Author: Horohito Norhatan (page 2 of 3)

Governor signs Basque Heritage and Culture Day Proclamation

5332b2937123fc47730b98c462c8bc33Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has officially declared June 29 as the day to celebrate “Basque Heritage and Culture in Nevada.”  As a part of this celebration, local performers and artists will perform Basque traditional dance and songs, representing Nevada at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to be held in Washington, D.C. from June 29 to July 4. See a report on this by the Elko Daily Free Press here.

To mark the event, an Elko native, Vince Juaristi, has written a series of wonderful articles, titled “Intertwined,” which explore the connections between Basque and American culture. If you haven’t already done so, you can read these articles here.

Anyone interested in Basque culture should check out Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives, by William A. Douglass and Joseba Zulaika. As well as serving as a great general introduction to Basque culture, this work also includes the personal experiences and reflections of the two renowned authors.  The book is available free to download here.

 

Alive-After-Five Festival on Basque Block, Boise, Idaho

Life-After-Five on Basque Block

The Basque Block in Boise Idaho will host the “Alive-After-Five” popular concert series this summer. The Alive-After-Five is a free event that opens to the public between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM on Wednesdays. However, in the case of severe weather condition, the event will be relocated to the Liquid Lounge at 405 South 8th Street #100. In order to show their support, local businesses on the block have made some special preparations ahead of the events to welcome the anticipated gatherings. Annie Whitehead, manager at the Leku Ona restaurant, said: “We are super excited, and we’re going to have some beer kegs out here, we’re going to have a delicious buffet with chorizo, paella, some good foods like that so everyone can have time to stop and eat.” A Boise resident, Kara McGee, commented, “It will make this area more crowded, but I think it will be great for these businesses, I bet it will be terrific.”

The Basque Block in Boise has been the site for several events in the city including the five-yearly event Basque Jaialdi, which is dubbed as the world’s biggest Basque festival.

For more information about the Alive-After-Five please visit the following websites:

http://www.aliveafterfive.com/index.html

http://kboi2.com/news/local/alive-after-five-kicks-off-wednesday-on-basque-block

Xabier Irujo to speak on Basque language, writing and exile at the Sabino Arana Foundation

Zaitegi Orixe Ibinaga bsqaph0002-31-3

Andima Ibinagabeitia, Jokin Zaitegi, and Nikolas Ormaetxea, Orixe. Source: Center for Basque Studies Archive.

Dr. Xabier Irujo will speak on the situation of the Basque language from the Second Carlist War until after the Spanish War of 1936-1939. Beginning from the premise of writers like Miguel de Unamuno, who relegated Basque to a second tier, Xabier will lead the audience through the Basque renaissance that happened following the Second Carlist War that continued through the 1936 war, at which time the major impetus for the preservation fell upon the Basques, exiled from the Francoist dictatorship, who carried on this important work in exile, usually in Latin America. Among many others, Zaitegi, Ibinagabeitia, Orixe and Ametzaga were some of the Basque writers and patriots in exile. In this conference, Xabier will treat the importance of translation of these authors who lived in exile in París, Casablanca, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, México and Caracas, and, in general, on the importance of Basque.

The conference will take place at the Sabino Arana Foundation in Bilbao on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 pm.

xabierposter

Readers interested in this subject should check out Xabier’s Expelled from the Motherland, and for a bit of a different story of exile, A Basque Patriot in New York by Inaki Anasagasti and Jose Erkoreka.

Can worker cooperatives alleviate income inequality? A1.2 million dollar investment from the New York City government is the latest boost to Cooperatives

Income-inequality1

 

 

Cooperative models as a post-crisis development have gained popularity, as seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2008 as well as during the 2008 financial crash.  The resilience of the cooperative business model in such times of crisis has attracted the New York City government to invest as much as $1.2 million in developing worker cooperatives in the city. Indeed, it is the largest investment ever made by a city government in the cooperative movement.  Yet doubt still exists regarding the real impacts of cooperatives within the context of the larger national economy.

Cooperatives have been one of the most successful solutions to tackle popularly publicized inequality issue in many urban areas. The pay ratio between the highest and lowest workers in cooperatives is between 3 to 1; in contrast, in traditional corporations the ratio can go as much as 600 to 1. Without the middlemen or placement fee, cooperatives can also provide decent incomes for their members. In many mega metropolitan regions like New York, where many of the low income citizens are freelance, self-employed, or temporary, a workers cooperative is a feasible solution. La Mies Bakery in New York, for example, where workers own and manage the company, has created decent stable jobs for 18 workers.  In the United States there are 233 worker cooperatives, yet this is a low number in comparison to non-cooperative businesses in the country. As the United States continuously deindustrializes its economy, cooperatives should expand their impact on the larger national economy, thereby creating more jobs for those impacted by industrialization.

