Here are links to the many and various examples of people just getting on with it. When I think of rebalancing the economy what comes to mind is that it would be just as likely that a co-op is created as a plc. We are dominated by the idea that the job of the company is to maximise the profits for its shareholders (even when their ownership comes with no responsibility) and no matter what the additional costs are for society. These examples show a different mindset - one that works.
If all these alternatives were to become loosely coupled it would be clear just how vigorous and successful cooperation and collaboration is as a model. It would become very clear that the groundswell needed to bring about a paradigm shift in thinking about political-economy is not that far away.
I have only scratched the surface here but hopefully there is enough to get the point over. There are a lot of people out there just doing it, we can learn from them and build on their success. We don't need permission, we can just get on with it. We could use a raft of enabling legislation to put these aspects of political economy on a level playing field as we diversify away from our PLC monoculture.
It does appear that there is a business case for cooperatives Pérotin op.cit.
- A local example - http://www.suma.coop
- A famous example still going strong https://www.mondragon-corporation.com/en/about-us/
- International cooperatives alliance https://ica.coop/en
- Cooperatives in Europe https://coopseurope.coop/about-us
- Top 300 https://www.thenews.coop/49090/sector/view-top-300-co-operatives-around-world/ (2014 and you need to page down)
- List of cooperatives by country https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_worker_cooperatives
A special case in the UK because it is one of the top supermarkets, https://www.coop.co.uk but note this is owned by its customers and not its workforce
Public Benefit Corporations, Partnerships, Social and Community enterprises
Whist I might see worker cooperatives as the gold standard there are many other ways of organising and in the end it depends on the people involved, as social primates we can be happy with hierarchy provided that it is reasonable and fairness extends to all its members.
- Public Benefit Corporations - https://benefitcorp.net
- Social Enterprises https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/about-us
- Credit Unions http://www.creditunions.co.uk
- Crowd funding for businesses https://www.fundingcircle.com/uk/about-us/ my view is that personal loads should go through credit unions
- Crowd funding for projects https://www.kickstarter.com/about?ref=global-footer this is also an example of a public benefit corporation
- The Scott Bader Foundation - https://www.scottbader.com/about-us/history/
- Waitrose and Partners https://www.waitrose.com/home/inspiration/about_waitrose.html
Ordinary businesses with good practice
Not all the current political economy is bad, many companies recognise that they have social responsibility and adopt practices which bring out the best in people. This is clearly a choice and not simply a way of making more money. In the holistic political economy of the future there is room for the capitalist form of cooperation - to fund businesses for a fair return. Because we know that all regulations can be gamed or sidestepped what is needed is cultural enforcement. That has to come from a new paradigm (a different zeitgeist), one in which doing a good job, that creates value for society results in a fair return (or a right livelihood).
- Ethical banking - https://www.triodos.co.uk/about-us
- Organic farming - https://www.soilassociation.org/farmers-growers/farmer-and-grower-board/
- Timpson's shoes (employee empowerment) https://www.timpson.co.uk/about/careers-at-timpson
- The company shop https://www.companyshopgroup.co.uk/about-us/our-story
- Paramo Clothing https://www.paramo-clothing.com/en-gb/ourethics/
- Best companies to work for https://www.b.co.uk/what-is-engagement/