The Democracy at Work Institute expands the promise of cooperative business ownership to reach those communities most directly affected by social and economic inequality. It ensures that further growth in the worker cooperative movement is both rooted in worker cooperatives themselves and reaches out to new communities of worker-owners, particularly low-income people, people of color and recent immigrants. Specifically, it:
- Facilitates education and skill-sharing among existing cooperatives
- Provides practical support in the form of research, training, tools, and standards
- Builds relationships among the various institutions supporting, developing and financing worker cooperatives
- Educates the public about the need for and benefits of democratic worker-ownership
Our work is informed by the principles of economic justice and the practice of economic democracy. We envision an Institute that is equal parts clearinghouse, relationship-builder, thought leader, organizing body and “developer’s developer.” It is a movement-based think-and-do tank to build the field of worker cooperative development from a praxis-oriented perspective. It will keep worker cooperative development in dialogue with and accountable to the worker cooperative movement while supporting the model to grow to a scale that creates meaningful change in the economy.