Tuesday, November 1, 2011

United Nations launches the International Year of Cooperatives 2012

The United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives. Why?

"Co-operatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility."
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

Or, as the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) puts it, it's about human need, not human greed.

The year launches October 31, 2011 in New York City

UN-IYC-aimsOur job during this year is to make sure that the public, policymakers, business leaders, and young people hear this message loud and clear. The three priorities identified by the UN and ICA are to:
  • increase awareness of the cooperative business model
  • promote growth of co-ops and the co-op economy
  • convince lawmakers to establish co-op friendly policies
There are as many ways to do that as there are co-ops and members of co-ops (so we're talking billions!). One exciting national initiative that allows us to hit all three priorities in the U.S. is to support the Campaign for Cooperation. The National Cooperative Development Act of 2011 promotes job creation and economic development in underserved communities through cooperative business development.
Campaign for CooperationRead more about it and find out how to contact your representatives at campaign.coop.

For more national information and tools for celebrating the International Year of the Cooperative in the USA, visit usa2012.coop.

What's happening in the Northeast?

There is an amazing diversity and energy among cooperatives in the Northeast. Here are just a few of the activities underway:

Cooperative Development Institute Events and Resources

During 2012 CDI will be:
  • offering co-ops and associations the use of a new pamphlet, "Cooperative Business Solutions for the Northeast U.S." -- call for delivery options
  • revamping its website, www.cdi.coop, to bring you more and better news, information, and opportunities
  • touring to Plattsburgh, NY, Portland, ME, and Cummington, MA
  • offering a new series of online tutorials and webinars

What will you be doing?

Here's some suggestions:
  • Post your co-op's unique story to Cultivate.coop and Stories.coop.
  • Make a video or snap a photo for My Co-op Rocks.
  • Invite local policymakers, chambers of commerce, and schools to tour your co-op.
  • Support the development of a new co-op nearby.
Thanks and stay tuned for more information, ideas and resources, coming your way.

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