Author Image


Living Together

Hansalim as a model for solidarity pathways towards sustainable food systems.

This 3 year research project is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action - Global Fellowship led by Dr Jonathan Dolley and supervised by the University of Sussex and the Mosim and Salim Research Institute, Hansalim (South Korea). Through this project I am investigating the story of the Korean cooperative, Hansalim, which grew from a small rice market on the outskirts of Seoul in 1986 to become one of the worlds largest organic food cooperatives with 750,000 members and producers. I want to find out what lessons their experience holds for other cooperative groups and movements in the UK and EU as we strive to transform our food systems away from industrialized models towards a fairer and more sustainable future.



Recent Posts


Year 1


Korean Language Learning and Research Design

Sep 2021 - Feb 2022

  • Intensive Korean language course.
  • Collaborative interview tool design with research partner Mosim.
  • Ethical approval process with University of Sussex.
  • Initial review of Hansalim’s own literature.
Literature review and interviews

Feb 2022 - Aug 2022

  • Reviewing literature on Korean cooperative movement.
  • Reviewing literature on Open Cooperatives and New Cooperativism.
  • Regular reading and discussion group with Mosim researchers.
  • Regular discussions with independent Korean researcher and collaboration on joint academic paper.
  • Interviews with members of consumer cooperatives.

Year 2


Interviews and writing

Sep 2022 - Dec 2022

  • Regular discussions with independent Korean researcher and collaboration on joint academic paper.
  • Interviews with employees of the Hansalim Federation.
  • Interviews with members of regional producer associations.
Case studies and paper writing

Jan 2023 - Jun 2023

  • Busan case study.
  • Jeju case study.
  • Academic writing.
  • Collecting personal narratives.
  • Book chapers 1 - 4.
  • Symposium planning.

Year 3


Europe Tour - networking with co-operative practitioners, activists and researchers

Aug 2023 - Nov 2023


Nov 2023 - Dec 2023

  • Writing academic papers and book chapters.
  • Planning Symposium.
Writing, seminars, visits

Jan 2024 - May 2024

  • Writing academic papers and book chapters.
  • Engaging with academics at Sussex University.
  • Visit coops in UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain.
Symposium & Gathering

Jun 2024 - Jun 2024

  • Two-day Gathering in Vienna providing an opportunity for members and representatives of Hansalim and Mosim reserachers to meet with academics and practitioners from the UK and Europe and to agree action on future collaboration.
  • One-day Symposium at SPRU, Univeristy of Sussex - ‘Solidarity Pathways to Transformative Food Systems’

Aug 2024 - Aug 2024

  • Concluding webinar.


Paper 1
Paper 1
Author March 2022 - Present

Hansalim in the context of the Korean cooperative movement from 1910 to 2020. Discussing the values and features of the movement in connection with contemporary developments in ‘New Cooperativism’.

Paper 2
Paper 2
Author March 2023 - Present

Exploring the opportunities and challenges encountered by Hansalim as an alternative food system. Analysing case studies of different food system configurations in Hansalim’s various regions (Greater Seoul, Busan, Jeju).

Author March 2023 - Present

A book about Hansalim for popular readership. Telling the story of Hansalim and featuring personal stories from co-op members. Analysis of Hansalim’s multi-stakeholder model as a potential pathway to sustainable food systems. Discussing connections between Hansalim’s eco-philosophy and ideas about wider social transformation.

Organiser June 2024

A one-day conference for academics and activists at SPRU, Univeristy of Sussex - ‘Solidarity Pathways to Transformative Food Systems’

Vienna Gathering
Vienna Gathering
Organiser June 2024

An opportunity for solidarity food communities across Europe to come together for a two-day workshop to build relationships, share knowledge and meet with Hansalim representatives and researchers to explore future collaboration.

Facilitator Beyond end of project

Initiate an EU-Korea network of solidarity food practitioners and researchers.

