Worker Cooperatives

On this episode of Sprouts, the Upstream Podcast takes a deep dive into the worker cooperatives movement: a broad selection of organizations, activists, and cooperatively-structured workplaces that advocate for and embody workplace and economic democracy.

The 21st century has seen an explosion in worker cooperatives, particularly since capitalism’s 2008 crisis. In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we’ll explore how worker co-ops present a radically different kind of ownership and management structure”one that has the power to bring democracy into the workplace and into the economy as a whole. We’ll take a deep dive into the cooperatively owned and run bike/skate shop Rich City Rides, exploring how they have created a community hub that puts racial & economic justice front and center.

We’ll also take a trip to the Basque Country of northern Spain to explore how their rich cooperative environment compares to that of the United States and the San Francisco Bay Area specifically.


Richard Wolff – Economics professor emeritus at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, founder of Democracy at Work, and host of the weekly radio show Economic Update
Gopal Dayaneni – Co-founder of Cooperation Richmond & staff member at Movement Generation
Doria Robinson – Founder of Urban Tilth and co-founder of Cooperation Richmond
Esteban Kelly – Executive Director of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives
Gorka Espiau – Senior Fellow at the Agirre Lehendakaria Center at the University of the Basque Country
Najari Smith – Worker/member of Rich City Rides bike & skate shop
Roxanne Villaluz – Worker/member of a cooperative bakery & pizzeria
Sofia Gradin – Political Organizer and Lecturer in Politics at King’s College in London


Jerry Folk
The Roots of Orchis

Many thanks to Phil Wrigglesworth for the cover art.


Della Duncan (Host, co-producer)
Robert Raymond (Engineer, co-producer)

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