Laura Schlachter

Laura Hanson Schlachter

Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chapter Member: Wisconsin SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Laura

Schlachter asks sociological questions about how to make our economy more inclusive and move our society to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis. Her mixed-methods research examines the relationship between resistance and building in movements for economic democracy and climate justice. Schlachter has been active with Madison-area nonprofits working on economic equity, climate justice, and elections integrity in a volunteer capacity since 2013, including a term as co-coordinator of 350 Madison from 2014-16. Her research has been generously funded by the National Science Foundation and the AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation.


In the News

Laura Hanson Schlachter quoted by Diane Graff, "Dane County Committee Considers Performance Bond for Pipeline" The Courier, November 19, 2014.
Laura Hanson Schlachter quoted on fossil fuel divestment by Galen Druke, "Wisconsinites Join World’s Largest-Ever Climate March in New York Last Weekend" Wisconsin Public Radio Central Time, September 22, 2014.
Laura Hanson Schlachter quoted on the People’s Climate March by Andrew Freedman, "Sunday’s Climate Protest Could Be a Turning Point on Global Warming" Mashable, September 19, 2014.


"White Paper: Preliminary Analysis of the Worker Co-op Census Data," The Democracy at Work Institute, November 1, 2017.

Summarizes key findings from preliminary analysis of the first national, individual-level survey of cooperative employees and worker-owners. Includes 1,147 individuals from 82 worker cooperatives across the United States who participated in a survey fielded in spring 2017.

"Stronger Together? The USW-Mondragon Union Co-op Model" Labor Studies Journal 42, no. 2 (2017): 124-147.

Synthesizes six possibilities and dilemmas of union involvement in worker cooperative formation and argue that these considerations should structure the future debate.

"Madison Cooperative Development Coalition Milestone Reflections: City of Madison Grant Writing Process," University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, August 2016.

Examines the political context surrounding the launch of the Madison Cooperative Enterprise Development Program, a $3 million municipal business incubation initiative for low-wage workers and communities of color.  This report is based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted September 2015 to July 2016.

"Social Entrepreneurship and Civic Ties in the Economy of Compassion," Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, June 25, 2016.

Argues that social enterprise incubators play a critical gatekeeping role in the social economy and shape how movement goals are enacted in the market.  Draws on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted June 2014 to April 2016.

"Working and Rebuilding Together: Worker Cooperatives as an Economic Development Tool ," (with Stephanie Durden, Maggie Haight, Kimberly Harris, Francisco Perez, Daniel Sanchez, Sarah Ray, and Laura Tatun), Woodrow Wilson School Graduate Policy Workshop, January 2013.

Examines the potential of worker cooperatives as an economic development strategy in Memphis, Tennessee.  Drafted in collaboration with Advance Memphis and based on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and document analysis conducted September to December 2012.

"The USW-Mondragon Union Co-op Model: Creating an Economy that Works for All?," Louis O. Kelso Workshop, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations Beyster Fellowship Program, January 2013.

Analyzes the possibilities and dilemmas of union involvement in democratic worker-owned firms through a case study of a union co-op initiative in Cincinnati, OH conducted November 2013 to April 2016.