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Listen to “Could Co-Ops Solve Income Inequality?”

In the Basque country of Northern Spain, the Mondragon Corporation—the world’s largest co-operative business enterprise—has found ways to weather economic crises, avoid severe income inequality, and build long-term worker loyalty. Why don’t more businesses follow “the Mondragon model”?

Listen to “The Hydraulic Genius of Shari’ah Law”

You’ve probably never heard the term “acequia,” but it describes one of the oldest methods of irrigation on the planet. Too bad American ranchers have largely ignored it.

Could Co-Ops Solve Income Inequality?

While COVID restrictions shutter businesses right and left, a more positive picture is emerging from worker-owned companies like Mondragon, the Spanish enterprise that’s become the world’s largest co-op, and Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio. Both operations keep proving that, during economic crises, co-ops adapt better than traditional companies, and they continue paying their workers more equitably as well. Why don’t more businesses follow “the Mondragon model”?

By ROBERTO LOVATO

Co-Op Resources

Co-ops have been around as an alternative business model for a long time, but in recent years they seem to have been enjoying a marked surge of interest. From all indications the reason is that, although working for a co-ops involves a lot of work, these companies also serve their employees in crucial areas where…

From Guns to Bicycles

Customers at Thomas Crenshaw’s full-service bike shop, Frame Up Bikes in Pleasant Hill, California, know a lot more about Orbea bikes and its global competitors than they do about the legendary bike company’s cooperative business model. “We know Orbea is a co-operative and worker-owned, but most of our customers don’t,” says Crenshaw. “What they care…

The Hydraulic Genius of Shari’ah Law

You have probably never heard of the term “acequia,” but it describes one of oldest, most common-sense systems of irrigation on the planet. The basic idea is to use, and share, a river’s natural patterns instead of the predominant American system—namely, trap it, pipe it, and race to be the first to use it. Our writer tours the globe to track down its history, and its leading practitioners.

Story and photography by ROBERTO LOVATO

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