We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Need, Trust, Realism and Well-Chosen Allies -- Day 5 Mondragon

by Carl Davidson from his blog.

This is the author's final report on his tour of the facilities of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in the Basque region of Spain.
Our first stop is another component allied with Mongragon University called SAIOLAN. It's an incubator project for helping to launch new coops and high-tech businesses.
From there they attended talks regarding innovation of new technologies, and finally an overseas assistance program for coops in other countries. 

In these sessions a lot of interesting questions were asked of the Mondragon spokes-people. For example:
Have you had any inquiries from those countries trying to define a new 21st century socialism, in whatever way, such as Venezuela, Cuba, China, Vietnam or even South Africa, on how they might use Mondragon's ideas and services? Do you think you have something to offer here?
 Those of you who have found this series of interest may want to read an academic report entitled, Commons and Cooperatives, featured in today's blog.