A year ago, Erica Swinney presented on MR’s history, fighting plant closures and using employee ownership as a succession strategy to keep manufacturing jobs in Chicago at the Union Co-op Symposium organized by the Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative. Erica was deeply honored to have the chance to speak with the Symposium’s keynote speaker, Armin Isasti, founder of Saiolan, a business incubator part of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation network. After her presentation, Mr. Isasti shared with her that he regarded MR’s work as “truly authentic.” We were again inspired by Mr. Isasti’s letter written to CUCI, recently posted on their website, sharing his reflections on a pathway forward building a more inclusive economy that works for all based on training and education systems, international solidarity networks, innovation and entrepreneurial alliances and the strengthening of cooperatively-owned enterprises. MR’s vision for economic development is highly inspired by the Mondragon experience, a 14 billion euro, multi-national business network based in the Basque Region of northern Spain. Like Mondragon and its leaders like Mr. Isasti, we’re starting small but thinking big.

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3411 W. Diversey Ave, Suite 10

Chicago, IL 60647


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