University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

Cooperatives and Community Development Education for Ownership

Social and Cultural Studies, UC Berkeley
Fall 1998

Instructor: Deb Goldberg Gray
Tel: 510/642-7127 (Social and Cultural Studies, 4501 Tolman)

Cooperatives and Community Development Education for Ownership will explore the critical role of education in creating member-owned, democratically-controlled organizations. The course will survey cooperative development strategies which strengthen communities, create economic opportunity and provide needed services.


Students will engage in active discussion and analysis of weekly topics, informed by readings, presented material and their own life experiences. Two short writing assignments will assist students in defining their pemona1 views on the subject matter. In addition, students will form work groups to identify and carry out a cooperative feasibility and planning project. These groups will work together the entire semester, and discuss their findings in both written and oral form at the end of the term. Students who come up with viable proposals will be offered the option to implement their plans in future semesters.

This course will focus on development of informed analytical skills with real life application on the part of students. Students will have the opportunity to learn from current practitioners with critical expertise in the field, who will be invited as guest speaker.


1. Readings and Class Participation - Come prepared to actively participate in a critical analysis of the week's topic, informed by thoughtful consideration of the assigned readings. (30% of grade.)

2. Papers 2 short papers (2-3 pages) reflecting personal responses to the topic. (10% of grade)

3. Group Project Small groups will select an area for cooperative feasibility analysis and planning. Groups will present their findings in writing and through classroom presentation and discussion. (30% of grade)

4. Midterm and Final Exams Exams will require students to draw on their knowledge from lectures and readings, and apply the analytical skills gained through class discussion and feasibility projects. (30% of grade)


The following will be available for purchase and on reserve at the Education/Psychology Library:
                Nadeau & Thompson, Cooperation Works!, Lone Oak Press, 1996.
                MacLeod, From Mondragon to America, University College of Cape Breton Press, 1997.
                Reader: Available from Odin Books, 2146 Center Street.
                Reports and articles from the Center for Cooperatives, UC Davis.


Week 1 - Introduction and overview of themes
8/25-27 readings

            New International Cooperative Identity Statement Adopted, Farmer Cooperatives (11/95)
            International Cooperative Alliance, Five Good Reasons for Cooperatives, (9/95)
            United Nations Dept. of Public Information, Cooperatives: Schools for Democracy (7/95)
            Nadeau & Thompson, Cooperation Works!, Lone Oak Press, 1996. Introduction
            USDA, Co-ops 101, Rural Business and Cooperative Information Report #55 (1997), pp1-19

Week 2 - Introduction to the Economics of Cooperatives
9/1-3     Fairbairn et al., Cooperatives and Community Development: Economics in Social Perspective,
                     Centre for the Study of Cooperatives, University of Saskatchewan (1991) Prologue-p.65

Week 3 - Cooperatives through History
Discussion and analysis of driving forces and critical elements underlying cooperative development.
9/8    Guest speaker, David Thompson discusses Rochdale and current day cooperatives in the U.S.
         International Cooperative Alliance, Into the Twenty-first Century: Cooperatives Yesterday, Today
         and Tomorrow
, (1/96)

9/10  Cheney, Democracy in the Workplace: Theory and Practice from the Perspective of Communication,
         Journal of Applied Communication Research, 23 (1995) 167-200.

First response paper due 9/8/98

Week 4 - Worker Cooperatives
Evolution of the Berkeley worker co-ops, looking at the Cheese Board/Arizmendi initiative as a case study.
Introduction to start-up and expansion issues.
9/15     Hansen, Coontz and Malan, Steps to Starting a Worker Co-op, Center for Cooperatives, University of
            California (1997)

9/17     Nadeau and Thompson, Chapter 4, Enterprising Businesses Owned by their Employees
            UCLA Community Scholars, Putting Capital in its Place: the L.A. Worker Ownership Project,
            Alternative Legal Structures for Starting Worker-owned Businesses (1996)

            Bauen, Co-ops, ESOPs and Worker Participation, Dollars & Sense, No. 200 (July/Aug 1995)
            Mackie, Success and Failure in an American Workers’ Cooperative Movement, Politics & Society, Vol
            22, No. 2 (June 1994) 215-235

Week 5 - Cooperative Start-up
Needs assessment, business planning and feasibility analysis for new cooperatives. Introduction to group projects.
9/22     Chapters 1-3      Alvarado-Greenwood, Haberfeld and Lee, Organizing Production Cooperatives: A
9/24     Chapters 4-5     Strategy for Community Economic Development, National Economic Development
                                     and Law Center, 1978.

