Source: In These Times
Around the world, people are democratizing the workplace.
Long before the Occupy movement sparked renewed protest of rising inequality, another global movement was quietly engaged in building a more democratic economy. From coffee growers in Kenya seeking a fair market price to worker-owned green businesses reviving the American Rust Belt, cooperatives are helping to spur a reinvention of work in a period of worldwide recession.
Globally, an estimated 1 billion people are members of cooperatives, and many believe that the scope of worker- and member-owned enterprises across the world represents a revolution already in the making. With combined earnings rivaling Canada’s GDP, co-ops could be the fastest-growing business model by the end of the decade. To promote awareness of their potential, the United Nations has declared 2012 the “International Year of Cooperatives.” Cooperative organizers, though they have generally worked on a separate track from protest movements, have called on Occupy and other mass movements to help build “an economy worth occupying.”