Together with my co-authors, we are very honoured to have received the 2023 Joyce Rothschild Book Prize! Thank you to the Joyce Rothschild Book Prize organizers, the selection committee, and to everyone at the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University. And thank you especially to the reviewers for your time and care.
Acceptance speech by George Cheney and Marcelo Vieta, prize accepted by Marcelo Vieta on behalf of the authors (Kelso Fellowships Workshop, Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University, January 13, 2024)
--Thank you to the Joyce Rothschild Book Prize organizers, the selection committee, and to everyone at the Institute [for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing]. And thank you especially to the reviewers for your time and care.
--We are honoured and humbled by this recognition.
--The book was truly a cooperative enterprise, collectively written with evolving co-author roles as well as a developing book structure that was adapted according to what we learned along the way. Consisting of three academics and three co-op practitioners, the co-authors are myself (Marcelo Vieta), George Cheney, Matt Noyes, Emi Do, Joseba Azkarraga, and Charlie Michel.
--We consider the project to be part of a long stream of description, analysis, critique, and practice—not only about worker co-ops but also about related democratic enterprises, organizations, and movements.
--We benefited from rich conversations with cooperators around the world—over 100 interviews conducted virtually between 2019-2022. We are grateful to all who contributed their time and insights; we are still learning about other cases and sources of inspiration.
In those interviews, we also asked and learned more about how worker co-ops are parts of much larger networks and webs of relationships, and how they can be central for the transition to a more just and caring economy.
--In our book, we have tried to build on the rich transdisciplinary literature on worker co-ops and related projects while trying to move the discussion a bit further on topics such as democracy, innovation, community, ecology and education—the thematic headings of the chapters. Because of space limitations, we could only offer profiles of many models and cases, with the hope of these leading to further conversations and explorations.
--We deliberately ended the book with a question, inviting your reflections, probes, extensions, … and insights from your experiences and your own points of inspiration.
--As one of our interviewees put it, applied research along these lines can help highlight and create "spaces of hope."
--We look forward to reading the other nominated books and to engaging in continued conversations about the state of our knowledge on employee ownership, worker power, and shared equity.
--Thank you again, from all six of us.