A new year, and a new start

It has been a difficult couple of years for this blog. This has been the result of two issues. First, I entered a PhD program that has drawn most of my energy (specifically in terms of writing). Second, my life at Union Cab has been quite busy and I have generally tried not to write directly about my cooperative (or at least not about internal issues). The latter issue has created the most problems as I became interim General Manager in July of 2011 and Business Manager in May of 2012.

My coursework for the PhD is almost complete (two papers and comp exams). The world at Union Cab has evolved to the point that our flattened hierarchy no longer makes me “The Man”. I think that this allows me the energy and comfort zone to return to a discussion of worker cooperatives in the United States (and elsewhere as they effect our movement).

I will return to a Monday morning post and other posts as the news warrants. I have a lot to write about, especially impressions from the Imagine Conference held in Quebec last October. I have also gained a lot of insight into the lessons of power and disrupting power in our movement.

In addition to my posts, I want to re-invite everyone in the worker coop world to offer a guest column or even a regular column. I would still like this site to provide an arena of discussion and debate. If you want to do a single column, a quarterly column, a monthly column, a weekly column or even a daily column, please let me know and I will provide you with the log-in credentials. We need our voices in the discussion of our economy and our movement. If we can’t engage, then our work will be defined for us (most likely by people with different agendas than worker control and economic democracy).

I am looking forward to a great year to build on the momentum from the Year of the Cooperatives. I hope that you join me.

About John McNamara

John spent 26 years with Union Cab of Madison Cooperative and currently helps develop co-op in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions from Saint Mary's University and hopes to finish his Ph.D. in Business Administration soon. He has served on the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Board of Governors for the Democracy at Work Network. He currently sits on the Co-op Circle and Mission Circle for Sociocracy for All. He teaches on worker co-operatives and democratic management in the summer at The Evergreen State College.
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3 Responses to A new year, and a new start

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  2. Sushil says:

    Hi John, We’d love to cross-post a periodic column from our blog (http://greencollarcommunities.wordpress.com/) to yours. I’m running a community economic development legal clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center, in Berkeley. We provide legal assistance for worker coop startups in the East Bay.

    All best!
    Sushil

  3. Welcome Aboard! I just sent you a few emails for the autho. I look forward to the posts.

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