Difference between revisions of "Category:Cooperatives"

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* '''[[Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy]]'''. by Michael Lewis & Pat Conaty ; The Resilience Imperative is a key book integrating a vision of cooperatives in a broad social economy consisting of commons, solidarity economics, the principle of resilience, etc ..
* '''[[Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy]]'''. by Michael Lewis & Pat Conaty ; The Resilience Imperative is a key book integrating a vision of cooperatives in a broad social economy consisting of commons, solidarity economics, the principle of resilience, etc ..
* [[Ours to Hack and to Own]]. Ed. by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider, fall 2016: contributions on creating [[Platform Cooperatives]].
* '''Johnston Birchall, The Co-op: the People's Business''': "For a full picture of the twists and turns of the history of the Co-op movement in the UK from the 1770s and right up to the mid-1990s with some earlier links to Ireland (before independence)"
* '''Johnston Birchall, The Co-op: the People's Business''': "For a full picture of the twists and turns of the history of the Co-op movement in the UK from the 1770s and right up to the mid-1990s with some earlier links to Ireland (before independence)"

Revision as of 05:37, 16 February 2017

For the definition, typology and more, see our entry on Cooperatives


Michel Bauwens:

"Peer production is about mutualizing knowledge and allowing anyone to freely aggregate his immaterial efforts to common pools of knowledge, code and design; stigmergy is the vehicle for mutual coordination of local and global collective efforts through transparency of the cooperation.

Cooperativism and other such forms are about mutualizing property and physical infrastructures, such as to allow anyone to freely aggregate their efforts to common efforts at provisioning material good and securing a livelyhood; stigmergic coordination of physical production is obtained through open book accounting and open supply chains; and a proposed peer production license can create the solidarity around the commons pools of technical knowledge need for cooperative production.

While immaterial cooperation, because of its anti-rival nature, requires a commons-based relational logic and the creation of universally accessible common pools of knowledge; material cooperation, requires mechanisms based on reciprocity and fair trade."

Please read:

Henry Tam on how to scale the cooperative economy

Henry Tam:

1. Set up a Cooperators’ Franchise Network (CF-Net). Individual cooperator organisations (Co-Orgs) pool their resources through a membership fee to support their CF-Net to do more effectively what they cannot manage on their own. The franchise network will provide: quality/integrity assurance for the franchise’s members; promote the added value offered by genuine cooperator organisations; campaign for pro-cooperator policies with the public and politicians; support the development of existing and new cooperator organisations within the franchise; and offer help to non-cooperator organisations to reform their cultures and systems in line with the cooperator’s ethos). Many cooperatives already belong to their own network, but that still leaves many other cooperator organisations out there without broader support. There is no reason for there to be just one CF-Net. In fact, for the sake of diversity and learning from contrasting approaches, it is better to have a number of robust CF-Nets.

2. The CF-Nets are to collaborate in establishing and funding a Global Cooperators Federation (GC-Fed). The GC-Fed’s key roles will include: agreeing and enforcing rules to promote common assets and guard against demutualisation; developing and marketing a shared cooperators’ brand to raise interest globally; attracting investment on cooperators’ terms to support the long term development of the CF-Nets; and coordinating with other NGOs in securing a level playing field for cooperator organisations.

3. Each cooperator organisation (Co-Org) as part of being a member of its franchise is to commit to continuous improvement in accordance with the core aims of the franchise, and actively promote participation opportunities to their local communities and relevant sectors. Co-Orgs will play an informed part in guiding the work of their respective CF-Net; provide education and training to help those interested in participating in their work as members; and engage all their members in planning and carrying out their activities.

Unless a strategy resembling the one outlined above is taken forward, it is likely that cooperator organisations will remain marginalised and fragmented, never making anything more than a tiny dent in the plutocratic economy. Cooperators all work on the key premise that only by joining forces can we achieve what we are unable to manage separately. Our willingness to pursue the strategy of comprehensive cooperation will be the ultimate test of our commitment." (http://henry-tam.blogspot.fr/2016/03/a-strategy-for-cooperators.html)

The 7 Principles of Cooperatives

  • Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, member Economic Participation, Autonomy and

Independence, Education, Training and Information, Cooperation Among Cooperatives, and Concern for Community.

The 7 principles, based on the historical Rochdale Principles set in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, have been officially adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1937, and the current version reported here derives from the last revision adopted by the ICA in 1995.

