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GEO's Mission: To help build a nation- and worldwide movement for a cooperative social economy based on democratic and responsible production, conscientious consumption, and use of capital to further social and economic justice.
Updated: 31 min 41 sec ago

Hibiscus Commons - Senior Cooperative Housing

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 17:52
Link: Hibiscus Commons - Senior Cooperative Housing

A coop project of the Bay Area Community Land Trust in formation

 

Learn more about Hibiscus Commons

 

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Categories: News

The la-la land in small scale collaborative communities

Thu, 02/07/2019 - 17:10
Link: The la-la land in small scale collaborative communities

Since 2011 I have been working almost full time on collaborative projects, with open and decentralized organizations. I can say that I've seen it all, but I am still trying to make sense of it all.

I recently realized something that plagues a lot of small scale collaborative organizations. As strange as it might seam, it's the good feeling that most of them nurture. To put it bluntly, often these type of organizations put the good feeling that members experience together, before work. Members of these organizations will often act to save the pleasure, the friendship, while they sacrifice work.

We all want to feel good in our work environment. But we need to realize that the primary reason people get together in open and collaborative projects is to achieve something, not to have fun. There are plenty of other opportunities to have fun. Fun can be a byproduct of working together, when everything goes well. But work is not always fun, it comes with responsibilities, sometimes we must do things that we don't like, sometimes it generates stress, sometimes we need to confront difficult situations and difficult people.

Read the rest at Steemit

 

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Categories: News

Opposition to Tri-State Brews Among Electric Cooperatives

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 17:57
Link: Opposition to Tri-State Brews Among Electric Cooperatives

In a first-of-its-kind meeting, member-owners, trustees and activists from New Mexico and Colorado rural electric cooperatives discussed renewable energy and their co-ops’ working relationship with Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association.

[...]

Delta-Montrose Electric Association officials announced Dec. 6 plans to get out of their contract with Tri-State in order to pursue cheaper renewable energy projects

Like all 43 Tri-State member cooperatives, Delta-Montrose is only able to produce or purchase 5 percent of its total electricity from renewable energy sources.

Delta-Montrose Board President Bill Patterson said the cooperative is already over the 5 percent limit.

Read the rest at Rio Grande Sun

 

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Categories: News

More Co-op Workers Abandon the Picket Lines

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 17:15
Link: More Co-op Workers Abandon the Picket Lines

Saskatoon Co-op says more of its striking employees are putting down the picket signs and heading back to work. Over the last week, the company says 12 more employees have gone back to work after picketing for the last three months. Co-op says those who have continued to work through the strike or have returned to work, numbers more than 200. CEO Grant Wicks says, “We’re reaching a critical mass that’s allowing us to bring back the level of service that our members and customers expect.” Wicks says, “Contrary to what’s been shared by the union, our management bargaining committee wants to negotiate, as long as those discussions are genuine and moving us forward.” He accuses the union of going back on what has already been agreed to.

More from CJWW

 

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Categories: News

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe Legally Recognized the Rights of Wild Rice.

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 17:25
Link: The White Earth Band of Ojibwe Legally Recognized the Rights of Wild Rice. Here’s Why

Manoomin (“wild rice”) now has legal rights. At the close of 2018, the White Earth band of Ojibwe passed a law formally recognizing the Rights of Manoomin. According to a resolution, these rights were recognized because “it has become necessary to provide a legal basis to protect wild rice and fresh water resources as part of our primary treaty foods for future generations.”

This reflects traditional laws of Anishinaabe people, now codified by the tribal government. White Earth’s action follows a similar resolution by the 1855 Treaty Authority.

The law begins: “Manoomin, or wild rice, within all the Chippewa ceded territories, possesses inherent rights to exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve, as well as inherent rights to restoration, recovery, and preservation.”

