How do we build a cooperative society?

This season, All Things Co-op is asking “How do we scale up the movement?” Listen in or watch the show to learn about the international co-op movement, reflect on essential issues in co-ops and embracing new tools for a solidarity economy.

“I think we've done a lot of education and a lot of good conversations about co-op the businesses, but how do we connect them? What do we need to make this a real kind of institutional framework in our society? And I think that's what, for me, season five of the All Things Co-op is aiming to correct. Let's try to fill this gap.” - Kevin of All Things Co-op

This season, the ATC guys are welcoming guests who work with co-ops and labor movements around the world. Michael Lebowitz shares his insights on the social economy and experience of Chavismo in Venezuela. Special guest Camila Piñeiro Harnecker ​​discusses a new generation of Cubans who are looking to reacquaint socialism with worker control in worker cooperatives rather than solely in the state or party.

I am a defender of cooperatives in Cuba and any country that wants to look for an alternative society, because I see them as schools of solidarity, of equality, of working together in building together a better future for everyone.” - Camila

What tools are people using to make this happen? The ATC guys are taking special interest in organizations or kinds of co-ops that connect cooperatives. Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services (WORCS) is offering support to worker co-ops around the U.S., especially in the Southwest. Patrick Conlon from WORCS shares on the show that “​​People don't like capitalism anymore…the material conditions seem to be the driving factor…of why people are interested in worker co-ops.” Minsun Ji offers expertise on using technology platforms to create worker co-operatives, fighting the gig economy and creating new avenues for worker power.

"I love this idea of taking the platform that has been made into this way of hyper-exploiting by individualizing workers and instead, cooperatizing them in a way that has not been possible before.” - Kevin

To grow our co-op economy, we need to ask the big picture questions. Should we build political co-ops to challenge major institutions? The ATC guys discuss the generational moment for direct economic democracy in Occupy Wall Street, where millions were inspired by the idea “that democracy should be built from the bottom up." In the most recent episode, the show asks about the real differences between cooperative enterprises and the divisive capitalism we live in today.

​​How do we really create that kind of ecosystem, for the lack of a better word, where you have all these elements that are supporting one another and building off of one another? I think there's a movement in that direction.” - Cinar

Have you joined the movement in this direction? Find all the episodes of All Things Co-op on our website, and enjoy season 5 on growing the cooperative economy.


Our audience donations allow us to produce this show and share the ways we can grow a cooperative economy. Consider donating to Democracy at Work with a monthly or one-time gift. Our monthly supporters are invaluable to us, in that they allow us to plan for the future, and commit to bringing you more media from an anti-capitalist and pro-workplace democracy perspective. Thank you.


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  • Eric Halvarson
    published this page in Updates 2022-01-24 09:52:05 -0500
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