Jessica Gordon-Nembhard is a leading economist studying co-operatives. In fact she effectively invented this economic research agenda in the US.
She was brought up by social activists who discussed Marx over the kitchen table. And came to economics with a clear reform mission. She also knew where to study: the leading US centre for heterodox economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
In spite of that, she only discovered cooperatives by accident through her later interest in community development. Co-operatives were not considered a subject for economic study. She was also told cooperatives were for white hippies not black activists.
The Mint met up with Gordon-Nembhard at the ASSA 2020 conference in San Diego to find out more about her path of discovery, how she reclaimed co-operatives for African Americans and what she learnt about effective co-operation.