Read the rest at YES! Magazine

 

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Categories: News

Community pub sector reports 30% growth and 100% survival rate

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 16:28
Link: Community pub sector reports 30% growth and 100% survival rate

Local pubs owned as community businesses are continuing to thrive, with 30% growth and a 100% survival rate in the sector, according to a report from the Plunkett Foundation, the representative body for almost 600 rural community businesses trading across the UK.

The ‘Better form of Business’ report was funded by Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England. It shows that at the end of 2017, no community pubs had ceased trading, maintaining a 100% survival rate – and that the sector had grown by 30%, with 14 new pubs opening during the year. [...]

According to the report,  74% of all start-up costs during 2017 were sourced from community shares. The majority of the 14 community pubs to open that year also used grant capital available under the More Than a Pub programme, which provides funding towards start-up costs, as well as dedicated loans and grants. The programme will close in March 2019 and a new £2.2 million programme, backed by the Plunkett Foundation and  Power to Change, will be active from summer 2019.

Read the rest at Co-operative News

 

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Categories: News

Urban Family Gardens grows local food security in Colombia

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 16:18
Link: Urban Family Gardens grows local food security in Colombia

The goal of the "Huertas Familiares para Autoconsumo" (Urban Family Gardens) initiative is to provide vulnerable families with better access to healthy, fresh and nutritious food. The program enables these families, often displaced from rural areas, to achieve a certain level of self-sufficiency by granting them access to both the training and land necessary to grow their own vegetables for home consumption.

Conceived with a peer-learning structure in mind, the Urban Family Gardens take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of the participating families, building on their experiences to provide the training the group requires. A local-government appointed interdisciplinary panel including an agronomist, social workers and a nutritionist is also available to provide further support to the participants.

The program has been implemented in 13 of Medellín’s 16 "comunas" (neighborhoods), reaching 150 vegetable gardens by 2013, which rose to 435 by 2014.

View the full policy at medellin.gov.co (Spanish).

Read the rest at Shareable

 

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Categories: News

Shared Capital Cooperative is Hiring a Loan Administrator

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 19:16
Seeking A Loan Administrator

Please circulate! Shared Capital Cooperative is looking for a Loan Administrator to support its lending program operations. The Loan Administrator plays a key role in ensuring the smooth and accurate functioning of the organization’s lending activities. Responsibilities include managing all aspects of the loan closing process, maintaining loan files, monitoring loans, maintaining loan data and assisting borrowers. We are looking for someone who has experience with the loan closing process and/or paralegal experience in a lending environment. Full description is below.

Loan Administrator
Shared Capital Cooperative is a cooperatively owned community development loan fund committed to fostering a just, equitable and democratic economy by investing in the development and growth of cooperative enterprises. As a federally certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Shared Capital provides financing for cooperative businesses and affordable housing. Shared Capital is democratically owned and governed by 250 cooperatives across 36 states, including consumer, producer, housing and worker-owned cooperatives. Shared Capital is an $11 million loan fund with a 40-year successful track record.

Shared Capital Cooperative seeks a Loan Administrator to support its lending programs. The Loan Administrator plays a key role in ensuring the smooth and accurate functioning of the organization’s lending activities. This position reports to the Director of Lending and supports the Lending Team. The position is expected to deliver the following results:

Loan Closing

  • Manage all aspects of the loan closing process;

  • Prepare loan documents including commitment letters, promissory notes, security agreements, mortgages and guarantees;

  • Assist with coordinating transitions between the loan origination and underwriting approval, and commitment, closing and loan activation;

  • Coordinate and work with legal representation with respect to loan closings;

  • Perfect appropriate liens to secure collateral including mortgages, UCC filing, and ensure appropriate renewals and releases are managed in a timely manner;

Loan Administration

  • Maintain complete and up-to-date loan files and electronic records;

  • Prepare required schedules and materials related to lending activities to facilitate an efficient and clean annual audit;

  • Enter and maintain loan data, including outcomes and impacts;

  • Generate timely and accurate reports of lending activity for use by staff and governance bodies (Loan Committee, Board of Directors, etc.);

