A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise". Cooperatives may include:
Research published by the Worldwatch Institute found that in 2012 approximately one billion people in 96 countries had become members of at least one cooperative. The turnover of the largest three hundred cooperatives in the world reached $2.2 trillion.
Cooperative businesses are typically more economically resilient than many other forms of enterprise, with twice the number of co-operatives (80%) surviving their first five years compared with other business ownership models (41%). Cooperatives frequently have social goals which they aim to accomplish by investing a proportion of trading profits back into their communities. As an example of this, in 2013, retail co-operatives in the UK invested 6.9% of their pre-tax profits in the communities in which they trade as compared with 2.4% for other rival supermarkets.
Since 2002 cooperatives and credit unions could be distinguished on the Internet by use of a .coop domain. Since 2014, following International Cooperative Alliance's introduction of the Cooperative Marque, ICA cooperatives and WOCCU credit unions can also be identified by a coop ethical consumerism label.
Cooperation dates back as far as human beings have been organizing for mutual benefits. Tribes were organized as cooperative structures, allocating jobs and resources among each other, only trading with the external communities. In alpine environments, trade could only be maintained in organized cooperatives to achieve a useful condition of artificial roads such as Viamala in 1472. Pre-industrial Europe is home to the first cooperatives from an industrial context. The roots of the cooperative movement can be traced to multiple influences and extend worldwide. In the English-speaking world, post-feudal forms of cooperation between workers and owners that are expressed today as "profit-sharing" and "surplus sharing" arrangements, existed as far back as 1795. The key ideological influence on the Anglosphere branch of the cooperative movement, however, was a rejection of the charity principles that underpinned welfare reforms when the British government radically revised its Poor Laws in 1834. As both state and church institutions began to routinely distinguish between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor, a movement of friendly societies grew throughout the British Empire based on the principle of mutuality, committed to self-help in the welfare of working people.
In 1761, the Fenwick Weavers' Society was formed in Fenwick, East Ayrshire, Scotland to sell discounted oatmeal to local workers. Its services expanded to include assistance with savings and loans, emigration and education. In 1810, Welsh social reformer Robert Owen, from Newtown in mid-Wales, and his partners purchased New Lanark mill from Owen's father-in-law David Dale and proceeded to introduce better labour standards including discounted retail shops where profits were passed on to his employees. Owen left New Lanark to pursue other forms of cooperative organization and develop coop ideas through writing and lecture. Cooperative communities were set up in Glasgow, Indiana and Hampshire, although ultimately unsuccessful. In 1828, William King set up a newspaper, The Cooperator, to promote Owen's thinking, having already set up a cooperative store in Brighton.
The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, (RCEP) founded in 1844, is usually considered the first successful cooperative enterprise, used as a model for modern coops, following the 'Rochdale Principles'. A group of 28 weavers and other artisans in Rochdale, England set up the society to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford. Within ten years there were over a thousand cooperative societies in the United Kingdom.
Friendly Societies established forums through which one member, one vote was practiced in organisation decision-making. The principles challenged the idea that a person should be an owner of property before being granted a political voice. Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century (and then repeatedly every twenty years or so) there was a surge in the number of cooperative organisations, both in commercial practice and civil society, operating to advance democracy and universal suffrage as a political principle. Friendly Societies and consumer cooperatives became the dominant form of organization amongst working people in Anglosphere industrial societies prior to the rise of trade unions and industrial factories. Weinbren reports that by the end of the 19th century, over 80% of British working age men and 90% of Australian working age men were members of one or more Friendly Society.
From the mid-nineteenth century, mutual organisations embraced these ideas in economic enterprises, firstly amongst tradespeople, and later in cooperative stores, educational institutes, financial institutions and industrial enterprises. The common thread (enacted in different ways, and subject to the constraints of various systems of national law) is the principle that an enterprise or association should be owned and controlled by the people it serves, and share any surpluses on the basis of each member's cooperative contribution (as a producer, labourer or consumer) rather than their capacity to invest financial capital.
The International Co-operative Alliance was the first international association formed (1895) by the cooperative movement. It includes the World Council of Credit Unions. A second organization formed later in Germany: the International Raiffeisen Union. In the United States, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA; the abbreviation of the organization retains the initials of its former name, Cooperative League of the USA) serves as the sector's oldest national membership association. It is dedicated to ensuring that cooperative businesses have the same opportunities as other businesses operating in the country and that consumers have access to cooperatives in the marketplace.
