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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: 2 hours 7 min ago

Becoming a Farmer the Community Way

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:37
Link: Becoming a Farmer the Community Way

The Yarrow Ecovillage reduces some of the financial barriers to entering farming. The co-housing units are affordable, and rental units are available. Residents at the village have access to the agricultural land for a small fee ($500 a year) and sharing infrastructure, land and equipment reduces the start-up cost for new farmers. Farmers who are already established on the land are also available to share their knowledge of soil conditions and organic pest control.

Miranda Chiasson, another young farmer at the Yarrow Ecovillage, can’t imagine getting started in farming without this kind of support.

“Just to think of leasing two acres in the back of Chilliwack somewhere just being like, ‘well best of luck!’ That sounds impossible,” she says. “I can’t fathom how I would have been able to start my own semi-solo operation without first working for farmers who are here and learning the system and learning the soil.”

Read the rest at The Tyee


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Rural Electric Cooperatives the Obvious Solution for Deploying Fiber to Rural Areas

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:29
Link: Rural Electric Cooperatives Pose an Obvious Solution for Deploying Fiber to Rural Areas, Says Former FCC Official

Rural electric cooperatives and not “small cell” deployment powered by 5G networks, may be the solution to closing the digital divide, according to Jonathan Chambers, former chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Strategic Planning.

Speaking at the regional conference hosted last week here by Next Century Cities, a broadband advocacy group for cities, Chambers suggested repurposing rural electric cooperative infrastructure for fiber networks.

“The nation was able to build electricity to every home in rural America. That was the objective starting in the 1930s, and the country was able to do so,” Chambers said. “It’s less expensive to build a fiber network than an electric network.”

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NYCNOWC Advocacy Council Election Results

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 18:27
Link: Election Results: Advocacy Council & Member Programming

NYC NOWC is proud to announce the results of our third advocacy council elections. These 5 worker-owners will lead NYC NOWC’s advocacy efforts over the next fiscal year and will be part of a growing bench of cooperative movement leaders.  The goal of this program is to build advocacy skills among worker-owners in NYC for the long term and to expand the capacity of worker-owners to advocate on their own behalf.

Read the rest at NYC NOWC


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Radical bookshop buys former bank

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 18:20
Link: Radical bookshop buys former bank

On 6 August October Books in Southampton completed the purchase of 189 Portswood Road which for many years had been a branch of NatWest Bank. This was made possible be a very successful campaign that with the support of the local community raised £487,800 through a combination of loan stock, crowd funding, personal loans and gifts, and a loan from Co-operative & Community Finance.

The new building is much bigger than the current shop, which is actually in the same street. October Books owns the freehold. The top floor of the building has already been sold to a private leaseholder and October Books will sell the first floor to The Society of St James, a local charity that supports homeless people. The ground floor will be used by the bookshop and the local community. The co-op is hoping that the necessary renovations will be completed in time to allow the bookshop to open in its new home in October, of course.

Read the rest at Co-operative and Community Finance


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Striking Charter/Spectrum Workers: The Timing’s Perfect For Our New Coop

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 15:56
Link: Striking Charter/Spectrum Workers: The Timing’s Perfect For Our New Coop

The striking group of Charter/Spectrum workers who have introduced a plan to replace the flagging telecom king with a new worker cooperative that would better serve subscribers and workers alike, says the timing to get behind the effort couldn’t be more perfect.

On July 27, the NY Public Service Commission [PSC] rescinded its approval of Charter/Spectrum’s 2016 merger with Time-Warner Cable after determining the number two cable TV company in the nation has “no intention of providing the public benefits upon which the Commission’s earlier approval was conditioned.”

And earlier this week, 23 members of the New York City Council, led by Rafael Espinal [D-37th District] and Francisco Moya [D-21st District], called on the city to stop doing business with Charter/Spectrum in the future.

Troy Walcott, the striking Charter/Spectrum survey tech spearheading the new worker coop, called the actions being taken against the telecom  “amazing.”

Read the rest at LaborPress


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Greene Hill Food Co-op Opens New Location

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 15:52
Link: Greene Hill Food Co-op Opens New Location

The member-owned, operated, and supported food co-op with more than 300 members debuts its new space at 1083 Fulton Street (between Classon Avenue and Claver Place) on Saturday, August 4. The grand opening will take place Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5 from 10am to 6pm each day.

Throughout the grand opening weekend, Greene Hill will host an “open house” shopping day in which co-op members and non-members can shop the affordable local produce and groceries. Non-members will have the chance to explore the store’s inventory, snack on samples, and learn new recipes.

