Big society seminar prof. anne power


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Big society seminar prof. anne power

  1. 1. Big Society in action: How does theco-operative instinct emerge in low- income communities? Anne Power Professor of Social Policy London School of Economics
  2. 2. A little personal history• Tanzania, US, Holloway• Defining co-operation• Pooling resources to maximise shared gains• Solidarity and reciprocity• Communities and government are inter- dependent• Tensions can lead to positive outcomes
  3. 3. Human survival depends on co-operation• Human beings are social animals• Evidence from pre-historic times• Progress accelerates through co-operation• We have moved far into complex, competitive, unequal groups• But social, political, economic structures unify societies• So are co-operative models relevant today?
  4. 4. Pre-historic co-operation
  5. 5. Meaning of Co-operation• Bottom-up, member controlled, small scale• Informal and formalised structures• Multiple models emerge in: – Complex modern economies –‘big government’ – Advanced fast changing urban communities – Sophisticated private and public services – Industrial as well as agricultural production – Financial, construction, professions, care.
  6. 6. Viking Head Start
  7. 7. Danish Housing Co-operatives
  8. 8. Roots of modern co-operatives – Industrial revolution ‘shocks’• Labour > wealth > shared unequally• Powerlessness among masses• Individuals at bottom group together• Urgency of survival – social protection, distribution of benefits, solidarity.• Higher-level structures to tackle collective conditions
  9. 9. Industrial groups toiling ‘masses’
  10. 10. Conditions spawn ‘bottom-up’ groups• Associations and clubs• Friendly societies• Mutual aid and self-help groups• Generates ‘bottom-up’ solutions• Co-operative producers, builders, retail• Proliferation of co-operative experiments• Rochdale weavers galvanised movement• Spread world-wide from UK
  11. 11. Rochdale Pioneers HQ
  12. 12. Alongside powerful social movements• Public health bodies• Local government• Evangelical ‘chapels’• Trade unions• ‘One man one vote’• Women’s suffrage• Civil rights• Leading to ‘top-down’ systems• Building on ‘bottom-up’ demands
  13. 13. Early Social Movements
  14. 14. Co-operation advances human condition along many lines• Pure ‘survival goods’ through collective savings e.g. food, clothes, tools• Sanitary homes at reduced cost through collective building organisations (Spain, Scandinavia)• Health, unemployment, death insurance (Italy)• Education, learning (Denmark)• Democracy, participation, voice (US Civil Rights)• Shared work and shared profits (Basque)• Savings investment for individuals and common good
  15. 15. Worker Owned Producer/Distributer
  16. 16. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the US Civil Rights Movement
  17. 17. Powerful ‘niche organisations’ work alongside government• Health and social care – Italy, Belgium• Housing – Spain, Scandinavia• Retail – Britain, France, Spain• Industrial production – Spain/Basque• Architecture and engineering – UK/Arup• Fisheries – Japan, West Africa• Micro-credit – Grameen, Bangladesh• Savings and insurance – worldwide
  18. 18. Fishing Co-op Co-op Kobe
  19. 19. Porto Palazzo Market MoroccanBread Co-op Torino
  20. 20. Grameen Bank
  21. 21. Core principles of co-operation• Open membership• Democratic control – one member one vote• Distribution of surplus value• Limited interest on capital• Political and religious neutrality• Promotion of education• Strictly limited borrowing
  22. 22. Open One manMembership One vote
  23. 23. The ‘divi’ Shared surplus
  24. 24. Unadulterated goods No debt
  25. 25. Education
  26. 26. Conditions of success – inspiration• Pressing, visible problems and acute need• Common cause and unifying idea• Clear targets for action• Small early steps• Trust – clear mutual benefits• Reciprocity – elements of self-interest• Shared gains
  27. 27. Vision – Mondragon
  28. 28. Conditions of success – organisation• Leadership from within• Organising skills and business development• Ideas and access brokers• Ideas and action planning• System of member savings and investment• Financial controls and probity• Ground rules – mediating, resolving conflict• Transparency
  29. 29. José Ormochea, founding member of Mondragon Co-operatives
  30. 30. Fagor factory, Mondragon – largest industrial producer in Spain
  31. 31. Co-operative organisations today• Tenant co-operative and tenant management organisations• Play-schemes, Nurseries• Mondragon industrial co-operatives• Employee owned services - Locke Fyne Oyster Co, John Lewis, Ove Arup• Rapid expansion of Co-op Group since financial crisis
  32. 32. Co-operative Centenary
  33. 33. Co-op Group Booming
  34. 34. Community Fund
  35. 35. Deprived Council estates – unlikely co-operative enterprises• Public landlord problems• Tough conditions on ‘rough’ estates• Steady revenue stream in rents• Consultation or control• Local knowledge and commitment prevails• Local management and local budgets• Local management saves money and creates jobs• Hands-on, learnable skills and training
  36. 36. Tenant Management Organisations
  37. 37. Outcomes• Higher tenant satisfaction• Higher quality service• Managing within budget• Conserving scarce resource• Better environments• Higher rewards for effort• Mutual gains• Long-lasting community benefits• Widespread model – Glasgow, Liverpool, London
  38. 38. Islington Fairness Commission
  39. 39. Lessons for government• Complex public framework of support systems• Essential in complex societies• Welfare v. market• Fair distribution of resources requires government• How to BROKER community self interest and limit market failures• Overarching framework of rules• Community instincts useful and strong• Training and ‘hand-holding’• ‘Top down’ and ‘bottom up’
  40. 40. Big Society in Action