“There has never been a greater need for co-ops, and we have an incredible story to tell.“—Charles Gould, Director General, International Cooperative Alliance

October is Co-op Month and 2012 is the United Nations International Year of the Cooperatives, so in honor of those events we gathered our fantastic panelists from last year’s Co-op Connections workshop to talk some more about all the exciting things going on in the world of co-ops!

The JUSTRELEASED one hour video presentation is now available in the CBLD Library. In the discussion we hope to:

  • Increase understanding of the larger world of cooperatives and why they matter
  • Explore issues of interest to cooperative leaders
  • Build enthusiasm for cooperatives
  • Celebrate Co-op Month, and
  • Prepare for the 2012 United Nations’ International Year of the Cooperative

Our panelists are:

The interviews were conducted by CDS Consulting Co-op CBLD consultant Joel Kopischke.

The questions:

  1. Many believe that cooperatives are a better business model. How did you get involved in cooperatives? Why are cooperatives important to you?
  2. Co-ops have been relatively resilient operating in highly competitive markets and a challenging economy. Why is that and how can we build on that success? What are the most important aspects of the cooperative advantage for members and potential members to understand?
  3. There is a growing wave of interest in developing new cooperatives, in the US especially with food co-ops. How can the existing cooperative community best support these efforts?
  4. The International Year of the Cooperative is being celebrated worldwide. What’s one idea that local co-ops can do to join in the celebration?
  5. Bonus question: The International Year of the Cooperative slogan is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.” What’s something that you personally are looking forward to experiencing in the “better world” that is coming?

Please join us in celebrating Co-op Month, and preparing for the International Year of the Cooperative by viewing this recorded presentation. Thank you!

Some sample quotes from the video:

Paul Hazen, president & CEO, National Cooperative Business Association
“We are working on creating a co-op investment fund organizations and individuals can invest in for helping new co-ops get started.”

Charles Gould, director general, International Cooperative Alliance
“There has never been a greater need for co-ops, and we have an incredible story to tell.”

Robynn Shrader, CEO, National Cooperative Grocers Association
“I’m personally looking forward to a cultural shift in our country and around the world regarding the environment.”

Stuart Reid, executive director, Food Co-op Initiative
“There are as many new food co-ops starting as there are existing food co-ops.”

Marilyn Scholl, manager, CDS Consulting Co-op
“An economy driven only by the profit motive makes the world a sad place…people trust co-ops.”

Kevin Edberg, executive director, Cooperative Development Services
“We operate our businesses to meet member needs, and that is a whole different mindset.”

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