Hello! Please introduce yourself.
Nathan invited me on here as I've expressed a few ideas in the past about the role of co-ops in solving problems in various industries. I've tried to keep abreast of some discussions on here and send apologies for not participating as much as I would like.
Some context: I set up this multi-stakeholder co-op www.retrofitworks.co.uk having identified this legal model as ideal for the aims of the business, not with an eye on setting up a co-op of its own sake. The model seems to be working; recent contract award to renovate 1,000 privately owned homes from the Mayor of London and starting large schemes in Devon and Oxfordshire this year. Turnover likely to be £0.5m this financial year with income for our members up at £5m.
I have been thinking on your question about the role of cooperative development programmes. I’ve also been dwelling on the void left by C and Local Government in many sectors. My view is that this is actually about ‘cooperation’ rather than it being about ‘cooperatives’. In one of Nathan's workshops we are asked ‘why are lots more co-ops not being created in the face of government roll back and the failure of capitalism?’, and ‘why are co-ops not seen to be a standard business model from which to choose’. Why not go with this situation rather than try to change it – much like I did with RetrofitWorks i.e. realise that there was a need to bring together the organisations or people around the market failure, then happily found the cooperative model as the answer.
So change the whole narrative from
‘We love co-ops, come and start one’
‘Let’s solve problems together, seek creative ways to collaborate, and we offer some commercial models to make it work (which is v likely to be a cooperative)’
I've got ideas on how to do all of that, but given my limited time available will need pointing at the most useful thread here on Loomio?