Centre Update
11 February 2016

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New Research
Top Co-op Issues
In late fall 2015, the Centre conducted a survey that canvassed Canada's co-op leaders, including CEOs and managers, board members and academics, on their views about the top issues currently facing co-operative organizations. Our forty-six key informants were remarkably consistent in identifying their most pressing concerns, which we have analysed and organized under themes that include access to capital, governance, member commitment, youth engagement, and public awareness of the co-op model.
The top three issues may surprise you!
The poster found here itemizes the top twelve themes and highlights the top three issues. Respondents had clear suggestions for action and we have included some of them here. We have also added a few quotations from respondents illustrating their concerns and suggestions for solutions.
Student Poster Presentations
The New Year's activities began with poster presentations by students in Brett Fairbairn's class Co-operatives in the New Economy: Institutions, Governance, and Policy. Five students identified and analysed a variety of co-op policy issues and presented their posters at a well-attended wine and cheese reception in the Diefenbaker Building's River Room on 13 January 2016.

Paul Thompson discussing his poster titled Co-operate or Compete?

The event, titled Analysing Co-op Policy Cases, addressed questions such as:
  • Can communal enterprises survive in a capitalist economy?
  • Can Co-op Life Cycle Theory explain organizational failure?
  • Are credit unions more stable than banks in financial crises?
  • Have policy changes undermined MEC’s co-op identity?
You can find the posters here.
Award for Centre Collaborator!
Long-time Centre colleague Cindy Hanson is being honoured with a 2016 Global Citizen Award by the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation for the work she does overseas to promote social justice and equality.
What does it mean to be a global citizen? “It amounts to a responsibility to each other, to caring for each other, and also caring for the natural world,” said Hanson. “It’s a lifetime commitment to trying to change inequities.”

You can read more here.

New Knowledge about Co-ops

This study explores the application of the International Co-operative Alliance’s 5th co-operative principle (education, training and information) within Canadian co-operatives. It explores, among other things, what type of education is offered to the Canadian co-operative business community and whether co-ops in certain sectors of the economy tend to offer more educational initiatives than others.

Researchers identified trends according to factors such as type of co-op, economic sector, target audience, topic addressed, educational materials and tools used, and delivery methods. In total, they identified and analyzed fifty-five groups (co-operative associations and federations, individual co-ops, and other organizations) and 180 educational initiatives.

Read more, or download the publication, here.

Save the Date!
Monday, 21 March 2016, 12 noon
Canada Room, Diefenbaker Building
U of S Campus

Join us as Centre Fellow Isobel Findlay presents our first seminar of the New Year. Details to come.

Thank you, as always, to our sponsors
Copyright © 2016 Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, All rights reserved.

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