Multi-Stakeholder Cooperatives

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Description

1. Margaret Lund:

"Multi-stakeholder cooperatives are co-ops that formally allow for governance by representatives of two or more “stakeholder” groups within the same organization, including consumers, producers, workers, volunteers or general community supporters. Rather than being organized around a single class of members the way that most cooperatives are, multi-stakeholder cooperatives enjoy a heterogeneous membership base. The common mission that is the central organizing principle of a multi-stakeholder cooperative is also generally broader than the kind of mission statement needed to capture the interests and benefits of only a single stakeholder group, and will often reflect the interdependence of interests of each stakeholder group in its articulation." (http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Cooperatives/Multi-Stakeholder_Co-ops/Multistakeholder_Cooperatives-Lund.pdf)


2. Josef Davies-Coates:

"Rather than being organised around a single class of members the way that most co-operatives are, a multi-stakeholder co-operative is any co-op that draws its membership from two or more different classes of stakeholders. After two decades of local experimentation, Italy was the first country to adopt a multi-stakeholder statute in 1991. Over 14,000 ‘social co-ops’ now exist across Italy and provide social care, health and educational services to over 5 million people. In Quebec, home to one of the most productive and vibrant co-operative development sectors in the world, multi-stakeholder co-ops are now the fastest growing type of co-op, with more than 50% of all new co-ops opting to register what they refer to as ‘Solidarity Coops.’ The movement is just getting here in the UK, but there are now over 20 multi-stakeholder co-ops who have incorporated using the Somerset Rules." (http://stirtoaction.com/open-co-ops-inspiration-legal-structures-and-tools/)


Status

Margaret Lund:

"Multi-stakeholder cooperatives are the fastest growing type of co-op in Quebec, which itself is home to one of the most productive and vibrant cooperative development areas in the world. There is also evidence of the increased use of this model in many European countries and growing interest in this form of co-op in the United States as well. While it is only in the last 20 years that this model has had formal legal recognition in various national or regional laws, the idea of involving a broader community in a cooperative venture is of course much older than that. Italy was the first country to adopt a multi-stakeholder statute in 1991 after two decades of experimentation on a local level." (http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Cooperatives/Multi-Stakeholder_Co-ops/Multistakeholder_Cooperatives-Lund.pdf)



More Information

see also:

  1. Multi-Stakeholder Cooperatives Manual
  2. Solidarity Cooperatives
  3. Somerset Rules
  • Leviten-Reid, C and Fairbairn, B. (2011) “Multi-stakeholder Governance in Co-operative

Organizations: Towards a new Framework for Research”. Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, fall, 2011 (forthcoming).