Economic Democracy and Cooperative Capital
From: Resilience Imperative
There are two kinds of freedom: “positive freedom,” which is “freedom to” — freedom to build toward the realization of a “cooperative commonwealth,” and “negative freedom” or “freedom from,” which is freedom from government restriction in order to free markets, free trade, free the movement of capital, and free corporations to maximize private profit and offer free choice for consumers.
At 25, Mike Lewis founded what is now known as the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. Ever since he has been engaged community economic development (CED), development finance and the social and co-operative economy. He is a prolific author and a respected practitioner. From entrepreneurial development to building national networks, from strategic assistance to CED organizations in impoverished settings to designing tools and curriculum to strengthen community resilience, Mike has led hundreds of projects over the last 35 years. Drawing on this diverse experience, motivated by his grandchildren and increasingly conscious of the interplay of climate change, peak oil and the outrageous excesses of the global finance industry, Mike considers the issues and innovations outlined in ‘The Resilience Imperative’ as the core focus of his vocation.
Pat Conaty is a Californian working in England and Wales. He is a Fellow of new economics foundation and a research associate of Co-operatives UK. He specializes in action research on innovative forms of economic democracy and mutual enterprise. His work has been mainly in the fields of household debt solutions, community development finance and community land trusts.