Gleanings

[Editor's Note: we are passing along this email notice from the Ohio Employee Ownership Conferece.  The conference will take place on April 24th, with pre-conference events on April 23rd.]

A Wealth of Opportunity: Employee Ownership Fuels Growth

We have a few updates for you:

American consumers benefit to the tune of $8.5 billion due to credit unions’ presence in the marketplace.

And the nation’s 98 million credit union members received $6.1 billion in benefits during the year ended Sept. 30, 2013, in the form of lower loan rates, higher dividends, and fewer and lower fees.

[I]f we accept that difference in human communities is good and normal and expected, then we have got to learn how to be at ease with the range of human experience, bodies, cultures, subcultures, and values. If we want to be at ease with the complex reality of human difference, then we have got to learn how to be good to each other when we bump up against it – which we will, regularly, unless we want a conformist monoculture in which everyone behaves, thinks, and feels the same way.

The emerging constellation of alternative economic activities celebrated on Shareable.net goes by many names—shared, gift, solidarity, social, cooperative, rooted, generative, and new economy are just a few—but they share many core values and aspirations in common.

At six-foot-six he was a towering breath of fresh air for the thousands of Co-operative Group employees who pined for change.

And, for a while, co-op democrats inside and outside the Group were in awe of a fresh change in management from Euan Sutherland; a renewed business focus.

But as will undoubtedly become clear in the Kelly Report next month, there is and always has been a deep divide between the elected board members at the Group and the management they appoint – a phenomenon not just exclusive to this co-operative.

Southern pews and pulpits weren’t the only source of people power during the long civil rights movement. So, too, were cooperative economic enterprises. These worker or consumer-owned alternatives to U.S. capitalism helped train and produce civil rights leaders from A. Philip Randolph to Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer to sitting congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.).

Many design agencies and arts organisations use a constant churn of skilled and productive long-term interns, sometimes comprising a third or more of the workforce, with only the more senior employees earning what would have been considered a decent income twenty years ago.

More and more, people are beginning to recognize the immense value of our commons and search for ways to protect them. Here we’ve compiled a short list of time-proven tools and commons-based models we can use to either protect our shared resources for the benefit of all or make the places we live and work more equitable and participatory. You’ll find descriptions of each tool and links to articles for further reading.

— Jessica Conrad

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