Building a Culture of Cooperation in Chicago: Incorporating Solidarity Economy Principles into Our Organizations and Ourselves
What’s wrong with Chicago?
- Autocratic power
- Economy is premised in self-interest often to the detriment of others and co-operation.
- Aldermanic system
- Feudelistic; cuts across neighborhoods
- Hierarchical and centralized
- Difficult to navigate means of reform
- Not receptive to community feedback, more receptive to Chamber of Commerce/business
- Receiving support (for organizations) & channels of distribution is linked to power historically in Chicago
How do we get past the culture of gatekeeping? How do we change the larger culture of the city?
- Solidarity economy – economy that works for all
- Solidarity: Connecting to needs of all, linking self to position of others
- Sustainability: Institutions & programming that are self-sustaining and sustain the planet
- Pluralism: No one right way to do things, the importance of context
- Participatory democracy: Everyone has a role, should be able to participate; how to make orgs more horizontal, less hierarchical, maximize agency
- Equity in all dimensions: race/gender/sex orientation/childcare needs/translation needs, e.g. whitewashed co-operative movement in Chicago
- Inclusion, how to operationalize these principles? intra- and inter-institutions: sometimes can not be “efficient” because takes longer, and not linear, etc.
- Small groups. Prompts: how can you use these principles in your present-day lives? To counteract the feudalistic structure of Chicago & its resources.
- Solidarity: principled action, take a principled action, stepping up, stepping back.
- Participation: challenges of efficiency