In order to expand their impact, cooperatives should go beyond their traditional boundaries in the area of anti-poverty and income inequality programs. Instead, cooperatives should evolve and embrace modernization and transform into an alternative management practice model in the production of goods and services. That way, the democratic ethos and spirit in their organization can catch on and change the broader national economy.

For further reading please visit

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/1/13/worker-run-cooperatives.html

Cooperatives Roles in Local Economic Development (LED)

local-entrepreneurship

The concept of economic development originated in the early twentieth century when Western countries began to modernize and industrialize their economies. Since then, the evolution of the developmental concept has been influenced by the emergence of capitalism and demise of feudalism (Contreras, 1999). However, development as it is understood in the Social Sciences today emerged during the period of reconstruction initiated in the Unite State in 1949, when President Harry Truman declared, at his inaugural address, that economic development was a priority for the West (Truman Library, 2015). The developmental theories that emerged during the 1940s and 1950s, known as classical developmental theories, emphasize the central role that the state must play in major phases of economic development.  Nevertheless, a newer emerging contemporary developmental theory, known as local economic development, suggests the participation of indigenous populations during developmental planning.

A report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) (2006) specifies the role of a local economic development strategy in bringing prosperity to a local civil society. The ILO report specifically notes how local economic development has become a significant deterrent to globalization challenges in many part of the world. Further, the ILO stipulates that cooperative movements have become the foundation for capital accumulation, socioeconomic development, and the democratization of political and social life in many parts of the world. History has recorded how cooperative movements became the source of mobilization for local economy activities in South Africa (Khumalo, 2014), in Nigeria (Mande, at al., 2014), and in the United States (Bartik, 2003). Some of the notable achievements of cooperatives in developing countries include enhancing the employability of more vulnerable parts of the population, establishing a balance between community-centered versus self-interest policies, and  improving community-business relations (Fulton & Keltinson, 1992). Indeed, the collective nature of cooperatives can be beneficial in the local economic development approach.

 

sustainability-v2

 

 

For Further readings in cooperatives and local economic development topic please refer to the following literature:

Bartik, T. J. (2003). “Local economic development policies”, Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 03-91. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Contreras, R. (1999). How the concept of development got started. Transnat’l L. & Contemp, 47.

Fulton, M. E., & Ketilson, L. H. (1992). The role of cooperatives in communities: examples from Saskatchewan. Journal of Agricultural Cooperation, 7, 15-42.

International Labour Organisation (ILO). (2006). A local economic development manual for China. Geneva: International Labor Organization.

Mande, S., & Lawal, K. A. (2014). Cooperative marketing societies and its challenges for sustainable economic development in Lagos, Nigeria. Journal of Research & Method in Education, 4(6), 24-31.

Truman Library. (2015, April). Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Retrieved from http://www.trumanlibrary.org/

Mondragon Model: Independent and Community Based Development

Co-Op-Principles

The cooperative business model has been implemented across the globe to improve the living of lower income populations in many parts of the world. Birchall (2004) notes the cooperative movement contribution in reaching the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in poverty eradication. In South Africa, cooperatives have become an alternative source of income in the face of growing unemployment and under employment among the low-income population (Khumalo, 2014). Nevertheless, not all cooperatives in the world perform well. Prior study on the cooperative movement shows that self-determination, grassroots participation, and nongovernmental intervention are the basis of a successful cooperative (OCDC, 2007). On the other hand, the government mobilization model tends to obstruct the competitiveness of cooperatives, as evidence shows how cooperatives in the less developed countries have a low survival rate due to governmental intervention, which has created a group of opportunists among members of the cooperatives who take advantages of governmental subsidies and assistance (Nyambe, 2010; Dyi, 2011). One cooperative that seems to be successfully withering the internal issues related to self-determination and internal conflict is the Mondragon Cooperative in the Basque Country, Spain.

