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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

GEO 14: The Anniversary Issue

May 4, 2013
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Yes, GEO turns 30 this year. As far as the Cosmos, or even human history, that's less than infinitesimal. But in the world of small alternative publications, it's HUGE!

So please pardon our celebratory pride in focusing our lens, this time, on ourselves, our collective, our own story (which of course contains many, many other stories).

This inward issue has four different sections:

  • In the first of these, GEO on Itself: Personal Reflections, you'll get to meet six of us – Betsy Bowman, Bob Stone, Jim Johnson, John Lawrence, Michael Johnson (no relation to Jim), and Marty Heyman. Each has a different story to tell about their work with GEO and what that has meant to them.

  • The second section features Chronicling the Chronicler, an overview of GEO's three decade history by Len Krimerman, who was there even "before the beginning" and throughout those decades.

  • (Some of) the Best of GEO looks back at specific parts of our past and asks of each what meaning or lessons they might hold today for us, and the grassroots democratic movements we chronicle. The three articles in this section are:

  • Future Focus, our final section, initiates three new themes to which GEO will return continuously over the coming months. These include:

    • Inter-continental Collaboration among Cooperatives; begun here by Doris Lee, who coordinates No Chains, a collaborative effort bringing together cooperatives in Thailand, Argentina, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. Doris' article is titled, "No Chains – A Cooperative Network Across Global Borders", and is the first of a two-part series.

    • Insurgent, or Oppositional, Workers Control; this theme kicks off with "Workers Control and/or Worker Cooperatives", an interview with Dario Azzellini. Dario asks us to rethink both "cooperative ownership" and the longer range goals of a democratic cooperative movement. He will be sending GEO further reports, gathered from across the globe, on this form of workers control; his co-produced video on Venezuela's local and highly participatory consejos and comunas is reviewed here by Lazri DiSalvo.

    • Remaking the Media: Can the media become an active partner with the "emerging community-based economy"? John Murphy thinks it can, but only by adopting a new business model, one in which new media tools are made accessible and effectively used in partnership with media outlets. His article, "Human Arts Media and the Emerging Community Economy", describes his new approach and how it can benefit grassroots activists and social enterprises – who typically have not drawn much support from media organizations, even those that are local and non-commercial. John will be working to test this innovation, in part with GEO, and will report to us on the results.

    • Climate Change Disaster Response: Activist Keith McHenry, interviewed by Len Krimerman, discusses the question "Who Can You Trust to Cope with Climate Disasters?", the first in a series of interviews about Food Not Bombs.

As ever, we enthusiastically welcome your comments on, additions to, questions about, critiques of…any or all of these articles and themes, as well as any suggestions of your own as to other stories and themes GEO should be covering. Send these to: Should you be interested in our Writers Network, let us know about that as well.

  • This issue was edited by Len Krimerman, with support from Marty Heyman, Michael Johnson, Josh Davis, John Lawrence, and Lazri DiSalvo.