More Worker Cooperatives

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 06/23/2016







Worker Cooperatives are democratically-run enterprises which have been proven through many studies to be more sustainable than traditional, capitalist-owner enterprises.

Because the people who own the business are those that work in the business, they have several advantages to capitalist, top-down enterprises:

  • More likely to keep work in the community where the business is based (and not offshore jobs), as the owners have a direct interest in the community (as they live there)
  • A fair and equitable distribution of profit, therefore enriching local communities instead of shareholders
  • As every worker is also an owner, this brings true democracy and democratic values to the workplace, where adults spend most of their lives.

Cooperatives should be the new standard in business organization. Let's have Canada lead the way!


Comments »

Luc Lalande by Luc Lalande

I am interested in this topic as we can learn much about the cooperative movement as a form of collective enterprise. We need to experiment with new models of cooperative entrepreneurship that can serve both individual self-interest and collective good adapted to the realities of the 21st century. In a world where rapid technological change is disrupting practically every economic and social sector, skills obsolescence of workers (including so-called knowledge workers) is becoming more pronounced and the notion of a "job" for life/career is similarly being transformed. Just ask any recent graduate who is either unemployed or especially "underemployed".

Anyone interested in this topic is invited to read a series of blog posts on Guilds 2.0 on

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Walter Knitl  Walter Knitl 
Great blog post Luc. Agree. Rifkin also covers guild "1.0" in his treatment of history from pre-industrial, industrial revolutions 1 and 2, leading up to the 3rd and 4th industrial revolutions and the Collaborative Commons.

Walter Knitl by Walter Knitl

I agree - the "worker" cooperatives are subset of the of the broader Collaborative Commons societal and economic paradigm driven by the sharing mindset and the rapidly emerging Internet of Things.  "Worker" cooperatives are a good starting point for innovation and experimentation in this space.   More detail on this in my submission Social Innovation of Collaborative Commons - to Complement Rapid Technological Innovation  which was influenced by economist Jeremy Rifkin's book 

THE ZERO MARGINAL COST SOCIETY, The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism



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Walter Knitl by Walter Knitl

P.S.  to my comment above.  While I understand what you mean by "worker" cooperative, the term probably doesn't quite fit, as it stems from an older paradigm.  In the new model, workers are also owners.  Also workers which may have "labour" connotation or non-managerial connotation also doesn't fit, since the cooperative applies to types involved in the enterprise - labour, non-labour, management, non-management.  Just a thought.

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