship with the former sole proprietors of Real Pickles in Greenfield, who successfully transitioned their business into a worker-owned cooperative. The idea began to really take off around two years ago thanks to the involvement of Jim Armenti, who has taught music at Downtown Sounds for four decades, and David Faytel, a former business professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The foundation of the cooperative is an idea for a business that produces material and social good together, which in turn also does good for workers’ communities.

Americans in all walks of life are creating companies with business models driven by social purpose, not just their own pocketbook priorities.

In the U.S., for example, 64,000 companies are structured as “cooperatives” set up to benefit workers, members, consumers, and the broader society.


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