  • Provide prompt and clear information and assistance to borrowers regarding their loan accounts;

  • Monitor borrower compliance with all loan covenants;

  • Demonstrate consistent and excellent customer service to meet the needs of applicants and borrowers;

  • Complete other duties as needed;

The successful candidate will be a person with the following traits and qualifications:

  • 3-5 years loan administration experience and/or paralegal experience in a lending environment

  • Demonstrated consistent and excellent customer service to meet the needs of applicants and borrowers

  • Problem-solver

  • Highly organized

  • Great attention to detail with a high degree of accuracy

  • Strong time management skills and ability to prioritize work effectively

  • Sound numerical aptitude

  • Self-directed and able to work with limited supervision

  • Enjoys being helpful and working with a team of colleagues

  • Good oral and written communication skills

  • High level of expertise with Microsoft Excel and Word

  • Familiarity with database and/or accounting systems a plus (especially TEA)

  • Interest in the organizational mission, community development and cooperatives

Shared Capital Cooperative is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to building a multiracial, multiethnic, class-diverse and all-gender embracing organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, prior convictions, personal credit score, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We desire a diverse pool of applicants and particularly encourage applications from women, people of color, LGBTQ and immigrant communities.

Compensation:

This position is a full-time, non-exempt position.

Shared Capital offers competitive salary and a generous benefits package, including employer-paid health and dental coverage, Health Savings Account, short and long-term disability, matching retirement contributions and generous Paid Time Off. 

All inquiries and applications should be sent to: 

jobs@sharedcapital.coop

Categories: News

How young people and cooperative values are creating a better future

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 19:10
Link: PART 3: How young people and cooperative values are creating a better future

Worker & Social Cooperatives are riding the wave of changes. They represent a valuable and secure employment and entrepreneurial option for young people. We asked young cooperators from our network to share and illustrate their experience. Here’s the third and last video from a 3-part series!

Watch more from videos from CICOPA

 

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Categories: News

Remembering Erik Olin Wright

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 17:32
Link:  Remembering Erik Olin Wright

Decades of research culminated in his 2010 magnum opus Envisioning Real Utopias. For Wright, “real utopias” were democratic and egalitarian “real-world alternatives that can be constructed in the world as it is that also prefigure the world as it could be, and which help move us in that direction.” Such institutions range from Wikipedia to the Mondragon federation of worker cooperatives in Spain. The short version of Wright’s thesis is that the left can erode capitalism with these institutions, while taming capitalism in the political sphere. The long-term result is socialism.

As he built his theory of transformation, Wright—in contrast to Dylan Riley and other thinkers he engaged in argument—was skeptical that capitalism could be smashed in a way that would engender full emancipation. He was critical of the Soviet Union and other states forged by revolution. For Wright, a socialist state is realized when social power—rather than economic power (capitalism) or state power (statism)—dominates. In socialism, individuals have a say to the extent that something affects them. A corporation, for example, cannot build its chemical plant in a neighborhood, unless the people living there agree. And the government cannot subordinate the interests of its constituencies to the interests of its politicians. The so-called socialist states of the twentieth century, like their capitalist counterparts, never achieved this form of political justice.

Read the rest at Dissent Magazine

 

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Categories: News

Co-operative Study Tour to North America: Visiting US Co-operatives

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 17:05
Link: Co-operative Study Tour to North America: Visiting US Co-operatives

This 11-day tour visited the three cities of New York, Washington DC and Maddison, Wisconsin. Firstly, in New York we made a study visit to the Park Slope Food Coop, said to be the most successful food co-op in New York with 17,000 members. The characteristic of this co-op, with its very rich lineup of organic produce, is that all members provide 2 hours and 45 minutes of labor every four weeks, thus holding down prices and making it possible to purchase organic food relatively cheaply. Ms. Masako Yonezu of the Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Osaka said, “As all the members participate in the work in this community-based co-op, I felt that there was a very strong sense of community between the members.” Working in the shop confers a certain status on the members; a young man who was working on the shop floor on the day of our visit proudly stated, “I am contributing the community by working here.”

