ALBERTA | Resilience in a Downturn.

Cooperatives 2018ALBERTA > RESILIENCE in a DOWNTURN | Co-ops have a long and distinguished history in Canada and around the world (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative) …, and, in turbulent/changing times, they could also be one of the policy options to explore by wise & forward-locking societies, government agencies & economic development institutions.

BANKING | Look at banking cooperatives – in the past few years, these have grown, have kept credit available to small/medium sized enterprises, remaining reasonably stable across the country, other regions of the world, even creating jobs. Perhaps it is their unique blend of member ownership, member control, benefits and communities of trust that is at the heart of their resilience? – could it be that such approaches provide the edge over other models?

A CHANGING WORLD | We may be entering another “austerity period” – perhaps another cyclical crisis of our times. Maybe the time has come to take a closer look at the cooperative model, its values, performance and contribution today and what it can do for the future. To me, the resilience of the cooperative model of enterprise, resides in its values, and effectiveness in offering member-owners benefits and opportunities by creating a playing field for everyone to thrive.

WAYFINDERS BUSINESS COOPERATIVE | Is fairly new, known as a platform cooperative https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_cooperative – an entity owned by its members, a democratically governed social enterprise operating in the clouds using a website (or) sites, mobile apps and protocols to facilitate the sale of goods and services. It aims to serve as a newer tool for democratic & economic participation that rest upon the free participation of equal partners, engaged in the production of common resources, be they good or services, and any combination thereof.

CORE VALUES | Generally speaking co-operatives aim at developing decent & fair paid work, address issues of economic disparities/social justice, economic inclusion, empowering their members to their own “agency” as full participants contributing broadly to the betterment of their communities. We should pay closer attention, and see how cooperatives can be one of the economic development tools to transform & diversify Alberta’s economy. –

About the Author: Leo Campos A. (LCA) is a HRP & Community Organizer & Animator, a Diversity & Inclusion Advisor; a Translator & Interpreter + Bilingual Social Marketing & Conscious Advertising Professional, based in Edmonton, AB (Canada). He is also a part-time advisor and community outreach & relationship builder for Wayfinders Business Cooperative © | https://www.wayfindersbusinesscooperative.ca/

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