The Mondragon Cooperative represents the prime example of how cooperative entrepreneurship based on community participation and democratic structure eradicates poverty and creates sustainable living for the members. The social entrepreneurship of Mondragon is rooted in the cohesiveness and collective tradition of Basque culture. As a result, Basque traditions have cemented the members and community dedication and efforts to establish an autonomous cooperative movement. In contrast to outdated stories of failed cooperatives, the Mondragon Cooperative has grown extraordinarily since its infancy, and it still progresses in terms of real-growth of revenues and workforce (MCC, 2015). During the early years of this cooperative’s development, the Mondragon founders successfully mobilized the local community to establish their grassroots efforts to fight against their economic constraints by establishing cooperatives. The founders focused on maintaining their independence and kept the cooperatives out of the governmental influence. Admiring the success of Mondragon model, Clamp and Alhamis (2010) stipulate that the independence  of Mondragon contributes to its maturity and growth into a complex of cooperative networks, a concept that should be replicated elsewhere, and the spirit for self-determination and community efforts should be the basis for building a successful cooperative in developing countries. One example of such implementation is how the Mondragon cooperative has served as a model inspiration for CODC (Cooperative Ownership Development Corporation) in New Mexico, which aims at developing businesses that serve the local economy (Clamp & Alhamis).

If managed well, cooperatives can be a critical instrument in the poverty eradication effort across the globe. Prior study in the developing world shows how cooperatives have stimulated economic activities in smaller communities in which large enterprises cannot operate due to small profit margins. However, in order to function properly as a grassroots based institution, cooperatives must remain independent and free from political intervention. Instead, the government should facilitate policies that enable cooperatives to function as autonomous entities, and to provide managerial and administrative training.

 

References for Further Readings

Birchall, J. (2004). Cooperatives and the millennium development goals. Geneva: International Labour Office.

Clamp, C. A., & Alhamis, I. (2010). Social entrepreneurship in the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation and the challenges of successful replication. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 19(149), 149-177.

Dyi, L. (2011). Status of co-operatives in South Africa. East London, South Africa: The South African Department of Trade and Industry.

Khumalo, P. (2014). Improving the contribution of cooperatives as vehicles for local economic development in South Africa. African Studies Quarterly, 14(4), 61-79.

Mondragon Cooperative Cooperation (MCC). (2015). History | MONDRAGON Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.mondragon-corporation.com/eng/co-operative-experience/history/

Muthuma, E. (2012). Do co-operative development policies really lead to the development of co-operatives?: Lessons from Kenya. Africa Insight, 41(4), 176-191.

Nyambe, J. (2010). Workers’ cooperatives in South Africa, an assessment and analysiso of conditions of cuccess and failure. In DGRV-South Africa-working paper no. 6. Berlin: Deutscher Genossenschafts und Raiffeisenverband.

Overseas Cooperative Development Council. (2007). Pathways to economic, democratic and social development in the global economy. Washington, DC: US Overseas Cooperative Development Council.

Cooperatives over Corporations

Gold-Mining-Cooperative-Vs-Capitalist-Mining-Company-Works--How-Corporations-Work--

 

Relatively unknown among ordinary people, cooperatives have a substantial presence in America. A 2009 survey by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperatives found that cooperatives have generated $653 billion in sales and provided jobs for more than 2 million people in the United States. The survey also reveals that there are as many as 30,000 cooperative organizations in America. Cooperative enterprises conduct normal business activities similar to their corporation counterparts, except that cooperatives have a democratic structure, an equitable sharing of income, and vivid commitment to the common good of the surrounding community. Surprisingly, many well-known American businesses are actually cooperatives. The list of widely recognized American cooperatives includes ACE Hardware, Best Western Hotels, Organic Valley, REI, True Value, and WinCo.  All of these companies emphasize their business philosophy on democratic values, humanism, and a community focus. Hence, this fact has challenged the conventional wisdom of many ordinary Americans that the foundation of American economic success lays only in the hands of corporations.

Cooperatives involve large-scale structural reform that ordinary Americans can implement right where they live; giving small groups a pragmatic and effective way to push back against the arrogance and avarice of the centralized, hierarchical corporate model. Not only do co-ops work economically, they also privilege ordinary people, offering real democratic participation and putting some “unity” back in “community.”

For further reading please visit the following websites:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/6862-cooperatives-over-corporations

http://www.uwcc.wisc.edu/whatisacoop/BusinessStructureComparison/

http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/13/cooperatives-co-op-leadership-citizenship-ethisphere.html

** Horohito Norhatan is a graduate student at the Center who is interested in cooperatives and is sharing with us a series of articles on his favorite research topic, cooperatives, Horohito received his M.L.S. in political leadership and public services from Fort Hays State University. His research focuses on cooperative movement, economic democracy, political economics, and development policy. In his graduate thesis, “Cooperative Impacts on Poverty Eradication in Indonesia,” he investigated the impact that Indonesian cooperative organizations had in reducing the poverty rate, generating community wealth, and increasing the regional gross domestic product. Under the guidance of Dr. Xabier Irujo, Horohito is conducting research related to Basque cooperative organizations and their impact on the development of the Basque economy.

