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New From the Makers of SHIFT CHANGE – Weconomics: Italy

February 29, 20160 Comments

The Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The capital, Bologna is an industrial powerhouse, where prosperity is widely shared, and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in the provision of government services. WEconomics: Italy is a new, 19-minute report about what a more cooperative economy and society have to offer.

The first of a series about more sustainable and just economies, WEconomics: Italy is available now from Bullfrog Films.



WEconomics – preview of a new film from the makers of SHIFT CHANGE from Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin on Vimeo.



“Fabulous! I can’t overstate the importance of this film right now! There’s a democratic form of enterprise that works because it’s aligned with the human need for connection, meaning and agency. The film beautifully captures the power of cooperatives in a world in desperate need of hope–not pie in the sky but evidence-based hope. May it be viewed worldwide, fueling the cooperative movement.”

Frances Moore Lappé, Co-Founder, Small Planet Institute, Author, Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind


“Is this the occupy movement? No, it’s Northern Italy’s answer to corporate rapacity and state indifference-an ecologically conscious cooperative movement that provides elder and child care, manufacturing, retail sales and more and is sufficiently stable, flexible and resilient to bring prosperity and security to all. This is democracy in action. Bring it to your students with this film; practice it in your classroom. All will benefit.”

Paul Durrenberger, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, Author, The Anthropology of Labor Unions


“Advocates for a more community based economy here in the US have much to learn from Italy’s Emilia Romagna region, where decades of sophisticated cooperative development and policymaking have helped turn one of the poorest parts of the country into one of its most economically prosperous, and have produced innovative new models for aligning economic activity and social service delivery with human and communitarian values. WEconomics: Italy takes us into the democratic workplaces at the heart of this historical trajectory, illuminating the dense networks of solidarity and the deep processes of cultural change behind Emilia Romagna’s vibrant cooperative ecosystem.”

Gar Alperovitz, Co-founder, The Democracy Collaborative, Co-chair, The Next System Project


“A powerful film demonstrating that mainstream economists have gotten it wrong. WEconomics: Italy shows how Bologna’s cooperatives are producing an alternative economy that puts people, ecological issues, and the social fabric of society at the forefront, and still survive in the difficult economic times that we live in! The film is an absolute must-see for anyone, anywhere interested in alternatives that are both progressive and successful!”

Michelle Williams, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand


WEconomics: Italy shows vividly how cooperatives can be woven into the fabric of an entire region–in this case Emilia-Romagna in Italy. The film offers living examples of how social entrepreneurship, cross-sector partnerships, and, above all, democratic workplaces can strengthen communities and transform how we do business. This short documentary gives us a glimpse into how we can move cooperatives from the relative margins of our economy here in the U.S. to the central place they deserve.”

George Cheney, Professor of Communication Studies, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Author, Values at Work


WEconomics: Italy expands the discussion of cooperatives as a structure for producing and distributing goods to a model for providing needed, desperately needed, social services…This film is positive, upbeat, and offers ample opportunity to introduce cooperatives to students.”

Karen McCormack, Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Sociology, Wheaton College

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