This week is Co-op Week, a time to celebrate the impact that the co-operative sector has had on communities across Canada, and reflect on co-operative values and principles.
So, what exactly is a co-op?
Co-operatives are people-centered enterprises that are owned and controlled by and for their members to bring about common economic, social, and/or cultural goals. Co-operatives bring people together in a democratic and equitable way, following the ‘one member, one vote’ principle.
As a co-operative organization ourselves, and one that supports other co-operatives to raise community investment, we firmly believe in the benefits that co-operatives bring to society. Because they are not owned by shareholders, co-ops are a vehicle that allow people to take control of their economic future and retain economic and social benefits within their communities.
More broadly than this, we believe in co-operation – co-operation among community members, among community organizations, among sectors – to create a better future. Co-operation is at the core of what we do, and the essence of community financing. We know that doing things together yields far better results than when done alone.
To mark the occasion of Co-op Week, our team has been reflecting on this years’ theme: “Co-operation in the World of Tomorrow”.
Mary Warner, Co-Executive Director
“I believe in a future where profits are returned to supporters rather than banks, and where investors can feel proud that they put their money in something that they believe in. To me, ‘co-operation in the world of tomorrow’ means communities coming together to support a common goal and jointly investing the capital it will take to realize that vision.”
Satyameet Singh, Campaign Manager
“A Co-operative offers it’s members a concrete way to contribute to our inter-dependent reality; one where bridges replace walls. At Tapestry, when I see a cool Co-operative in action – one with shameless idealism and a strong collective resolve – I feel alive.”
Karen Scottie, Human Resources and Administration Manager
“I imagine a world where problems, such as climate change, homelessness and poverty, are not shrugged off due to profit’s bottom line. I see inclusive communities whose inhabitants, both human and non-human, flourish with home-fullness, vibrant public and active transportation, and an economy based on the health of the planet. One step toward this vision is if community members could raise their own funds for their projects, to be the investors themselves. Community bonds make this possible.”