Presented at the 55th annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) June 18, 2011 in San Diego, CA

Keepin’ It Real: Co-ops in Turbulent Times
Imagination and AlignmentBy Brett Fairbairn
Fellow in Cooperative Thought and Ideas, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Provost and Vice-President Academic, University of Saskatchewan

Re-imagining cooperation.
Imagination matters to cooperatives. What might be the best for the current generation of cooperatives may not be suited for the generations to come or to the circumstances that we’ll see in 5 or 10 years. Imagination is what allows us to anticipate how our members will change, how our communities will change, how our cooperatives will change. Imagination is what allows us to keep up; imagination is what will allow us our cooperatives to create what comes next.

Tags, links, chapters or markers (links take you to YouTube)

  • 2:13 Turbulent times
  • 8:26 In tough and changing times
  • 11:06 Strategic Interdependence
  • 11:48 Steps to interdependence
  • 13:27 Some things don’t change
  • 14:58 What matters: members and markets
  • 16:11 Definition of a Cooperative: Association + Enterprise
  • 17:50 Three strategic concepts: Linkage, Transparency and Cognition
  • 21:00 Issues in turbulent times: Alignment
  • 23:00 Stretch to remain connect to members and markets
  • 23:43 What’s it take to stretch
  • 25:30 Examples of stretch and change
    • 25:50 The Cooperative Group – UK
    • 28:30 The Cooperative Retail System, western Canada
    • 32:11 Regional Credit Union, Manitoba Canada
  • 37:30 The “Social Economy”
  • 40:40 Example: The Green House, multi-stakeholder co-op
    • 43:05 Conceptual Overview
    • 43:05 Changes in Identity
    • 46:30 Networks and Combinations
      • Merge backroom functions
      • Merge retail functions
      • Non-territorial co-ops
  • 52:36 Re-inventing Co-ops: Imagine!
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