- Humanizing the Economy, a new book (2010) by John Retsakis says “With over 800 million members in 85 countries, the cooperative movement is by far the most durable and most powerful grassroots movement in the world.” He presents a compelling case for cooperatives and is an excellent starting point to learn about the model.
- Choose a Co-op tells the story via YouTube.
- The UN declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives.
- State of the Reunion, a CBC Ideas program broadcast on NPR talks about how Cleveland revived its economy when local foundations worked together to support tiny entrepreneuers, some with as few as three people. They adapted their template from the Mondragon Cooperative model that originated in the Basque region of Spain. The Mondragon cooperatives now employ over 83,000 people.
- Co-opoly, a new board game is fun to play, AND it shows the powerful potential of the cooperative model.
The goal is to proactively create resilient communities to dramatically reduce fossil fuel consumption and to bring back the forgotten skills that will serve us in the new economy. This is known as reskilling. The beauty of the Transition Town movement is that each community creates its own solutions, unique to it’s challenges and resources. Transition Rogers Park, of which I am a member, works on permaculture, gardening, transportation and much more. Be careful what you ask for. The exquisite irony of the worldwide financial crisis and the unimaginable ostrich-like behavior of the 1-percenters and the American Tea Party is the Law of Unintended Consequences. Congress, cowed by the Tea Party’s zealous commitment to not tax anything, is teaching millions of people to go around the traditional economy. People are learning the utility of barter, of thrift shopping, and of not buying anything. Period. A hungry person is a quick learner. A fundamental plank of cooperatives and the Transition Town movement is supporting the local economy. This is not an easy shift but it is long over due and we will be far better off in the long run. Bye, bye big box. See ya Sears. Way later, Wal-Mart.