In 1945 Artturi Ilmari Virtanen received Nobel prize for chemistry for AIV silage which improved milk production and a method of preserving butter, the AIV salt, which led to increased Finnish butter exports. He had started his career in chemistry in Valio, a cooperative of dairy farmers in which he headed the research department for 50 years and where all his major inventions were first put to practice.
Cooperative banks were first to adopt online banking. Stanford Federal Credit Union was the first financial institution to offer online internet banking services to all of its members in October 1994. In 1996 OP Financial Group, also a cooperative bank, became the second online bank in the world and the first in Europe.
By 2004 a new association focused on worker co-ops was founded, the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives.
The cooperative movement has been fueled globally by ideas of economic democracy. Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that suggests an expansion of decision-making power from a small minority of corporate shareholders to a larger majority of public stakeholders. There are many different approaches to thinking about and building economic democracy. Anarchists are committed to libertarian socialism and have focused on local organization, including locally managed cooperatives, linked through confederations of unions, cooperatives and communities. Marxists, who as socialists have likewise held and worked for the goal of democratizing productive and reproductive relationships, often placed a greater strategic emphasis on confronting the larger scales of human organization. As they viewed the capitalist class to be politically, militarily and culturally mobilized for the purpose of maintaining an exploitable working class, they fought in the early 20th century to appropriate from the capitalist class the society's collective political capacity in the form of the state, either through democratic socialism, or through what came to be known as Leninism. Though they regard the state as an unnecessarily oppressive institution, Marxists considered appropriating national and international-scale capitalist institutions and resources (such as the state) to be an important first pillar in creating conditions favorable to solidaristic economies. With the declining influence of the USSR after the 1960s, socialist strategies pluralized, though economic democratizers have not as yet established a fundamental challenge to the hegemony of global neoliberal capitalism.
Cooperatives values, in the tradition of its founders, are based on "self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity." Co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
Since 2002, ICA cooperatives and WOCCU credit unions could be distinguished by use of a .coop domain. In 2014, ICA introduced the Global Cooperative Marque for use by ICA's Cooperative members and by WOCCU's Credit Union members so they can be further identified by their coop ethical consumerism label. The marque is used today by thousands of cooperatives in more than a hundred countries.
The .coop domain and Co-operative Marque were designed as a new symbol of the global cooperative movement and its collective identity in the digital age. The Co-operative Marque and domain is reserved just for co-operatives, credit unions and organisations that support co-operatives; is distinguished by its ethical badge that subscribes to the seven ICA Cooperative Principles and Co-op Values. Co-ops can be identified on the Internet through the use of the .coop suffix of internet addresses. Organizations using .coop domain names must adhere to the basic co-op values.
A cooperative is a legal entity owned and democratically controlled by its members. Members often have a close association with the enterprise as producers or consumers of its products or services, or as its employees. The legal entities have a range of social characteristics. Membership is open, meaning that anyone who satisfies certain non-discriminatory conditions may join. Economic benefits are distributed proportionally to each member's level of participation in the cooperative, for instance, by a dividend on sales or purchases, rather than according to capital invested. Cooperatives may be classified as either worker, consumer, producer, purchasing or housing cooperatives. They are distinguished from other forms of incorporation in that profit-making or economic stability are balanced by the interests of the community.
There are specific forms of incorporation for cooperatives in some countries, e.g. Finland and Australia. Cooperatives may take the form of companies limited by shares or by guarantee, partnerships or unincorporated associations. In the UK they may also use the industrial and provident society structure. In the US, cooperatives are often organized as non-capital stock corporations under state-specific cooperative laws. Cooperatives often share their earnings with the membership as dividends, which are divided among the members according to their participation in the enterprise, such as patronage, instead of according to the value of their capital shareholdings (as is done by a joint stock company).
Capital and the Debt Trap reports that "cooperatives tend to have a longer life than other types of enterprise, and thus a higher level of entrepreneurial sustainability". This resilience has been attributed to how cooperatives share risks and rewards between members, how they harness the ideas of many and how members have a tangible ownership stake in the business. Additionally, "cooperative banks build up counter-cyclical buffers that function well in case of a crisis," and are less likely to lead members and clients towards a debt trap (p. 216). This is explained by their more democratic governance that reduces perverse incentives and subsequent contributions to economic bubbles.
