A Visit to Mondragon: People Before Profits

This is the first of a series of posts I’ll be writing to describe my trip to the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, located in the Basque region of Spain. I’m compelled to start with purpose, mission and values. Whatever one might conclude about Mondragon, the single most important—and profound—part of my experience is the breathtaking beauty of 120...

Mondragon: The History of a Movement

By Nicholas G. Luviene, from “Building a Platform for Economic Democracy: A Cooperative Development Strategy for the Bronx.” © 2010 Nicholas G. Luviene. (Note: This excerpt is republished with permission from Mr. Luviene.) Mondragon is located in the Basque region, a semi autonomous zone of Spain on the Northern border, adjacent to the Southwest corner of...

Coops, Italian Style: A Look at the Legacoop in Bologna

“That the Italian and Basque cooperatives have grown so large is somewhat a mystery since, unlike capitalist enterprises, cooperatives are not expansionist by nature…Capitalist enterprises tend towards growth because increased scale generally leads to greater returns for a concentrated ownership.  To simplify, if a capitalist bakery owner has a bakery...

The Mondragon Moment

(Note: This blog post is republished from the original, published on July 14, 2011, hosted by the MIT CoLab and accessible here.) It used to be that dissatisfied Americans looked for ways to fix the economy when it wasn’t working for them, using policy adjustments and the like to make a current model better. In the last few years the approach has shifted —...

Better Living is Possible: How Other Countries Put The US to Shame

A better way is possible. We spend more than $110 billion fighting wars in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but are plagued with a poverty rate of more than 17 percent. At 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, the U.S. had the highest infant mortality rate among the high-income nations in 2006. We buy millions of $3.50 lattes, but leave more than 25 million of our...

Room for Improvement: 72% See Sustainability Initiatives Exceed Expectations

A recent international survey conducted by Accenture revealed some pretty interesting statistics about the state of sustainability in the mindset of corporate leaders. Though a majority see the benefits — namely in reputation and trust (cited by 49% of respondents), improved brand (41%), and lower costs (42%) — only 66% see sustainability as an...

Put More Women in Charge

“The neglect of women’s rights means the social and economic potential of half the population is underused. In order to tap into this potential, we must open up spaces for women in political leadership, in science and technology, as trade and peace negotiators, and as heads of corporations.” –Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and UN Women...

A Time of Extraordinary Urgency – and Extraordinary Opportunity

We know that water, forests, soils – all the essentials of life – are becoming depleted and degraded at a dangerous rate. We know that our climate is changing at a speed and on a scale far beyond anything modern humanity has experienced. And we know that the hard scientific evidence of environmental collapse is becoming starker by the day. The likely...