The Co-op Difference

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.


 
 

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Why study the Co-operative Movement? What is a co-op and how is it different from other business models? What were the historical conditions that gave rise to the Co-operative Movement and how do they compare with our own times? What relevance does co-operative enterprise have to contemporary economic challenges such as globalization, social inequality and climate change? These are some of the questions posed by this course offered by the Economics Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and presented by NFCA Executive Director Erbin Crowell. This is an overview of the slides from the first week of the course.
 
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The Co-operative Difference in Challenging Times: Why Co-operatives Matter

How is the co-operative model resilient in times of change, conflict and transition? This presentation gives an overview of how the co-operative difference can deliver success and make the world a better place. Over the past forty years, J. Tom Webb has been a co-operative board member, senior manager, consultant and educator. He is a co-founder of the Co-operative Management Education program at Saint Mary’s University (mmccu.coop), the co-editor of a book on co-operative economics and author of numerous papers and articles on co-operative business.

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An orientation on the co-op model and the larger co-operative movement for food co-op staff, board members, member-owners, and organizers of food co-ops.  For a customizeable version of this presentation (with notes) to share the story of your co-op and how it ties to the wider regional, national, and global social and economic impact of the co-operative movement, email: info@nfca.coop.

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Humanizing the Economy with John Restakis

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.

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Multistakeholder Co-operation

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.

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