As the documentary trailer says, Mondragon is a Federation of 120 worker cooperatives, which collectively have 100,000 employees and produce $25 billion in sales. There is nothing in cooperativism that is inherently greener than any other structure. It was founded in the town of Mondragon in 1956 by José María Arizmendiarrieta and a group of his students at a technical college he founded. Each coop is represented at the Cooperative Congress, where system-wide plans and business decisions are made. Posted 23rd January 2017 by Unknown Labels: New Economy. While the rest of Spain struggled to maintain economic stability after the Great Recession of 2008, areas around Mondragon remained fairly unaffected. What happened next is what was unusual. The Basque region of Spain is an absolute EU leader in recycling and reuse — having won awards and this sustainability mentality has also influenced Basque leadership on the GINI coefficient.”. Its mission is encapsulated in its Corporate Values: intercooperation, grassroots management, corporate social responsibility, innovation, democratic organisation, education and social transformation, among others. Workers buy into the cooperative with a fixed sum of money; usually a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Mondragon Team Academy (LEINN) together with MONDRAGON and other companies, Foundations and NGOs united to mobilize young people to create solutions for the coronavirus. The Governing Council is roughly equivalent to the Board of Directors; the Audit function corresponds to the audit committee of the board; the Managing Director to the CEO; the Managing Council to the executive leadership team; and the Departments to standard departments, whether organized functionally, divisionally, geographically, or along some other line. Why doesn’t Malaysia hand out a RM1 trillion stimulus plan. In the “second level” cooperatives, that is, the cooperatives that serve other cooperatives, such as the bank and the health system, member-owners include both employees and representatives of the cooperatives served. The priest of Mondragón, José María Arizmendiarrieta, wanted to help his community out of economic hardship. Mar 25, 2009 Kris rated it really liked it. Third, each machine is customized to its specific application, thus requiring continued human intervention, providing continued employment. The legacy of the past and present of the Mondragon cooperative experience, capitalised through an inmense experience and knowledge accumulated during these years, offers the opportunity to share it through unique educational offers and research areas. [5] Es ist damit nach eigene… It is an elective body that represents worker interests to the Governing Council and Managing Director. But whatever the motivation, the net result is to create a set of second-class citizens on whose backs the growth of the firm now depends. The Mondragon pension system is now well aligned and fully integrated with the Spanish government system. Despite its many virtues, Mondragon is not utopia. That’s the type of future that I see my generation striving to create. Final reflections: Could the Mondragon system work in the US? Qu'est ce que les "Learning Exploration" ? We were also told that to achieve a livable family wage, most families required two incomes. The University was created by the association of three educational cooperatives, with the guarantee of an extensive career and experience in the world of education, these were Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa “Jose Mª Arizmendiarrieta” S.Coop., ETEO S.Coop. Unless that shifts, the cooperative model will not work. As a result, Mondragon had to set up its own social safety net, which it organized as a cooperative called Lagun Aro. While they are reportedly treated well they do not participate in the governance of the firm and are not eligible for many of the other unique benefits of the cooperatives. The basic principle of democracy, in cooperatives and in nation-states, is one person, one vote. And in the culture overall, we need to take responsibility for our contributions to our financial destinies, to the extent we can under existing contraints. In Mondragon, all cooperatives must allocate a minimum of 10% of their net profits to the co-op’s social fund used for community investments. Even with businesses they have acquired in Spain, an educational process must take place before assuming people are ready to be worker-owners. Faculty of Engineering 2. her work on mission-led employee-owned firms and their potential as the next generation enterprise design that could be key to building a just economy. [4] Auch zum Verbund gehören 15 Technologiezentren. In addition, the Mondragon cooperative system owns its own bank, university, social welfare agency, several business incubators, and a supermarket chain. the General Assembly), where all three roles are united in a one-member, one-vote democratic system. “ There are three kinds of power. Auch aus dem großen Mondragon-Verbund überlebte eine Genossenschaft diesen Prozess der Deindustrialisierung nicht. … WE ARE MONDRAGON A PROJECT SPANNING MORE THAN 60 YEARS, COMPETING IN GLOBAL MARKETS WITH ITS OWN MODEL BASED ON PEOPLE AND INTERCOOPERATION. The Mondragon Cooperative Group, which is the 10th-largest entrepreneurial group in Spain, is one of the most outstanding examples of worker cooperatives in history (Mondragon Corporation, 2013). Marjorie Kelly—an amazing author, champion of local and democratic economies, and a co-founder of Fifty-by-Fifty—also participated in the study tour. It has over €35 billion in assets, €14 billion in revenues and has over 80,000 employees. But only 98 of those are federated cooperatives, while the rest are international production subsidiaries. The issues of individualism and the availability of talent are related. In Mondragon, “large is beautiful” because large makes it possible to compete in global markets and thereby maximize employment — the ultimate goal of the worker-owned system. Second, it is a highly technical niche, relatively insulated from competition from countries with large numbers of low-wage, unskilled workers. In a cooperative, where the democratic process has a direct daily impact on people’s lives and livelihoods, the participation rate and level of thoughtfulness would be expected to be higher than in the more distant matters of representative government. The coops have retained members’ jobs in Spain’s Basque country even during economic crises. Die Genossenschaftler der Kooperative Mondragón im Baskenland erwirtschaften trotz Wirtschaftskrise immer noch 14 Milliarden Euro Umsatz im Jahr. Third, the sustainability orientation of Mondragon is potentially further along than I could observe on the ground. 2. 