Grassroots Economic Survival

Subscribe to Grassroots Economic Survival feed
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 16 min ago

Boston's First Cooperative Brewery is Opening Soon

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 17:25
Link: Boston’s First Cooperative Brewery, Democracy Brewing, Opens Soon in Downtown Crossing

After more than two years of planning, fundraising, and construction, the city’s first worker-owned and democratically run brewery is nearing a debut, and just in time for Independence Day. If all goes according to plan, the micro brewery, kitchen, and German style beer hall located at 35 Temple Place in Downtown Crossing will hold a series of soft openings in the coming weeks before welcoming the general public on that most patriotic of holidays, the 4th of July.

The brainchild of James Razsa, formerly a community organizer with a passion for economic justice, he concocted the idea while working at a fair-trade coffee co-op five years ago. A short time later he started learning the craft brewery ropes as a beer slinger for community focused Aeronaut Brewing in their Somerville taproom. He followed that up with an internship at John Harvard’s in Cambridge where he met Jason Taggart, the pub’s head brewer. The two hit it off, and when Razsa shared his idea of opening the area’s first cooperative brewery, a partnership was born.

Read the rest at Mass Brew Bros


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Food, Coops, Capitalism

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 16:37
Link: Food, Coops, Capitalism

Last week, I travelled to Portland, Oregon to give a keynote presentation to the Consumer Coop Management Association—CCMA. My first experience with cooperatives had been in 1983 when I worked as a manager for the Stockton Farmers’ Market Coop. Long before the rise of the food movement, we used to sell fresh produce to the Berkeley Coop’s supermarkets. This allowed a small group of struggling farmers to sell a lot of good food to a big group of affluent consumers. But that was long ago. I needed to study up to face 500 experts in coop management.

When I did background research, I was struck by the obvious: Capitalism and food coops emerged together.

Read the rest at Food First


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Black Conference National Tour and Co-op Startup

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:42
Link: Black Conference National Tour

The Black Conference Touring Company  is a cooperative of performing artists engaging audiences through interactive performances designed to empower communities to take collective action.

Black Conference is a 360◦ theater experience set in 1939, during the opening ceremonies of a civil rights conference...

Lifting People out of Poverty
We're raising money to take this low-income communities across the country to share a message about the power of collective community action to lift people out of poverty. We're raising enough to travel to five locations, Detroit is at the top of the list. In each case funds from the campaign will pay half the cost and the community we visit will be responsible for raising the other half, requiring commitment from that community, and some of the grassroots effort required for these strategies to work.

Launching the Tour at the 2018 Worker Cooperative National Conference
From September 14 – 16, 2018 the 20-member company of Black Conference will be in Los Angeles presenting at the 2018 Worker Cooperative National Conference that will be held at Los Angeles Trade Tech College...


Read the rest and support The Black Conference Touring Company at GoFundMe


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Can this new streaming service help listeners play fair?

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:24
Link: Bye, Spotify: can this new streaming service help listeners play fair?

“From my own experience, I tend to just not make any money from streaming [services],” Davies says.

He has been making music under the alias Kepla for around three years. He was searching for an alternative to big streaming platforms like, which pay artists tiny amounts of royalties per stream, when he came across Resonate.

Resonate, based in Berlin and established by founder and CEO Peter Harris in 2015, aims to put the money and power in the hands of the artists. It does this through three main selling points: an alternative to a monthly subscription service, an innovative technology that allows for a more transparent and efficient way of paying artists, and its cooperative model.

Read the rest at The Guardian


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

‘Why can’t it be a co-op?’

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:17
Link: ‘Why can’t it be a co-op?’ It’s time to advocate for large-scale mutualisation

[C]o-operators need to be loud in our advocacy for genuine democratic public ownership. This means once the railways have been nationalised, let’s mutualise them. Let’s create shareholdings that turnour great public utilities into truly great mutually owned public utilities.

Where the cost of upfront nationalisation is too great, let’s create co-operative insurgencies within the share ownerships of those utilities. These co-op share clubs would reinvest profits back into expanding the mutual ownership proportion over time. Decisions would be democratically made and those in charge held accountable in ways that utilities are not at present. One member, one vote would transform public utilities putting power back into the hands of the people.

