International Year of Cooperatives – 2012
By Ahzjah Netjer Simons, Marketing & Outreach Manager
The International Year of Cooperatives:Love Your Co-op
According to the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA.com),2012 is The International Year of Co-operatives, or IYC, which celebrates a different way of doing business, one focused on human need not human greed, where the members (who own and govern the business) collectively enjoy the benefits instead of all profits going just to shareholders.
Having an International Year of Co-operatives provides an opportunity to captivate the attention of national governments, the business community and, most importantly, the general public on the advantages provided by the co-operative model. As the global voice of co-operatives The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is seeking to leverage the International Year to raise the public awareness of co-operatives worldwide.
We’re now almost 4000 members strong. That’s almost 1000 more than we had last year. That’s a lot of power. What are we gonna do with it? Fragmented without focus won’t get us there. Cultivating the cooperative spirit and nurturing collective power is the way to sustaining a successful co-op. I hear so many great stories, amazing things accomplished by people power in other co-ops or other groups locally and globally. 4000 member strong with a focus intention, there’s no telling what we could do.
We all love our co-op. One way to show love is by simply participating in it. Some of you do it through shopping, some through coming to a meeting or voting, some of you enjoy the mixers. You might even run for the Board of Directors this spring or lead a committee or capital campaign. We encourage you to become more involved in your co-op. It’s what makes it work. Co-ops don’t just exist to erect a building with great products or services inside. They also exist to accomplish something or achieve a particular goal. We might want to complete a project, build something, spin off more co-ops, be on the front line of food safety activism, or simply increase our buying power. Another way to participate is through sharing your vision as a business owner. Please share your thoughts at the next Vision Planning sessions with your GM, Tom Pawlenko. Friday, February 17th at 1pm or Monday, February 20th at 6pm. The sky is the limit!
More IYC Links:
Development Fund cdf.coop
Cooperative Development Institute cdi.coop
Cooperative Grocers Information Network CGIN.coop
Our IYC Plans!
Launching Monthly Mixers for members and shoppers to raise more awareness regarding co-ops, and provide education on starting co-ops and their development. And to bring further meaning and cohesion within the member to staff and board relationships that exist only in cooperatives vs. Store-only entities.
In Store signage and buttons promoting IYC
Promoting our Co-op 101 Radio which feature cooperatives locally, regionally, and globally, Co-op Industry leaders such as NCBA, NCGA,ICA, and more, and other community businesses doing business utilizing the cooperative principles and collaborative practices. ( Education and Training)(Concern for Community)
Series of articles promoting IYC
Co-op Resources Education, Development, Funding
Links to the Co-op Round Table members
Links for members and shoppers to stay in tuned with co-op success stories will be on the website.
Why I love this co-op video campaign
Co-operatives featured in our store once a month exhibiting
IYC Bash and B-day Celebration in October which is Co-op
Atlanta Co-op Round Table gearing up to do a national co-op radio program
(Bond Credit Union, Sevananda Natural Foods Market, Federation of Southern Cooperatives)