They can be found on the website at http://ica.coop/en/whats-co-op/co-operative-identityvalues-principles

Worthy of attention and support

  • The P2P Foundation supports the emergence of Commonfare practices of social solidarity for networked workers who co-created commons and shared resources (see our special section http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:P2P_Solidarity), as well as their integration with a strengthened welfare system. In particular we support the creation of 'labor mutuals', i.e. freelance coops which already exist in the French-speaking world (Coopaname in France ; SMart in Belgium, Bigre, etc ..; see the project of AltGen in the UK).


  1. Worker-Owned Cooperatives
  2. Consumer-Owned Cooperatives
  3. Housing Cooperatives
  4. Credit Unions
  5. Food Cooperatives
  6. Farmer’s Cooperatives



"Born in the XIXth century, cooperatives are a large movement counting in 2015 almost 180,000 enterprises in the world, over 140 million members, more than 4,5 billion employees and more than €1,000 billion turnover. Only in Europe, there are 127 million members, meaning that 1 out of 5 people in the EU is a cooperative member, and these numbers are constantly increasing (Cooperatives Europe, 2015)." [1]


"Cooperative businesses have lower failure rates than traditional corporations and small businesses, after the first year of startup, and after 5 years in business. About 10% of cooperatives fail after the first year while 60-80% of traditional businesses fail after the first year. After 5 years, 90% of cooperatives are still in business, while only 3 - 5% of traditional businesses are still operating after 5 years." [2]

- www.coopseurope.coop

2. Did you know that [3]:

  • One billion people are members of cooperatives?
  • The 300 largest cooperatives have sales totaling more than $1 trillion per year?
  • Cooperative enterprises employ 100 million people worldwide, 20 percent more than multinational enterprises? [4]

3. Jay Walljasper:

"more than 800 million people around the world belong to one of these economic networks. Coops flourish in all sectors of modern society proving that sharing is a practical economic model. They represent a commons-based alternative to both the private market and state controlled enterprises.

Four in ten Canadians are coop members (70 percent in the province of Quebec). In the U.S. 25 percent of the population belongs to at least one coop ranging from credit unions to food coops to major firms like REI and Land O’ Lakes dairy, according to the International Co-Operative Alliance In Belgium, coops account for 20 percent of pharmacies: in Brazil, 37 percent of all agricultural production is from coops; in Singapore, coops account for 55 percent of supermarket purchases; in Bolivia, one credit union handles 25 percent of all savings; in Korea and Japan, 90 percent of farmers belong to coops; in Kenya, coops account for 45 percent of the GDP; in Finland, 34 percent of forestry products, 74 percent of meat and 96 percent of dairy products come from coops.

Around the world, coops provide 100 million jobs, 20 percent more than multinational companies." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/2012-international-year-of-the-co-op)


"The scale and impact of the UK’s mutual sector is revealed in the recently published Mutuals Yearbook, launched by campaigning group Mutuo at its annual conference in London.

Despite the recession, mutual businesses and organisations are set to achieve record revenue figures of £116 billion – a £4bn increase on last year’s total. Mutuo calculates that there are 17,897 mutuals in the country – a small drop on the 2011 figure – and over a million people employed in the sector. Altogether, according to the Yearbook, there are 5,933 co-ops in the UK; 338 Co-operative Trust schools; 9,006 clubs and societies; 184 football and rugby supporters trusts; 250 employee-owned businesses; 55 mutual insurers and friendly societies; 47 mutual building societies; 424 credit unions; 144 NHS Foundation Trusts and 1,516 housing associations." (http://empowerus.co/)

Related Wiki sections


"We acknowledge the cooperative movement as one of the transforming forces of the present society based upon class antagonism. Its great merit is to practically show that the present pauperising, and despotic system of the subordination of labour to capital can be superseded by the republican and beneficent system of the association of free and equal producers."

- Marx, 1866 [5]

"We recommend to the working men to embark in co-operative production rather than in co-operative stores. The latter touch but the surface of the present economical system, the former attacks its groundwork."

