Of all the news and the huge variety of topics we find about “everything Basque” in our searches around the internet, there’s a group that usually gets put “on ice”, waiting its turn.  They’re usually interesting news items that are “timeless”, meaning they appear on the blog when there’s a free space because, as we’ve said before, we just aren’t able to comment on and publish all the news we find interesting as fast as we’d like.

This article about the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC) by Alan Grieg, and Australian expert on the co-op world, and published in Pro Bono Australia is a clear example of that.  It’s also true that we don’t normally take five months between finding an article and reporting on it, but the thing is, 2020 has, so far, just been chock-full.  Proof of that is the fact that, by the time we finish June, we’ll have reached almost half a million hits.

We’ve collected many reports about the Basque co-op model in general and about Mondragón in particular.  And that’s logical, given the size and diversity of this group, making it a “case study” despite the tensions caused by the success of that model and the reality that accompanies it.

We’re sure Father José María Arizmendiarreta, when he started this co-op project following the most advanced techniques of the Church’s Social Doctrine, while at the same time sowing the roots of the “Basque communitarian” tradition, could never have imagined the success and the reach of his project, nor the global interest it would cause when it became a reality for Basque society.

We’ve also come across the question the article’s author asks about the possibility of “transplanting” that model to other societies, much like they wonder if successes like the transformation of Bilbao could also be exported.

We believe that while they can serve as role models, they cannot be copied or cloned.  Every society is different, and every society must learn from others, adapting “case studies” to their own characteristics, if possible.

Alan Greig, in his article, offers a description of that model, how it was developed, and what successes it has obtained.

Pro Bono Australia – 4/2/2020 – Australia

Building community wealth: Are Mondragon’s cooperative ideas transferable to Australia?

Much has been written about the phenomenal success that the Mondragon Cooperative Consortium (MCC) in Spain has been able to achieve in job creation, reducing inequality and the kind of social outcomes impact investors could only ever dream about here.

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