Covid Democracy Webinar Series: Cooperatives As A Path To Democratic Economic Recovery

Covid Democracy Webinar Series: Cooperatives As A Path To Democratic Economic Recovery

The Coronavirus pandemic both lays bare deep and ongoing injustices in our society and provides a moment to re-evaluate and reset our political conversation. What does that mean for Scott Morrison’s “laser-like focus on jobs”, and the planned economic recovery being driven by a corporate agenda? Can we, at a moment like this, begin to plan a democratic economic recovery?

At the heart of this idea are cooperatives, a powerful model of economic democracy in which workers and users own and manage business for their own common benefit.

How might cooperatives, and other models of community economic organising, be mobilised to make the post-Covid economic recovery more equitable and more ecologically sensitive? What policies could we introduce to support them? How can communities move ahead with creating coops without more policy support? Instead of a recovery based on handing over billions to capitalists to create jobs for grateful workers, could we cultivate one where the workers themselves, and the communities they live in, build and control their own recovery?

We’re excited to bring you this webinar featuring world-renowned expert in post-capitalist economic organising, Professor Katherine Gibson, and one of Australia’s leading voices in green cooperatives, Dan Musil, from the Earthworker Coop.

Working with her long-time collaborator, the late Professor Julie Graham, as J.K. Gibson-Graham, Professor Gibson established the Community Economies Collective, a group of academics, activists and practitioners across the globe working towards new, ecologically sensitive, feminist, post-capitalist economic practices. Alongside numerous academic publications, their book Take Back The Economy, a very practical guide to Commons-based organising, has become a much-used classic.

Dan Musil is currently working towards a PhD with Professor Gibson and others at Western Sydney University, researching economic democracy and just transitions surrounding his work for years as Secretary of the Earthworker Cooperative. Earthworker set up Australia’s first worker-owned renewable energy factory, manufacturing solar water heaters, in the Latrobe Valley as a way of simultaneously addressing economic and environmental justice challenges. More recently, they’ve established the Redgum Cleaning Cooperative, and aim to establish a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprise. Dan (also a wonderful musician) is a powerful advocate for addressing ecological and economic issues together through democratic solutions.

If you’re interested in cooperatives and keen to find out more, or exploring ways of how to ensure that our economic recovery is both green and democratic, this is a conversation not to be missed!

Bursaries available for those without the means to pay. Please email Elissa Jenkins (email listed below).

If you have registered, you will have received a Zoom link email at the time you registered. You will also have received a reminder email including the Zoom link at around 3.30pm AEST this afternoon (Thursday 2 July). If you have registered and haven’t received the Zoom link via email (check your junk/spam folders first!), please text/call Elissa 0418 786 986 with your full name and we’ll send it to you.

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