I’ve just had the privilige of spending two days in the company of the leading organisers from the SEIU (US), Unite, and UNISON (UK), United Voices (Australia), FNV Distribution (Netherlands), and IG-Metall (Germany) as well as colleagues from Denmark, Ireland, Finland and Sweden.
It was fascinating to hear about organising campaigns from the people that initiated and led them and about the different organising cultures we have, even within the same country.
It was clear that we’re all facing a massive challenge to build up our members’ confidence let alone power - but also that we’re all hungry to try new ideas.
It was also clear to my mind that the old slogan of “think globally, act locally” is not always enough - we need to “think globally and organise everywhere”.
‘Left Unity’ another example of magical thinking?
Recently the UK left Facebook/Twitter/blogsphere has been alight with excited chatter… No, I’m not talking about the death of any hate figures but this Facebook page with a name that is similar to a Greek Marxist terrorist group.
The 14th of November Movement for Left Unity or simply Left Unity was started by Andrew Burgin and Kate Hudson, one is a co-owner of Housemans the noted leftwing bookshop near Kings Cross, and the other is general secretary of CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and they’re a couple as well… It’s worth noting it was formed as a response to a call by Ken Loach famous lefty director, at the launch of his new film ‘Spirit of 45’ about the founding of the NHS.
I really do admire marketers (if you haven’t guessed by now!) not least their ability to adapt any conncept and colonise it with their own language…
This is an interesting article about increased sharing and recycling and the conclusions for the marketing industry
Good name though, I think it has currency in the market place of ideas ;-)
The night before Mobile World Congress 2013 kicked off, Mozilla invited 17 of its partners onto the stage with them to announce more details about Firefox OS, Mozilla’s open mobile operating system. The crowded podium certainly represented a global vote of…
Interesting article here, from a few weeks back on a real Open Source success story.
What I think this boils down to is another example of how the corporate world has taken an idea that should belong to the “political left” (for want of a better term) and run with it - using it to build a massively successful world wide brand.
Because what is Open Source? It’s really about building fully democratic, creative, and empowered communities that get to contribute to, and own the product being offered.
It encourages community members to pool their efforts to colleactively improve products the way they think they should be improved.
It excites people and contributes to a sense of loyalty to the brand, the product, and the process of creation, refinement, and eventually launch and distribution.
It means that products have a hungry pre-launch market who they know will take the product and promote it further than any paid for agency…
There are lessons for the Labour Movement there…
The interivew I’ve reblogged below has a really interesting insight into how employers can benefit from workplace democracy - and the influence that can have on business leadership.
I met Will McInnes online, and not too long afterward he invited me to speak at the Meaning 2012 conference in Brighton, south of London, where his consultancy, NixonMcInnes, is based. The conference was truly inspiring, and it gave me a chance to get to know Will, and now, to get some of our…
Smart cities could look very different from today’s urban centers. Streetlights could be communicating with bus stops, and subway trains could be solar powered. Population growth will force local government leaders to rethink more than just transportation and housing. As the population increases, the real estate needed to grow the food we eat will become increasingly scarce. Some experts have suggested that a new agricultural approach called vertical farming, also known as urban farming, could solve this problem. In a model that is already being tested in Singapore, crops are grown indoors in tall buildings. The benefits are extensive, the technology is powerful and the results are delicious.
How do you address the issue of competition in capitalist systems and how would it work in worker-owned business?
Listen to Professor Richard Wolff’s answer here.
Brilliant summing up in just a few minutes of why worker’s coops are a viable maket economic model
Meanwhile in this post Sustainable Prosperity looks at how the Steel Worker’s Union in the US is going into the cooperatives business.
This article in the Guardian from a week ago or so has a bit more depth on Mondragon from a slightly different but also broadly sympathetic perspective.
Cooperatives UK have cleverly produced this thoroughly researched paper that sets out the economic benefits of workers taking control of struggling businesses.
How does this translate into practice in the UK, and how do we use it to organise to build power?
I’ll have a think about that in an upcoming post.
By Robert Jones
Turn on the radio in the morning, and one company or another is getting it in the neck. Amazon for not allegedly not paying taxes. Barclays for bonuses. Last week, it was British Gas for pushing up prices.
If businesses increasingly need to create social value as well as…
A brilliant article on brands and social value