Co-ops 101: Intro to the Co-operative

//Co-ops 101: Intro to the Co-operative

Co-ops 101: Intro to the Co-operative

May 4th, 2006Our first show introduces the co-operative model and the co-operative movement.

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In this episode we seek to answer the question on everyone’s mind: what is a co-op? where did this all start?

  1. First our team of virile adventurous reporters visit the campus watering hole seeking answers to important questions in our segment, Word on the Street!
  2. Then we present the first of a two part interview introducing the co-operative model and movement. Eryk interviews Dr. Ian MacPherson (Director of the BCICS) and gets the scoop from a man you knows about co-operatives.
  3. Following the interview we have the co-operative Community Bulletin.
  4. And stay tuned at the end the Each for All Quiz Question for a chance to win a BCICS prize package that includes a book of your choice on co-ops and more!

Episode Supplemental Information:

What is a Co-op?

To learn the answer to this question and more visit the following sites:

More information on Co-ops – these are just to get you going. Check out each site’s Links pages.

The ICA’s 7 Principles of Co-operative Identity

As we mentioned Ian was instrumental in helping draft the 7 Principles of Co-op Identity.  The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice. These principles will be a recurring theme on our show. The principles really encapsulate the difference between the co-op model and other forms of business organisation. For more info visit

1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
5th Principle: Education, Training and Information
6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives
7th Principle: Concern for Community

Community Bulletin

4th Annual International Youth Conference in Manchester, May 24-27, 2006. Visit or for information on registering.

Music Played on the Show

We played a co-operative themed tune written by Greg O’neill and Hazel Corcoran titled, “The Big Idea”. These two people are active in the Canadian Co-operative Movement. Greg is a Co-op Developer in the NWT and Hazel works with the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation. This tune was brought to us here in Victoria during our 1st annual Building Co-operative Futures conference in 2003. Greg is releasing it on a new CD due out this year. we’ll keep you posted.


For background information on some of the topics discussed in this week’s show please see the following publications.

  • Averich, Paul. Anarchist Portraits. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.
    [See chapters on P. Kropotkin]
  • Archer, Julian. “The Cooperative Ideal in the Socialist Thought of the First International in France” in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History, Vol. 6.
  • Birchall, Johnston. The International Co-operative Movement. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1997.
  • Craig, John G. The Nature of Co-operation. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1993.
  • Durr, Andy. “William King of Brighton: Co-operation’s Prophet?” in New Views of Co-operation, S. Yeo eds. New York: Routledge, 1988.
  • Engles, Friedrich. The Condition of the Working Class in England. Translated by Florence Wischnewetzky. Edited with a foreword by Victor Kiernan. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, c1987.
  • Fairbairn, Brett. Raiffeissen and Desjardins: Co-operative Leadership, Identity, and Memory. Unpublished Paper. [BCICS call number: 0782.9F]
  • Holyoake, G.J. “The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers” in British Co-operation: The History, Principles and Organization of the British Co-operative Movement. [BCICS call number: 0773.9 H1985]
  • MacPherson, Ian & Yeo, Stephen. Pioneers of Co-operation: 160th Anniversary Reflections on the Opening of the Toad Lane Store. Victoria: Co-operative College & British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies, 2005.
  • Nagai, Yoshio. “‘Co-operation’ and Socialism in Robert Owen,” in Robert Owen and the World of Co-operation, ed. Chushichi Tsuzuki. Tokyo: Robert Owen Association of Japan, 1992.
  • Ravnholt, Henning. The Danish Co-operative Movement: Danish Information Handbooks. Copenhagen: Det Danske Selskab, 1947. [BCICS call number: 0368.7613]
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About the Author:

Host and executive producer Robin Puga has been with Each For All from its beginning in 2006. Robin studied at the British Columbia Institute of Co-operative Studies (BCICS) and is active in the co-op community. In addition to working in the technology sector he’s a founding member of the CanTrust worker co-op and previous board member of the BC Co-op Association.

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