April 30, 2012 § 4 Comments
Last year, we introduced you to Sweet Water Organics, a hybrid company (read: for-profit and non-profit) that is trying to develop a viable urban farm using aquaponics. They’re one of the first aquaponic farms in the country, drawing inspiration from operations like Growing Power. Recently, Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an article about Sweet Water that reads like a bullet-point list of charges against the company.
April 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
In one of our first guest writer features, we bring you James Godsil, the co-founder of Sweet Water Organics, on how Milwaukee became an incubator for the nearing sustainable cities revolution.
April 2, 2012 § 1 Comment
Last year, we introduced you to the Riverwest Public House Cooperative, the nation’s second-ever cooperative bar (the first is a brewpub called Black Star in Austin, TX). The Public House is a little bar with a big idea: to use the excess revenue (read: profit) from the bar as an economic engine to start more co-ops in the Riverwest neighborhood.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the Public House turned 1 year old. At the commencement of an enormous party to celebrate, founder Gibson Caldwell announced that a group comprised of Public House founders and other cooperators in the neighborhood (Riverwest Investment Co-op, Riverwest Co-op & Cafe) had recently sent in their articles of incorporation for the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance (RCA). This, he said, was a huge step forward and after only a year in business as the Public House, the initial idea was picking up steam.
February 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Here at MSCS we are big supporters and promoters of cooperatively owned businesses. From grass root cooperatives like the Riverwest Co-op in Milwaukee to institutionally financed cooperatives like the Evergreen Co-op in Cleveland we don’t discriminate based on scale. What we are drawn to is the embrace of democratic principles, equity of labor and the idea that businesses can create communities. 2012 just so happens to be the United Nations ‘Year of the Cooperative’ and I wanted to share with you an excerpt from an article discussing this very phenomena, as well as encourage you to read up on cooperatives as well.
Think you know what big business looks like? Think again. According to Charles Gould, Director-General of the International Cooperative Alliance, cooperatives are poised to be the fastest growing business model by 2020.
Values-based, community-supported and member-controlled, modern cooperatives have grown steadily since their inception in the late 1800s. Today, the top 300 cooperatives, or Global 300, generate as much revenue as the world’s ninth largest economy, or the economy of Spain. Meanwhile, new research shows that cooperatives worldwide have three times as many members as traditional businesses have shareholders — and provide 20% more jobs.
The United Nations has recognized 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperative. The honor is due in part to the efforts of International Cooperative Association (ICA), a multinational advocacy and development group that represents cooperatives in all parts of the world.
In honor of the International Year, the ICA has embarked on a massive campaign designed to raise awareness of cooperatives and promote their development around the world. That includes the formation of the Global Development Cooperative: a $50 million fund that will finance cooperative development in rural areas.
June 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The environmental blog Grist recently posted a listing of the best/worst suited US cities for climate change. We were entirely unsurprised to hear that the very best-suited cities are the very same cities prominently featured on this humble blog: Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Chicago. Why? Says Grist, “Because they have a sustainable water supply (in four of the cities, the Great Lakes); their heat stress rankings are relatively low; and they are less vulnerable to natural disasters that will be exacerbated by climate change, such as floods, landslides, and wildfires.”
April 17, 2011 § Leave a Comment
In 2009, the Harvard economist Richard Florida wrote a piece for The Atlantic called “How the Crash Will Reshape America.”.” In it, he preaches a brand of economic determinism wherein “creative class” cities stand to recover from the current recession–and Rust Belt and Sun Belt cities don’t.
We foresee–and are dedicated to working towards–different fate.
April 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
James Godsil, Co-founder of Sweet Water on transformation in action…