Gleanings

Modo is the first car-sharing co-operative in North America, incorporated in 1997 in Vancouver, BC.  It recently had its AGM, where sustainable growth and commitment to its members seemed to be main themes of the night.

When Boulder-based solar energy company Namasté Solar first went looking for capital to expand in 2004, it could have gone through the hassle of securing a bank loan or put together a dog-and-pony show to attract outside investors. But the company decided it wanted to partner with the people who knew the business better than anyone: its own staff.

In May of 2011, the seventy workers of Vio.Me stopped getting paid. Like many Greek capitalists, the long-absentee owner of this industrial chemical manufacturer faced financial ruin, and would soon file for bankruptcy. As such, the plant was abandoned. There would be no more jobs there, and the machines would soon be taken out and sold. For the people working in this plant, this was an especially frightening prospect.

Hi I’m Richard D. Bartlett! I’m writing a book about decentralised organising, finding lessons across diverse contexts, from social movements to formal workplaces.

The CEO of a nonprofit expressed how conflicted she was about being a white woman running a business with mostly Latina/o workers. Her conflict was rooted in a sense of social justice that was pulling her in two directions. On the one hand, she had been told all her life that, as a woman, she is less valuable than men. So being a female CEO is, in itself, a kind of achievement. On the other hand, she recognized that she is a white woman who’s essentially the boss of a bunch of Latina/o workers who she doesn’t pay that much. She hoped to find a way to address this issue.

Imagine living in a community where everyone knows your name, remembers your birthday and offers to make you dinner on a regular basis.

Three Tucson communities have embraced such a lifestyle, called “cohousing,” which is a growing housing trend nationwide.

Dubbed “intentional, collaborative neighborhoods that combine extensive common facilities with private homes,” cohousing appears to be the antithesis of today’s computer-connected world.

At Shared Capital Cooperative, a Twin Cities-based loan fund, Executive Director Christina Jennings rattles off what the fund has in its pipeline. About a dozen loans were recently approved, she says, another 16-18 in the final application phases, and another 25-30 leads that are in active pre-application conversations with her team.

The South Carolina Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require the state’s 20 electric cooperatives to publicly disclose the salary and benefits paid to board members and ban trustees from using their positions to profit from other business dealings with their co-ops.

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