About the Show

Social change and systems change go hand-in-hand. Movements for democracy and human rights are most effective when they aim to transform unjust, unequitable economic systems. In this episode, Laura travels to Spain to learn how people in two of the regions most brutally repressed under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco built the world’s largest worker-owned co-ops. From the Basque Country to Barcelona, she speaks with co-op members who explain how cooperation and humanist models of business helped their parents and grandparents survive dictatorship. She also explores how these models are transforming under contemporary circumstances, including the emergence of digital platforms, the renewal of the regional independence movements, and the growth of the Spanish right wing.

“…As a journalist, I’ve seen again and again that social movements are most effective when they give people not just the permission, but the means to transform their reality. In the summer of 2019, I came to Spain to learn how two have the regions most brutally repressed, under the 36-year-dictatorship of Francisco Franco, built the world’s largest worker-owned co-ops.”–Laura Flanders

In This Episode

  • Mikel Lezamiz, Former Director, Cooperative Dissemination, Mondragon Cooperative Corporation.
  • Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO of Beneficial State Bank 
  • Aitor Lagoma, Designer, Goiena Media Cooperative.
  • Marjorie Kelly, Senior Fellow and Executive Vice President of The Democracy Collaborative; author, with Ted Howard, of The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few.
  • Loren Harris, Chief Program and Strategy Officer for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation
  • Ivan Miró, Historian, sociologist, co-founder of La Ciutat Invisible, Barcelona.
  • Guernica Facundo Vericat, Coordinator, LabCoop, a social economy coop incubator in Barcelona.
  • Mayo Fuster Morrell, Director of Research, IN3, Open University of Catalonia
  • Ernest Maragall, Politician and economist, former mayoral candidate for Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), the Republican Left of Catalonia
  • Joan Subirats, Co-founder and spokesperson of the citizen platform Barcelona En Comú, the party currently governing the city of Barcelona.
  • Ababacar Thiakh and Fatou MBaye, Coordinators and co-founders of Diom Coop, a cooperative business owned and operated by migrant workers in Barcelona.
  • Elias Niang, Musician and composer, born in Senegal, lives in Barcelona.


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