Creating a Cooperative Economy
As the failings of the capitalist economy become more evident, people recognize that there are alternatives. The cooperative economy though largely hidden is growing and is outperforming the capitalist economy when it comes to job and economic stability. The cooperative economy places capital in service of jobs instead of the other way around. To discuss this in more depth we spoke with Janelle Cornwell, lead author of a new book called Building Cooperative Power! Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-Operatives in the Connecticut River Valley, and Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo who has extensive experience studying and creating cooperatives.
Relevant articles, books and websites:
Janelle Cornwell, PhD is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Worcester State University and a member of the Community Economies Collective (http://communityeconomies.org
Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo has been a co-editor with Grassroots Economic Organizing, an online newsletter advocating alternative economic solutions, for more than 10 years. She was a founding member of the now disbanded Cooperative Incubator of D.C. organized in 2011 to help immigrant and impoverished communities and others to form worker cooperatives. She also traveled to Mondragon, Spain to study the Mondragon Cooperative Complex in 2011. She has nine years experience on cooperative boards, and was a founding board member of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives in 2004. She trained from 2008-2009 in the Democracy at Work Institute peer advisor program which provides technical assistance to worker cooperatives. In 2000, she co-founded an affordable housing co-op, the Ella Jo Baker Cooperative Community in Washington, DC. She earned an MBA and Master of Science degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University in 2006 and 2003 respectively. She is now researching and thinking about how to incorporate spirituality in the work to organize cooperatives and other alternative economic projects.