What young people think about co-ops (part 2)

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We got some good feedback from our session with young co-operators at the beginning of the month; they braved the Scottish Spring to battle their way to New Lanark to discuss ways of promoting co-operatives and co-operative teaching in schools. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Focus on primary schools to get the message across – creates a new generation of co-operators.
  • Promote co-op success stories.
  • Establish a mentoring program – use existing student co-ops to help new co-ops.
  • Incorporate it into the careers service at schools.
  • Decide on key messages: co-operatives promote personal development, develop new, practical skills, and offer something new/interesting.
  • Create opportunities to meet with other student co-ops (a Young Co-op Network).
  • Need to get teachers to recognise that the co-operative option makes sense in a lot of areas in a school – builds upon existing ‘co-operative’ activities.

Plenty to think about for us as educators and co-operators.

Co-op development materials

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Fresh from 1986 is the Open University’s Improving Co-operative Performance publication:



Making 2013 a great year for Co-op Education

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‘What could be important in this co-operative initiative is not what is accomplished but what it is intended to do.’
– José María Arizmendiarrieta

One of the key messages of the UN 2012 Year of Co-operatives was to see the celebration not as an ending but as a beginning. We have taken that to heart at CETS and have a variety of activities, resources and projects planned for 2013 that will hopefully improve co-operative education in Scotland and the UK.

  • The first cohort of students will be completing the inaugural SQA Awards in Co-operative Studies in 2013. Offered at levels 4, 5 and 6, the qualification provides secondary students with a detailed understanding of the core historical, social and organisational topics relating to co-operatives. We are working on promoting these awards to other Scottish secondary schools in the year ahead.
  • 2012 saw the development of our interactive online resource on the Commonwealth Games. The Co-operative Games: Succeeding together is aimed at upper primary/early secondary level pupils and covers a variety of topics within the Curriculum for Excellence. We will continue to promote? this resource in the run-up to the 2014 Games.
  • We are always seeking to develop relevant, interesting learning and teaching resources on co-operatives and 2013 will continue this trend. The end of the summer will see the launch of a resource on ‘making your school co-operative’. Loudoun Academy became the first “Scottish School of Co-operation -SSC”. We are now building on our work to create the first cluster of SSC schools in Edinburgh and the first Primary SSC in Angus. We also have plans for a second resource but we’re still at the idea generation stage; any ideas/suggestions are welcome at info@cets.coop.

2013 will also be also a big year for us in relation to our work at tertiary level:

  • In co-operation with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), we are organising a series of screenings of the US employee ownership film, We The Owners, across 3 or 4 Scottish Universities. Open to students, academics, local business people, and co-operators, the screenings will take place during late February, early March; contact info@cets.coop if interested in attending.
  • March will see the completion of an innovative project, supported by Co-operatives UK, to establish a co-operative providing employment to students from a Scottish university. Student-owned and led, the new co-operative will be launched in late March and will be based on a successful model from Mondragón Corporation in the Basque Country.
  • Finally, work continues, thanks to the support of CDS, on disseminating the outputs of a recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between CETS and the University of Aberdeen. These outputs include an academic textbook, a collection of essays, an entrepreneurship guide for students/graduates, and a virtual learning environment. We are also delivering a series of lectures across Scottish universities, in particular with the University of the West of Scotland.

CETS Blog – 2012 in review

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Lies, damned lies and statistics…interesting viewing though! Thanks to everyone who enjoyed our blog last year; more to come in 2013.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Celebrating UN 2012 Year of Co-operatives

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Great video which manages to capture the essence of the year in 3 minutes. Keep an eye out for clips from our youth engagement film Join the Co-op Future.


The Emerging Scholar Awards in Employee Participation and Ownership

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The Foundation for Enterprise Development and collaborators are pleased to announce the launch of a new, annual award ($1,500 per award, up to 3 awards) for promising research by an emerging scholar in the domain of broad-based employee participation and ownership.

The purpose of the award program is to identify innovative research in management or management-related disciplines that considers high-impact ideas in the context of business and society’s needs for employee empowerment, participative workforces, and wealth creation through broad-based equity and profit-sharing mechanisms, work practices, organizational structures, and innovation and entrepreneurial models. Research that has broad implications for practice and/or policy, and that addresses pressing economic and/or social problems are especially appropriate for this award.

The award is open to students (PhD) and post-docs worldwide; see the website below for full details of the award and its criteria.


Co-operative education workshop – Co-ops United

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Details of an interesting workshop at the big co-op event Co-operatives United at the end of the month:

Title: Business Education Geared to the Co-operative Model: A Growing Trend

Description: When current and future co-operative leaders wish to pursue professional development specific to the co-operative business model, they do have options. Discuss the benefits of existing business programs geared to co-operatives. Learn directly from those with first-hand experience as students, instructors, and co-operative sector supports of co-operative specific management education.

Date: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Time: 14:30 – 15:30

Location: ICA Expo, Manchester Central. Room/location in conference: Business (Central 7)


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