Cooperative Movement and Community Efforts are a part of the American DNA

51CV+IaFF8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

One part of American history has been corrupted, concealed, and mythologized. John Curl, the author of a book titled For All the People argues that communalism and the cooperative movement have been systematically buried from U.S. history.  In his book Curl demonstrates how the democratic community based economic model had been a part of U.S. political and economic policy and how it was interwoven with many of the historical transformational events of the country, including cessation from the British Empire, the abolition of slavery, the attainment of women’s suffrage, the workers’ and union rights crusade, and the civil rights movement. Curl also elaborates on how the principle of economic democracy has been in constant opposition to the wealth concentrated capitalism that has created massive disparities in the national distribution of income. Therefore, Curl encourages ordinary citizens to reclaim this lost history by embracing the true character of the American nation that is based on the people, democratic value, and community participation.

For further reading:

http://www.amazon.com/All-People-Cooperation-Cooperative-Communalism/dp/1604865822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433413249&sr=8-1&keywords=9781604865820

http://www.pmpress.org/content/article.php?story=johncurl

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/14076-cooperatives-and-community-work-are-part-of-american-dna

Taking Cooperative Solutions to the Next Level

co-op-connection-socialmedia-h

 

 

Cooperatives at the grassroots level have played a significant role in providing solutions to many of the social problems in society, from supplying the growing population of the world with foodstuffs to supporting local business in the competitive and globalized market. However, the crucial challenge that most cooperatives must face today is how to cooperate with each other to address the major common challenges related to sustainability and global competition. Therefore, the next revolutionary vision in the cooperative movement should bring cooperatives together at a global level to solve global challenges.  Cooperation among cooperatives is crucial to the continuity of the cooperative movement in the globalized era. Globalized consumers are pampered with more product and service choices from around the world. Hence, cooperatives can no longer expect members and communities to support them simply because they are a cooperative. Cooperatives can only survive if they can provide better quality products and services than their competitors.

Some discussion regarding cooperative solutions can be found in the following readings:

http://www.thenews.coop/90883/news/general/taking-co-operative-solutions-to-the-next-level/

** Horohito Norhatan is a graduate student at the Center who is interested in cooperatives and is sharing with us a series of articles on his favorite research topic, cooperatives, Horohito received his M.L.S. in political leadership and public services from Fort Hays State University. His research focuses on cooperative movement, economic democracy, political economics, and development policy. In his graduate thesis, “Cooperative Impacts on Poverty Eradication in Indonesia,” he investigated the impact that Indonesian cooperative organizations had in reducing the poverty rate, generating community wealth, and increasing the regional gross domestic product. Under the guidance of Dr. Xabier Irujo, Horohito is conducting research related to Basque cooperative organizations and their impact on the development of the Basque economy.

The European Cooperative Boom

manifesto

 

In the Europe there are more than 140 million people who have become members of cooperatives. European countries have experienced an expansion in the number of worker cooperatives. There are currently more than 83,000 cooperatives businesses in 42 European countries, well over double the number in 1980s. There are some regions in Europe that  have, for the most part, a strong historical background of cooperativism such as the Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy and the Basque Country, with its Mondragon Cooperative. Both the Emilia Romagna and Mondragon cooperatives are networks of cooperatives that produce products and services including sales, finance, machinery, and universities. Favorable local government policies toward the cooperative movement are behind the recent growth of cooperatives in Europe. European cooperatives enjoy tax benefits and supportive legislation that spur their success as the driving force for economic development at the community level. Nevertheless, cooperatives also face several challenges, including just in time production methods, lack of union representation, and loss of solidarity among workers.

For further reading please read the following books and article:

https://basque.unr.edu/docs/CR6.pdf

http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Mondragon-Cooperatives-Working-Class/dp/0791430049

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Europe-s-co-op-boom/

** Horohito Norhatan is a graduate student at the Center who is interested in cooperatives and is sharing with us a series of articles on his favorite research topic, cooperatives, Horohito received his M.L.S. in political leadership and public services from Fort Hays State University. His research focuses on cooperative movement, economic democracy, political economics, and development policy. In his graduate thesis, “Cooperative Impacts on Poverty Eradication in Indonesia,” he investigated the impact that Indonesian cooperative organizations had in reducing the poverty rate, generating community wealth, and increasing the regional gross domestic product. Under the guidance of Dr. Xabier Irujo, Horohito is conducting research related to Basque cooperative organizations and their impact on the development of the Basque economy.

Older posts Newer posts