The popularity of organic produce is growing mainly among the younger generation. In New York, we were able to see people coming to collect their produce from Green Harvest, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) organization, an organization where consumers subscribe to the harvests of a certain farm or group of farms to support their work. The vegetables, eggs, yoghurt, beef, chicken and other foods produced in the New York State countryside are delivered to the square in front of a restaurant in a residential area every Saturday from June to November. The members were gathered in the square to collect their produce for the week. We talked to the leader, Phillip, a father with a small child, who told us, “We can now buy organic vegetables at supermarkets and more consumers now prefer to do that, but collecting the vegetables each week through CSA makes it possible to plan the whole week’s meals very easily, so I’m very happy with CSA.”

Read the rest at Seikatsu Club

 

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Categories: News

A Black-Led Food Co-op Grows in Detroit

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 18:51
Link: A Black-Led Food Co-op Grows in Detroit

Malik Yakini came to cooperative economics as a student at Eastern Michigan University in the mid-1970s when he started a food-buying club. “I wasn’t thinking of myself as a food activist,” he says, “I was thinking of myself as an activist in the black liberation movement.”

He viewed controlling food retail and production as important aspects of black self-determination, echoing the sentiments of organizations like the Nation of Islam and Detroit’s Shrine of the Black Madonna Church that emphasized owning farmland and running food businesses. Healthy food was important to Yakini, but so was making sure “the majority of people had their needs met as opposed to a system that concentrates wealth in the hands of a few.”

Read the rest at CityLab

 

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Categories: News

New website for French start-up co-ops

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 18:43
Link: New website for French start-up co-ops

More than 65% of new co-operatives in France are start-up businesses – and to cater for them, a website has been launched featuring case studies and best practices.

French federation of worker and multistakeholder co-ops CG Scop (Les Scop) has created the  www.start-scop.fr portal in response to the growing interest in co-operative businesses, particularly among young people who are looking for alternative models.

Read the rest at Co-operative News

 

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Categories: News

Micky Metts, Community Hangout

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 18:37
Link: Micky Metts, Community Hangout

Platform Co-op Community Hangout: Micky Metts from Agaric (November 26, 2018) We were joined by Micky Metts, a member of Agaric, (http://agaric.com), the worker owned cooperative of web developers. Sometimes known as Free Scholar she is an activist hacker, industry organizer, public speaker, connector, and visionary.

Watch more interviews from Platform Cooperativism

 

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Categories: News

The SELC's Favorite Books from 2018

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 17:51
Link: Our Favorite Books from 2018

Did you commit to reading more books as your new year’s resolution but don't know where to start? As always, we're here to help! Check out these books recommended by Law Center staff members Tia, Subin, Sue, and Chris:

[...]

Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions

Recommended by Subin: I love this book. It’s filled with inspiring stories of on-the-ground solutions to build an inclusive clean energy economy. It’s like a recipe book for equitable and transformative approaches to renewable energy, written by community leaders around the country. Read it if you’re wondering if there’s any hope in the struggle to transition away from our extractive dirty energy economy. Not a bad way to start the year.

Read the rest at The Sustainable Economies Law Center

 

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Categories: News

Cadwell Turnbull on the implications of a collectively owned AI system

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 17:54
Link: Cadwell Turnbull on the implications of a collectively owned AI system

In Cadwell Turnbull’s story, “Monsters Come Howling in Their Season,” a journalist travels to St. Thomas in the aftermath of a massive hurricane and sees firsthand how the island’s residents are coping with the help of a community-based AI system called Common.

Turnbull is a rising star in the science fiction and fantasy world. He has published stories in Lightspeed Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and for Grassroots Economic Organizing. His debut novel, The Lesson, about relations between humanity and alien visitors, is due out later this summer from Blackstone Publishing. (We’re really looking forward to reading it!)