Read the rest at The Co-operative Party

 Go to the GEO front page
Categories: News

In pursuit of an inclusive platform

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 16:24
Link: In pursuit of an inclusive platform

Resonate is committed to changing the music industry for the better, and we consider the wider impact of everything that we do. As we build a new, direct artist-to-fan music platform, we want to ensure that all people and communities are supported. It’s important to us to build a welcoming environment for all.

We believe that inclusivity and diversity are essential for strong communities, and we aim to reflect this across all fronts. Resonate supports artists in all stages of their careers, and welcomes people of all genders, races, sexualities, backgrounds, physical appearances, abilities, religions and ages. We do not tolerate any form of harassment.

We’ve stated that we will work with anyone so long as they share our values, and this extends from respecting user privacy to respecting all people. By this we mean making a conscious effort to create inclusive environments, and explicitly refraining from working with or participating in organizations or events that do not align with these values.

Read the rest at Resonate

 Go to the GEO front page
Categories: News

NFL cheerleaders march on the NFL bosses

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 16:18
Link: NFL cheerleaders march on the NFL bosses

Today, I want to talk about a group of NFL employees who are taking direct, collective action against the low pay, hostile work environments, and discrimination that league bosses and owners conveniently ignore: NFL Cheerleaders.

Four former Houston Texans cheerleaders marched into NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office Monday, June 4 demanding fair pay and better working conditions for all cheerleaders.

“Cheerleaders are being exploited and mistreated solely because they are women,” said Gloria Allred, the cheerleaders’ attorney, reading from the letter at a press conference outside NFL headquarters in New York. “These cheerleaders deserve to be paid more than a mere pittance.”

An NFL security guard blocked them from entering the building and accepted the letter, but there was no response to their demands from any NFL personnel.

It doesn’t matter if you’re working in the private or public sector, a fast food joint, hospital, mine, nursing home, or performing on live television during the NFL’s entire season—the moment you demand better pay, better treatment, and a safer working environment from the boss, you’re tossed out and labeled an “agitator” who violated their “trust and open door policy.” 

Read the rest at the People's World


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

2018 ACE Annual Institute

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:54

The Association of Cooperative Educators (ACE) is pleased to invite you to its 2018 Annual Institute "Fostering Coop Innovation"!

The Annual Institute is the only annual conference in North America dedicated solely to the promotion of cooperative education and to the training of all cooperators (educators, leaders, developers, learners, etc.). It is a unique learning opportunity for 100-120 cooperators from all cooperative sectors and across national boundaries.

As one of the most prestigious co-op education events in the world, our Annual Institute is a real summer school of cooperation. This year, be one of us and join us in Minneapolis for an exciting Institute!


¡La Asociación de Educadores Cooperativos (ACE) se complace en invitarlo a su Instituto Anual 2018 "Fomentar la Innovación de la Cooperativa"!

El Instituto Anual es la única conferencia en Norteamérica dedicada exclusivamente a la promoción de la educación cooperativa y a la capacitación de todos los cooperadores (educadores, líderes, desarrolladores, estudiantes, etc.). Es una oportunidad de aprendizaje única para 100-120 cooperadores de todos los sectores cooperativos y más allá de las fronteras nacionales.

Como uno de los eventos de educación cooperativa más prestigiosos del mundo, nuestro Instituto Anual es una verdadera escuela de cooperación de verano. Este año, ¡ únete a nosotros en Minneapolis para un Instituto emocionante!


L'Association des éducateurs coopératifs (ACE) a le plaisir de vous inviter à son Institut annuel 2018 "Favoriser l'innovation coop" !

L'Institut annuel est la seule conférence en Amérique du Nord a être dédiée exclusivement à la promotion de l'éducation coopérative et la formation de tous les coopérateurs (éducateurs, leaders, développeurs, apprenants, etc.). C'est une occasion d'apprentissage unique pour 100-120 coopérateurs de tous les secteurs et de toutes provenances géographiques.

Étant l'un des évènements les plus prestigieux d'éducation coopérative dans le monde, notre Institut annuel est une réelle école d'été de la coopération. Cette année, soyez des nôtres et joignez-vous à nous à Minneapolis pour un Institut des plus stimulants !

Read the rest and register for the Institute


Go to the GEO front page



Categories: News

Montana ROC Goes Online

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:11
Link: Montana ROC Goes Online

Morning Star Community, a 41-home resident-owned community in Kalispell, Mont., debuted its marketing website this week.

