Connect to Co-op Members Around the World

2012 International Year of Cooperatives

Cooperatives of all kinds will be celebrating the United Nations declaration of 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. The global commemoration is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of cooperatives as businesses that truly make a difference in communities worldwide.

At our local food co-ops we are in touch with the joys of real food and the benefits of community ownership. Why not spread it around? That’s what the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives is all about. We all use Facebook and Twitter to keep instantly touch with family and friends, and now you can use it connect to co-op members from other countries. As part of the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives celebration, co-op organizations from around the globe are launching exciting new ways for co-op members to find out more about their counterparts in other parts of the world.

The International Year of Cooperatives’ (IYC) program manager Eric DeLuca said that as part of their activities they are launching a new website that is dedicated to showing people the inspirational power of co-ops. At the site, you can find videos about the international co-op community featuring recordings from geographically diverse locations produced by both co-op members and professional filmmakers. You’ll also find easy ways to “like” the IYC to get a wide range of co-op news and information on Facebook and Twitter.

At the site, a different co-op will be featured every day. For the first time ever, this will be the world’s first global collection of co-op stories. Co-operatives and individuals will also be able to tell their stories directly through a simple, online registration process which will allow the stories to be told in words, images or film.

National Co-op Grocers Association (NCGA) is shining the spotlight is on food co-ops for the world premiere of Co+op, stronger together’s video series celebrating 2012 International Year of Cooperatives and hosted by celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie. In the series, Kevin travels to food co-ops across the country—from grocery aisles to farm fields—to share their passion for delicious food and their local communities. The virtual premier is January 21 at 8:00 p.m. EST at

NCGA is also upping the stakes in My Co-op Rocks; an online video and photo contest. 2012 will bring two contests, with more co-ops (thus far the National Association of Housing Co-ops and the US Federation of Worker Co-ops are participating) and bigger prizes. The first contest will be open to entries Mar-Apr with voting open Mar-May, and the second will be open to entries Sept-Oct with voting open Sept-Nov. Both will be hosted at with official contest details typically up about 2 weeks prior to each contest start.

Robynn Shrader, NCGA’s chief executive officer said, “The 2012IYC allows us to shine the spotlight on food co-ops in a way that shows delicious food is just the beginning to building a stronger community.”

Be sure to visit these websites where you’re guaranteed to be moved by these cooperatives and their activities.

Plan to attend one of these three regional Strategic Seminars in March!

  • March 3 – Region: Southeast, Seminar location: Raleigh, N.C.
  • March 17 – Region: Minnesota / Wisconsin, Seminar location: La Crosse, Wis.
  • March 31 – Region: Northeast, Seminar location: Brattleboro, Vt.

Attending one of these in-person seminars will be a great way to engage in conversation with directors and managers from around the region on IYC themes. Not in one of these regions? Watch for information about webstreams and recordings.

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By |January 2nd, 2012|Categories: Connections|Tags: |

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