OUR ROADMAP MORE COMPETITIVE, COOPERATIVE AND FLEXIBLE. Faculty of Business Studies 3. Die Bewegung wurde 1956 nach den Lehren von Jose Maria Arizmendietta aufgebaut. 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. To work properly, democracy assumes that voters take the necessary time to educate themselves on the issues and participate in the process. At MONDRAGON, we welcome people from all over the world who want to visit and learn about the MONDRAGON Cooperative Experience. We were also told that to achieve a livable family wage, most families required two incomes. As a consequence, they do not participate in the benefits of worker-ownership. As for the availability of capital, all cooperatives — and the Mondragon cooperatives in particular — require that their member-owners invest seed capital in the enterprise, giving them a definite sense of “having skin in the game.” While these contributions are unlikely to be sufficient to meet the capital requirements of the enterprise, they are an important start. The most compelling reason we heard for why these international workers are not also owners is that there is not a culture of cooperatives in these foreign markets and Mondragon does not believe in, or have the capabilities for, proselytizing the cooperative form. According to what I’ve read, this happens very rarely (as one would hope and expect), but when it has happened, the decisions of the General Assembly have gone both ways — sometimes supporting “management” (i.e. The cause of the failure was a “perfect storm” of three related issues. But always there is another day: so long as democracy continues, there is the opportunity for another vote, a different outcome. Spain offers universal health care to its citizens and Mondragon offers its own universal coverage system. Mondragon University (officially in Basque: Mondragon Unibertsitatea, MU) is a non-profit cooperative private university in the Basque Country, officially established and recognised in 1997.It is part of Mondragon Corporation.Its main campus is in Mondragón, Gipuzkoa.. As of February 2016 it had about 4000 students pursuing 22 bachelor's degrees, 13 master's degrees and several advanced courses. When facts fail to conform to theory, there is a strong tendency on both sides to throw out the facts in order to preserve the theory. Mondragón’s history starts after the Spanish Civil War. The surprise was in the scale of the experiment. In the end, I have come to believe the biggest impediments would be our culture and the weakness of our K-12 math and science education. Mondragon has become the world’s largest and most advanced cooperative economy. Second, the number of its Asian competitors was growing every day. 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. That’s advocacy. [5] Es ist damit nach eigene… In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Fagor Electrodomésticos, the largest of the industrial cooperatives, failed, eliminating the jobs of 1,800 worker-owners in 2013. At the time, the small town was plagued by mass unemployment and poverty. Zur MCC gehören mehr als 100 Unternehmen verschiedener Sektoren wie Maschinenbau, Automobilindustrie, Haushaltsgeräte, Bauindustrie, Einzelhandel (u. a. Supermarktkette Eroski), Banken und Versicherungen. The cooperatives are split into four main divisions of Industry, Retail, Finance, and Knowledge. As I review my experience of Mondragon, I’m thinking this may well be its “secret sauce,” the key to its long-term success. But only 98 of those are federated cooperatives, while the rest are international production subsidiaries. One can imagine a sophisticated, cooperatively organized, service-based economy that would also require significant technical expertise. We visited one of the industrial cooperatives, ULMA Packaging, which makes machines that make packaging for perishable food products. Faculty of Engineering 2. 2. The graduates of this school founded the city’s first cooperatives. 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. That’s oppression. The Mondragon Corporation has over 266 business and cooperatives, in 32 countries. … Although Mondragon offers numerous benefits through its distribution of wealth and power, the model is not entirely absent of inequities. and Irakasle Eskola S.Coop., which nowadays constitute the University’s two Faculties and School: 1. The tour I took was organized and led by Georgia Kelly of the Praxis Peace Institute. I find I have a deeper understanding of the limitations of the social justice approach as a viable platform for social change, as opposed to building the institutions that undergird economic transformation, like cooperative structures. The General Assembly meets at least once a year to act on what sounds like a mostly pro forma agenda. There are a host of intractable social problems in the US — homelessness, racism, addiction, obesity, violence, to name just a few — that may have economic elements, but cannot be solved even by a cooperative economic utopia. 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. 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. 3. Even with businesses they have acquired in Spain, an educational process must take place before assuming people are ready to be worker-owners. According to Michael Peck, North American delegate for Mondragon, “in the area of sustainability, where Mondragon cooperatives started with EU adhesion to the Kyoto Protocol starting in 1997 (something the U.S. never achieved), they have been very conscious of both sustainability practices as well as essential green industrial certifications (the EU versions of LEED) which they need in order to compete in global markets. It has over €35 billion in assets, €14 billion in revenues and has over 80,000 employees. 