About the Book
Welcome to “HUMANITY@WORK&LIFE – Global Diffusion of the Mondragon Cooperative Ecosystem Experience” (MCE 2 )
The book is a collective labor of earned merit, vision and determination by 38 contributors in six countries, three continents, proving how solidarity, innovation, and conviction forge sustaining local and global social economy practice on behalf of the greater common good.
Seven of the chapter contributors include current or former Mondragon members. Both co-editors were affiliated with Mondragon, one as an international delegate for two decades and the other who did her doctoral thesis in the company of three of the five Ulgor (Mondragon’s first cooperative) co-founders.
Publication date – 27 March 2023. Publisher, Oak Tree Press, operates from Cork, Ireland (county of rebels), and Brussels, Belgium. Thirty-eight contributors from six countries, three continents.
Editors: Christina A. Clamp & Michael A. Peck. Editors’ royalties minus production costs will go towards aligned social economy mission activists on a rolling one contributor, one vote basis, as proceeds permit.
Cover design: Kevin O’Brien – Worx Printing Cooperative (union coop). Cover image: Coop-Cincy and the Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative. Copy editors: Megan Gianniny and Josh Wilson.
On March 27 th, 2023, Oak Tree Press (County Cork/Republic of Ireland & Brussels/Belgium) published “Humanity@Work&Life”, and the UN published its precedent-setting Resolution “Promoting The Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development”, unanimously adopted one month later by the UN General Assembly on April 25 th .
Background about the Book
Since its late March publication, “Humanity@Work&Life” has received a five star review on Amazon; been featured three times on the nationally syndicated radio show, Everything Coop (Vernon Oakes/host & Pat Thornton/producer); and is the subject of an academic book review (Bird, A. (2023). by the Journal of Co-operative Studies, 56 (1), 42-43) published by the UK’s University of Bristol Business School, calling it, “an essential read which points a potential path to a humanised economy through worker ownership.”
Co-editor Chris Clamp spearheaded the writing and presentation of a competitively selected technical paper referencing one of the book’s chapters, at CIRIEC (Full Program) in Seoul (July 4-6, 2023), the first global social economy conference hosted by an Asian nation.
In September, Mondragon headquarters purchased 100 copies to share with their 3,000+ annual industrial visitors as part of a new global communications campaign.
On October 2nd, a delegation representing Mondragon University, Mondragon Team Academy, and LKS, Mondragon’s management consultancy cooperative, participated in a well-attended, hybrid format, book reading celebration hosted by CUNY Law School’s Community Economic Development Clinic. See press releases about the book and about Mondragon’s involvement.
Moderated by Professor Carmen Huertas Noble, CUNY Law Community Economic Development Clinic, and Professor Chris Clamp, “Humanity@Work&Life” co-editor, the evening’s program (with reflections by NY State Senators Kevin Parker and Jamal Bailey) seamlessly connected challenges and hope, weaving a narrative that encapsulated the power of collective action, academic excellence, and social responsibility.
The occasion honored a delegation from Mondragon, the world’s largest cooperative ecosystem, and highlighted Mondragon University’s robust partnership with CUNY Law School’s Community Economic Development Clinic aimed at developing profitable working alternatives to shareholder primacy capitalism practices and creating local, living, fairer economies that work for all to deliver shared prosperity.
Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal, Mondragon Corporation’s Global Head of Public Affairs, discussed “Humanity@Work&Life” in the context of the recent report (July 17/2023) of the UN Secretary General on “Cooperatives in Social Development” identifying the Mondragon case study as one of two premier global cooperative ecosystem models.
As academic textbook precedent starting in Winter Semester 2024, CUNY School of LAW and Medgar Evers College will be the first U.S. academic institutions to offer course instruction based on “Humanity@Work&Life: Global Diffusion of the Mondragon Cooperative Ecosystem Experience.” Book publisher, Brian O’Kane, flew in from County Cork, Ireland, to mark the event.
Intentions & Aspirations
HUMANITY@WORK&LIFE intends to provide hope and inspiration by serving as a resource for those interested in developing worker cooperatives, as well as an introduction for those interested in virtuous cycle, “Solidarity Dividend” alternatives to shareholder primacy capitalism practices. It strives to peer over incoming vision horizons and around strategy corners, “showing, not telling” how Mondragon-inspired virtuous cycles transform “humanity at work” globally and locally.
The book was conceived over a three-year timeframe (2020-2023) in the middle of five lethal virus pandemics simultaneously threatening “humanity@work”: advancing extreme climate precarity, withering economic class inequalities, systemic racism, novel COVID-19 mutations killing millions, and a global assault on democracy, truth and civic decency. Its twofold mission: first, to be a resource for those developing hybrid model worker cooperatives and social enterprises as structural and cultural antidotes to a rising, inclusive, and climate-respecting Stakeholders-as-Shareholders global economy; and second, to uplift and amplify critical new voices of those doing the work.
HUMANITY@WORK&LIFE’s core belief is that there is no sustaining worker voice without worker power communicated and demonstrated through solidarity, democracy, equality of opportunity, and shared equity and wealth outcomes. Its premise is that an ineluctable foundational policy for a fair and aspirational economy working for all demands inclusive, broadened, and deepened, stakeholder worker ownership undergirded by workplace democracy practices. Proven by Mondragon’s example, the book’s co-editors and many of its contributors believe single class equity governance is synonymous with solidarity. Every equity share guarantees the equal right to vote and provides the basis for power-paradigm-changing culture combining stakeholder community, individual civic mutualism, and enterprise self-reliance to innovate, defend and facilitate more fulfilled lives and dignified retirements
HUMANITY@WORK&LIFE’s core academic purpose is to make the case as to why Mondragon is a dynamic working and evolving ecosystem model for those who see the need for replicable structural change in our economic institutions and in the proverbial “free market” economy across physical borders and cultural silos. The Mondragon case is detailed and includes both an overview of ecosystem cooperatives and discussion of global diffusion activities that the Mondragon cooperatives embrace locally and globally.
The book includes sections that examine how cooperatives inspired by inspired by close to 70+ years of Mondragon cooperative experiences in the Basque region of Spain are emerging in different communities in the USA, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Korea, and the UK. The last section of the book provides grounded inspiration about how to develop worker cooperatives and ecosystems that scale and breathe freely in a world beset by culturally induced pandemics doing their utmost to subvert democracy, freedom, truth, and hope.
The near-future vision of the HUMANITY@WORK&LIFE community includes launching a social media site open to all present and future Humanity@Work&Life readers and contributors sharing individual and collective, Humanity@Work&Life-inspired “Odes to Joy” storytelling, equity-based & democratically governed by origin storytellers.
HUMANITY@WORK&LIFE’s publisher & co-editors will announce an envisioned, hybrid model stakeholder/shareholder structure in collaboration with founding contributors once the book is launched in all published formats, mid Q1 2024. Ideas & insights especially welcome.
-Chris & Michael-Co-editors, “HUMANITY@WORK&LIFE – Global Diffusion of the Mondragon Cooperative Ecosystem Experience” (MCE 2 )
On behalf of the sixfold global social economy enterprise bottomline: “People, Planet, Purpose, Profit, Participation & Prosperity”: @humanityworklife.com; @humanityworklife.global; @humanityworklife.org; @humanityworklife.world; @humanityworklife.earth
Updated version November 2023