Resource Library

The Democracy at Work Institute is building a comprehensive Resource Library that will include a wide range of materials, including academic papers, start-up toolkits, curriculum samples, actual documents from existing worker cooperatives, and more. The topic list below provides a map of the resources that will be available. We are also continuing to publish additional resources on a daily basis.

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Recently Added Resources

The Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives:Exploring the Potential of Co-op Led Development

Erbin Crowell
[Excerpt] Toward the end of my time with Equal Exchange, I came into contact with members of the co-ops that make up the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-ops (VAWC). I was impressed by the tradition of collective management among these co-ops and the manner in which they had come together to begin developing a network of mutual support in their region. The number and diversity of the enterprises represented in the network was very different from my experience of worker co-ops as isolated enterprises.

The Cooperative District of Imola: Forging the High Road to Globalization

Matt Hancock
This paper represents a sort of “progress report” with respect to my field research on the cooperative district of Imola. Imola is an extremely unique social and economic “experiment” in democratic, alternative development. Home to some of Italy's oldest cooperatives – and probably the first worker-buyout as well – Imola is literally a town that has cooperation in its DNA.

Co-operatives as spaces of cultural resistance and transformation in alienated consumer society

Robert Dobrohoczki
The co-operative movement has always had uneasy relationship with Marxist philosophy and tradition that concentrated on state ownership. Yet co-operatives are socially owned and operated organizations that operate, theoretically at least, on a non-profit basis, driven by member needs and not capital. For instance, worker co-operatives would not accumulate the “surplus labour” in Marx’s labour theory of value, leaving them immune to accusations of exploitation and worker alienation.

A Targeted Approach to Worker Co-op Development: Lessons from Mondragon and Northern Italy

Sherman L. Kreiner
PACE of Philadelphia has used an extremely "targeted" strategy for developing worker-owned enterprises in the food business. Our results include a food-brokerage company, a lobster plant and distribution warehouse and a network of supermarkets (the O&O Store) in the Philadelphia area. The O&O stores are formally linked through a second-degree co-operative which sets standards for use of the trademark and tradename, establishes requirements for technical assistance, facilitates deals for goods and services for all stores and serves as a locus for discussion of common problems.