Laurie Westendorf, President of the democratically elected Board of Directors, said the site will help tell the story of the community and the benefits of resident ownership, particularly to those who might be looking to move into the community.

Along with the ability to create custom real estate listings, Morning Star’s site also links to listings on, the nation’s largest and most active website for buying or selling manufactured homes, Westendorf said the virtual tour of the community is also a huge perk.

Read the rest at ROC USA


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

When Committees Are Authorized to Make Decisions

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 18:24
Link: When Committees Are Authorized to Make Decisions

One of the key challenges for groups of 20+ members working with consensus is how to effectively delegate. If you retain all decision-making in the plenary it invariably leads to a bottleneck—on the one hand there are too many plenaries and they last too long; on the other, committees are almost certainly underutilized (and probably demoralized by being expected to content themselves doing only scut work in service to the plenary).


In groups of 20 or more I strongly advocate that plenaries concentrate their attention on whole group concerns (such as interpreting common values as they apply to an issue, setting the annual budget, or defining member rights and responsibilities) and delegate to committees decision-making authority on all details that drop below the need for whole group deliberation. That said, stating theory is much easier than setting it up and having it go smoothly. There are challenges to getting delegation to work as elegantly as you can draw it up in a multicolored organizational diagram.

I was spurred to write about this issue (the underbelly of delegation) by a conversation I had recently at a community struggling with the question of what constituted fair notice of meetings at which decisions might be made that impacted everyone. The problem was that the group was committed to two core principles that weren't necessarily playing well together: a) transparency and the opportunity for people not on the committee to offer relevant input; and b) committees having a clear pathway to get their work done without being hamstrung by late input or complaints after the fact. What is the balance point between due process and efficiency?

Read the rest at Laird's Commentary on Community and Consensus


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

John Barry Talks about Workers Cooperatives

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 18:21
Link: John Barry: Talks about Workers Cooperatives

John Barry of Queen's University Belfast NI discusses worker cooperative

Watch more from Dan Dullea


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

A Q&A with Victory Gardens Co-op

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:56
Link: A Q&A with Victory Gardens Co-op

Tell us about Victory Gardens. How did it get started and how does it work?

Victory Gardens was started in 2012 by a group of friends and gardeners who saw an opportunity to teach people how to grow food. We’re fundamentally motivated to transform private and public space to become productive and bountiful, to decrease the reliance on the global food system, to promote consumption of organic fruits and vegetables, to empower individuals with the knowledge of food production and to inspire people to be outside, connecting with the earth. The first year, we boot-strapped and fundraised, holding onto our jobs, until we determined whether the model had legs. Once we knew more, we flushed out the ideas, model and organizational structure to GROW!

If you want food in your space but don’t know where to start, we can help! Depending on the customer’s needs, we generally start with a consultation to see the space and get a sense of how we can best help them meet their food growing goals and from that point, proceed with designing and building a garden, developing a garden map and planting guide or booking a series of coaching or veggie garden maintenance session. We do it all (even bring the seeds)!

Read the rest at Modo


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Cooperatives provide security and meaningful jobs to young people

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 15:24
Link: In a changing world of work, cooperatives provide security and meaningful jobs to young people, new study shows

Brussels, 6 June 2018 – CICOPA, the international organisation of industrial and service cooperatives, has published today a new “Global Study on Youth Cooperative Entrepreneurship”, as part of its campaign “We own it! The future of work is ours”.

The study is based on desk research and on an online survey involving 64 youth cooperatives in the five continents, and shows how – in a world of work deeply reshaped by demographic changes, globalization, technological innovations and youth unemployment – cooperatives can be a concrete tool in the hands of young people for improving their work and entrepreneurship conditions.

The study reveals a quite fresh and dynamic picture of youth cooperatives who took part in the survey. They are primarily active in the service sector, and are highly involved in activities requiring a certain degree of training, specialized knowledge and skills (e.g. telecommunications and information technologies, programming, legal and accounting activities, management, consultancy, research, marketing…). In most cases, they are micro or small-sized enterprises and have reported a positive economic performance and increasing or stable trends in job creation in recent years. They reveal gender equity in management positions and are extremely keen to implement new organizational methods in their business practices (e.g. workplace organisation and governance practices).

