In the second episode of the series on worker cooperatives, the Upstream podcast builds on the conversation that started in episode one, which explored how cooperatives can serve as a force to widen the spheres of democracy in our society. The second episode shifts the focus outward, exploring how cooperatives confront global capitalism. 

This episode takes a deep dive into the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, the largest network of federated cooperatives in the world. Upstream takes listeners on a journey through the Basque region of Spain where Mondragon is located, and explores Mondragon's successes and challenges through candid conversations with several worker-members at Mondragon headquarters and at various cooperatives within the federation.

After presenting an in-depth exploration of the recent and mixed history of Mondragon, Upstream travels across the Atlantic to Jackson, Mississippi, where an ambitious initiative is just getting underway. Cooperation Jackson is part of the same trans-local organizing movement that inspired Cooperation Richmond, which was featured in episode one. Cooperation Jackson aims to be the Mondragon of North America.


  • Kali Akuno — Co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson
  • Gorka Espiau —Senior Fellow at the Agirre Lehendakaria Center at the University of the Basque Country
  • Sam Gindin — Writer, director of research at the Canadian Auto Workers (retired) Professor of Political Science at York University (retired)
  • Ander Exteberria — Cooperative dissemination at Mondragon Corporation
  • Izaksun Ezpeleta — Worker/member at Fagor Electronics
  • Andoni — Worker/member at Fagor Ederland

Music by:

  • Chris Zabriskie
  • Will Stratton
  • Mississippi Sheiks

Listen to the first of this two-part series here

Upstream is an interview and documentary series that invites you to unlearn everything you thought you knew about economics. Weaving together interviews, field-recordings, rich sound-design, and great music, each episode of Upstream will take you on a journey exploring a theme or story within the broad world of economics. So tune in, because the revolution will be podcasted.

For more from Upstream, subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher Radio. You can also follow Upstream on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get daily updates.

Header graphic by Phil Wrigglesworth



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Upstream is a radio documentary series offering episodes that explore a wide variety of themes pertaining to our 21st century economy. Episodes range from Craft Beer to Universal Basic Income,