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New Economy

An Eco-Socialist Education Agenda

Our education system is a mess. The reason is obvious: it’s being eroded by capitalism. This erosion takes many forms, from the privatization of schooling itself to altering curricula to meet the demands of employers to undermining the state’s capacity to deliver universal public education, and so on. It’s one of many ways that capitalism shreds our social fabric, keeping us in a constant state of crisis and anxiety. For the same reason, there is also a great dearth of education for adults and the elderly. Instead of a lifetime of learning and enrichment, adults are lucky to get job re-training after a layoff and the elderly might get to learn a new card game after being shipped off to the old people warehouse.

Social Currencies In Prosumer Communities And Networks

This practice consists of creating a community of prosumers who exchange products and services, creating a process of eco-social regeneration around the local economy, thanks to the exchange facilitator that is social currency. It serves to regenerate the local economy and local communities, to weave trust in the act of consumption, to weave the economy around local production and the real needs of communities and finally to support productive processes that are regenerative for the ecosystemic environment. In the communities and networks, different ways of exchange and social currencies are practised:

Will The Revolution Be Funded?

In April 2022, grassroots organization Mijente unveiled a political framework in which it advocated for a threefold strategy of working within, without, and against the state to achieve its political goals. This framing was inspired by a movement group in Chile, the Movimiento de Pobladores en Lucha. We propose a similar path: building strategic alignment across groups working within, without, and against philanthropy. We aim to share the historical and present-day value of diverse approaches to fundraising that include but are in no way limited to philanthropic investment. Moreover, we seek to show how aligning work within, without, and against philanthropy can catalyze power building on the Left.

If This Is Us At 20, What Could We Be At 40?

My main work over the past 44 years has been about figuring out how we can consciously develop democracy all over this country. This has included 16 years of active involvement with the cooperative/solidarity economic movements. I believe that bringing this developmental perspective to the cooperative movement can be a rich and productive way for celebrating the 20th birthday of the USFWC. I have two suggestions for consciously growing the worker co-op movement, which naturally reach beyond to the whole cooperative economic movement. The first is to make full use of both Eleanor Ostrom's work and the wisdom emerging from the field of cultural evolution.

Twenty Years Of Building An Economic Alternative To Capitalism In The US

The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives recently turned twenty years old. Clearing the FOG speaks with Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, a professor and author of "Collective Courage: A History of African-American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice," and a charter member of the USFWC, about the work to create a national cooperative organization and the rise of the cooperative economy in the United States. She spoke about the role that cooperatives have played in advancing social and economic justice, the benefits of cooperatives not only to the individual but also more broadly to their communities, and the history of cooperatives that preceded the rise of capitalism and also how cooperative economies offer a better alternative to capitalism.

Cooperatives In China And Prospects For Their Significant Growth

During my recent visit to China from April 14th to 24th, 2024, I had the opportunity to engage with seasoned members of the cooperative movement, among whom were British nationals who live in China. A highlight of my trip was spending a substantial part of a day, together with colleagues from ‘Friends of Socialist China’, exploring an agricultural cooperative in the north-eastern Jilin province. The law on Specialised Farmer Cooperatives was passed by the National People’s Congress, coming into effect on July 1 2007. As stated by Tim Zachernuk In his excellent study of cooperatives in China: “The law acknowledges international cooperative experience as codified in the cooperative principles formulated by the International Cooperative Alliance.

Advancing The Commonsverse

Bollier and Helfrich’s theory restores an older tradition of a moral critique of capitalism in the tradition of “moral economists” such as Karl Polanyi and H.P. Tawney. It raises important questions about the socio-ethical foundations of our society and economy, the relationship between civil associations and the state, and the nature of the state. In the final part of this introduction, we discuss the complex relationship between the commons and the state. We frame this relationship as one of mutual dependency and argue for the careful redesign of our institutions of public administration and democratic governance to make them more receptive and accessible to the creative powers of the commons.

Synergies Among Fair Trade And Cooperative Economic Principles

Cooperatives have become increasingly prominent as organizational models amid the crisis conditions facing the world. Rather than advocating for the replacement of the capitalism-based economy with an entirely new model, there’s a growing trend of critiquing and adapting capitalism. Governments, international organizations, and the private sector are now including cooperatives in their agendas, recognizing their potential to blend traditional cooperative goals with newer social entrepreneurship objectives.

