Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Co-operatives, Work and Degrowth

Standard session (discussion following 4 presentations)

  1. Degrowth Cooperatives as Alternative to the Development Paradigm: The Case of the Integral Minga Cooperative
    The session will start by explaining the objectives of the study, the theoretical framework on post-development, degrowth and cooperativism. Then, the studied cooperative and the methodology used will be explained. Finally, the results of the fieldwork and the conclusions will be demonstrated.
    Presenters: Jéssica Chainho Pereira (ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal)
  2. Car workers as political subjects of degrowth transformation – video
    I argue that degrowth strategies should be focused more on the industrial sectors and on those who work there. More concretely, the automotive industry is economically-speaking one of the most important sectors in Central Europe, with car workers having great potential to be a transformational force.
    Presenters: Patrik Gažo (the Department of Environmental Studies, Masaryk University)
  3. How can the concept of democratic ownership contribute to a social-ecological transformation? – video
    The study explores how the concept of democratic ownership can contribute to a bottom-up, workers-led social-ecological transformation of the Austrian aircraft sector, targeting the Viennese airport in particular. Therefore, the study will involve qualitative interviews with workers and workers’ councils, following a workers’ inquiry approach to combine knowledge creation with political emancipation.
    Presenters: Philipp Chmel (Vienna University of Economics (WU)
  4. Cooperative growth strategies for businesses beyond growth – video
    “Post-growth organizations” do face a dilemma: Growth allows them to increase their good impact. At the same time, it may have bad effects on themselves, as organizations. Against that background, we discuss various “cooperative growth strategies beyond growth” that promise to resolve that dilemma.
    Presenters: Dirk Raith (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz)

Language: English

Technical details: Standard A1_Co-operatives, work and degrowth_ discussion_trimmed.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 37.7MB

This is a link to a torrent video file. By clicking on ‘external content’ you will be opening a magnet link that will allow you to download the corresponding video with a torrent client. To learn more about downloading torrents see here.

Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Cooperative growth strategies for businesses beyond growth

Presentation [part of the standard session “Co-operatives, work and degrowth”]

“Post-growth organizations” do face a dilemma: Growth allows them to increase their good impact. At the same time, it may have bad effects on themselves, as organizations. Against that background, we discuss various “cooperative growth strategies beyond growth” that promise to resolve that dilemma.

Presenters: Dirk Raith (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz)

Language: English

Technical details: Standard A1_Dirk Raith_Cooperative growth strategies for businesses beyond growth.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 48.2MB

This is a link to a torrent video file. By clicking on ‘external content’ you will be opening a magnet link that will allow you to download the corresponding video with a torrent client. To learn more about downloading torrents see here.

Degrowth Vienna 2020 – How can the concept of democratic ownership contribute to a social-ecological transformation?

Presentation [part of the standard session “Co-operatives, work and degrowth”]

The study explores how the concept of democratic ownership can contribute to a bottom-up, workers-led social-ecological transformation of the Austrian aircraft sector, targeting the Viennese airport in particular. Therefore, the study will involve qualitative interviews with workers and workers’ councils, following a workers’ inquiry approach to combine knowledge creation with political emancipation.

Presenters: Philipp Chmel (Vienna University of Economics (WU))

Language: English

Technical details:SP A1_Philipp Chmel_How can the concept of democratic ownership contribute to a social-ecological transformation.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 44.1MB

This is a link to a torrent video file. By clicking on ‘external content’ you will be opening a magnet link that will allow you to download the corresponding video with a torrent client. To learn more about downloading torrents see here.

Transition within a transition: how cooperative platforms want to change the sharing economy

Scholars have argued that the sharing economy represents a transitional pathway to sustainability. The growth, however, of multi-national giants, such as Airbnb or Uber, has created new environmental, social, and economic problems and led many to question the dominant form of the sharing economy. In this paper, we study a transition within a transition—that is the emergence of a new niche of cooperative platforms within the sharing economy. We examine how promoters and followers of Fairbnb, a nascent cooperative alternative to Airbnb, frame and envision their project and then discuss tensions, debates, and limits around their ideas and business model. We find that their primary motivations are to mitigate the negative effects of mass tourism, to prevent the extraction of wealth from local economies, and to sustain a prosperous social business. Tensions are found around limitations of democratic governance, decentralization, and size of the project.