6. In an export-led economy, such as Mondragon, much of the “local living economy” is based on what Michael Porter and others call “industrial clusters.” In fact, according to Etxeberria, Michael Porter created a strategic plan for the Basque government in the 1990s and helped to shape the industrial clusters operating today. There is a need to address societal and environmental issues, and that it is everyone’s responsibility to do so. Here are ten takeaways from the trip: I was not aware of my assumptions about Mondragon until I arrived and found myself surprised. Note: ULMA does not make packaging for these products — it makes the machines that make the actual packaging. At one point our guide reminded us that Father Arizmendiarrieta was not interested in creating a cooperative economy. As members of a cooperative, Mondragon’s worker-owners were not originally considered employees under state law. Thématique : L'apprenance au sein de la Coopérative Mondragon. But always there is another day: so long as democracy continues, there is the opportunity for another vote, a different outcome. A majority of the Mondragon cooperatives are in the industrial manufacturing sector, an increasingly sophisticated part of the economy, where the need for math and science skills is clear — and the US ability to compete successfully is marginal. The Mondragon Corporation has over 266 business and cooperatives, in 32 countries. Der Grund: Sie wurden mit Maßnahmen gerettet, die heute noch in Krisen­zeiten angewandt werden. The government pension program is an unfunded system (pay-as-you-go), while Lagun Aro is an individual capitalization system. Zur MCC gehören mehr als 100 Unternehmen verschiedener Sektoren wie Maschinenbau, Automobilindustrie, Haushaltsgeräte, Bauindustrie, Einzelhandel (u. a. Supermarktkette Eroski), Banken und Versicherungen. Like many Americans who are concerned with rising inequality and environmental degradation, I was seeking an alternative to our current system’s focus on maximizing shareholder value. However, if an issue is particularly contentious and the Social Council is opposed to the decision of the Governing Council and Managing Director, it can bring the issue to the General Assembly for a vote of the broader membership. While I had imagined a “local living economy,” somewhat focused on bartering in line with E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful philosophy, that is not how Mondragon functions. Die Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC) ist die größte Genossenschaft und das siebtgrößte Unternehmen Spaniens. Spain has since revised its position on coverage for worker-owners and Lagun Aro now provides benefits side by side with those offered by the government. the Social Council). According to our tour leader, Georgia Kelly, “You cannot impose a cooperative culture where nothing like it exists,” she said. Employee Ownership and Ecological Sustainability, over $500 billion in revenues and employs about two million people, representing well over $3 trillion in turnover, Real Estate: Everyone’s an Expert, Until They’re Not, The Sad Reason the Housing Market Is Booming During a Recession, How Congress Can Stop The Fed From Dragging Its Feet In How It Lends To Municipalities, The Daily Edge: Short-Term Flows Strengthen USD Dominance, A view on compassion or lack thereof in present times. As our local guide, Ander Etxeberria, observed, “In Mondragon, on the one hand, we do not have enough companies to provide to us and, on the other hand, it is not mandatory to buy in our cooperatives.” Instead, their choice hinges on the most competitive bidder. Power than can crush us and we can and must resist it. The vast majority of these worker-owners are in the industrial and distribution segments of the economy, competing successfully in global markets. Together with the inhabitants of the town he founded a vocational school. Mondragon retirees receive 60 percent of their pension from the government and 40 percent from the Mondragon system. In total, they receive 80 percent of their former salary, enabling them to retire without having to make major shifts in their lifestyle. This is the question that brought me, and most of my traveling companions, to Mondragon in the first place. And the capitalist model — at least for the 99% — may fare no better. This has necessitated hiring new workers in those new markets. And sometimes it is. At the heart of this transformation is the desire to emphasize cooperation as opposed to competition as the most likely path toward creating a future that maximizes the well-being of all. Mondragon has been slowly making changes to take on a larger role in pushing for equitable changes locally. And in times of trouble, the General Assembly is a place for the entire cooperative to thrash out difficult issues. 10. At the time, the small town was plagued by mass unemployment and poverty. The full version of the documentary TOGETHER. … As Ed Whitfield, Co-Managing Director of the Fund for Democratic Communities recently put it, “ There are three kinds of power. A case in point: “intercooperation” and the bankruptcy of Fagor Electrodomésticos. Symone Jackson and Rebecca Fisher McGinty. In Mondragon, the worker democracy explicitly seeks to balance the general interests of the firm with the particular interests of the individual workers, which are not always internally aligned. First, in global terms, this is a relatively small niche market, less likely to attract a large number of competitors. When asked about specific issues at Mondragon that were troubling to me, our guide would sometimes shrug and say, “This is a democracy.” To me, that shrug said it all: sometimes people make thoughtful decisions, sometimes not; sometimes they take the time to participate in decision-making, sometimes not. Workers in Mondragon have the right to participate in a democratic decision-making governance structure. Although Mondragon cooperatives now operate in multiple sectors, the most significant cooperatives are worker-owned industrial enterprises competing globally in niche markets. And third, just as the cooperative’s expanded capacity came on line, the recession hit and the bottom fell out of the market. This is an issue that I think Mondragon has figured out really well, striking an important balance between the need for democratic decision-making and managerial discretion. There has been an increase in the number of women in managerial positions, conversations around using green energy in their R&D facility, and the development of a social transformation team. Our thoughts on changing the banking system for good and building the new economy. Cleveland, Rochester, Madison, Oakland, Austin and New York City, to name a few. The two other obstacles — culture and K-12 education — seem far more intractable at this point. Since its founding in 1956 by Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, Mondragon has become the world’s largest and most advanced cooperative economy. However, while individuals can evaluate complex issues, they don’t always take the time to do so. I am deeply grateful for the lessons learned in the 60 years of the Mondragon experiment and hope we can apply some of them here in the U.S. as we work to create a more equitable, sustainable economy.

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