What the New Economy Means to Valley Green Feast

valley_green_feast_logoWe asked Valley Green Feast Collective to share their thoughts on the new economy and how it intersects with their work. Valley Green Feast is a local foods delivery service based in Western Massachusetts.

Here’s what they had to say.

By Ally Sterling

Valley Green Feast Collective is a worker-owned cooperative and we are committed to being apart of the new economy. To us building the new economy means creating and engaging with a system that is environmentally, socially, and economically just.

We recognize that capitalism is not the best option because it does not acknowledge the ecological challenges we are facing, and it favors profit and exploitation over people and our planet. We are in dire need of a system that addresses these issues and that fosters growth, learning, equality, adaptation and cooperation.


Credit Unions in the Co-op Movement

UMassFiveLogoOur friends at UMassFive College Credit Union make a huge difference in our local economy, and they are terrific supporters of co-ops like ours. Below Manager of Member Outreach Sean Capaloff-Jones shares a few thoughts on co-op identity and credit unions.

By Sean Capaloff-Jones

As many of my generation can attest, coming of age in the turn of the century has been tough. There has been an increase in many people’s sense of insecurity since September 11, 2001. And the Great Recession was a traumatic experience for anyone who, like me, was expected to enter one of the worst job markets the United States has ever experienced.


What the New Economy Means to Democracy Collaborative

democracy_collaborative_logoWe asked The Democracy Collaborative to share their thoughts on the new economy and how it intersects with their work. The Collaborative is a national leader in the field of community development through their Community Wealth Building Initiative that sustains a wide range of projects involving research, training, policy development, and community-focused work.

Here’s what they had to say.

By John Duda


Tips to Make Your Workshops Dynamic

At TESA, we believe a workshop can’t be considered democratic or participatory—let alone successful—unless it is engaging, dynamic, and energizing.

And of course, when it’s appropriate, we want our workshops to be fun, too.

Hightower_consultTo help you make your next workshop dynamic and engaging, I brainstormed with my coworkers to come up with a list of tips that we thought was indispensable. Below are five of the pointers I believe no workshop facilitator should overlook.


Co-opoly Goes International


Licensing deals in three continents, and translations in more than 10 languages underway

argentina_co-opolyAMHERST, Mass—The independently produced board game Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives is spreading its global reach with the addition of Argentina to the International Co-opoly Board. Representatives from organizations that produce Co-opoly in their country are eligible to serve on the board. The current members are working together to create an innovative, collaborative contract and supply chain to translate and ethically produce Co-opoly in Spain, France, Germany, South Korea, the UK, the Philippines, the United States, and beyond.


What the New Economy Means to CoFED

cofed_logoWe asked the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive to share their thoughts on the new economy and how it intersects with their work. CoFED growing the movement of future food co-op leaders.

Here’s what they had to say.

By Farzana Serang, Lauryl Berger-Chun, and Megan Svoboda

CoFED exists to strengthen a solidarity economy based on principles of cooperation and democracy. The student co-ops that CoFED supports are building healthier alternatives to corporate food services and industrial agriculture. They are coming together as economic units to fulfill their common needs and aspirations. Students are challenging traditional business structures and putting theory into practice through things like affirmative action hiring processes, democratic decision-making, and ethical purchasing policies.


Innovative Program to Build the New Economy

saint_marys_logoKalista Popp, a recent graduate from an innovative co-op program at Saint Mary’s University, reached out to tell us about the Co-op Management Education Program for Credit Unions and Cooperatives. We thought it was interesting and that you’d probably want to hear about it too, so we asked her to write a guest blog post for us.

By Kalista Popp, CME Graduate (’13)

As a recent graduate of the Saint Mary’s Co-op Management Education (CME) Program for Credit Unions and Co-operatives, I want to contribute to promoting the master’s degree option to more co-operators. Despite how much I have talked up the program in conferences, work exchanges, and personal discussions with many people from co-ops and credit unions, I always discover more untapped areas of different co-op sectors to reach.


CHS Grant Helps Fund TESA's Academy

academyIn collaobration with the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), we’re excited to announce that we have received a grant from the CHS Foundation through their 2014 Cooperative Education Grants Program to help us develop our online course program through our TESA Academy.

What does this mean for you? It means that we’re able to reduce the cost of our courses and offer them at an even lower, more affordable rate. Through the grant, we’re able to offer Intro to Cooperatives, Worker Co-ops 101, and Creating a Cooperative Food Economy for just $20-80 (sliding scale).


What the New Economy Means to Western Mass Jobs with Justice

wmjwjWe asked Western Mass Jobs with Justice to share their thoughts on the new economy and how it intersects with their work. WMJwJ works to improve working people’s standard of living, fight for job security, and protect workers’ right to organize.

Here’s what they had to say.

By Rose Bookbinder

We are striving to build an economy that puts people before profits.  Building coalitions amongst likely allies we are creating a society that is just, sustainable, and ensures that workers’ rights are protected and expanded. We bring together labor, community, student, and faith to create innovative solutions to the problems that workers face.