By Anca Voinea
Over the next decade the number of co-op start-ups will double and membership will increase by 15%, according to the draft outline of a National Co-operative Development Strategy.
The final stage of the year-long strategy was launched by Dame Pauline Green, former president of the International Co-operative Alliance, who chaired a panel experts that pulled together the strategy.
What’s in the document?
The vision: One day most businesses will be run in a participative way, giving a say to those involved. The best of these will form the foundations of a different kind of economy, one over which people have control. These will be co-operatives.
Double the number of co-operative start-ups
Increase the number of co-op members by three million to 20 million
50% increase in public perception of co-ops as modern and innovative
Speaking at the Co-operative Retail Conference, Dame Pauline told co-operators to respond to this final three-month consultation before the strategy was officially launched on the International Day of Co-operatives.
She said co-operatives need to look at how they’re currently working to help support the strategy. This includes choosing co-ops to do business with and to be open about new forms of co-operation.
“This means new conversations, looking for new ways to act as a co-operative, encouraging people to talk about what your co-op is doing, be open to talk to new people,” explained Dame Pauline.
She also advised co-ops to look at ways for members to be involved such as supporting the Worker Co-op Solidarity Fund or trying to sort out issues in their communities through co-operative models, rather than just supporting local charities.
Dame Pauline also described how co-ops could help by using the global co-op marque and Co-operatives Fortnight to promote what they are doing. The strategy pledges to provide tools to enable co-ops to tell their story to staff and members and to lobby governments.
Courtesy: Cooperative News, ICA