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Links 1 through 10 of 399 by Michel Bauwens tagged Cooperatives

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Aiming to become the UK's first community-owned solar farm, and the largest in the world! Based outside Shrivenham, near Swindon, anyone can invest when our share issue launches on 23 June.

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In Issue 15 of Shift, Tom Fox wrote a critical view of Radical Routes co-operatives, in which he used a broad-brush approach both to co-operatives and labour struggles in his critique of the former. As a result he missed out on some useful analyses that informs the roles that radical co-operatives can and do play in current struggles.

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The worker cooperatives then, in collaboration with the new society on the horizon, could join in realizing Arizmendi’s vision of an empathetic culture. His philosophical aphorisms, difficult to interpret in the context of neo-liberalism, have a fresh relevancy when they are applied to the new society. As the worker cooperative slogan says: Democracy in the Workplace, Responsibility in the Community.

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A group of scholars at the University of Wisconsin recently counted nearly 30,000 cooperatives in the United States operating at 73,000 locations. The vast majority are consumer cooperatives, with 343 million memberships (many people belong to multiple co-ops, hence the number of memberships exceeds the U.S. population). Another 7 million memberships can be found in producer and purchasing cooperatives. Credit unions, which are essentially banking cooperatives, have 92 million members. Electrical utility co-ops reach 42 million Americans. Agricultural cooperatives have three million members.

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"In 2011, I made two trips to Cuba to study the new co-operatives. In June I was kindly invited by Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, a professor at the University of Havana and one of the country's leading experts on its co-operative movement, to participate in two conferences. In December, Wendy Holm (Canadian agronomist and co-operative facilitator working in Cuba for the last dozen years) extended an invitation to participate in the “Walking the Walk: Cuba's path to a more co-operative and sustainable economy” workshops, again in Havana. Both trips had international guests share experiences and knowledge of the co-operative organisational model with our Cuban hosts. The backdrop was, on both occasions, the recently proposed economic reforms coming out of los nuevos lineamientos (the new guidelines) of the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, completed and released on April 18, 2011."

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"In this week’s announcement that the Co-op Bank would being taking over 632 branches of Lloyds Banking Group in the UK, Co-op’s CEO, Peter Marks made clear that he wants his bank to be boring. As reported in the London Evening Standard, he explained that the aim is to develop a “boring, utilitarian kind of bank, we are not at the racy end. We don’t support profits by taking risks in the market… We are not looking over our shoulder at the share price. We have social goals, social responsibility.”"

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"Xardín do Cernunnos is an eco-socialist farm tucked into a tranquil valley. In the heart of Cernunnos lies a carefully built vegetable garden surrounded and protected by steep hill paths that are slowly being transformed into a forest garden full of useful and beautiful perennial plants. We also have honey bees, goats (coming soon), chickens (coming very soon) and a few other surprises tucked around hidden corners.

At Cernunnos we are building a small farm that can begin sustaining new communities in Galicia. "

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"As our political system sputters, a wave of innovative thinking and bold experimentation is quietly sweeping away outmoded economic models. In 'New Economic Visions', a special five-part AlterNet series edited by Economics Editor Lynn Parramore in partnership with political economist Gar Alperovitz of the Democracy Collaborative, creative thinkers come together to explore the exciting ideas and projects that are shaping the philosophical and political vision of the movement that could take our economy back."

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