A cooperative is "autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically-controlled enterprise." - via International Cooperative Alliance

You and other like-minded people can start one or work to convert an already existing business into a worker-owned co-op.  

Q:  Why should you start a co-op?

This podcast from Upstream is over an hour-and-a-half, but is extremely worth listening to.  It lays out the history of capitalism and why it needs to be torn down with a new human-centered economy taking its place.  (Sorry, they don't give us a way to embed the audio.  Click on the link below.)

The Myth of Freedom Under Capitalism

Q:  OK, Capitalism sucks.  So what's this co-op stuff all about?

If you do anything to learn more about democracy in the workplace (or co-ops), start with Richard Wolff.  Check out this half-hour show.

and here's an old article on co-ops in The Atlantic.

Getting Rid of Bosses

Q:  Are there a lot of co-ops around?

Well, here's list of co-ops posted on Wikipedia.

Q:  I'm intrigued.  Where are there resources where I can get info and help in starting a co-op?

Glad you asked.  How about:

United States Federation of Worker Co-ops

TESA Collective Study Guide on Co-ops

Sustainable Economies Law Center

International Cooperative Alliance

The International Organization of Industrial & Service Cooperatives

Democracy at Work Institute

Finance Toolkit for Worker Co-ops (from University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Specific resources from DWI. 


Here's a long conversation about co-ops.


Q:  And already established businesses can become a co-op?

Yup.  Here's some more resources:

Successful Cooperative Ownership Conversions

Succession Planning & Democratic Employee Ownership

Have another resource on cooperatives?  Send it to us via coolcatsforchange (at) proton (dot) me