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. Despite its many virtues, Mondragon is not utopia. Thématique : L'apprenance au sein de la Coopérative Mondragon. Michael Peck also offered specific examples of women in leadership positions, as the General Secretary for Mondragon’s Governing Council, the Mondragon Corporation’s CFO, and the CEO positions in several of the individual cooperatives. Die Mondragon-Kooperative ist eine große Bewegung, die ihren Sitz in der Stadt Mondragon im Baskenland hat und in der der Besitz den Arbeitern gehört. “It takes a tremendous re-educational effort to bring people into a culture that carries the responsibilities of running a business and sharing in a democratic process. The second contradiction at Mondragon relates to environmental issues. MONDRAGON is the outcome of a cooperative business project launched in 1956. Our local guide was Ander Etxeberria, Director of Cooperative Dissemination. Mondragon may offer a worthy alternative. Mondragon has been slowly making changes to take on a larger role in pushing for equitable changes locally. As Winston Churchill and others have observed, “democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms.” I’ve certainly had occasion to reflect on that statement since the 2016 election and the advent of the Trump administration. What happened next is what was unusual. 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. Its first product was paraffin heaters. But only 98 of those are federated cooperatives, while the rest are international production subsidiaries. Founded in 1956 by Father José María Arizmendiarrieta, the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation currently consists of 102 federated cooperatives employing over 73,000 people. 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. Mondragon, with its strong technical and industrial skills, will be well positioned to take advantage of these new markets. While the rest of Spain struggled to maintain economic stability after the Great Recession of 2008, areas around Mondragon remained fairly unaffected. 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. The plant that we viewed was an assembly plant, which utilized components, materials and logistics provided by both cooperatives and non-cooperatives. How cooperatives show resilience to the crisis can be watched in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Japanese, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian and Korean here! Why doesn’t Malaysia hand out a RM1 trillion stimulus plan. The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation is a business-based, socioeconomic program that is committed to serving the interests of the environment, individual competitive improvement, and customer satisfaction (Tremlett, 2013). [3] Sie hat ihren Sitz in Mondragón im spanischen Baskenland und ist global tätig. Social Council: This is an entity that is, in some respects, like a labor union, because it represents the concerns of worker-owners, but from the lens of their experience as workers. Third, each machine is customized to its specific application, thus requiring continued human intervention, providing continued employment. 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. The vast majority of these worker-owners are in the industrial and distribution segments of the economy, competing successfully in global markets. This structure has created a group of people, who aren’t owners, but whose labor Mondragon now depends on. 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 first, and most troubling, was the issue of international workers who are not members of the cooperatives. I went to Mondragon to see this system in action and to explore its relevance to the US. She notes that the biggest change is in the younger generation and further notes that men and women doing the same jobs receive the same pay — an obvious gender equity goal that has yet to be achieved in the US. Building wealth thru worker coops. Lagun Aro pension funds are invested conservatively, thereby avoiding some of the self-inflicted insolvency problems created by the US profit-maximizing system. But all of these issues cited here exist in the United States and elsewhere, regardless of whether our economies are organized under capitalist or cooperative principles. In total, they receive 80 percent of their former salary, enabling them to retire without having to make major shifts in their lifestyle. Mondragon retirees receive 60 percent of their pension from the government and 40 percent from the Mondragon system. Workers in those other locations are not members of the cooperatives, and thus do no participate in democratic governance. That’s advocacy. 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. Workers in Mondragon have the right to participate in a democratic decision-making governance structure. As for K-12 education, the current U.S. educational establishment’s emphasis on improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is not misplaced. WE ARE MONDRAGON A PROJECT SPANNING MORE THAN 60 YEARS, COMPETING IN GLOBAL MARKETS WITH ITS OWN MODEL BASED ON PEOPLE AND INTERCOOPERATION. In Mondragon and elsewhere, there are still far fewer women than men studying engineering, a critical issue in Mondragon’s engineering-heavy industrial economy. But then we can also be power ourselves. It has an advisory role and does not make decisions. In the course of our visit, three issues came to light that brought this truth home. Although there were a handful of cooperatives where women were in the majority (such as the food service operation supporting the cooperatives) and we did see women in administrative positions in offices, I did not see or talk to enough women to get a feeling for their position in the Mondragon system. 