August 15, 2014

Mondragón dates from the mid-1950s, evolving over time into a federation of 110 cooperatives, including 147 subsidiary companies with total assets of 35.8 billion euros and revenues of 14 billion euros.

Mondragón offers an inspiring example of what can be achieved through cooperative organisation.

Contributoria

August 13, 2014
"It has been said that cooperativism is an economic movement that uses education. We can alter that definition, affirming that it is an educational movement that uses economic action."

— José María Arizmendarrieta, founder of MONDRAGON

August 8, 2014

Engagement has to happen on an ongoing basis before the moment of a vote. In worker co-ops like Mondragón, there are ample opportunities to have discussions with other members and deepen relationships that build community and trust.

Resilience

August 6, 2014

Mondragón had some interesting strategies for maintaining member participation. For example, if a member doesn’t attend a general assembly meeting, they don’t get a vote at the next meeting. While this seems a bit harsh, proxy voting is allowed – one member can cast their own vote and up to two proxy votes. This policy incentivizes members to make sure their vote gets cast even if they can’t attend the meeting.

Resilience

August 1, 2014

Mondragon Corporation, as it has been known since the 1980s, is now a behemoth that encompasses nearly 300 companies and more than 80,000 employee-owners who make and sell products ranging from bicycles to car parts. Its revenues in 2012 topped $19 billion, making it the seventh-largest conglomerate in Spain and a darling of progressives who view its success as proof that a hybrid of capitalism and socialism can be both profitable and humane.

Take part

July 30, 2014

In the mid-1950s, five engineering graduates formed an employee-owned business that built kerosene heaters, adhering to Arizmendiarrieta’s ideals, which required profit sharing and a living wage. Soon other co-ops focusing on other goods and services formed as well, and in 1959, they together created a savings bank, Caja Laboral Popular, which used local residents’ deposits to make inexpensive business loans for other start-ups. The bank became the nerve center for the various Mondragón businesses, a financial spine that gave each co-op and the community whose money was deposited there an interest in the co-ops’ communal success.

Take part

July 25, 2014

In the 1940s, a progressive Catholic priest named José María Arizmendiarrieta sought ways to pull the Basque village of Mondragón out of the doldrums of the post–Spanish Civil War era devastation by creating a polytechnical school to train local people in various trades while advocating a “humanist” approach to business.

Take part

July 23, 2014

Large-scale innovation is where culture, technology and politics collide.  Navigating those choppy seas requires strong skills of adaptive leadership at the helm.  But it also requires innovation in form and not just in content.  New circuits of collaboration –InnoBasque, Euskaltel or the Mondragon Corporation– are the organisational arteries through which Basque innovation flows.

Nesta

July 18, 2014

A leading international example of the cooperative movement is the Mondragon cooperative from the Basque region of Spain. Founded by a young Catholic priest and students of a technical school in 1956, Mondragon is now a cooperative of cooperatives, encompassing nearly 300 distinct businesses and employing over 80,000 people. Mondragon cooperative enterprises include banks, manufacturing, skilled and unskilled labor, public schools and a university

Common Dreams

July 16, 2014

The division which produced appliances (Fagor Electrodomésticos) was hit hard by the economic downturn. I have to admire them because the internal insurance company will provide workers with 80% of their salary for two years and provide training to move some to other companies within the cooperative. You just don’t see that in large totally capitalists corporations even though they claim status as people

Chicago Now

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