MAN Core Principles

MUTUAL AID NETWORK CORE PRINCIPLES 

Adopted 5.15

1    Redesigning Work. MANs recognize that everyone possesses passions and skills which they can contribute to their communities and the larger MAN network and will work to find the highest uses to which those qualities and abilities can be put.
2    Reciprocity. Helping works better as a two-way street. “How can I help you?” becomes “How can we help each other build the world we both will live in?”
3    Respect. Every human being matters. Respect is a foundation for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and supplies the heart and soul of democracy.
4    Voluntary and Open Membership. MANs are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, sexual, racial, political or religious discrimination.
5    Democratic Member Control. MANs are democratic organizations with transparent governance structures controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Persons serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership.
6    Member Economic Participation. Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their MANs. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the MAN. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their MAN co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their contributions within their co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
7    Autonomy and Independence. MANs are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
8    Education, Training, and Information. MANs provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and workers so they can contribute effectively to the development of their MAN. The HUMANs will inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
9    Mutual Aid Among MANs. MANs serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by partnering with other MANs and organizations that have aligning principles.
10    Tracking and Performance Measures. In order to track their progress in meeting the goals of the MAN Core Principles, MANs will strive to measure and map their socioeconomic resources and needs, internalizing their “external” costs and benefits to the greatest extent possible.
11    Tools and Processes. MANs will work to utilize expanded definitions and metrics of capital, wealth, debt, growth, and profit to enable the full range of non-monetary elements of their economies to be understood and characterized using the best available tools, technologies, and techniques.
12    Building Community Sustainability. MANs will help build local, bioregional, and global economic systems based on material steady-state operating principles that recognize biophysical limits to growth, with the goal of achieving long-term sustainability – – not just seven, but seventy generations into the future.

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