If The Workers Take A Notion

“Works for All,” the latest film by Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young, shows what can happen when workers and unions take worker coops seriously. The story is told by the workers and organizers themselves, with minimal narration. “That’s by design,” Dworkin says. “The film is not about us, it’s about them.” From their stories you get a fuller picture of what it can mean to be in charge of your own workplace—from better wages and decision-making power to fundamental respect. In one telling moment, cooperative food hub (distribution center) manager Zeke Coleman talks about his previous job driving a truck for a pork company.

‘Commitment Pooling’ To Build Economic Commons

Sixteen years ago, when he moved to Kenya, development economist Will Ruddick realized that many poorer communities are not as helpless as they might think. They may not have as much money to meet their needs, but they do have goods and services to offer each other -- cooking, tutoring, bike repair, taxi rides, and so forth. The real problem is the scarcity of a currency to enable exchange; the national currency, the Kenyan shilling, is not so plentiful in many neighborhoods. So, working with small businesses and households, Ruddick and members of the group he founded, Grassroots Economics, set out to create what he calls "community inclusion currencies."

Baltimore’s Co-Ops Show There’s Another Way To Work

Baltimore has become what many consider to be ground zero in the emerging “solidarity economy” and the formation of worker-owned, cooperatively run businesses. There’s something important going on here, and there’s a lot that we can all learn from our fellow workers who are in the cooperative space—people who are living, breathing proof that there’s another way to run a business, that there's another way to run our economy, and that there are other ways we can treat work and workers. At a recent event hosted by the Baltimore Museum of Industry titled "Work Matters: Building a Worker-Owned Co-op," Max moderated a panel including workers and representatives from Common Ground Bakery Café, Taharka Bros Ice Cream, A Few Cool Hardware Stores, and the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED).

Inside Igalia: Scaling A Co-op Beyond 100 Members

Igalia is an open source tech co-op success story. We have been around for 22 years; we have 140 members. We play an essential role in several open web platform projects such as Chromium/Blink, WebKit (WPE & WebKitGTK), Firefox and Servo. We have contributed to GNOME / GTK+ / Maemo, WebKit / WebKitGtk+ / JSC, Blink / V8, Gecko / SpiderMonkey projects, amongst others. The reason we started as a co-op and the reason the focus of our work is Free and Open Source software are one and the same. Both are implementations of our values, in a word: egalitarianism. In this talk you will hear a bit about our history.

Digital Solidarity In The Sharing Economy

Digital solidarity and the sharing economy may seem like natural companions. To be sure, the sharing economy with its melding of community and commerce has the potential to be a key contributor to digital solidarity in developing economies. Both concepts revolve around the idea of collaboration, sharing resources and funds, community-building, the network effect, increasing trust between strangers, and the leveraging of digital technologies for the greater good. In this blog post, we consider how the sharing economy can contribute to digital solidarity in a developing economy; the barriers to the sharing economy doing so; and if unchecked how it can distort an economy.

The Ghana Susu: Reimagining Financial Development

In the wake of global anti-racism movements and a growing awareness of the problematic dynamics of colonial knowledge-making in international development, governments, academics and NGOs are scrambling to reposition themselves and their work in order to address systemic power imbalances. Yet, feminist economists like those at the International Association of Feminist Economics (IAFFE) have pointed out that many efforts and the scholarship largely informing the policy remain superficial, and do not go far enough in tackling the root causes of economic inequality, social and business exclusion.

The Masters In Management: Co-Operatives And Credit Union Program

On September 22nd, students graduating with either a Graduate Diploma or a Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions (MMCCU) were greeted with boisterous whoops and feet stomping from the 12 faculty of the program who joined the Chancellor, Dean, and about another 10 faculty from Saint Mary’s University at Convocation. It was a relatively rare occurrence for the program and the special moment was created through a two day celebration of the program’s 20th anniversary and the first in-person faculty retreat since 2019. The first day of the two-day event, kicked off quite appropriately at the Glitter Bean Café.
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