Marjorie Kelly on the Emerging Model of Economic Cooperatives

Subject: Business / Economics
Themes: Economics and Business 21st Century
Resource type: Articles

This article, by Marjorie Kelly was published on the Yes! Magazine website in February 2013 and is entitled, The Economy, Under New Ownership: How cooperatives are leading the way to empowered workers and healthy communities.

Cooperative businesses and benefit corporations discussed in this article include: Equal Exchange, Cabot Creamery, Summon Credit Union, Beverly Cooperative Bank, Patagonia and Seventh Generation.

From the article:

Emerging in our time—in largely disconnected experiments across the globe—are the seeds of a different kind of economy. It, too, is built on a foundation of ownership, but of a unique type. The cooperative economy is a large piece of it. But this economy doesn't rely on a monoculture of design, the way capitalism does. It's as rich in diversity as a rainforest is in its plethora of species—with commons ownership, municipal ownership, employee ownership, and others. You could even include open-source models like Wikipedia, owned by no one and managed collectively.

These varieties of alternative ownership have yet to be recognized as a single family, in part because they've yet to unite under a common name. We might call them generative, for their aim is to generate conditions where our common life can flourish. Generative design isn't about dominion. It's about belonging—a sense of belonging to a common whole.