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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: 1 hour 36 min ago

Biodiesel co-op launches in New Zealand

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 18:23
Link: Biodiesel co-op launches in New Zealand to recycle cooking oil as fuel

A group of friends are forming a biodiesel co-op in Kapiti, New Zealand, to reduce waste and lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 86%.

The co-op will collect cooking oil from local businesses and restaurants so they can filter and process it into a fuel that can be used in any diesel engine without modification. It uses biodiesel processor BioPro190 technology to convert the oil.

One of the key figures behind the project is Matt Lamason, founder and director of the People’s Coffee in Kapiti, who wanted a sustainable solution for the problem of waste cooking oil in his business.

“The idea came from visiting a small farmer in Australia who was making biodiesel in his backyard,” he said.

“I thought, we can do that – and here in NZ, we eat a lot of fried fish and chips. So the waste oil was a factor in seeing the gap in the market for a local, small-scale fuel project that has the potential to reproduce around NZ and maybe in the Pacific islands where fossil diesel is at very high prices.”

Read the rest at Co-operative News


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Why there should be more support for co-op businesses in Detroit

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:59
Link: Cooperation is key: Why there should be more support for co-op businesses in Detroit

The good news is that cooperative businesses are not new in Detroit, and there's currently an increased effort to create more. 

The Detroit People's Food Co-op, a membership based cooperative, is in the final stages of planning before they break ground on a  brand new building in the North End. The Cooperation Group in Highland Park and The Center for Community Based Enterprise in Midtown are fully-equipped technical support service providers that help with cooperative business development. The recently founded Detroit Community Wealth Fund is dedicated to providing non-extractive loans to cooperative businesses in the city.

In Southwest Detroit, Grace In Action aspires to be a cooperative incubator, cultivating their collectives into fully functioning cooperative businesses. They recently incubated their first co-op, Cleaning In Action, a women-owned cleaning cooperative. The women had previously worked for temp agencies and now make a living wage.

Co-founder Maria Perez hopes her business will inspire others. "This co-op helps women in our neighborhood. If we tell others about it, the idea will catch on. I see that this will open doors for others, especially younger generations."

Read the rest at Model D


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Institute for Solidarity Economics relaunches as a co-op

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:47
Link: Institute for Solidarity Economics relaunches as a co-op

The Institute for Solidarity Economics has transitioned to a multi-stakeholder co-operative and relaunched as the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA).

Founded in Oxford in 2014, the organisation is dedicated to researching ways of bringing together organisations, initiatives and movements who are working to change the current economic system to address pressing social and environmental issues.

“The aim of the organisation has always been to find ways of bringing together the diverse range of movements within the UK working to create a fairer, more democratic society that works for everyone,” said SEA chair and co-founder, Colm Massey. “Now is a really exciting time to be relaunching ourselves, and to be clear about who we are and who we represent.”

Read the rest at Co-operative News


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Anti-Capitalist Practice & Local Organizing Work

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 19:02
Link: Marxism 101: Anti-Capitalist Practice & Local Organizing Work

As part of Center for Political Education's Marxism 101 class, Irma Salvatierra Shauf-Bajar (GABRIELA USA), Linda Evans (All of Us or None), Jill Shenker (National Domestic Workers Alliance) and Gopal Dayaneni (Movement Generation) discuss anti-capitalist theory and practice in grassroots organizing work. Irma Salvatierra Shauf-Bajar is the Chairperson of Gabriela USA’s National Executive Committee. GABRIELA is an alliance of over 200 groups in the Philippines fighting for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and for all Filipinos. GABRIELA-USA brings that struggle to the United States and operates in six regions of this country. She also has a history of organizing for queer liberation and community safety. Linda Evans is a life-long anti-imperialist and anti-racist activist. She was a political prisoner for 16 years, released from federal prison in 2001. Since then, she has been a co-founder and organizer with All of Us or None and works statewide and nationally to support other social justice organizations. Jill Shenker has been doing domestic worker organizing for the past 15 years, first with the San Francisco Day Labor Program Women's Collective and then with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and International Domestic Workers Federation. In addition, she has been involved in white anti-racist organizing & education; arts activism, including as a collective owner of Liberation Ink; queer and Jewish youth organizing, and Jewish anti-zionist Palestine solidarity work. Gopal Dayaneni is a staff collective and planning committee member for Movement Generation. He is a campaigner, trainer, advocate, and parent who has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking and direct action since the late 1980’s, and works at the intersection of ecology, economy and empire.

