Help with a website for a new cooperative organisation
I’m starting an organisation that seeks to organise members within cooperatives to advocate for cooperation between cooperatives. This would especially be focused on organising members of big and old cooperatives to increase their cooperation with small and new ones. The name would be “Members For Cooperation Between Cooperatives” or “Members4Cooperation” in short. Have written an article about the topic of big and old supporting new and small cooperatives, which also describes some of the thinking behind Members4Cooperation. The organisation itself would be democratically governed.
The way to join the organisation is easy - just fill out a form where you tell which cooperatives you are a member of, and how you would be willing to participate.
It would seek to use the existing, imperfect and often greatly under-utilised democratic mechanisms, such as board elections and member resolutions to advocate for concrete proposals to increase cooperation with small and new cooperatives.
For example, one of the first campaigns would be to collect Nationwide Building Society members to put forward a members resolution for the building society to donate 1% of its charitable donations (or 110,000£/year) to fund new cooperatives. The number of members signatures required to put forward a resolution is 500, and with 15 million members I think it’s doable - won’t go into details but have some ideas on how to start collecting signatures it that I would be excited to try out. I think starting with modest, zero-risk proposals like this would be good. Gradually increase the proportion of charitable donations large cooperatives give to fund incubator and accelerator programs for new cooperatives, especially those in the tech sector would be example of such movement.
Anyone from around the world could join and hopefully we could coordinate a common agenda pursued in big and old cooperatives across countries and industries. I have stood in the elections of S-Group coop (the largest Finnish retailer) advocating for a funding for an accelerator program similar to Start.Coop and giving preferential treatment to Tulos Osk, a Helsinki based worker owned cooperative staffing agency. Also stood in the elections for OP cooperative (the largest bank in the Finland) advocating for Alex Pentlands ideas for data cooperatives. Will continue to stand in their elections in the future with similar platform, and want the Members4Cooperation to be organise people around the world who are engaged in similar coop activism.
There are endless ways big and old cooperatives could increase cooperation with small and new ones - they could switch from Zoom to Meet.Coop, distributing to their members “coop coupons” that could be used in local and global cooperatives, etc.
A ground-up, member-led grassroots effort to advocate for cooperation would be something worth trying out.
Let me know if anyone here would be interested in getting involved, would for example need help building a simple website for the organisation.
I have not yet started to promote the organisation (want to get the website up ready), but have set up the membership form that can be filled in few minutes, Facebook and Loomio group.
I don't know what would be the ideal relationship with Platform6, but hopefully as close as possible.
Oli SB Fri 25 Sep 2020 9:17AM
Leo - this a brilliant and much needed idea with a clear plan for progress. I like it a lot. I would definitely be up for helping but am a little over-subscribed with work on Meet.coop (and other projects) atm - but I will do what I can to help... especially if others chip in too... Oli
Jeff Regino Fri 25 Sep 2020 12:49PM
I find it ironic and sad that you had to create such an entity to improve cooperation among coops, when in fact cooperation is an embedded principle that all coops are supposed to abide and live by.
Having said that, this is a great initiative. Definitely, one I'll add in my list of to-dos or to-joins once my coop social enterprise startup gets underway.
Idea: You can create a simple website on WordPress and others yourself. Or I can find a website developer for you to hire as well. Let me know.
Another great, informative article by the way, and kudos!
Graham Fri 25 Sep 2020 1:09PM
I like the focus around organising within existing big and old coops. Integrates neatly with what we're working towards on the P6 front.
Oli SB Tue 29 Sep 2020 8:38AM
That's the kind of comment we like! Excellent news @Leo Sammallahti - great commitment @Peter Harris ;)
Martin Strube · Fri 25 Sep 2020 7:49AM
The Development Co-op (consortium of CD practitioners) and Platform 6 are working along similar lines. Have you come across any of this via Mark Simmonds or Graham Mitchell?
I've been tasked with writing a blurb to encourage the bigger co-ops to re-ignite their 6th principle interest. Happy to share current draft if you'd like.
Co-operative Solutions - a co-operative partnership
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solutions.coop ( http://www.cooperativesolutions.ecrp1.com/ )
( http://www.cooperativesolutions.ecrp1.com/ )Tel: 07860 720292
See also CDA Northants ( https://northants.development.coop/ )