Heard about Rochdale and Mondragon, but want to know more about the what happened recently here in the U.S.? Get a crash course on the waves of U.S. cooperative organizing in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s that hold the roots of today's thriving worker cooperatives, as well as some instructive dead-ends and charismatic demutualizations.
Threads of history include the Federation for Economic Democracy - a short-lived national federation before the USFWC - and its network of regional technical assistance centers, the fight to save Youngstown Sheet and tube and the factory rescue movement, the union-driven, worker-owned O&O Supermarket chain, the bloom of counterculture cooperatives and the Bay Area's "Inter-cooperative" network, cooperative replication strategy on the East and West Coasts, the increase of immigrant-owned cooperatives, and the recent development of incubators and academies to increase the launch and survival of cooperatives into the market.
The presentation will reference individual cooperatives but focus on organizing efforts, the cultural values that drove them, and their strategies. Participants will be welcomed to contribute their own experiences to a collaborative map of 40+ years of cooperative organizing, and to trace their inspirations and values in a diverse, but connected movement.