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Carla: The Data Commons Co-op greases the flow of data between
communities in the cooperative, solidarity, new, call-it-what-you-will
economy. The co-op not only serves these communities, it is owned by
How do we share data? (technical question)
Brel: Expand housing cooperative & raise awareness
Madison’s housing cooperative sector is growing & interlinking with other coops (worker, grocery / food)
Housing cooperative sector is a good generator of other cooperatives
E.g. baker, bicycle, food coops generated from housing cooperatives
Then housing cooperatives do business with these other cooperatives to bolster the cooperative sector
Advocacy for the cooperative sector — Madison is a hotbed of cooperative development, with city support to set up the groundwork for stronger social support & community development benefits
Daniel: Working on map & list of cooperatives!
Everyone who’s a this conference is here because we want to link cooperatives
Worker / owner at an accounting firm, Rogers Park, disaster relief
Everyone can learn about all the ways we an come together outside silos of particular focus
E.g. Housing co-op vacancy board, member discounts across worker co-ops
Vertical integrations, public / private partnerships — rarely impact working class lifestyle as much as the community driving its own cooperative development
Lead with “What does the community need?” — “the Chicago way”
What does linking the cooperative economy mean?
Mapping the resistance
How do we take over enough of the economy to tip?
Accounting for needs
Reaching out to people who would benefit but aren’t aware of cooperative options
Application across industries
Building a sustainable socialist economy from the bottom up (not top down)
Taking over the world
Making the economy cooperative in general — keeping control local, instead of scaling (federated)
Not a hierarchical economy, top down
Awareness & education
Lifting the community as well as members — not driving out others
% of economy that is cooperative
Solidarity vs. classical economy — the true sharing / informal economy
Countering capitalist hegemony — growth outside the capitalist framework
Reject that capitalism is the classical economy, and sharing economy is the new economy
There are a lot of cooperatives around the world, not in the West
Cooperation is not a concept born in Europe
Building a database of information — what are the key information?
Relationship-building / conferences / coalitions
Peer-rating system — e.g. the co-op scorecard (from Canada)
Capital flows — investment in / divestment from extractive economy
Education about cooperation & other cooperative sectors
Incentivize collaboration across co-ops (e.g. member deals)
Lots of points of failures between co-op cooperation because of cash limitations (cheaper to patronize other businesses)
Do co-op prices squeeze out those who are economically disadvantaged?
Yes, the market is fucked (says Daniel) — market prices don’t account for externalities
Co-ops that are doing okay should re-invest in other cooperatives (e.g. Shared Capital cooperative, co-ops reinvesting in co-ops)
Co-ops should have discounts for other co-ops / volunteers / social sector employees (this idea has been repeated a lot a lot)
Tension between pragmatism & idealism
Can we beat capitalists at the pragmatic game?
Who should be involved in interlinking cooperatives?
Ideal is everyone to have some sort of involvement
Everyone should steward this — should not be tasked to a specific group
Co-operate or die — the current economic structure is indeed fucked
Make a bat signal so that people can reference it later
Interesting that the conversation has included a lot about capital / pricing / marketing (capitalist concepts), and less about democratic participation
How to scape democratic structures, etc?