Week 6 - Cooperatives in Rural Development
Special challenges of rural economies. Understanding regional economic flows, value-adding.
9/29     Nadeau and Thompson, Chapter 10, Providing Power to Rural Communities
            Network of Centers for Rural Cooperative Development, Best Practices for Cooperative Development,
            Cooperative Development Foundation (1996)
10/1     Egerstrom, Make No Small Plans: A Cooperative Revival for Rural America, Lone Oak Press (1995) 217-247

Week 7 - Housing Cooperatives
Examine the USCA student housing cooperatives, member education, decision-making and governance.
10/6     Nadeau and Thompson: Chapter 5, Cooperative Housing Brings the Dream Home; Chapter 6, Senior
                Co-op Housing

10/8     Lategola, Paradise for Sale: An Attempted Low-income Cooperative Conversion, Center for Cooperatives,
                University of California (1996)

Week 8 - Consumer Co-ops
Consumer control of the food and credit systems. Continued discussion of member education, decision-making and governance in cooperatives.
10/13     Nadeau and Thompson, Chapter 3, Consumer Co-ops
              Matsuoka, Stone and Krimerman, From the Kitchen to the World, GEO, 12 (March-April 1994), 2-5
              UWCC Newsletter, Can Food Co-ops Work in Low-Income Communities? (Fall 1997), pp.7,14
              The Co-op Handbook Collective, The Food Co-op Handbook, Co-op Publishing Ltd., (1983).
                    Preface, Chapters 7&8
10/15     Nadeau and Thompson, Chapter 8, Community Development Credit Unions

Week 9 - Cooperative Finance and Capitalization
Understanding the financial structure of cooperatives.
10/20     Alvarado-Greenwood, Haberfeld and Lee, Organizing Production Cooperatives: A Strategy for
                      Community Economic Development, Chapter 6

10/22     Midterm Exam

Week 10 - Cooperatives in Agriculture
The case of California Agriculture. Cooperatives and the free market system.
10/27     Nadeau and Thompson, Chapter 1, Value-Added Agricultural Cooperatives;
              International Cooperative Alliance, The Agricultural Cooperative Movement, (11/95)
10/29     Garoyan, California’s Contribution to Cooperation, Center for Cooperatives, University of California (1989)

Week 11 - Planning and Feasibility Review
11/3-5     Review of key development planning and feasibility assessment techniques. In-class progress reports
               and problem solving on group projects.

Week 12 - Survival strategies: Co-op conversions and shared services
Worker buy-outs in a global economy. Shared services cooperatives - recycling, rural pharmacies.
11/10     Nadeau and Thompson, Chapter 2, The Cooperative Business behind the Small Businesses on Main
; Chapter 12, Local Governments Leaving Old Rivalries Behind
11/12     Bauen, Las Flores Metalarte: Creating Community Jobs in Puerto Rico, Dollars & Sense, #202
                    (Nov-Dec 1996)

Week 13- The Mondragon model
Mondragon, example of an integrated cooperative. Attempts to apply Mondragon structures in the U.S.
11/17     MacLeod, From Mondragon to America, University College of Cape Breton Press (1997) pp 17-91.
11/19     Huet, Can Co-ops Go Global?, Dollars and Sense, #214 (Nov-Dec 1997), pp 16-19, 41-42

Week 14 - Cooperatives at the International Level
The International Cooperative Alliance and the international cooperative movement. Cooperative laws and environments in the US and abroad.
11/24     International Cooperative Alliance,
                    How The International Cooperative Alliance Contributes To The Objectives Of The United Nations (1994)
                    Dimensions of the International Cooperative Movement (3/95)
                    Cooperative Agenda 21 (5/95)

Second response paper due.

Week 15- Student Projects, final reports and class wrap-up
12/1     Student groups will present their projects for discussion and critical analysis by the class.
12/3     Wrap-up and materials review.
12/8     Written project reports due by 5 pm.

Final Exam: Friday, December 11, 5-8 pm

 Return to UWCC Homepage