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There is no hierarchy in sociocracy…right?

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:57
Link: There is no hierarchy in sociocracy… right?

[T]here is hierarchy, but it is not hierarchy of people. It is a hierarchy of levels of specificity. The questions a work group (circle) will deal with on a shop floor will be different from the questions asked in a circle that does 5-year planning. This does not mean that one tier is more valuable or more difficult. It only means that they are different levels to pay attention to. Everyone, in their personal lives, makes decisions in a narrow scope (What am I eating for lunch?) and decisions that have a larger impact (Am I moving abroad?). If we walk around addressing only the question of whether or not we are moving abroad, no one is cooking lunch. If we only focus about meal planning, then we will ignore other areas of our lives. But then again, if I think about moving plans while I am cooking, my meal might not be the best I ever cooked.

Read the rest at Medium


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A New Co-operative Shop Opens in Afrin

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:54
Link: A New Co-operative Shop Opens in Afrin

Six people in Qestel Xidir village in the area of Bulbul have opened a co-operative society in co-ordination with the Centre for Economic Development. The shop will satisfy people’s needs for food and cleaning products in the surrounding villages. Each participant is paying 3,000 SYP [Syrian Pounds], and the shop’s rent is 5,000 SYP per month.

Two people are working in the shop, one woman and an elderly man who both live in the village. The shop opens at 7:00 am and shuts at 10:00 pm.

Read the rest at Co-operative Economy in Rojava and Bakur


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Maximising Economic Democracy and Justice in a Real-World Economy

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 20:16
Link: Maximising Economic Democracy and Justice in a Real-World Economy

There are different views on the meaning of the terms economic democracy and economic justice, which aspects of the concepts that should be emphasised, and how they can and should be achieved in a real-world economy.

According to one broad definition, economic democracy is about “… the citizens’ ability to influence economic developments in general or the economic decisions of their own workplace”. Some believe that this can and should be achieved within the framework and institutions of capitalism i.e. private ownership and markets, by making employees and sometimes also citizens in general, shareholders of corporations, for example via Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and other similar tools. The term “inclusive capitalism” is sometimes used in this context. Such a version of economic democracy can often be embraced also by politicians on the right of the political spectrum.

Read the rest at CounterPunch


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Transforming economies to sustainability, solidarity

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 19:38
Link: Columnists Brennan Tierney and Boone Shear: Transforming economies to sustainability, solidarity

The monumental 2017 publication, “Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet,” invites readers to learn new ways to understand ourselves in the face of unprecedented social and ecological turmoil.

As part of this rethinking, scholars marshal research that upends the most fundamental unit of biological and social analysis — the individual. Building from the work of famed University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Lynn Margulis, one essay shows the proliferation and importance of nonhuman cells that comprise human bodies. Another essay proposes that evolution depends in part on relationships between species, and not simply individual fitness. And yet another essay argues that collective behavior might best be understood as an emergent process, rather than as a planned outcome.

These growing scientific insights are profound. They suggest that our very existence depends not on individual success, but on a deepening understanding of and attunement to our interrelationships with others — both human and otherwise.

Just as biological research challenges what we thought we knew about our own survival, unorthodox ideas about economy — about how we make, distribute, and consume stuff — are taking hold in communities across Massachusetts. These projects center cooperation and community, unsettling the long-held axioms of self-interest and competition thought to constitute a healthy economy.

Read the rest at the Daily Hampshire Gazette


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