Publications by associated authors

The Hansalim Life Movement and New Cooperativism in South Korea

The concept of New Cooperativism (NC) marks a shift in thinking and practice among a growing number of academics and activists seeking to draw the global cooperative movement back to its roots in the values of mutual solidarity and resistance against oppression. Crucially, it moves the debate beyond economic arguments for cooperative models to introduce a more holistic perspective which explores the political, ecological, social and ethical implications of more inclusive forms of cooperation. Until now, however, the literature on NC has focused on its emergence in North America, Europe and South America since the 1970s. In this article I argue that the Hansalim Life Movement shares many of the values and characteristics of NC. Hansalim’s growth into a large multi-stakeholder federation of producer and consumer cooperatives gives them unique insights into the opportunities and challenges of implementing NC values in practice. To demonstrate the alignment of Hansalim with the emerging concept of NC I present a re-framing of NC across four dimensions which forms the basis of a brief outline of Hansalim’s values, structure and activities. I conclude with an agenda for re-assessing the Korean cooperative movement as a whole through the lens of these four dimensions of NC.

생명운동이 공통장에서 배울 수 있는 것들(Lessons from commons movement for life-movement)

The Dual Labor Structure of Consumer Cooperative and the Position of Women Activists

This study examines the position of female activists in Korea’s specific cooperative labor structure. The activist system of the cooperative combines activities and labor. The cooperative’s activists are employed in a contractual relationship with the organization, but autonomous activities are emphasized and are placed in a unique structure that is distinct from other employees. In the early days, activists and cooperatives formed friendly relationships, but cracks are occurring due to problems such as ambiguity and treatment of activities and labor. In particular, these problems were based on the gender issue that deviated from the mutual subject setting. Accordingly, the relationship between labor structure and gender was reviewed together.

The Role of Yeongdeungpo Industrial Development Credit Union and Economic Solidarity of Workers in 1960s to 1970s

The purpose of this study is to examine the development process of the Yeongdeungpo Industrial Development Credit Union(YIDCU), which was founded in 1969 and dissolved in 1978, and to reveal the role and meaning of the credit union to workers. Unlike previous studies focused on the labor movement of the Yeongdeungpo Urban Industrial Mission(YDP-UIM), this study focused on credit union in which the economic solidarity of workers was embodied. The majority of the YIDCU members were female workers working in the vicinity of Yeongdeungpo, Seoul. They joined the credit union while participating in the small group and labor movement leaders’ meetings of YDP-UIM, received cooperative education, worked as a committee, and participated in the operation of the cooperative. They sympathized with the cooperative value of ‘one for all and one for all’ and tried to solve the economic problems of their colleagues together by collecting their own small money through the credit union. In August 1969, the credit union, which started as a small number of members, grew to about 1,000 members and assets of KRW 46 million just before dissolution. Workers participated in worker cooperative, housing associations, and consumer cooperative centered on credit union, and played an active role in the cooperative movement as well as the labor movement.

The Establishment and Spread of Hamchang Cooperative in Gyeongsangbuk-do under Japanese Colonial Rule

This study has analyzed the pattern of cooperatives that spread around Gyeongsangbuk-do from 1927 to the early 1930s and the characteristics of the Hamchang Cooperative at the center. Gyeongsangbuk-do was an area that witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of consumer cooperatives during the period from 1927 to the early 1930s, and at the center was the Hamchang Cooperative. Founded in January 1927, the Hamchang Cooperative emphasized the principle of cooperatives, stipulating restrictions on investment to prevent the abuse of the propertied persons, and promoting democratic operation among the members. In addition, it promoted operations tailored to regional situations, such as investment policies in consideration of the poor, encouraging grain savings, supporting the operation of local night schools, and providing grain at a production cost during the spring austerity season through a reserve fund for loss compensation. Through this, it is possible to examine the combination of the method of operating democratic cooperatives in Europe and the culture of economic solidarity in Korea. The Hamchang Cooperative Model spread around Gyeongsangbuk-do until the early 1930s, and it was widely known across the nation, being boosted by a nationwide lecturing tour planned by the cooperative movement organization. Since 1927, the cooperative principle emphasized by the Hamchang Cooperative has continued to function as an important code of conduct in Korea.

