C-W.org Blog

Making Sense of the New Economy

May 20th, 2015 -- kparker
Rethinking Community Economic Development
The phrase “new economy” can mean a variety of things to different people. To some, the phrase still refers to the adoption of new technology or the growth of the tech sector. Among progressives, however, it has generally come to mean, as John Cavanagh and Robin Broad put it a while back in The Nation, the movement to achieve “holistic, systemic change” in our economic structures. In a 2011 Nation article, Democracy Collaborative Co-founder Gar Alperovitz noted that new economy advocates seek “an economy that is increasingly green and socially responsible, and one that is based on rethinking the nature of ownership and the growth paradigm that guides conventional policies.” In the few short years since the term “new economy” has entered our lexicon, community economic developers have begun to consider how to incorporate community business ownership and other new economy concepts into their work.

Worker-Owned Companies Class of 2014

May 13th, 2015 -- kparker
A review of some of last year’s new employee-owned companies

In this year’s review of some of the newest worker-owners on the block, we highlight 16 fresh cooperatives—some were founded and others were converted to worker-ownership in 2014. If you find some of these businesses are local to you, we encourage you to support and welcome your new worker-owned neighbors. Read more about Worker-Owned Companies Class of 2014...

New Memoir Charts Gus Speth's Political Evolution

April 20th, 2015 -- violeta
Next System Co-Chair Gus Speth advocates for systemic change
By definition distinct from the status quo, radical ideas must always evolve. Still, Gus Speth has had a particularly unusual evolution to his current role as Co-Chair of The Democracy Collaborative’s Next System Project, which launched on March 31, 2015 and seeks to build upon our work on community wealth and take it to scale by opening up a broad national debate in the United States about much-needed systemic change. In his new memoir, entitled Angels by the River, Speth recalls some of the people, places, and events that took him from a sheltered, conservative upbringing in the American South, through a variety of prominent positions as a mainstream environmentalist, and finally, to his present role as a leading advocate for system change.

Greensboro Community Looks to Food Cooperative to Fill Grocery Gap

April 8th, 2015 -- violeta
A low-income community of color applies a cooperative solution to combat food insecurity
What would you do if the only full-service grocery store in your community suddenly closed? When this misfortune fell upon the residents of northeast Greensboro, North Carolina, they took matters into their own hands and mobilized to build a community-owned store.

What If Community Developers Held a Congress and Everyone Showed Up?

March 27th, 2015 -- kparker
A practitioner-driven agenda provides a unique lens for addressing challenges facing community economic development
A practitioner-driven agenda provides a unique lens for addressing challenges facing community economic development. The People and Places conference represented a joint effort by four organizations: NACEDA (the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations), NALCAB (the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders), National CAPACD (the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development), and the National Urban League.

How a credit union is increasing access to affordable, responsible financial services

March 4th, 2015 -- kparker
An interview with Steve Zuckerman of Self-Help Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1980, Self-Help works to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all, especially minority, women-headed, rural and low-wealth families and communities.  In 2006 Self Help expanded into California, and in 2008 launched Self-Help Federal Credit Union to increase access to affordable, responsible financial services in low-income communities. Read more about How a credit union is increasing access to affordable, responsible financial services...

Cooperation Among Cooperatives Rebuilds Equitable Food System

March 2nd, 2015 -- kparker
Trade group, P6, aims to uplift small, local and cooperative producers
P6 Logo

Grocery or “natural food” co-ops pioneered promoting local and organic foods, helping to propel these concepts into the mainstream. But spurred by expanding consumer demand, large corporations now dominate the market and have increased pressure on independent, grocery co-ops around the country. Today, the labels of organic, local, or natural do not necessarily reflect a more equitable distribution of wealth and profits. Read more about Cooperation Among Cooperatives Rebuilds Equitable Food System...

A Fair Share: Worker Cooperatives and the Growth of Shared Capitalism

February 5th, 2015 -- bwythe
A growing number of business owners are making the decision to turn over ownership to their employees.

This past summer, in a sea-side town in Maine, the state’s largest worker cooperative was created. As a retirement gift, small business owners Vernon and Sandra Seile turned over ownership of their retail businesses to their 40 employees. Ashley Weed, a dutiful worker of the Seiles for 11 years, stated, “I am happy they actually sold it to us, so we don’t have to start at the bottom again.” Read more about A Fair Share: Worker Cooperatives and the Growth of Shared Capitalism...