Many animal species cooperate with each other in mutual symbiosis. One example is the Ocellaris clownfish, which dwells among the tentacles of Ritteri sea anemones. The anemones provide the clownfish with protection from their predators (which cannot tolerate the stings of the anemone's tentacles), while the fish defend the anemones against butterflyfish (which eat anemones)
An innovation that creates a new market by applying a different set of values, which ultimately (and unexpectedly) overtakes an existing market. (E.g., the lower priced Ford Model T)
Cooperation is the process of groups of organisms working or acting together for their common/mutual benefit, as opposed to working in competition for selfish benefit.
Exclusionary systems that promulgate extremes of inequality can, and should be disrupted to aid in the shift toward a sustainable economy on the planet that allows everyone to participate.
Adoption and implementation of the systems that led to the tyranny of unbridled capitalism dominant in the world today was a choice made by a well organized few to the detriment of the unorganized many, long, long ago. We didn’t get here by accident and it didn’t happen overnight.
A funny thing about competition for selfish benefit is it sets the stage for inequality, for a 1% to emerge on top of an ever steepening pyramid.
The best way to disrupt that pattern is with cooperation, with cooperatives. Instead of having CEO’s making obscene salaries, perks, and bonuses, amounting to hundreds of times the median workers pay, the top paid people in an organization would make maybe 3 to 9 times what the LOWEST paid people would get. Lowest, not median.
Yes, it can and does work. See the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain: At the end of 2012 it employed 80,321 people in 289 companies and organizations in four areas of activity; finance, industry, retail and knowledge.
At Mondragon, there are agreed-upon wage ratios between executive work and field or factory work which earns a minimum wage. These ratios range from 3:1 to 9:1 in different cooperatives and average 5:1. That is, the general manager of an average Mondragon cooperative earns no more than 5 times as much as the theoretical minimum wage paid in his/her cooperative. In reality, this ratio is smaller because there are few Mondragon worker-owners that earn minimum wages, because most jobs are somewhat specialized and are classified at higher wage levels. The wage ratio of a cooperative is decided periodically by its worker-owners through a democratic vote.[
This framework of business culture has been structured based on a common culture derived from the 10 Basic Co-operative Principles, in which Mondragon is rooted: Open Admission, Democratic Organisation, the Sovereignty of Labour, Instrumental and Subordinate Nature of Capital, Participatory Management, Payment Solidarity, Inter-cooperation, Social Transformation, Universality and Education.
This philosophy is complemented by four corporate values: Co-operation, acting as owners and protagonists; Participation, which takes shape as a commitment to management; Social Responsibility, by means of the distribution of wealth based on solidarity; and Innovation, focusing on constant renewal in all areas.
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A very big question is this: Can the cultures around the world adopt the Mondragon model? I think it would be a giant leap forward. I also think we need to embrace the collaborative consumption model, as well as reforming our monetary system.