The Cooperative Alternative

In an era in which conventional models of finance and corporate governance are being called into question, perhaps it is time to revisit the alternative approach taken by economic cooperatives. In addition to a humane vision, cooperatives embody a pragmatic approach to production that could help to spur economic growth.

WASHINGTON, DC – In an era in which conventional models of finance, corporate governance, and corporate responsibility are increasingly debated, if not called into question, it may be time to revisit the alternative approach taken by economic cooperatives. The foundational values of cooperatives embody not only a humane vision, but also a pragmatic approach to production that has enabled the successful ones to thrive – and to spur economic growth in countries that desperately need it.

Cooperative movements took shape in the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Japan in the 1800’s. Many grew from the simple proposition that ordinary people could overcome adversity in the marketplace by banding together to buy and sell goods at reasonable prices, and quickly realized the added benefits of sharing knowledge among members, promoting inclusion, and building social capital.

Today, cooperatives cover a range of activities and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small-scale agricultural and consumer organizations in Africa to some of the leading agricultural brands and largest financial-service providers in North America and Europe.   

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/QhoAn2b;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.