- Marx, 1866 [6]

Flagship Projects

* The Catalan Integral Cooperative‎ as first Open Cooperative and strategic partner of the P2P Foundation

  • Las Indias for their many innovations in networked cooperative thinking, such as their concept of Phyles

Key Resources

  • Find Coop is a directory of alternative economic initiatives in the U.S. [7]

* Special Issue: Affinities Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2010): The New Cooperativism [8]

Selection of articles:

  1. The Cooperative Movement in Century 21. John Curl [9]
  2. Commons and Cooperatives. Greig de Peuter, Nick Dyer-Witheford [10]
  3. Social Centres and the New Cooperativism of the Common. Andre Pusey [11]
  4. A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm. Andrew Gryf Paterson [12]

  • Shareable commissioned these articles to help educate the general public about the value of cooperatives in creating democratic societies.
  1. an interview with Chuck Gold of ICA about the Int'l Year of  the Coop:  http://www.shareable.net/blog/co-ops-are-big-business-charles-gould-interview
  2. feature story about cooperatives, "Meet the New Boss: You": http://www.shareable.net/blog/meet-the-new-boss-you 

Key Articles


Creating coops in the digital age:

  1. Worker Coop toolbox: http://www.cccd.coop/files/worker_coop_toolbox.pdf
  2. A Technology Freelancer’s Guide to Starting a Worker Cooperative: http://electricembers.net/pubs/TechCoopHOWTO.pdf
  3. Steps to Starting a Worker Coop: http://www.cccd.coop/files/Steps%20to%20Starting%20a%20Worker%20Coop.pdf

Key Books

  • Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy. by Michael Lewis & Pat Conaty ; The Resilience Imperative is a key book integrating a vision of cooperatives in a broad social economy consisting of commons, solidarity economics, the principle of resilience, etc ..
  • Johnston Birchall, The Co-op: the People's Business: "For a full picture of the twists and turns of the history of the Co-op movement in the UK from the 1770s and right up to the mid-1990s with some earlier links to Ireland (before independence)"
  • John Curl, For All the People - Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative movements and Communalism in America. For the US history of Co-ops and the twists and turns.

  • Recommended by Pat Conaty:

"Recent books on Co-operative Economy solutions including:

  1. John Restakis, Humanizing the Economy,
  2. Richard Sennett's book Together,
  3. Bruno Roelants Capital and the Debt Trap. and
  4. Gar Alperovitz's latest book (2013) What Then Must We Do?

  • Bruno Roelants with Claudia Sanchez Bajo. Capital and the Debt Trap: Learning from Co-operatives in the Global Crisis. MacMillan, 2013.
  • John Curl (2009) For All the People, PM Press, 2009: On US co-ops and their potential with a fabulous review of US Co-op history:
  • Mark Lutz (1999) Economics for the Common Good, Routledge. For a superb intellectual case for co-operative economics including a brilliant case for worker ownership and rethinking the corporation'
  • JW Smith (2009) Economic Democracy - a Grand Strategy for World Peace and Prosperity.
  • Paul Hirst (1993) Associative Democracy: New forms of social and economic governance, Polity Press. convincingly updates the case for Guild Socialism


Key People

  • Mira Luna, reporting on cooperative developments for Shareable

Recommended by John Restakis:

  • Lou Hammond Ketilson ; Centre for the Study of Co-operatives ; University of Saskatchewan (Canada)

<[email protected]>

  • Sonja Novkovic ; St. Marys University

<[email protected]>

hard core cooperative academic; Master's in Cooperative Business Administration

  • Ana Maria Peredo ; Centre for Co-op and Community Based Economy, University of Victoria

<[email protected]>

  • Hazel Corcoran ; Canadian Worker Co-op Federation

<[email protected]>

  • Anne Hoyt ,Dept. Chair Consumer Science, University of Michigan

<[email protected]>

cooperative theorist; used to run Center for Coop studies at Un. of Michigan

  • Vera Negri Zamagni, University of Bologna

<[email protected]>

foremost cooperative historian in Italy

  • Renate Georgen, Le Mat

<[email protected]>

practitioner, very engaged in theory and practice of cooperative social enterprise; Le Mat is largest social franchise coop in Italy, perhaps even in Europe

Other cooperative economists, or related, as recommended by Pat Conaty:

  1. Angela Espinosa
  2. Hazel Henderson
  3. Emily Kawano‎‎
  4. Margrit Kennedy
  5. Mary Mellor‎
  6. Margie Mendell
  7. Carlota Perez
  8. Ann Pettifor
  9. Molly Scott-Cato

and also:

  1. Hilary Wainwright, editor of Red Pepper in the UK
  2. Margie Mendell, Montreal, Quebec and Director of the Karl Polanyi Institute
  3. Frances Hutchinson, author of the Political Economy of Guild Socialism and Social Credit

Key Videos

  1. Stefano Zamagni on Cooperatives as a Counterpoint to Corporatism
  2. Robin Murray on the Future of Co-operation


The Commonwealth Wheel by Pat_Conaty.




This category has only the following subcategory.


Pages in category "Cooperatives"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 762 total.

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