Aprender a aprender, aprender a ser – Ibarretxe

At The Young Foundation our passion, and what drives us, is fighting inequality. We do this through research, work with communities and scaling up social innovations. Social innovation was another way of naming what both the Young Foundation and m o n d r a g o n have been doing since the mid 1950’s.

It has been a great honour to have produced ‘Humanity at Work’, a reflection on how MONDRAGON, the world’s largest worker-led Co-Operative represents a highly successful social innovation ecosystem. We are very grateful to MONDRAGON for allowing us to do this. Michael Young, our founder, would have been thrilled with this opportunity because he was a great admirer of MONDRAGON.

During the work we have brought together two of our key expertise sets: our work in social innovation and our work in ethnography to identify the importance of social value and practices in social innovation, often ignored.

These are things which are “every day” and look normal in MONDRAGON but to an international audience are markedly egalitarian: the relevance of values in strategic decisions, the principles of democracy and internal solidarity, the mechanisms and instruments of inter co-operation, the participation in innovative processes.

This case study shows that is possible to endogenously build more balanced, fair, inclusive and sustainable development models.

Working with MONDRAGON has been inspiring, exciting and has filled us with hope that this model can play a key role in building a better world and fighting inequality. It’s time to seize this moment and look to building on this roadmap for social change across the UK and beyond.