The Co-operative Innovation Project: Model of a Robust Co-operative Development Environment

The Co-operative Innovation Project

Year: 2016

Co-operative development is the process by which co-operatives are formed, grow, and thrive. It also refers to work that supports the larger co-operative environment. These two levels are nested and sometimes it can be difficult to say which activity belongs where.

There are three aspects to co-operative development: the creation of new co-operatives, strengthening or growing existing co-operatives, and strengthening communities based on cooperative principles, including building up knowledge networks that understand and promote cooperatives. “Co-operative Development” is a catch-all term that encompasses activities that support the health of the entire environment. Although co-operative development is widely practised around the world with many successful variations, there has been far less work on conceptualizing co-operative development. Cooperative development is typically described and explained as a series of steps or phases.

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However, the Co-operative Innovation Project definition shows that co-operative development encompasses both the steps to develop one co-op and the process of building a robust co-operative environment.

Building a model that reflects the multiple activities and players required for and involved in cooperative development is no small task. A conceptual model can be used as a guidance tool. It allows those who work within the field of co-operative development to visualize the process and find ways to see where each piece fits into the larger whole. A model can also be used to measure success and to identify gaps or areas of concern, where current development practices may not match the conceptualized robust model.

This chapter will provide an overview of the Co-operative Innovation Project model of a robust cooperative development environment.

Executive Summary
1. Co-operative Development
2. Co-operative Development with Aboriginal Communities
3. Co-operative Development in Western Canada
4. Co-operative Development Building Strong Co-operatives
5. Model of a Robust Co-operative Development Environment

Table of Contents

Introduction and Aims

The Plunkett Model in Western Canada
The Plunkett Model
Co-op Development Cultures
Co-operative Culture
Community Culture
Political Culture
Business Culture
Education and Outreach