A 2013 report by ILO concluded that cooperative banks outperformed their competitors during the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The cooperative banking sector had 20% market share of the European banking sector, but accounted for only 7 per cent of all the write-downs and losses between the third quarter of 2007 and first quarter of 2011. Cooperative banks were also over-represented in lending to small and medium-sized businesses in all of the 10 countries included in the report.
A 2013 report published by the UK Office for National Statistics showed that in the UK the rate of survival of cooperatives after five years was 80 percent compared with only 41 percent for all other enterprises. A further study found that after ten years 44 percent of cooperatives were still in operation, compared with only 20 percent for all enterprises.
A 2012 report published by The European Confederation of cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises active in industry and services showed that in France and Spain, worker cooperatives and social cooperatives “have been more resilient than conventional enterprises during the economic crisis”.
In a 2007 study by the World Council of Credit Unions, the 5-year survival rate of cooperatives in the United States was found to be 90% in comparison to 3-5% for traditional businesses. Credit unions, a type of cooperative bank, had five times lower failure rate than other banks during the financial crisis and more than doubled lending to small businesses between 2008 - 2016, from $30 billion to $60 billion, while lending to small businesses overall during the same period declined by around $100 billion. Public trust in credit unions stands at 60%, compared to 30% for big banks and small businesses are five times less likely to be dissatisfied with a credit union than with a big bank.
A 2010 report by the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export in Québec found that the five-year survival rate and 10-year survival rate of cooperatives in Québec to be 62% and 44% respectively compared to 35% and 20% for conventional firms. Another report by the BC-Alberta Social economy Research Alliance found that the three-year survival rate of cooperatives in Alberta to be 81.5% in comparison to 48% for traditional firms. Another report by the aforementioned Research Alliance found that in British-Columbia, the 5-year survival rates for cooperatives between 2000 and 2010 to be 66.6% in comparison to conventional businesses that had 43% and 39% in the years 1984 and 1993 respectively
The top 300 largest cooperatives were listed in 2007 by the International Co-operative Alliance. 80% were involved in either agriculture, finance, or retail and more than half were in the United States, Italy, or France.
A consumers' cooperative is a business owned by its customers. Members vote on major decisions and elect the board of directors from among their own number. The first of these was set up in 1844 in the North-West of England by 28 weavers who wanted to sell food at a lower price than the local shops.
Retail cooperatives are retailers, such as grocery stores, owned by their customers. They should not be confused with retailers' cooperatives, whose members are retailers rather than consumers. In Denmark and Finland the company with the largest market share in grocery store sector is a customer owned cooperative.
A housing cooperative is a legal mechanism for ownership of housing where residents either own shares (share capital co-op) reflecting their equity in the cooperative's real estate, or have membership and occupancy rights in a not-for-profit cooperative (non-share capital co-op), and they underwrite their housing through paying subscriptions or rent.
Housing cooperatives come in three basic equity structures
Members of a building cooperative (in Britain known as a self-build housing cooperative) pool resources to build housing, normally using a high proportion of their own labor. When the building is finished, each member is the sole owner of a homestead, and the cooperative may be dissolved.
This collective effort was at the origin of many of Britain's building societies, which however, developed into "permanent" mutual savings and loan organisations, a term which persisted in some of their names (such as the former Leeds Permanent). Nowadays such self-building may be financed using a step-by-step mortgage which is released in stages as the building is completed. The term may also refer to worker cooperatives in the building trade.
A utility cooperative is a type of consumers' cooperative that is tasked with the delivery of a public utility such as electricity, water or telecommunications services to its members. Profits are either reinvested into infrastructure or distributed to members in the form of "patronage" or "capital credits", which are essentially dividends paid on a member's investment into the cooperative. In the United States, many cooperatives were formed to provide rural electrical and telephone service as part of the New Deal. See Rural Utilities Service.
In the case of electricity, cooperatives are generally either generation and transmission (G&T) co-ops that create and send power via the transmission grid or local distribution co-ops that gather electricity from a variety of sources and send it along to homes and businesses.
In Tanzania, it has been proven that the cooperative method is helpful in water distribution. When the people are involved with their own water, they care more because the quality of their work has a direct effect on the quality of their water.
Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned and controlled by their members. Credit unions provide the same financial services as banks but are considered not-for-profit organizations and adhere to cooperative principles.