숙의민주주의 딜레마와 한살림 민주주의 (Dilemma of deliberative democracy and Hansalim democracy)

Characteristics of the Development of Korean Co-operatives under Japanese Colonial Rule - Comparing the Introduction Paths of Korean and Japanese Co-operatives

This study compares the paths of co-operatives in Japan and Korea from the late 1870s to the early 1930s and examines the characteristics of the development of co-operatives in Korea under Japan. After the Meiji Restoration, Japan endeavoured to build a nation modelled on the West, and in the process, enacted the Industrial Union Law with reference to the German Co-operative Law in order to increase rural production and alleviate poverty. In the process of introducing Japanese industrial unions (laws) into Korea, their autonomy and mutual assistance were stripped away and transformed into financial and industrial unions that were easy to colonise. In the early 1900s, co-operatives were introduced to Korea with a narrow concept based on Japanese industrial unions, but after the mid-1920s, intellectuals who had experienced Japan and Europe developed a critical view of the colonial government’s co-operative policy. These intellectuals emphasised the co-operative principle by establishing co-operatives as voluntary organisations rather than corporations, aiming for self-reliant economic organisations as well as purchasing organisations for Koreans, rather than following the orders issued by the Colonial Governor General. This study examines this process and goes beyond a simple critique of co-operatives controlled by the Colonial Governor General to capture the multi-layered background of the Korean people’s experience and understanding of co-operatives from a comparative historical perspective.

Analysing trade-offs and synergies between SDGs for urban development, food security and poverty alleviation in rapidly changing peri-urban areas
Sustainability Science 1 November 2020

In this paper, we draw on a reinterpretation of empirical data concerned with land-use change and multiple dimensions of food security from the city of Wuhan in China to illustrate some of the complex trade-offs between SDG goals that tend to be overlooked with current planning approaches. We then describe the development of an interactive web-based tool that implements deep learning methods for fine-grained land-use classification of high-resolution remote sensing imagery and integrates this with a flexible method for rapid trade-off analysis of land-use change scenarios. The development and potential use of the tool are illustrated using data from the Wuhan case study example. This tool has the potential to support participatory planning processes by providing a platform for multiple stakeholders to explore the implications of planning decisions and land-use policies.

A Case Study of Transformative Expansive Learning of Zero-Energy House Residents

Zero-energy building technology is considered as a sustainable housing technology responding to the climate crisis. However, discussion and researches have been rarely conducted on the role of citizens and learning in the discourse of technology determinism and expertism. This study explored how citizens learn and produce their lay knowledge through a qualitative case study on residents of a zero energy housing complex, called A-house. Findings revealed that residents were opposed to one-sided transmissive education. Expansive learning emerged as residents tried to reveal and solve the ‘problems’ they had faced. They had different perspectives and interests from experts about technology, and produced unique lay knowledge. However, their efforts were limited in that they had difficulty achieving changes and forming a greater vision. This study suggests that transition to a sustainable social system requires transformative learning approach in which diverse perspectives on knowledge and citizens’ active participation are premised.

기후위기를 살아내기 함께, 즐겁게, 창조하며 (Living climate-crisis era: together, happily, creatively)

한국현대사와 국가폭력 (Korean Contemporary History and State Violence)

Transformative innovation in peri-urban Asia
Research Policy 1 May 2019

This paper draws on two case studies from India (Ghaziabad) and China (Wuhan) to discuss how and why rapidly urbanizing contexts are particularly challenging for transformative innovation but are also critical sustainability frontiers and learning environments.