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. Posted 23rd January 2017 by Unknown Labels: New Economy. The Experience. I recently had the opportunity to visit Mondragon, Spain to immerse myself into the world of worker-cooperatives. the General Assembly), where all three roles are united in a one-member, one-vote democratic system. And in times of trouble, the General Assembly is a place for the entire cooperative to thrash out difficult issues. [4] Auch zum Verbund gehören 15 Technologiezentren. Since its founding in 1956 by Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, Mondragon has become the world’s largest and most advanced cooperative economy. Mondragon gave me further cause for such reflection. The chief obstacle to attracting additional sources of capital is a lack of understanding of the cooperative model and investors’ reluctance to supply capital without clear collateral or recourse. And second, because economic decisions may impact individual workers differently, the structure helps produce decisions based on “fairness” in balancing the needs of the few directly affected individuals with the needs of the many who are not. 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. Its mission is encapsulated in its Corporate Values: intercooperation, grassroots management, corporate social responsibility, innovation, democratic organisation, education and social transformation, among others. And sometimes it is. 10. Also at work, however, was the notion of the “tyranny of the majority.” In winner-take-all voting decisions, the will of the majority is imposed on all, including the dissenting minority. Der Grund: Sie wurden mit Maßnahmen gerettet, die heute noch in Krisen­zeiten angewandt werden. In a cooperative, the janitor and the CEO have the same voice in the General Assembly — in contrast to the capitalist shareholder system, where the number of votes is based on the amount of money invested in shares of the enterprise — typically by absentee shareholders who have no other interest in the firm. It is an elective body that represents worker interests to the Governing Council and Managing Director. The Mondragon Cooperative Group has engaged in a domestic expansion process since the early 1960s and internationally since the 1990s. The Mondragon Corporation has over 266 business and cooperatives, in 32 countries. Finally, because these machines play a critical role in their customers’ production processes, they tend to compete on quality and reliability rather than price, and the customer necessity of maximizing “up-time” (that is, the time in which the machines are running properly and production is not halted) creates an important after-market service opportunity. Qu'est ce que les "Learning Exploration" ? Auch aus dem großen Mondragon-Verbund überlebte eine Genossenschaft diesen Prozess der Deindustrialisierung nicht. And they experience a work culture of solidarity and alliances. In the United States, a social justice culture focused more on creating our own alternatives, as opposed to fighting old paradigms needs further nurturance. 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. Mondragon is an advanced industrial economy competing in global markets. C'est une offre de voyages apprenants qui … Final reflections: Could the Mondragon system work in the US? 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.”. These are old, ingrained habits of thinking that will continue to persist among large segments of the US population, reinforced by neoliberal orthodoxy and business-driven consumerism. 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. The answer is, at best, a “maybe.” I would have thought that the biggest obstacles to cooperativism in the U.S. would be American individualism, access to capital, and access to talent. In 2011, the Basque Culinary Center was created and became part of Mondragon University. The basic principle of democracy, in cooperatives and in nation-states, is one person, one vote. The surprise was in the scale of the experiment. The coops have retained members’ jobs in Spain’s Basque country even during economic crises. The structure of Mondragon University provides … 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. Our thoughts on changing the banking system for good and building the new economy. The fundamental issues that are well addressed by cooperativism — a reduction in economic inequality and a better alignment of the interests of workers, owners and managers — are critical. Few, if any, of these new workers have been offered membership in the cooperatives. But then we can also be power ourselves. That’s oppression. The thing that was so refreshing about Mondragon was its willingness and ability to deal with facts on the ground, to allow practice to modify theory without losing sight of values. Die Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC) ist die größte Genossenschaft und das siebtgrößte Unternehmen Spaniens. Some took early retirement, and a handful took a compensation package to leave the system. While I don’t have enough data to draw firm conclusions, I believe this structure produces decisions that are both different from and better than those of capitalist firms in two specific ways. 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. They are given skill trainings and social safety nets to ensure sustainable employment. Since the traditional division of interests between workers and owners cannot, by definition, exist in a worker-owned cooperative, the Social Council was hard for me to understand initially. This has necessitated hiring new workers in those new markets. The film TOGETHER available to watch on line! These values are well reflected in Mondragon’s operations. 