A Tale of Two Collectives: Horizontally Managed Businesses and Solidarity Economy

Workshop Information
Event Date: 
Fri, 06/25/2010 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Event Location: 
Woodward Academy: 1475
Full Description: 

Ecology Action of Texas and Treasure City Thrift are two radically oriented, horizontally organized businesses in Austin, Texas. Both collectives strive to create viable economic alternatives to capitalist economic paradigms, however EA and TCT's histories follow starkly contrasting roads to cooperation.

Founded in 2005, Treasure City Thrift is a not-for-profit, collectively run resale thrift store. Treasure City's mission includes landfill diversion and mutual aide, and aims to generate financial support for local community organizing projects through the sale of donated items. Treasure City has been collectively organized since its' inception and is currently run by one paid staff person and a committed pool of volunteers.

Ecology Action is a non-profit recycling center founded in 1970, and collectively run for the past 10 years. Worker self management was won through an IWW labor strike that resulted in the resignation of 3 consecutive Executive Directors and the establishment of a formal cooperative leadership structure. EA currently employs 8 full time staff and diverts over 3,000 tons of recyclables from area landfills each year.

A Tale of Two Collectives will compare and contrast the strategies of bottom up development and factory recuperation on the road to cooperative economics, while providing a primer on the nuts and bolts of establishing and running a collectively managed non-profit business.

Organizer Name: 
Heather Mitchell
Organizer Email: 
First Sponsoring Organization Name: 
Ecology Action of Texas
Capitalism in Crisis: tearing down poverty, building economic alternatives & a solidarity economy
Locations for USSF Events