Earlier this year, the United Nations declared that 2012 will be the International Year of Cooperatives. It's great timing, considering events such as Occupy Wall Street, which highlight the fact that our currently corrupted economic and political system simply doesn't work.
Here's an interview with Charles Gould, Director-General of the International Co-operative Alliance (a cooperative union founded in 1895) on why the cooperative movement is gaining traction, and why it could be the fastest-growing enterprise model by the end of this decade:
In the interview, Gould outlines the organization's three key messages for next year's worldwide campaign, adding that:
We have a world that recognizes that the other eco systems have failed them at some level. They've been oversold, they have real limits that we didn't know they had. People are hungry for something new. People are hungry for sustainability -- they're realizing that we're consuming the world at a way that we cannot afford. They recognize that has to change.
We also have an emerging generation that uses social media in a very essential way... They collaborate with one another through social media. They are temperamentally predisposed toward the working together, connecting with one another -- aspects of cooperation that's essential to what we want to achieve. And if we can introduce them to that, and how connected it is to what's in their DNA, then we have an incredible opportunity to build on that... then by the end of the decade, we could be the fastest-growing enterprise model in the world.
The ICA's aim for next year is to raise the profile of cooperatives as a local, people-centred business model that can have global significance. The hope is to get people to understand that cooperatives are a viable alternative and a serious business model that's integrally-based on values like "sustainability, fair banking and access to services."
To get that idea across, ICA will launch a website that will feature 366 stories of cooperatives from around the world, one for each day.
For more information, please see the UN's website and the ICA website.
via Permaculture TV
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