What makes co-ops different than conventional business models? Co-operatives offer a powerful economic model that put people before profit, meet their community’s’ needs, and reconnect social goals with economic practice. These presentations explore the co-op business model and how its structure of member-ownership is helping shift our economy from one based on short-term profits to one based on serving human needs.
- Humanizing the Economy with John Restakis, Slow Living Summit, Brattleboro, VT, May 2012.
- Multistakeholder Co-operation, Vermont Cooperative Summit, Burlington, VT, October 2011.
John Restakis, executive director of the British Columbia Co-operative Association and author of “Humanizing the Economy: Co-operatives in the Age of Capital,” asserts that it is the disconnection between conventional economics and social ends that lies at the heart of our economic crisis, and that co-operatives offer a powerful economic model to reconnect and relate social goals with economic practice.
There is an inevitable tension in co-operatives between the interests of stakeholders: consumers, workers and producers. A multi-stakeholder structure can address this tension by giving all member types a place at the boardroom table and a share of patronage, leading to a more satisfactory discussion and resolution of issues.