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Co-ops & Cooperation

The Cooperative Business Model
Cooperatives are operated by members to serve the needs and values of the community. This is in contrast to regular corporations, which are often operated by a distant and anonymous pool of shareholders with the primary goal of extracting profits from the community. There are many kinds of co-ops: food co-ops, housing co-ops, credit unions, worker's co-ops, agricultural co-ops, etc. They vary dramatically in size, culture and longevity. Some are highly participative, with many of the members/customers participating in the work (e.g. Karma Food Co-op in Toronto). Others are somewhat less participative (e.g. Mountain Equipment Co-op), but still are ultimately controlled by the members.

What is a co-op? What are the advantages?
Wikipedia Article | Wikipedia Category | NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation)

Listings of Cooperatives in Canada & USA:
NASCO Guide to Coops (mostly USA)
Canadian Cooperatives (listed in Wikipedia)
American Cooperatives (listed in Wikipedia)
Cooperative Grocer Magazine (food co-ops, USA & Canada)
Canadian Co-op Network (housing cooperatives)
Canadian Cooperative Association (larger cooperatives)
Google Directory
Cooperative Housing Links
Cooperatives in Canada Google search (2)
USA: National Cooperative Business Association

A few examples of consumer co-ops:
Ontario Natural Food Co-op (a member co-op) (create your own group)
Karma Food Co-op (Toronto) (a member co-op)
The Big Carrot (Toronto) (a worker co-op)
Mountain Equipment Co-op (across Canada) (a member co-op)

Co-op books, articles & resources:
Cooperation, Competition, and a "Sustainable Economy"
Cooperation Book Reviews
Competition & Cooperation Links
More links & resources: google directory | google search

The Creative Commons and other Open, Cooperative & Sustainable Approaches
Creative Commons (defined)
Open Content, Open Source, Open Standards
Peer Production

Related pages at

Questioning Business | Fair Trade | What is the commons? | Sustainable Living Links | The People & Planet Directory

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