Greene Hill is offering a membership special through Labor Day—anyone who joins under the Co-op’s “avocado” or “lettuce” payment plans ($150 member investments) will have the $25 administration fee waived. Greene Hill also offers a one-month trial membership for those unsure about committing, allowing them to shop for a month with no required work shift (2.5 hours every four weeks) or investment. The Co-op also offers a reduced membership for qualifying members.

Read the rest at BKLYNER


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Caregiving cooperative taking shape

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 18:03
Link: Caregiving cooperative taking shape

A group of local residents is forming a caregiving cooperative, an employee-owned business providing in-home care services.

Led by Kippi Waters of Port Townsend, the group is working closely with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center and has assembled a list of 35 potential members, the majority of whom are skilled caregivers, Waters said.

Caregiving – taking care of the elderly or people with disabilities – includes assistance in the tasks of daily living, ranging from cooking and cleaning to bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, medication reminders, errands, transportation, companionship and cultural outings.

Read the rest at The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader


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Media Mobilizing Project and Bonfire Media Collective are bringing the heat

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 17:53
Link: Media Mobilizing Project is bringing the heat with new sister org Bonfire Media Collective

West Philadelphia-based media production, training and advocacy org Media Mobilizing Project recently spawned a sister organization two years in the making:  Bonfire Media Collective.

As a media-making business, Bonfire aims to tell stories of humanity, community and social change.

As a worker-owned cooperative, it is committed to fair pay for its employees, democratic leadership and “respectful working conditions in an industry that is plagued by low wages, inconsistent income and long hours,” per its website...Bryan Mercer shared some info about the co-op via email.

Read the rest at Generocity


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Group seeks place to create a food co-op in Vallejo

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 18:16
Link: Group seeks place to create a food co-op in Vallejo

“We’re having some workshops to help get a Vallejo Food Co-op off the ground,” said Guevara, the Vallejo Community Organizer for the Food Empowerment Project. “This will be a grocery store with community-grown products, among other things.”

The effort stems from the work of the Food Empowerment Project and its founder and executive director, Lauren Ornelas.

“This effort is just getting started and we will be relying on the folks at Mandela Grocery Cooperative to help guide us,” she said. “It would be incredible for the longtime residents of Vallejo to have fresh, healthy foods available to them which would be convenient, create jobs, and where they are the owners so they make the decisions and enjoy the profits.”

Read the rest at the Times Herald


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Cafe X Marks the Spot

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 18:07
Link: Cafe X Marks the Spot

"Café X: By Any Beans Necessary is a worker-owned co-op. That sets us apart from the classic, capitalistic, profit-making enterprises, for profits sake. We want to enrich our member-owners, pass on communal wealth and knowledge, and provide welcoming space to organize and learn from one another. Café X is a model for how we want to do business as a connected community."

In other words, it ain't Starbucks. It's also been a long time coming: Pollard originally had the idea for it years ago during her participation in an urban leadership program called RISE San Diego (where she met Ramos, a New Media Strategist and founder of My Sound Future). But despite the frequency with which new coffee shops seem to pop up in town, it's been a lengthy process for Café X to blossom into a reality.

Read the rest at NBC San Diego


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How electric co-ops transformed the solar landscape in just five years

Thu, 08/02/2018 - 16:41
Link: How electric co-ops transformed the solar landscape in just five years

Electric cooperatives in the U.S. have vastly accelerated solar power installments. Today, they own or purchase more than nine times as much solar photovoltaic (PV) power as they did in 2013, a new report says.  

The report, “A Solar Revolution in Rural America,” was prepared by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), a national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. Electric co-ops serve 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape, it noted. 

The dramatic increase in solar installations is pegged to NRECA’s launch of the Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) project in 2014. As part of that project, which leveraged funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, several electric co-ops developed models and resources aimed to integrate solar into their respective portfolios. It began as a partnership with 17 cooperatives to build 30 MW of solar in 10 states.

Read the rest at Power Magazine


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Living in Community, from Co-housing to Manufactured Home Parks

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 16:24
Link: Co-op Power Hour: Living in Community, from Co-housing to Manufactured Home Parks

We live in a time when housing is a defining asset. It is the main source of wealth for many people, but it was also part of the cause of the major economic crisis of our era.

Especially here in Colorado, housing costs have risen far faster than most people’s incomes. Here and elsewhere, people have been turning to cooperative models as a way to turn the tide—or even survive. On this show, we look at two innovative strategies for a more sustainable future of housing.

We hear from Karin Hoskin, executive director of the Co-housing Association of the United States, who lives in one of Boulder County’s several co-housing communities.

