From the reading I feel like our organization, The Industrial Commons, aligns with all three. Much of our work with launching and incubating cooperatives is the alternatives slice of the pie; however, we also work to change dominant institutions and our work also implements personal transformation – particularly with our staff.
It is in the section of our work related to changing dominant institutions where we interact with many community “commons”. We have very strong relationships and partnerships with our public education system, community colleges, local governments, economic development organizations and other publicly funded institutions.
I found the framework interesting and helpful. It was interesting that in building out an ecosystem our organization implements all of these forms of bring about change. Our organization believes strongly that change can truly happen in an economy when people are educated about alternative models at a young age. One of our staff recently said something that struck me. One of our enterprises, which she isn’t involved with, received a large infusion of resources and capital, and she said, “when one of the enterprises grows we all grow.” That is how change happens – the enterprises drive each other and this young staff person who was a recent frontline manufacturing employee sees and understands the interconnectedness that drives our local economy and how things can be different.
As our organization and enterprises grow, how will we ensure every employee, worker-owner, and community member understands this opportunity for change?