From Co-operative Year to Co-operative Decade - A New Era in Co-operative Business Development

22nd Mar 2013  01:00 pm - 22nd Mar 2013 02:00 pm

The first talk for 2013 in the CRG seminar series will be held on Friday 22 March from 1pm to 2pm in Room 214/215 in the Economics and Business Building, The University of Sydney.

The topic will be '"From co-operative year to co-operative decade - a new era in co-operative business development" by Melina Morrison.

Abstract: 2012 marked a watershed for the global co-operative movement. In Australia, the International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) focused unprecedented media attention on the co-operative model whilst a groundbreaking national mapping project titled "Who knew Australians were so co-operative? The size and scope of mutually owned co-ops in Australia" showed we are a highly co-operative nation (79% of Australians are members of a co-operatively owned business), but we just don't know it (only 16% of Australians believe they are a member of one).

To progress the international agenda and capitalise on the momentum built during the United Nations declared IYC, the global peak body for co-ops, the International Co-operative Alliance, has produced its "Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade", an ambitious plan to make all forms of co-operative business the fastest growing models of enterprise by 2020.

Exciting initiatives are underway to move the co-operative and mutual sector to the next level globally including the development of an international 'co-op mark' (like Fairtrade) and plans to bring co-operatives, co-operative banks and credit unions, mutual insurers and employee owned businesses into closer alignment to leverage global influence at G20 and B20 level. National co-operative and mutual movements are being invited to participate and to influence the global agenda. In Australia, plans to establish a national council of member-owned businesses, a legacy initiative of the IYC 2012 Australian campaign, are well advanced. The next stages will involve industry wide consultations and an invitation to participate in establishing or setting up a national representative body.

Bio: Melina Morrison

Melina Morrison is director of Australia's Secretariat for the UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012, which continues in 2013 to champion the formation of a national business council for member-owned businesses including co-operatives, mutuals and employee-owned enterprises. Melina is also a founding director of www.socialbusiness.coop an organisation that champions the role of member-owned businesses in the mainstream economy. She has written widely on co-operatives and the social economy for international and national publications including four years editing the Digest for the global peak body for co-operatives, the International Co-operative Alliance. She has wide experience engaging the media on how we build social capital through profitable social businesses. Melina is a senior associate of Sommerson Communications, which specialises in communications and public relations for the co-operative business sector. In 2012, Sommerson co-produced the global digital co-operative case study campaign for the ICA and worked on the mainstream global media campaign for the IYC.