Credit unions originated in mid-19th-century Germany through the efforts of pioneers Franz Herman Schulze'Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. The concept of financial cooperatives crossed the Atlantic at the turn of the 20th century, when the caisse populaire movement was started by Alphonse Desjardins in Quebec, Canada. In 1900, from his home in Lévis, he opened North America's first credit union, marking the beginning of the Mouvement Desjardins. Eight years later, Desjardins provided guidance for the first credit union in the United States, where there are now about 7,950 active status federally insured credit unions, with almost 90 million members and more than $679 billion on deposit.
Cooperative banking networks, which were nationalized in Eastern Europe, work now as real cooperative institutions. In Poland, the SKOK (Spółdzielcze Kasy Oszczędnościowo-Kredytowe) network has grown to serve over 1 million members via 13,000 branches, and is larger than the country's largest conventional bank.
The oldest cooperative banks in Europe, based on the ideas of Friedrich Raiffeisen, are joined together in the 'Urgenossen'.
A worker cooperative or producer cooperative is a cooperative, that is owned and democratically controlled by its "worker-owners". There are no outside owners in a "pure" workers' cooperative, only the workers own shares of the business, though hybrid forms exist in which consumers, community members or capitalist investors also own some shares. In practice, control by worker-owners may be exercised through individual, collective or majority ownership by the workforce, or the retention of individual, collective or majority voting rights (exercised on a one-member one-vote basis). A worker cooperative, therefore, has the characteristic that the majority of its workforce owns shares, and the majority of shares are owned by the workforce. Membership is not always compulsory for employees, but generally only employees can become members either directly (as shareholders) or indirectly through membership of a trust that owns the company.
The impact of political ideology on practice constrains the development of cooperatives in different countries. In India, there is a form of workers' cooperative which insists on compulsory membership for all employees and compulsory employment for all members. That is the form of the Indian Coffee Houses. This system was advocated by the Indian communist leader A. K. Gopalan. In places like the UK, common ownership (indivisible collective ownership) was popular in the 1970s. Cooperative Societies only became legal in Britain after the passing of Slaney's Act in 1852. In 1865 there were 651 registered societies with a total membership of well over 200,000. There are now more than 400 worker cooperatives in the UK, Suma Wholefoods being the largest example with a turnover of £24 million.
Business and employment cooperatives (BECs) are a subset of worker cooperatives that represent a new approach to providing support to the creation of new businesses.
Like other business creation support schemes, BEC's enable budding entrepreneurs to experiment with their business idea while benefiting from a secure income. The innovation BECs introduce is that once the business is established the entrepreneur is not forced to leave and set up independently, but can stay and become a full member of the cooperative. The micro-enterprises then combine to form one multi-activity enterprise whose members provide a mutually supportive environment for each other.
BECs thus provide budding business people with an easy transition from inactivity to self-employment, but in a collective framework. They open up new horizons for people who have ambition but who lack the skills or confidence needed to set off entirely on their own – or who simply want to carry on an independent economic activity but within a supportive group context.
A "purchasing cooperative" is a type of cooperative arrangement, often among businesses, to agree to aggregate demand to get lower prices from selected suppliers. Retailers' cooperatives are a form of purchasing cooperative.
Agricultural service cooperatives provide various services to their individual farming members, and agricultural production cooperatives, where production resources such as land or machinery are pooled and members farm jointly.
Agricultural supply cooperatives aggregate purchases, storage, and distribution of farm inputs for their members. By taking advantage of volume discounts and utilizing other economies of scale, supply cooperatives bring down members' costs. Supply cooperatives may provide seeds, fertilizers, chemicals, fuel, and farm machinery. Some supply cooperatives also operate machinery pools that provide mechanical field services (e.g., plowing, harvesting) to their members. Known examples include the cranberry-and-grapefruit cooperative Ocean Spray, collective farms in socialist states and the kibbutzim in Israel.
Producer cooperatives consists of producers as its members, and provides services involved in moving a product from the point of production to the point of consumption. Unlike worker cooperatives, they allow businesses with multiple employees to join.
Agricultural marketing cooperatives operate a series of interconnected activities involving planning production, growing and harvesting, grading, packing, transport, storage, food processing, distribution and sale. Agricultural marketing cooperatives are often formed to promote specific commodities.
Commercially successful agricultural marketing cooperatives include India's Amul (dairy products), which is the world's largest producer of milk and milk products, Dairy Farmers of America (dairy products) in the United States, and Malaysia's FELDA (palm oil).
Producer cooperatives may also be organized by small businesses for pooling their savings and accessing capital, for acquiring supplies and services, or for marketing products and services.
