lunes, 1 de noviembre de 2010

Culture Change: Embrace the Cooperative Movement

Embrace the Cooperative Movement
By Carlos Perez de Alejo

In the midst of mounting economic insecurity, fueled by widespread
unemployment, foreclosures and budget cuts, many people are seeking
alternative models to business as usual. From community gardens to
bartering networks, grassroots efforts are sprouting up across the
country. One of the main pillars of this growing trend is an international
institution with over 160 years of experience in local, sustainable
economic development: a cooperative.

Since the mid-1800's, cooperatives have promoted a unique, people-centered
model that sets them apart from conventional businesses. Unlike
traditional corporations, which are owned and controlled by outside
shareholders, cooperatives are businesses that are owned and
democratically controlled by their members -- the people who use their
services or buy their goods. In other words, cooperatives are
member-driven institutions that put people before profit to meet community
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