Along with her we’re joined by Paul Bradley, President of ROC USA and a recent inductee in the Cooperative Hall of Fame for his work enabling residents of manufactured home communities to be owners of the land under their homes.

Listen to the podcast at KGNU News


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Where next for the New Economy movement?

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 15:35
Link: Where next for the New Economy movement?

In late May of 2018, the Buffalo city council agreed to a strategic plan that gives residents on Buffalo’s East Side a meaningful voice in how their neighborhood will be developed. The council transferred up to 20 vacant lots to the Fruit Belt Community Land Trust, a nonprofit that will manage the property and keep housing prices affordable for those who need it most. They also agreed to give nearby homeowners the option to buy other vacant parcels.

This victory was the result of years of community organizing by local residents who were determined to take action in the face of the gentrification of their neighborhood. The long-term goal is “development without displacement,” attracting new jobs and building new housing but not at the expense of the existing residents who call the Fruit Belt home.

The Fruit Belt Community Land Trust is just one of thousands of stories of people who are organizing to build what many call “economic alternatives.” But lots of people working on these “alternatives” in the US “new economy movement” reject that framing because they aren’t interested in staying in the margins. Instead, their goal is to transform the system, not create a niche alternative for a small number of people. The new economy wants to be theeconomy, but how?

Read the rest at openDemocracy


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The Revolution will be Ecologised

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 17:49
Link: The revolution will be ecologised: social change in the 21st century

Piecemeal reforms, technocratic schemes, and state-driven ‘climate resilience’ have proven not only ineffective at stymying the effects of climate change, but also utterly incapable of combating its underlying cause: a capitalist global order.

This order systematically shreds the social and ecological fabric which enables complex life on this planet. The cynical mantra that ‘humans are to blame for global warming' is a deception - a logic of domination and an ideology of endless ‘growth’ are the real culprits.

Fortunately, human beings can overcome our present condition. All over the world, alternative technologies, social movements, and schools of thought are contesting the exploitative practices and institutions of capitalism.

However, these alternatives will remain little more than scattered, unfulfilled promises unless they are united within a coherent institutional framework of freedom and democracy.

Read the rest at The Ecologist


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Game Studio With No Bosses Pays Everyone The Same

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 17:43
Link: Game Studio With No Bosses Pays Everyone The Same

Motion Twin describes itself as an “anarcho-syndical workers cooperative.” What this means in practical terms is that all of its 11 workers are, in theory, equal. Same pay, same say.

“We actually just use a super basic formula: if a project finds success, people are basically paid more in bonuses, and everyone is paid the absolute same way,” said longtime Motion Twin game designer Sébastien Bénard in an email. “The devs and the artists are paid the same amount of money, and people like me who have been here for 17 years are paid the same amount as people who were recruited last year.”

It seems to be working. Motion Twin has been in business for nearly two decades, and the studio’s most recent game Dead Cells has sold more than 700,000 units on PC alone before even leaving early access.

Read the rest at Kotaku


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Pathways to Ownership: A Free Webinar Series

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 15:57

Pathways to Ownership is a no cost, five section webinar series that will give you the practical information you need to understand employee ownership options, so you can start-up or convert an existing business into one of many employee ownership models!


Thursday, August 2, 10:00 AM

Joe Marraffino of the Democracy at Work Institute
will provide background, practical details, and
examples of issues involved in shifting from workers
to owners.

Wednesday, August 15, 10:00 AM

Erin Domagal is a co-owner and Creative Director of
Earth Designs Cooperative, a landscape design and
installation company in Rosendale, NY.

Wednesday, August 29, 10:00 AM

Frank Cetera will speak of his hands-on experience
with cooperatives, various support networks and
resource organizations that exist for them, and give
you a summary of legislation for facilitating
employee ownership and development in NY State.

Read the rest and register at Onondaga SBDC


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Tier 1 Desktop Support At Worker-Owned and Managed Service Provider

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:07
Link: Tier 1 Desktop Support At Worker-Owned Managed Service Provider

TechCollective is a worker-owned and operated tech support cooperative based in Cambridge.

We're seeking a full-time Desktop Support technician to work from our office in Cambridge. This is a customer-facing role providing quick, clear communication and support for customers under service level agreements, as well as the occasional break/fix support issue. This position will work closely with TechCollective team members.

Pay commensurate with experience, between $18-$22/hr, and will go up if the employee becomes an owner in our business, after a year-long trial. 

We offer healthcare benefits and dividends are distributed during profitable years.

Read the rest on Craigslist


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