Professor Wolff, Your D@W site is helping me to learn a lot more about worker co-ops, something that I have been interested in ever since seeing you on a Q & A panel supporting the release of the book that you were involved with “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA”. I’m hoping that you would be able to lend me your thoughts on something that isn’t really covered on the site. I’m a Data Science major (undergrad at this point) in the University of Michigan, minoring in the study of “complex systems”, and hoping to apply these skills to modeling (I mean computer modeling, of course – my job prospects in other kinds of modeling would be serious cause for concern). I’m interested in how models can be used to promote outcomes related to social justice. As for what specific outcomes, and what scale I want to focus on, well, I’m still trying to figure that out. I believe, though, that cooperative enterprise is something that would promote social justice in many ways; greater economic stability in communities, less poverty, less racism/classism/etc, even improved health outcomes. I’m sure there are more. Anyways, this leads to my question… In what ways would someone like me be able to get involved? In supporting co-ops, encouraging the adoption of co-op structure, advocating for more favorable legal environments for co-ops – whatever. I would like to use the skills that I am developing in school (agent-based modeling, analysis of large data sets, mapping system dynamics, etc) but other than that I am pretty open. If you have any ideas, or directions in which I could do further research, I would truly appreciate hearing about them. Thank you so much for your time, Professor!
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