About the course:
What is a cooperative?
We could define it as a open, member-owned business, but those descriptors are all woefully inaccurate. Instead, this class begins with the idea that cooperatives are a historic and radical means of organizing around shared priorities, and that they can be leveraged to solve 21st century problems in ways traditional groups fail.
In Berkeley, the cooperative capitol of the United States, we will trace together the history of cooperatives back from Fenwick & Owen to the old Berkeley Food Cooperative, examining the successes and failures these democratized groups have experienced. Moving onto today's cooperative landscape, we'll analyze how modern cooperatives have reorganized and reoriented themselves to face issues of environmental degradation, social inequality, and economic instability.
To best understand the cooperative movement today, we'll have to experience it ourselves: this means we'll be speaking in-person with seminal figures in co-ops, visiting local businesses as a class, and facilitating a highly-democratic classroom environment by employing cooperative values ourselves.
This class' content strongly influences its structure: we believe learning is best done, well, cooperatively. Come find out more at our info-session at 306 Wellman, held on January 27th before the first day of class on February 3rd. Light refreshments will be served!
The class is sponsored by the Student Environmental Resource Center.
How to Enroll:
Dependent on info-session attendance.
Course Contact: jeffnoven AT berkeley.edu, giordanorobie AT berkeley.edu
Faculty Sponsor: Professor Gordon Frankie