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Five Good Ideas About Advancing Racial Justice

Intolerance is growing around the world and Canada is not immune. All too often, we see and hear of the economic and social impacts of racism and inequality on Indigenous Peoples and racialized groups, particularly women, in education, housing, justice, and employment. How can individuals, groups and organizations work together to address this trend and bring about change? In this session, Avvy Go and Debbie Douglas will present five good ideas on how to develop and evaluate the needed policies, programs, and other practices that can address anti-racism and advance racial justice.

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Learn what content marketing and the fifth co-operative principle have in common (and how to leverage it)

Content marketing is a strategic marketing process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive conversions. It’s all about your audience, what they value, and how you can help educate them. When done correctly, this helps create a relationship with your audience, which leads to trust. And if your audience trusts you, they're more willing to cooperate with you.

MTJ (Michael T. Jackson) is an experienced project strategist with a demonstrated history developing systems through brand, product and process development.  He is the Strategic Communications Consultant at U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) as well as the Principal for eCommerce - SEO - Inbound - Brand Management with 

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Co-operation and the Preston Model: Beyond ‘Urban Regeneration’

SMU LogosThis presentation will briefly trace the origins and development of what has come to be known as the ‘Preston Model’, how and why it emerged and what might make it distinct from other ‘urban regeneration’ schemes. Although the Model includes the development of actual co-operative businesses, it is a pan socio-economic approach to community, business and society that is based on participation and desire for contribution and change above a narrow pursuit of creating wealth for its own sake. It is as much about co-operation as co-operatives. The presentation will discuss the various strands of the model and the political, social and ideological roots that uphold it, as well as the networked contributions from a range of stakeholders across the city, especially so-called ‘anchor institutions’. We will also be examining the interlocking roles of the local council and the university and future plans, including a co-operative community bank and a Co-operative University. The Preston Model is not a utopia and neither is it a finished ‘model’. Rather, it is work in progress, and the presentation seeks to consider the difficulties as well as the successes. Above all, it is a Model of intangibles such as affect, hope, enthusiasm, participation, pride and determination. Along with those qualities also come failure, disappointment, sorrow and frustration. The Preston Model shows what can be done in a move towards a new socio-economic paradigm that moves towards a post-growth society, the joy and the fear.

Dr Julian Manley is Social Innovation Manager at the Centre for SME Development, University of Central Lancashire in Preston. He was founding member and Chair of the Preston Co-operative Development Network from 2017-2020. He is a member of the Labour Party’s Community Wealth Building Unit, and a member of the Interim Academic Board of the Co-operative University. 

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Break Free from Our Systems Prison – A Human Centred Way of Thinking About and Managing Co-operatives

SMU LogosPractitioners know that standard management techniques don’t work very well in co-operatives, especially in flat hierarchy, high participation co-ops.  And when that standard tool doesn’t do what we were led to believe it would do, how often do we blame ourselves and even the co-operative model itself?

But perhaps orthodox management theory, including much that underlies co-operative management, is fundamentally inappropriate for our use. 

In this webinar we will discuss the ideology of systems theory which lies at the heart of most orthodox management thinking (an ideology which may be more about control and reinforcing hierarchy than the best option for co-operative governance and business management). 

Bob will be introducing a little known, but very exciting, alternative way of thinking about organisations, based on the communication and relationship processes of the humans involved, from the work of Ralph D Stacey and his colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire Business School, UK. 

Participants will consider if management thinking based on human communicating and relating processes -Complex Responsive Processes of Relating- could be a more effective way of managing co-operatives.

About the speaker: Bob Cannell has spent his working life helping manage and support worker owned co-operatives in the UK. He was the personnel officer for Suma ( during the twenty years when the worker co-op grew to be one of the largest businesses in its locality and a wealth generating machine for its workers and their communities. As a co-operative development worker, Bob has advised many UK worker co-ops, co-authoring the Co-ops UK Code of Governance for Worker Co-operatives, and was the UK representative for the International Co-operative Alliance worker co-op sector organisation - CICOPA, and vice-chair of the European region, CECOP.  He is an ecology graduate and political economy post-grad, which he credits for his analytical and independent approach to management and organisational thinking.

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Buy Social Canada Symposium 2020 (Update - Now Digital)

Buy Social Symposium 2020

COVID-19 Update: Join us for the online Symposium!

At Buy Social Canada's core our goal is to help shape healthy communities.

Now, more than ever we are seeing the importance of shaping thriving and resilient local economies. Things will change after the dust has settled from this crisis and the importance of social value procurement can not be understated. Join us to learn from industry experts and the Social Procurement Champion Award winners.

Currently the best action we can take to help our community is to adapt our in-person Symposium to a digital event as we practice social distancing and isolation to limit the rate of infection of COVID-19.

With gratitude for the technology that makes this possible we look forward to connecting with you at the Buy Social Canada Digital Symposium.

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Local Organizing for Responsible Development

Join a conversation to explore how local organizing principles and approaches can contribute to the creation of more sustainable, fair and inclusive economies.

The Local Organizing for Fair Economies Community of Practice met twice in Fall 2019, exchanging ideas, learning, and experiences. We're looking forward to invigorating conversation and expanding our circle in 2020 with an exciting calendar ahead.

January's conversation will be on "Local Organizing for Responsible Development":

The Toronto Community Benefits Network is a leader in local organizing for equitable economic opportunities and inclusion for all, directly impacting the development process in the City of Toronto. Learn from their tangible examples about how to build grassroots support to enable policy reform and in the process transform local economies.

Kumsa Baker, Campaigns Manager for the Toronto Community Benefits Network, will share knowledge and experiences, followed by facilitated discussion and group conversations. 

Join us from 1:00-2:30pm Eastern Standard Time on January 31, 2020.

Register now and connection details will be emailed to you, as well as a reminder a few days before the session.


Kumsa Baker - Campaigns Manager, Toronto Community Benefits Network

Since getting involved in the labour movement organizing for a union at his workplace, Rogers Centre a.k.a the Skydome, Kumsa Baker has been an advocate for decent work and equitable employment opportunities for all in Toronto. In 2015, Kumsa joined the Research Department at his Hospitality and Food Service worker union, UNITE HERE, supporting key campaigns across North America. He has also organized with the Toronto 15 & Fairness Campaign who were successful in organizing for and winning major changes and improvements to the outdated Ontario Employment Standards Act. In 2017, Kumsa was recognized for his advocacy being selected for the 2017 Young Workers Award by the Ontario Federation of Labour. Kumsa currently works as Campaigns Manager with the Toronto Community Benefits Network, supporting Toronto neighbourhoods in organizing for fairer economies and equitable, local economic development through Community Benefits Agreements


  • The Local Organizing for Fair Economies Community of Practice is an online conversation space, held through video conferencing on Zoom.
  • This session is in English.
  • You will need speakers or a headset on your computer.  To ensure your system will be compatible with our webinar platform, look at the Zoom quick start guide prior to the session. 
  • Further login details will be sent along with a registration confirmation.

Register now


The Local Organizing for Fair Economies Community of Practice faciliates conversations with people from across Canada and Indigenous territories to:

  • Curate resources (Community Benefits page)
  • Facilitate conversations about challenges and solutions
  • Track policy updates (municipal, provincial, federal, Indigenous, etc.)
  • Help identify resources available


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