Sustainability Science, April 2020

First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – Mujeres en Movimiento en la perspectiva ecofeminista: descrecimiento y economía solidaria en Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil

El diálogo entre descrecimiento y economía solidaria revela una potencialidad creativa de cambios a nivel local y regional, actuando en la microeconomía por la vía del ecofeminismo. Tal experiencia señala la imposibilidad de que exista libertad, si los medios de producción están enganchados a cualquier forma de explotación, colonización o subordinación del otro, incluidas ahí las mujeres.

First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – Retos para el surgimiento de las cooperativas en la Ciudad de México: Modernidad liquida vs ethos barroco

El objetivo de este documento – presentado durante el primer día de la Conferencia bajo la temática “Supervivencia” – es analizar qué tipo de cooperativismo está surgiendo en la Ciudad de México, retos y posibilidades de expansión, a través de una revisión contrastada del comportamiento social que analiza Bauman (2000) y Echeverría (2011).

Watercooler Democracy: Rumors and Transparency in a Cooperative Workplace

Abstract: This article examines how rumors impact democracy and transparency in a cooperative workplace. Although literature on rumors generally analyzes them as negative to workplace culture, the author argues that rumors constitute a critical aspect of democratic participation. Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in a worker-recuperated business in Argentina, the author shows how members use rumors to incite deliberation, participate in decision-making, question organizational policy, and oversee managerial authority. Although informal communication at work can create uncertainty, confusion, and concerns about efficiency, the author finds that rumors can also increase worker influence, encourage organizational accountability, and ultimately protect against the consolidation of power.

Work and Occupations, July 2019

Common Good-Oriented Companies: Exploring Corporate Values, Characteristics and Practices That Could Support a Development Towards Degrowth

At present, little is known about the corporate characteristics that support a socio-economic development towards degrowth. Addressing this research gap, we conducted interviews with companies which have joined the Economy for the Common Good, a social movement which identifies the common good as the purpose of economic activity. Our analysis was guided by Latouche’s (2009) eight ‘R’s which, he claims, should trigger a transformation towards degrowth: re-evaluate, reconceptualize, restructure, redistribute, relocalize, reduce, re-use and recycle. Among the companies we studied, we observed a change in values in line with Latouche’s claim. In their management practices, the companies are guided by values such as fairness, cooperation, diversity, independence, democracy, transparency, and ecological sustainability. This is exemplified by democratic ownership and decision-making structures, cooperative trade relations, a preference for local suppliers and the redistribution of surpluses. Furthermore, for these companies, profits are of reduced significance as an indicator of success. Nevertheless, some companies in our sample do still consider further company growth to be necessary. But, as the limitation of the company’s size is just one possible way in which a company can contribute to an overall reduction in economic growth, the companies bear due to their compliance with Latouche´s strategies the potential to contribute to a societal transition towards degrowth.

Assessment of the potential of Renewable Energy Sources Cooperatives (RESCoops) in Spain towards Sustainable Degrowth

