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This is the 4th installment in our ShiftShapers series exploring the New Economy.
All the previous speakers in our New Economy series have mentioned the example of the thriving, worker-owned Mondragon cooperatives.
In this 32-minute interview with co-host Daniel Kerbein, Georgia Kelly, founder of Praxis Peace Institute, describes the experience of having visited Mondragon, Spain and even having led several tours there in recent years.
She says the lessons to be learned from studying the Mondragon model of cooperative industry are many, and even more impressive than that is to see how people live in a large community with no poverty or unemployment, no rapacious corporate CEOs to skim their fortune from the profits or send the business offshore.
Far from it. In the more than 100 businesses in Mondragon, over 100,000 workers own the businesses where they work, and own their jobs. And they are prospering. At a time when the only mainstream news out of spain is about debt, an economic crash, and cruel austerity measures put into place to protect bank profits.
Americans have to see it to believe it. No, you won't see it on TV, you have to turn that thing off and talk to someone who's been there, or go see it yourself.
That opportunity is coming up. The next study tour will go from Sept. 9-12, 2012. (Go to www.praxispeace.org for details.) People who take this tour, come back and start new worker co-ops, or continue spreading the word.
"I don't see a bright future for capitalism," Georgia Kelly observes. "I think what's going to be important here is to have models and alternatives up and running so there are enough to take its place. Otherwise what could happen at that point is a totalitarian state."
Spoken like a true Shift Sha
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It's good to talk.