Cooperative economics has almost become a one-size fits all notion of economics. And yet, if cooperative economics is an economy of collaboration, the opposite is seldom true: A very small part of collaborative economics is indeed cooperative.
We are living in the information era. There is no longer any need to collect costly home encyclopaedias or even to go to the library to read them: There’s an answer to everything, and it’s really easy, just look it up on the internet. Access to knowledge is no longer a luxury reserved for the elite. Almost everyone can take advantage of it at very little cost. What a breakthrough for humanity!
Throughout the generations, social animals were able to develop a more refined brain that was better equipped to ensure the survival of their species. Therefore, there is a scientific basis to the cooperative advantage as viewed from an evolutionary perspective: By becoming more intelligent, the act of cooperation contributed to the continuity of our species. And yet…
One of the best lessons I ever learned since I started with cooperative education is about trust. Throughout the years, I’ve noticed how strong and intelligent groups can be. For example, as a facilitator in cooperative education I learned to curtail my discourse to allow more time for student participation. Obviously this requires some level of letting go, which can sometimes generate a little anxiety.
Agriculture undoubtedly thrives through continuity. It therefore needs institutions to support it in the long term.
We all know about traditional currencies, the type issued by the State that we use to pay our taxes. But there is also such a thing as cooperative currencies. In fact, to be more specific, I must add that some authors simply refer to the latter as “community currency.” However, one of the greatest international currency experts, Bernard Lietaer, prefers to use “cooperative currency,” since these monies invariably all depend on solidarity.
Some questions have plagued mankind since the beginning of time. Questions like what the good life is all about, for example. What does that mean? Is it perhaps a happy and accomplished life that allows a person to develop their talents, to feel useful and to know joy? We all dream of this good life. But what road leads us there? Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist from Harvard University, has studied the question extensively.
In Quebec, explained the Climat d’accaparement study, our production season will be prolonged due to global warming, which means more and more investors could turn to our farmland to take advantage of a competitive lead in relation to southern countries.
A new economy is emerging, founded on other paradigms that emphasize the importance of ecology and the power and relevance of cooperative exchange modes.
This fourth industrial revolution, characterized by a synthesis of the digital, physical and biological spheres, is both amazing and terrifying.
In a world where we tend to privatize gains and socialize devastation, cooperatives are undoubtedly part of the solution.
“Cooperation is an antidote to ageing.” It is a rather shocking image, but it is not without its share of truth.
The market has proven itself time and time again. It is the meeting place of supply and demand; the market sets prices and, in a most efficient fashion, allows for the exchange of goods and services.
Generation Z views the collective “we” as the answer to their quest for meaning and a solution to their problems. Good news for cooperatives!
In 2012, Jacques Attali encouraged the cooperative movement to play a larger role in global governance to, as he said, set the foundations “for a community that considers the interests of future generations rather than the juxtaposition of national interests.” Thomas Homer-Dixon has now taken up the challenge and is summoning cooperatives.
In the heart of the Spanish Basque Country, Mondragon Cooperative Corporation’s head office is the picture of prosperity. We are greeted in a small, comfortable cinema room, art fills the walls and a scale model of the Mondragon complex reigns in a vast and luminous hall where we soon gather. Pointing to the model, an employee comments: “This is one of our supermarkets; here is one of our research centres and one of the university’s buildings and over there is one of our plants…”
Cécile Le Corroller, a Doctor of Economics and an associate fellow with the Centre de recherche en économie et management (France), took a closer look at the potential for innovation with large cooperative enterprises.
We’ve been witness to some fascinating research on plant biology over the past thirty years and it has challenged our beliefs. We are scarcely beginning to objectively integrate the astonishing results that come from this research. We hold animals and particularly humans so far above all others that we may have neglected taking a closer look at the remarkable mechanisms arising from the plant world. And yet…