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. Benefits offered include health care, pensions, and unemployment. I was impressed in my reading by the complexity of the decisions worker-owners were asked to make, collectively, about salary adjustments, unemployment benefits, overtime pay, required capital inputs, retirement benefits, and a myriad of other issues. A case in point: “intercooperation” and the bankruptcy of Fagor Electrodomésticos. In a difficult year of widespread crisis, the exports of the MONDRAGON cooperatives saw a spectacular leap accounting for close to €53.5m (8.9bn pesetas) which was a rise of more than 54% although the starting position (€35.3m, 5.9bn pesetas) seen from the perspective offered by time, was very modest. Together with the inhabitants of the town he founded a vocational school. Pragmatism is the only enduring “ism.”. First, in global terms, this is a relatively small niche market, less likely to attract a large number of competitors. Unless that shifts, the cooperative model will not work. Second, it is a highly technical niche, relatively insulated from competition from countries with large numbers of low-wage, unskilled workers. Jill Bamburg is a Co-Founder of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and on the Faculty of Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. Mondragon University is a cooperative university, founded in 1997 and officially recognised under Act 4/1997 of 30 May, albeit comprised of three educational cooperatives (Mondragon Higher Polytechnic School S.Coop, Enpresagintza S.Coop and Teacher Training School S.Coop). The assumption of the dominant culture — reinforced by our current economic system — is that each of us is on our own, out for ourselves (and our immediate families), and that the pursuit of material rewards (including extraordinary rewards) is the primary motivation for our economic behavior. Disputes are resolved by the “owners” (i.e. Today, it is the wealthiest, with the majority of its residents as worker-owners of Mondragon. Worker cooperative … Housing cooperatives, which have been used to address the needs of seniors, students, mobile home park residents, and (occasionally) low-income communities. Workers buy into the cooperative with a fixed sum of money; usually a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. By the end of our tour, I was amazed by the complexity of Mondragon’s principles and mechanisms. 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. It has been successful in creating a democratic, sustainable, and secure living environment for its members. Workers in those other locations are not members of the cooperatives, and thus do no participate in democratic governance. Power than can crush us and we can and must resist it. Their method is sometimes incremental improvement toward the goal of reducing harm, while preserving the essential characteristics of the existing system. The Mondragon group of cooperatives is likely the most successful in the world with nearly 90,000 employees, 260 companies and an annual revenue of over 19 billion dollars. On October 27th, the United Steelworkers and Mondragon Internacional, the worldwide network of cooperatives based in Basque territory, announced a new alliance: PITTSBURGH - The United Steelworkers (USW) and MONDRAGON Internacional, S.A. today announced a framework agreement for collaboration in establishing MONDRAGON cooperatives in the manufacturing sector within the United … By the time of our 2017 visit, only 60 former employees (three percent) remained unplaced. In addition, the Mondragon cooperative system owns its own bank, university, social welfare agency, several business incubators, and a supermarket chain. It is the largest cooperative in the world. As Ed Whitfield, Co-Managing Director of the Fund for Democratic Communities recently put it, “ There are three kinds of power. Definition: Was ist Mondragon-Kooperative? … Cities across the U.S. are embracing worker cooperatives, writes Oscar Perry Abello at Next City. Note: ULMA does not make packaging for these products — it makes the machines that make the actual packaging. Worldwide, cooperatives are even more significant, representing well over $3 trillion in turnover, 12.6 million in employment, and over a billion people in total membership. Imagine the power of employee-ownership as a lever for creating social, economic, and environmental changes. Cleveland, Rochester, Madison, Oakland, Austin and New York City, to name a few. Some were offered employment in CATA Electrodomésticos, the private sector enterprise that took over the assets of Fagor Electrodomésticos. First, immediately prior to the recession, Fagor Electrodomésticos had expanded by buying a competitor in the household white goods sector; it financed the acquisition by taking on major debt. 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. Some received unemployment benefits from Lagun Aro, the social welfare cooperative. But there is growing evidence and support for alternatives that seek to satisfy deeper human needs, such as compassion for one’s fellows and the pursuit of meaning in one’s work. Power than can crush us and we can and must resist it. This means organizing and building institutions together for what we need.”. Nonetheless, the Mondragon worker-owners are a fairly homogenous group, so one doesn’t have to travel far to experience empathy for “the other,” and the system is not being asked to address such intractable issues as homelessness, racism or multi-generational poverty, none of which were visible to me in Mondragon. 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. Of worker cooperatives based in the scale of the firm and the social welfare cooperative far more at! 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