Community Development

A movement to build worker cooperatives as a tool of economic and community development is blossoming in Cincinnati.  Much of that work is attributable to three decades of work and personal sacrifice by Raymond West, a cooperative developer who was also a Catholic who tried to live out his values and who encouraged other religious leaders to do the same.

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cross-posted from Commons Transition

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[Editors note: We're excited to announce two new ebooks from Las Indias, a trans-national, egalitarian community.  These books were translated from the original Spanish by Level Translation and are now available in English for the first time.  Below you will find a short excerpt and a preview chapter from each book.  If you would like to download a copy (in .epub, .pdf, and Kindle-compatible formats), just click the buttons below--you can even make a contribition to help Level and GEO keep bringing you these in

 

First, the Village

Yes, dear Readers, there is a place filled with Public Hope, a place in Spain far more tangible than Kris Kringle or Santa Claus.

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As worker-owners, we’re used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We’re tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows—and it is, rapidly—we’re innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive.

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This video from the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) looks at two methods of worker co-op development. Keywords: coops, cooperatives, economic development, business incubation, consulting, business development
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More people are choosing the cooperative model to express their entrepreneurial spirit in the Northwest. The success of a co-op depends on many people and their efforts. Keywords: resident-owned communities, manufactured homes, worker coops
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Let's try to get both a firm grasp and a large perspective on "regional co-operative/solidarity economic development," and what it has to do with “advancing the development of worker co-operatives.”

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Since 2011, we’ve been steadily growing the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. We’ve been developing as an organization, establishing programs and services, and building connections among cooperatives and credit unions. In this article, I will discuss our evolution and speak to our successes and challenges with an eye towards helping other cooperative alliances in their own formation.

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Columbia City Farmers' MarketWinter farmers’ markets are tests of fortitude and patience, even in Seattle, where the climate is reasonably temperate much of the season.

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For the last six months, a coordinated dialog has been taking place among a number of the key worker cooperative development and networking organizations in the Bay Area community, a collective initiative to lift the movement onto a higher scale, and make a truly significant regional impact. The Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC) has been a participant in this process.

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Matthew Slater sums up his experiences visiting European ecovillages. He considers their strengths and presents questions aimed at addressing the lack of financing and true economic alternatives within the ecovillage movement.
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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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[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 have

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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 owner

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