The Verge spoke with Turnbull about climate change, community resiliency, and the implications of a collectively owned AI system.

Read the interview at The Verge

 

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Categories: News

CFNE Seeks New Executive Director

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 17:06
Link: Organization: Cooperative Fund of New England

CFNE seeks a highly skilled and collaborative leader to replace the organization’s long-time Executive Director upon her retirement and build upon its 44 years of growth and impact. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the next Executive Director will oversee all management activities for the organization including, but not limited to, working with the Board of Trustees, leading strategic planning, preparing annual goals and actions for the organization, and monitoring the budget and performance of the organization. The Executive Director will lead a highly skilled and committed team of 7 staff who work from home offices throughout New England. The ideal candidate will be a proven and respected leader with a demonstrated commitment to economic, social and racial justice and will possess the skills to maintain excellence in the execution of a growing loan fund. The Executive Director will be excited by the opportunity to grow the organization’s impact on its target markets in the coming years.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, this position is full-time, will be based remotely in New England, and requires travel throughout the region.

Read the rest at Koya Partners

 

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Categories: News

Co-ops Need Leaders, Too

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 17:58
Link: Co-ops Need Leaders, Too

I frequently encounter a notion, among those drawn to cooperatives, that a cooperative should be an amorphous, faceless collective in which old-world skills and norms of leadership can be discarded. How does this work out for them? Not well.

Usually one of two entirely predictable things happens as a result — and generally both. One is a tyranny of structurelessness in which there are leaders who claim not to be leaders and therefore can’t be held accountable. Another is that nobody takes serious responsibility for anything, because there is no incentive or recognition for doing so; as soon as the most par-for-the-course challenge arises, everyone throws up their hands and walks away.

I won’t name names, but we know who we are. I’ve been guilty of practicing both of these myself.

One of the things that I gradually have come to realize, especially while writing Everything for Everyone, is that the co-op tradition is full of amazing leaders. Their stories are too little-known, even among cooperators, perhaps because of the story we tell ourselves that leaders aren’t needed here. But you can’t get far in the history without encountering remarkable examples.

Read the rest at Medium

 

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Categories: News

Event: How Worker-Owned Coops Enhance the Solidarity Economy

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 17:54
Link: How Worker-Owned Coops Enhance the Solidarity Economy

Come and learn about the solidarity economy, which seeks to build an economy that serves people and planet. It's a framework, a global movement, and a broad set of practices that align with its values of solidarity, democracy, equity, sustainability and pluralism (not a one size fits all model).

A huge foundation of solidarity economy practices already exist all around us (e.g. worker/consumer/producer/housing cooperatives; credit unions; community loan funds; public banks; community land trusts; community supported agriculture; participatory budgeting; the commons; community gardens; skill shares; swap meets; edible urban landscaping; unpaid care work...) but are marginalized because they are isolated from each other. The solidarity economy seeks to pull these practices together in order to build a just and sustainable economy and world.

This interactive workshop will explore the solidarity economy and use Wellspring Cooperative as a case study in building towards system change.

The workshop will be led by Emily Kawano, Co-Director of the Wellspring Cooperative and Coordinator of the United States Solidarity Economy Network.

Tue, 12 February 2019

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST

Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Massachusetts

99 Bishop Allen Drive

Cambridge, MA 02139

Register for the event

 

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Categories: News

Building & Sustaining Food Cooperatives

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 18:47
Link: Building & Sustaining Food Cooperatives

Panelists:

* Sharon Hoyer, General Manager, Dill Pickle Food Co-op

*Vanessa Stokes, Co-Founder & Project Lead, Austin Food Co-op

*Gregory Berlowitz, Co-Founder & Director of Funding, Chicago Market

Moderated by Nancy McClelland, Certified Public Accountant, Nancy McClelland LLC

Watch more from Kola Nut Collaborative

 

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