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 and Founding Director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation.


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 Street Performer based in Barcelona


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