Throughout history, unlikely visionary leaders have stepped into the void and created worldwide movements out of chaos, destruction and despair.
One such individual was Father José Maria Arizmendiarrieta, a one-eyed, inarticulate young priest who narrowly escaped execution by Francisco Franco’s victorious fascists during the Spanish Civil War in the run-up to World War II.
Assigned by the bishop to the bombed-out village of Mondragon in the pro-republican mountainous Basque region of Spain, he was initially rejected by the villagers. After five years of effort, his first attempt at forming a cooperatively owned and managed business with five young engineering students failed when the kerosene stove they had designed would not operate.
Luckily, they were able to license some American technology. Sixty-five years later the $35B/year Mondragon International conglomerate of worker-owned cooperatives accounts for 1o% of the Spanish economy.
Five years ago, Mondragon formed a partnership with the U.S. Steelworkers Union to create worker-owned union co-op initiatives throughout the US as a way of seeding this country with the same culture of cooperation that has been so beneficial to the Basque region and much of Spain for 60 plus years.
Our projects here in St. Louis have been approved by Mondragon North America as their 15th pilot, and we are in the process of creating worker-owned precursor divisions of Irresistible Community Builders, LLC as the first step. The first workers are on-site now, building the dream and fulfilling an Arizmendi vision of a world that works for all with no one left out and with no offense to Nature.
We invite you to join us as we step into interrupting what too many post-Ferguson St. Louisians still experience as a void of chaos, destruction and despair.
As we take on Arizmendi’s commitment and mantle, we invite you to join us on Saturday, the 10th of December, at noon, for a House Party. Let us know if you can be there for a potluck lunch and an episode of Years of Living Dangerously that features the work of Citizen’s Climate Lobby.
Contact: Carol & Tom Braford
Click here to read the full article on the Healthy Planet website. Our article is on Page 26.
For past articles please check out our Past Healthy Planet Articles blog.
All the best for your holiday season!