As one of the PIGS, the four (or six) European countries whose dysfunctional economies are much in the news these days, Spain is perhaps not the place you would expect to find a thriving economic enterprise. But one such enterprise is in fact flourishing, weathering the financial storm quite nicely. I refer to the Mondragon Corporation, the world's largest co-operative. Although it suffered from the recession, it bounced back nicely in 2010 with a profit of $240-million, triple that of 2009. It also added jobs and new products and services.
In a world where corporations are increasing their power over democratically-elected governments and the disparity between rich and poor worsens, Mondragon offers a highly successful alternative to the conventional competitive enterprise. It offers a model that is competitive yet advances both democracy and equity. For a future that demands much more co-operation among people and among nations if we are to avoid economic and environmental collapse, there is no better model available.