What Can Central Appalachia Learn from Mondragon and Worker Cooperative Collaboratives?
The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, a system of worker-owned cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain, founded its first enterprise in 1956, a time when the region was experiencing an economic crisis. Today, Mondragon’s network of manufacturing, financial, retail, and other firms is recognized as one of the most important models for worker-owned co-ops in the world. What can Central Appalachia learn from this story?
Join the Appalachia Cooperates Initiative to learn about the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation model, ways the model might be applied in Appalachia, and the opportunities and challenges to worker-ownership in Central Appalachia.
Michael Alden Peck is a co-founder/executive director of 1worker1vote, a mission and movement non-profit building national and global networks of hybrid, shared ownership, regional and municipal ecosystems starting with unionized worker-owned cooperative businesses to overcome structural inequalities of opportunity, mobility, and income. Michael served as the International Delegate (USA) for the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation from 1999-2019 and currently serves on the Blue Green Alliance corporate advisory board and as board secretary for the American Sustainable Business Council.
Amanda Marple is a program director of education and outreach for the West Virginia University Center for Resilient Communities. Amanda holds an MA in Geography and conducts action research focused on cooperative enterprises as an alternative means of grassroots economic organizing. Amanda is a founder of FIRSTHAND Co-op, a fair trade coffee company in the heart of Appalachia.
The Appalachia Cooperates Initiative is a learning network connecting cooperative, community, business, and economic developers and advocates in Central Appalachia. To learn more about the Initiative, please connect with us directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!