The transition to renewable energies is at the heart of the Sustainable Degrowth (SD) proposals due to its potential to relocalize and democratize the energy generation in a sustainable way. In this paper, we review the development and current situation of RESCoops in Spain, assessing their strengths, barriers and opportunities as a means towards SD. This is an interesting case study since, unlike other European countries, they have recently arisen in a regulatory and economic hostile context, which have induced particular organizational and operating structures.
We identify strengths coherent with SD in common with social enterprises such as the focus on satisfying needs rather than creating new ones, the high motivation and awareness of the members, and the capacity to provide social and environmental benefits. In terms of barriers to SD, we find difficulties to combine membership growth with participation, a low integration with other social enterprises and a risk of denaturation of the intended change. Also, within a growth paradigm, RESCoops may simply add new generation. We find a dominant perception that renewables could substitute fossil-fuel generation without challenging the system. Finally, not all renewable technologies might be compatible with SD. To date in Spain, RESCoops: (1) remain very minorital; (2) have barely managed to promote new generation; (3) have only focused on electricity; (4) show a weak collaboration between them. The reversal of these trends would increase their potential towards SD. Moreover, we find great opportunities to promote independent research about the energy transition and push towards a distributed energy generation system.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Assessment of the potential of Renewable Energy Sources Cooperatives (RESCoops) in Spain towards Sustainable Degrowth“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.

Critique to neoliberalism & orthodox economics

Short-interview with Nadia Johanisova from the Second International Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Barcelona.

Non-Growth Market Economies

Poster and transcription of an poster session by Stephan Wolf at the Second International Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Barcelona with the title “Non-Growth Market Economies”.

Warum wir kooperieren

Seit vielen Jahrhunderten wird die Frage nach der Natur des Menschen von zwei grundsätzlichen Positionen bestimmt: Hobbes’ Meinung, daß die Menschen egoistisch zur Welt kommen und die Gesellschaft sie zur Kooperation erziehen muß, und Rousseaus Darstellung, nach der die Menschen von Natur aus kooperativ sind und später von ihrem Umfeld zu Egoisten gemacht werden. In Warum wir kooperieren berichtet Tomasello von wegweisenden Studien mit Kindern und Schimpansen, die neues Licht auf diese uralte Frage werfen. Kinder sind von Geburt an hilfsbereit und kooperativ, lernen aber im Laufe ihres Heranwachsens, eher selektiv zu kooperieren und beginnen den sozialen Normen ihrer Gruppe zu folgen.
(Beschreibung des Verlags)

Leseprobe

ISBN: 978-3-518-26036-4

Changing Agriculture: Food Sovereignty of the territories in response to the energy crisis and the new world revolution

Part of the introduction: In México, one of the most agriculturally-based countries in the Americas, there is a growing tendency among rural farmers to promote a new type of rurality. This new approach aims to solve their ecological, economic and social problems through actions that encourage a de-growth instead of a sustainable growth in development. In this essay I aim to contribute to an understanding of the ways in which the agroecological cooperative Las Cañadas redefined the goals of twenty-two small producers in Veracruz, México. In an effort to improve their livelihoods, they shifted their methods of food production during a time in the 90s in which the country faced a backdrop of challenges including the opening of markets and institutional reforms. This is primarily an empirical essay, intended to
present collected data on the cooperative during the period of 1996-2012.

Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.

The Promise of “Open Co-operativism”

From the text: Is it possible to imagine a new sort of synthesis or synergy between the emerging peer production and commons movement on the one hand, and growing, innovative elements of the co-operative and solidarity economy movements on the other?
That was the animating question behind a two-day workshop, “Toward an Open Co-operativism,” held in August 2014 and now chronicled in a new report by UK co-operative expert Pat Conaty and me. [. . .] The workshop was convened because the commons movement and peer production share a great deal with co-operatives….but they also differ in profound ways. Both share a deep commitment to social cooperation as a constructive social and economic force. Yet both draw upon very different histories, cultures, identities and aspirations in formulating their visions of the future. There is great promise in the two movements growing more closely together, but also significant barriers to that occurring.

L’altra faccia dell’Arancia

L’altra faccia dell’Arancia from FedericoDeMusso on Vimeo. Published with a Creative Commons license.

Title: The other oranges.
Solidarity consumer group in Italy, self-organised supply with producers of the region.
Only in italian, no subtitles.

Titel: Die anderen Orangen
Solidarische Einkaufsgruppen in Italien, selbstorganisierte Versorgung mit Erzeugern aus der Region.
Nur auf italienisch, keine Untertitel.