International Exchange and Solidarity Activities of Korean Cooperatives

The Need for Citizen Participation in Energy Transition: A Case of Zero Energy Housing Complex

Social interest in Zero Energy Buildings(ZEBs) is increasing for energy saving through building energy efficiency improvement. Accordingly, zero-energy housing complexes were built with policy support, in which residents live, and whose performance are being monitored. However, researches on ZEBs have been conducted only focusing on their technical aspect, but there has been few researches integrating social aspects with residents’ responses and interactions. The purpose of this paper is to explore how zero energy housing works in reality and how citizens interact with the technology, through a qualitative case study on A housing complex. As a result, problems such as defects and unexpected energy use have been revealed, contrary to public expectations and publicity. In particular, management and operation based on expertism and bureaucracy caused conflict with residents’ desire for democratic decision-making and participation. This study suggests the need for citizens as technology users to actively participate in technological innovation, in the journey of energy transition toward a sustainable society and system.

The Inflow and Differentiation of Danish Folkehøjskole in Korea and Japan from 1920s to 1930s

The purpose of this study is to examine the process of influence of Danish folkehøjskole in Korea and Japan during the early 20th century. Danish folkehøjskole is currently translated into ‘Folk High School’, which was translated into ‘國民高等學校 (National high school) in Japan in the early 1910s and flowed into Korea. In the late 19th century, Denmark succeeded in rebuilding the country as an agricultural country, providing a solution to each country seeking to resolve industrialization and rural issues. In order to find out the solution of the urban and rural imbalance caused by the agrarian disputes and industrialization in Japan, the Folkehøjskole concept was introduced along with interest in the Danish cooperative model as well as the introduction of the German industrial cooperative Act. In Korea during the Japanese colonial period, intellectuals were interested in the rural reconstruction model of Denmark around 1920, and Denmark was introduced as an image of ‘a paradise for farmers’. In addition, after the mid-1920s, intellectuals and Christian activists visited Denmark, and Danish style farmer school and a cooperative were established in Korean rural areas. On the other hand, the nonchurch movement from Korea and Japan focused on the idea that Grundtvig, the Christian thought and the foundation for the establishment of folkehøjskole, rather than the function of the folkehøjskole.

Transdisciplinary research as transformative space making for sustainability
Ecology and Society 1 October 2018

Enhancing propoor transformative agency in Periurban contexts. In this paper we discuss how transdisciplinary development research (TDR), if approached in particular ways, can not only produce new knowledge, but also foster deeper systemic changes in the knowledge system itself. We are concerned with systemic change that supports pro-poor sustainability transformations, and conceptualise the processes that contribute to this type of systemic change as ’transformative space making’ (TSM).

Ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in urbanising contexts (book chapter)

Processes of urbanisation are implicated in worsening environmental degradationand poverty, while at the same time cities often drive growth and innovation. Essential connections between people and the environment are often obscured inthe drive for economic growth, infrastructural development and mainstreaminitiatives for clean and green urban centres. As in rural contexts, urban and peri-urban ecosystem services have critical roles to play in underpinning sustainable development, and will be key to building ‘resilient’ towns and cities.

Application of Locality in the Case of 'Workshop for Development of Locally-Specific Energy Education Programs'

‘Energy education as a new way of life’ is likely to be realized in local communities. If we provide energy education in consideration of the unique context of the local community, we can form learner’s sense of place and deal with real-life problems. However, the contents of energy education, which are implemented in some villages, do not tend to reflect local contexts or learners’ everyday lives. The purpose of this study is to explore how locality can be achieved in environmental education programs.

The future I started, Hanslim. (Interview with Korean social innovators)

Learning of Ecological Citizenship through the Process of Energy Transition Movements: Based on a Qualitative Case Study on an Energy Self-sufficient Village in Gwanak-gu, Seoul

The Energy Self-Sufficient Village (ESSV) movement, which relies heavily on voluntary resident participation, is a local response to climate change and the energy crisis in South Korea. This study aims to explore why participants get involved in the ESSV movement and how they have changed and grown through their ESSV experience, and to understand these findings from an ’ecological citizenship’ perspective. The findings of this study ― which reveal behavioral and attitudinal changes experienced by adult participants with average levels of education and environmental awareness ― can inform strategies for expanding energy transition movements to reach the greater public.

Long-term mental health problems of torture survivors and their families in Korea

학생운동의 시대 (The Age of the Student Movement)