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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

diverse economies

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January 19, 2023

Black Feminists in the Third Sector

Summary

Many countries in the Global North use the term “social economy”—also known as the third sector—to describe economies run by citizens rather than by state or business actors. Over the years, many Black feminist scholars that we have worked with also share the view that the concept of the “social economy” is limited to a European understanding. It fails to acknowledge those actors in the third sector who are excluded from interacting with the government or private sector. There is an assumption that the social economy is “socially inclined” and that it is a sector able to “interact” with the state and capitalist firms. What happens when certain groups of people cannot interact with the state or private sectors due to systemic exclusion? We argue that to transform literature on the social economy, we must use the term solidarity economy. Rejecting the sanitized language of the social economy, we use critical discourse and case study analyses to show the worldwide use of the term solidarity. Our work draws on theories of community economy intentional community to argue that the solidarity economy is a site of contestation and a way to push for social change.

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December 19, 2022

Harvesting is an act of indigenous food sovereignty

Summary

In the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, getting out in a canoe to harvest manoomin, or wild rice (Zizania palustris), is a political assertion of indigenous food sovereignty for Anishinaabe people.

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May 26, 2022

The Global Movement for Localization

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Summary

Across the world, a quiet revolution is emerging. Countless grassroots groups, civil society organizations and individuals are coming together to forge a more hopeful path to the future: away from the destructive global consumer culture, towards healthy communities grounded in strong local economies.

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May 19, 2022

Rotating Savings and Credit Associations

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Summary

A Rotating Savings and Credit Association (ROSCA) is a group of individuals who act as an alternative financial institution. Each person contributes money towards a common fund, and the funds rotate through members at regular intervals. The member who borrows the funds will eventually repay their portion back into the association so the next member can withdraw their share.

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August 27, 2021

Acquisition-conversion: a new strategy for scaling worker ownership

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Summary

Instead of cooking up co-ops from scratch, some co-op developers are buying existing firms and converting them to co-ops.

January 12, 2017

Overcoming Polarization