Read the rest at CICOPA


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Sustainable Food Systems: An interview with Robert Biel

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 15:19
Link: Sustainable Food Systems: An interview with Robert Biel

AF: So what about this term ‘food sovereignty’? That sounds nationalistic in a way…

RB: I think it was always more about community autonomy.  But in a deeper sense, I take your point: we must dare to be normative, not just describe a movement like food sovereignty, but discover what it should be.  A lot about the ‘old’ food sovereignty was resisting the extreme neo-liberal agenda of ‘free’ trade and its disastrous implications for food, and that was all very necessary, but it was only a phase.  In the book I try to place this in a much broader historical context. You have millennia of resistance against exploitative agrarian systems, then against colonialism and imperialism, then against the ‘Green Revolution’ of the Cold War; at an English level, there is an unbroken legacy: the peasants’ revolt, the Diggers of 1649, early 19th century Chartists, the Land and Freedom movement of the 1970s, and some inspiring contemporary stuff. If the ruling agenda is today shifting away from ‘free’ trade, the enduring issues of commons and land rights haven’t changed.

At the same time, today’s food sovereignty must also face up to new challenges.  What has gone haywire (in society and its relations with nature) has been a narrowing, homogenisation, simplification.  Physically, this is seen in the shrinking variety of crops being cultivated, in the strains of each crop etc.; socio-politically this is seen in intolerance, xenophopia, the narrowing of discourses.  If that is permitted, we will have a system (in food, in society) which fractures and disintegrates in the face of shocks.

Read the rest at Climate and Capitalism


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

After Centuries of Housing Racism, a Southern City Gets Innovative

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 15:11
Link: After Centuries of Housing Racism, a Southern City Gets Innovative

“We are existing in a genocidal condition,” says Nia Umoja, lead organizer of Cooperative Community of New West Jackson. “We need to find lasting solutions for the deep-seated social challenges we face within our community—the distrust, the self-hatred, the miseducation, the despondency, the economic disparities—so that the most vulnerable can take advantage of the opportunities we are unable to see now.”

Founded by residents in 2013, CCNWJ quietly acquired 65 properties from absentee owners and slumlords within a sprawling, largely neglected eight-block area of West Jackson containing vacant lots, commercial and residential property, and long-term lease property. Rather than rehabbing through contractors, the association uses “neighbor labor” for “all renovations,” Umoja says. It also operates a community supported agriculture site and manages the Airbnb-listed Mulberry Tree Guesthouse.

The organization successfully assembled itself alone and under the radar, without much intervention beyond the hard work of its members. Still, Umoja admits that “nobody knows yet if the CLT structure will work for communities here in Jackson.”

Read the rest at YES! Magazine


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Interview with Jessica Gordon-Nembhard and Evie Zavidow

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 19:02
Link: Episode 37: Solidarity Economy, Pt 1

This week AND next week, we are spending the hour with Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard and Evie Zavidow.

Evie is the program manager of CEANYC (pronounced scenic) or the Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC, and is a worker-owner of Sunset Scholars Tutoring Cooperative (and also wants everyone to know that she is a socialist feminist!). Dr. Gordon-Nembard is a political economist and professor of community justice and social economic development in the Africana Studies Department at John Jay College, City University of NY; and author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. She has numerous publications on cooperative economics, community economic development, credit unions, wealth inequality, community wealth, and Black political economy.

Listen to more episodes of the Season of the Bitch podcast


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News

Roadmap for radicals

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 18:59
Link: Roadmap for radicals

Activism has lived primarily in the middle and upper-middle classes. That class-based insularity is preventing us from building the power of working people. From radical subcultural circles to non-profit organisations to the Democratic party, the leadership of the broad left over the past 40 years has become concentrated in the top 20 per cent of US society.

We all know about the 1 per cent problem, but we also have a 20 per cent problem. There is a class insularity at the top that affects all kinds of institutions, particularly political institutions. It has made many of them into clubhouses. There are a lot of people for whom the activist identity stands between them and taking action on the issues they care about, because in order to take action on climate or labour or whatever, they have to take on this niche identity which involves them assimilating into a subculture and becoming someone else. And they don’t want to do it.

That should not be a requirement for taking political action. People should be able to come as they are, not having to figure out how to fit into this radical, or liberal, or whatever it is, activist clubhouse.

Read the rest at Red Pepper


Go to the GEO front page

Categories: News