Monday, October 31, 2011

The Legacy—The Age of Cooperatives

The International Year of Cooperatives is finally underway, fueling a myriad of global opportunities served up on a silver platter for all cooperatives in all sectors; opportunities that can be creatively harnessed to educate all peoples on the inherent value of the cooperative business model.

If there ever was a time when the world needed a business model rooted in values and principles, now is the perfect time for us to step forward. Now is the time for all cooperative leaders to take to the airwaves. Now is the time for member/owners to tell their neighbors why they belong to a food co-op, a housing co-op or a credit union. And, now is especially the time for cooperative evangelists to herald the tidings of hope, equity and dignity that come with membership in a co-op.

In early October while attending the National Cooperative Business Association’s annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I decided to grab my flip cam and document what cooperators hope will be the legacy of the International Year of Cooperatives. The video that follows documents their responses. My thanks and appreciation to those who contributed to this effort:

Martin Lowery
Executive Vice President
Arlington, VA

Sue Douglas
Senior Vice President/COO
Raleigh, NC

Paul Hazen
Washington, DC

Sarah Pike
Executive Administrator
Hanover, MN

Michael Spink
Innovation Strategist
Raleigh, NC

Tom Webb
Adjunct Professor
St. Mary’s University
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Jim Jones
Senior Director of Development & Asset Management
Chicago, IL

Charles Gould
Director General
Geneva, Switzerland

No doubt, we all have our own hopes and dreams for the International Year of Cooperatives, but there will be no hope and no dreams to come true unless we all unite as one movement in a spirit of cooperation. If all sectors join together on this occasion, we can light a fire that will truly transform our world, and through the United Nations that opportunity is being offered to all of us on a silver platter. The legacy begins today.

What are your hopes and dreams for the International Year of Cooperatives and what will you do to make those hopes and dreams come true?

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