Co-operation recognised in Not the Nobel competition

Jessica Gordon Nembard, whose work includes a history of African American co-operation, was among the finalists

The Not the Nobel Prize – a new award to recognise alternative economic ideas – highlighted several co-operative figures.

The prize was created by charity Promoting Economic Pluralism, which argues that the Nobel Prize has been given to ideas which have led to ecological breakdown and financial crisis.

It was won by Mariana Mazzucato, professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London,“for reimagining the role of the state and value in economics”.

Prof Mazzucato has argued that the state has played a role in developing the technological innovations that underpin commercial products like the iPhone.

Among the finalists was political economist Jessica Gordon Nembhard, professor of community justice and social economic development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, City University of NY.

Her work includes study of community-based economic development, alternative urban development, co-op economics and worker ownership, racial and economic inequality, credit unions and community-based asset building.

In 2014, she published Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice based on 15 years of research, and she was inducted into the into the US Cooperative Hall of Fame in 2016.

Other finalists included economist Kate Raworth, whose ideas for a sustainable, people-friendly ‘doughnut economics’ has attracted the attention of the co-op movement.

Nominations for the prize, who did not make the final, include Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK and solidarity economy project Cooperation Jackson, which is working to create a model of co-op municipalism in Jackson, Mississippi.

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