The Cooperative Growth Ecosystem framework presents the recent wave of worker cooperative development as a timely, high-potential strategy for inclusive, place-based community economic development. We developed this framework to engage diverse actors across the private, public, nonprofit and financial sectors in exploring how they can work together to catalyze worker co-op development that creates quality jobs and wealth-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income workers.
The project website contains additional tools and materials to help you develop a Cooperative Growth Ecosystem in your area. Both the Democracy at Work Institute and Project Equity are available to support groups in applying the ecosystem framework in your community.
We did an initial “ecosystem analysis” of the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Cincinnati, Madison, Wisconsin, and Western North Carolina. We chose these cities as much for the differences among them as for their individual achievements and potential. We wanted to learn from the dynamics within a city or region with a fair amount of cooperative development activity, as well as from patterns, commonalities, and variances we might be able to discern across the five places.