Gleanings

As a community grows, it attracts opportunists. In a small community, the benefit to an opportunist of mimicking a sign of trustworthiness is small, but as the community scales, the potential benefits for opportunists are larger, and the incentive to mimic trustworthiness is greater.

Longtime activist, historian and political-economic theorist Gar Alperovitz, whose America Beyond Capitalism was serialized on Truthout, conducted an email interview with us on the occasion of the creation of his new website.

[Editor's note: Last Friday, GEO shared the Cooperative Business Group's petition to stop proposed changes to the UK Co-operative Group's governance structure.  Ian Snaith provides the opposing view.]

An eclectic mix of co-operatives came together at The Green Gathering festival to promote co-operation as a basis for social change.

The Co-ops’ Camp at the festival saw 30 co-operators run workshops on issues including the ecological and economic resilience of co-operatives, permaculture, young people and the politics of common ownership.

This episode of KOOP Radio's People United features political economist Jessica Gordon Nembhard talking with Carlos Pérez de Alejo of Cooperation Texas about her book Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.  They spoke at 5604 Manor in Austin, Texas, on July 17, 2014.

Multi-stakeholder cooperatives (MSCs) are co-ops that formally allow for governance by representatives of two or more “stakeholder” groups within the same organization, including consumers, producers, workers, volunteers or general community supporters.

Late last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

While we’re working on mobilizing to take back our democracy, we can start from the bottom up to “democratize wealth,” as both Piketty and Alperovitz say we must. Alperovitz puts less faith in top-down institutions than does Smith (the subtitle of What Then Shall We Do? is Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution ).

The troubled Co-operative Bank has reported a pre-tax loss of £75.8m for the first half of 2014, down from £845m a year ago.

It has also cut staff numbers by 13% in the first six months of the year.

The bank was rescued in 2013 after discovering a £1.5bn capital shortfall.

According to the group's recent report on the municipal court system in St. Louis County, the Ferguson court is a "chronic offender" in legal and economic harassment of its residents.

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