Because cooperatives have the power to change the world, one economy and one community at a time, the folks over at the TESA Collective have gathered up into a study guide all sorts of helpful resources, from board games to user manuals. All of them were developed to help everyone "understand what a cooperative is, how to practice cooperation, and the power of the cooperative movement."

Here's a sampling of what the guide encompasses:

What is a Co-op?: Essentially Co-ops for Dummies, this short booklet paints with broad, basic strokes to give an overview of the movement and model.

Cultivate.Coop: A free, online repository for all things cooperative, this wiki allows for deeper dives into a multitude of topics. 

Co-opoly: The Game of CooperativesThis board game turns the iconic Monopoly game on its head and makes for a wonderful (and fun!) learning tool.

For All the People: For the history buffs among us, this book by John Curl traces the tradition of cooperatives in the United States back to the movement’s origins while also looking at its future.

Building Cooperative Power: This study of cooperatives in the Connecticut River Valley region offers replicable insights and case studies that other parts of the country can learn from.

Collective Courage: A History of African-American Economic Thought and Practice: In this book, author Jessica Gordon Nembhard digs into the huge role economic cooperation played in the Civil Rights movement. 

Own the Change: A short, free documentary created in conjunction the Laura Flanders Show, Own the Change delves into what a worker cooperative is and how to get one going.

Worker Cooperative Startup Guides

In Good Company: The Guide To Cooperative Employee Ownership is a free, in-depth overview of worker cooperatives created by the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation.

Think Outside the Boss: How to Create a Worker-Owned Enterprise is a manual written in 2013 by the Sustainable Economies Law Center.

Steps to Starting a Worker Cooperative is from 1997, so the information may be somewhat out of date, but it is available in both English and Spanish, and was created by the California Center for Cooperative Development.

Working and Rebuilding Together: Worker Cooperatives as an Economic Development Tool is a report created by the Woodrow Wilson of Public and International Affairs at Princeton to analyze a wide swath of case studies and offer up a good bunch of resources.

There's more where all that came from so, if you're interested in getting your co-op on, check out the full guide.

Kelly McCartney


Kelly McCartney |

Having won prestigious literary competitions in both grade school and junior high, I attended college with a Scripps Howard Foundation scholarship, earned a BA in Journalism, and interned at Entertainment

Things I share: I seek. I write. I think. I roam. I listen. I care. I wonder. I help. I flirt. I try. I dream. I grow.