Agenda• The Opportunity of 2012• Obstacles to Collaboration• Opportunities• Inspiration• Regional Examples• Shared Characteristics• Small Group Dialog• Report Back
Our OpportunityCo-ops “in their various forms, promote thefullest possible participation in the economic andsocial development of all people, includingwomen, youth, older persons, persons withdisabilities and indigenous peoples, arebecoming a major factor of economic and socialdevelopment and contribute to the eradication ofpoverty.” United Nations Resolution 64/136, (2010)
Our OpportunityUN Goals of the Year:• Increase public awareness about co-ops• Promote formation and growth of co-ops• Encourage governments to establish policies, laws and regulations conducive to the formation, growth and stability of co-operatives …What are our goals?
Obstacles to Collaboration• Sector & Industry Silos • (We don’t talk enough)• Expectations • (We expect a lot from each other)• Mainstream Influence • (We lose sight of the movement)• Insular • (We don’t think systemically)• Philosophical • (Do we believe in the co-op alternative?)
Shared History“Co-operative housing, worker co-operatives,even collective agricultural co-operatives, can alllook back to the original Rochdale plan forinspiration. In 1844 these pieces were notseparate… The Rochdale pioneers conceived inone association of what would now make amultisectoral co-operative movement.” Brett Fairbairn, The Meaning of Rochdale
Shared Principles & ValuesCo-operatives serve their members mosteffectively and strengthen the co-operativemovement by working together throughlocal, national, regional and internationalstructures. 6th Principle of the Co-operative Identity
Shared Impact• International Labour Organization • Co-operative Enterprise is Resilient• United Nations • Co-ops Support Human Development• International Co-operative Alliance • Over a Billion Co-op Members Worldwide• University of Wisconsin Study • 29,000 Co-ops in the United States• Regional Studies • How Can We Measure & Communicate Our Local Impact?
Collaboration• Telling Our Stories• Communicating Our Impact• Influencing Policy• Mutual Support• Co-op to Co-op Business as a Strategy
Finding Inspiration• Co-operative Communities • Mondragón, Spain • Emilia Romagna, Italy• New Opportunities • Cross-Sector Business Development • New Models – Multistakeholder Structures• The Opportunity of 2012 • The United Nations: “Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World.”
Regional Examples• Strengthening Local Independent Co- ops Everywhere (SLICE)• University of Texas Inter-Cooperative Council (Austin Co-op Think Tank)• Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA)
SLICE• Annual Conference for Cross-Sector Coalition- and Skill-Building• Strengthening Local Independent Co-ops Everywhere (Vision Built into Our Name)• 2009 / 2010: Traditional Conference Format• 2011: “Invigorating the Co-operative Economy”
SLICE• SLICE Roundtable• Northwest Cooperative Development Center: Regional Co-operative Economy Survey• Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union: Coopalooza• Open Space & Break-Out Sessions for Collaborative Projects• Regional Co-operative Development Fund• Cascadia Center for Sustainable Economy
SLICE• “Movement Co-op” Principles 6 & 7 addenda • Co-ops exercise a preference for relationships and transactions with other co-ops • Co-operatives direct a defined portion of net profit or gross revenue to co-op development • Co-operatives serve their members and communities by promoting social and ecological equity and justice • Co-operatives account for their impacts on people and ecosystems
Austin Co-op Think Tank• Group Representing 15 Co-ops• 60 People on E-Mail List• Vision: “A Co-op Solution to Meet Every Need”• Mission: Grow the Co-op Economy• Goals: Help Start & Grow Co-ops• Education & Outreach: Internal and External• Policy Advocacy• Resource Development / Financial Support
Austin Co-op Think Tank• Student Housing Co-ops and Wheatsville Food Co-op have worked together for 40 years• Recent additions, Black Star (Brew Pub) and Third Coast (Worker Co-op Incubator), have increased interest in working together• Credit Unions at the table is new for Austin
Austin Co-op Think Tank• Ideas for Inter-Cooperation • Clearinghouse/Incubator for how to start, run and expand a co-operative • Research project demonstrating the value of Co-operatives to the local economy • Publicity Campaign promoting Co-operation during 2012 • Mentorship Program pairing veteran and new co-operators
Neighboring Food Co-op Association• Co-op of 25 food co-ops• 90,000 individual members• 1,400 employees• $200 million revenue (‘10)• $33 million in local purchases (‘07)• Vision of a “thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system, and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise”
Co-ops & Local Economies• Community ownership & control• Focus on service, meeting needs before profit• Develop local skills & assets• Ability to assemble limited resources• Regional economic efficiencies• Low business failure rate & are long-lived• Difficult to move or buy-out• Separate community wealth from speculative markets• Mobilize member, customer and supplier loyalty• Result: more stable local food system, infrastructure, employment & services, and economy.
Cross Sector Collaboration• Sourcing • “Go Co-op” Initiative • Product Development• Policy • Policy Engagement • IYC Resolutions• Networks • Cross Sector Dialog • Valley Co-op Business Association I
Varied Approaches• A Regional Co-operative Association of Food Co-ops• A Local Coalition of Co-ops Linked with a University• A Conference-Based Opportunity for Cross-Sector Collaboration
Shared Characteristics• Focus on Co-op Identity• Local and Regional in Scope• Cross Sector Collaboration as a Priority• Network Based• Peer Support & Development• Emphasis on Opportunity
Small Group Dialog• Divide up according to basic regions• Reflect on presentation – what was most compelling or interesting?• Are there examples or structures for cross- sector collaboration that you can build on in your region?• What resources are available in your region for exploration of dialog across sectors (industries) and member types (worker, consumer, producer, multistakeholder)?
Report Back• Examples of existing cross-sector collaboration in your region.• 3 priorities for action to help advance cross-sector co-op collaboration in your region, with a particular focus on opportunities presented by 2012.• A contact list and point person for your region to continue dialog and coordination as we grow the Co- operative Economy in 2012.
ContactE-mail• Erbin Crowell // email@example.com• Brian Donovan // firstname.lastname@example.org• Caple Melton // email@example.com• Webster Walker // firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsites• Neighboring Food Co-op Association // www.nfca.coop• SLICE // www.slice.coop• UT Intercooperative Council // www.iccaustin.coop