Producer cooperatives among urban artisans were developed in the mid-19th-century in Germany by Franz Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch, who also promoted changes to the legal system (the Prussian Genossenschaftsgesetz of 1867) that facilitated such cooperatives. At about the same time, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen developed similar cooperatives among rural people.
Multi-stakeholder cooperatives include representation from different stakeholder groups, such as both consumers and workers.
Cooperatives traditionally combine social benefit interests with capitalistic property-right interests. Cooperatives achieve a mix of social and capital purposes by democratically governing distribution questions by and between equal by not controlling members. Democratic oversight of decisions to equitably distribute assets and other benefits means capital ownership is arranged in a way for social benefit inside the organization. External societal benefit is also encouraged by incorporating the operating-principle of cooperation between co-operatives. In the final year of the 20th century, cooperatives banded together to establish a number of social enterprise agencies which have moved to adopt the multi-stakeholder cooperative model. In the years 1994–2009 the EU and its member nations gradually revised national accounting systems to "make visible" the increasing contribution of social economy organizations.
A particularly successful form of multi-stakeholder cooperative is the Italian "social cooperative", of which some 11,000 exist. "Type A" social cooperatives bring together providers and beneficiaries of a social service as members. "Type B" social cooperatives bring together permanent workers and previously unemployed people who wish to integrate into the labor market. They are legally defined as follows:
New generation cooperatives (NGCs) are an adaptation of traditional cooperative structures to modern, capital intensive industries. They are sometimes described as a hybrid between traditional co-ops and limited liability companies or public benefit corporations. They were first developed in California and spread and flourished in the US Mid-West in the 1990s. They are now common in Canada where they operate primarily in agriculture and food services, where their primary purpose is to add value to primary products. For example, producing ethanol from corn, pasta from durum wheat, or gourmet cheese from goat's milk. A representative example of an operating NGC is the Fourth Estate (association), a multi-stakeholder NGC journalism association.
A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively owned, democratically governed business that establishes a computing platform, and uses a protocol, website or mobile app to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Platform cooperatives are an alternative to venture capital-funded platforms insofar as they are owned and governed by those who depend on them most—workers, users, and other relevant stakeholders. Proponents of platform cooperativism claim that, by ensuring the financial and social value of a platform circulate among these participants, platform cooperatives will bring about a more equitable and fair digitally mediated economy in contrast with the extractive models of corporate intermediaries. Platform cooperatives differ from traditional cooperatives not only due to their use of digital technologies, but also by their contribution to the commons for the purpose of fostering an equitable social and economic landscape.
A volunteer cooperative is a cooperative that is run by and for a network of volunteers, for the benefit of a defined membership or the general public, to achieve some goal. Depending on the structure, it may be a collective or mutual organization, which is operated according to the principles of cooperative governance. The most basic form of volunteer-run cooperative is a voluntary association. A lodge or social club may be organized on this basis. A volunteer-run co-op is distinguished from a worker cooperative in that the latter is by definition employee-owned, whereas the volunteer cooperative is typically a non-stock corporation, volunteer-run consumer co-op or service organization, in which workers and beneficiaries jointly participate in management decisions and receive discounts on the basis of sweat equity.
In some cases, cooperative societies find it advantageous to form cooperative federations in which all of the members are themselves cooperatives. Historically, these have predominantly come in the form of cooperative wholesale societies, and cooperative unions. Cooperative federations are a means through which cooperative societies can fulfill the sixth Rochdale Principle, cooperation among cooperatives, with the ICA noting that "Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional and international structures."
A second common form of cooperative federation is a cooperative union, whose objective (according to Gide) is "to develop the spirit of solidarity among societies and... in a word, to exercise the functions of a government whose authority, it is needless to say, is purely moral." Co-operatives UK and the International Cooperative Alliance are examples of such arrangements.
In some countries with a strong cooperative sector, such as the UK, cooperatives may find it advantageous to form political groupings to represent their interests. The British Co-operative Party, the Canadian Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and United Farmers of Alberta are prime examples of such arrangements.
The British cooperative movement formed the Co-operative Party in the early 20th century to represent members of consumers' cooperatives in Parliament, which was the first of its kind. The Co-operative Party now has a permanent electoral pact with the Labour Party meaning someone cannot be a member if they support a party other than Labour. Plaid Cymru also run a credit union that is constituted as a co-operative, called the 'Plaid Cymru Credit Union'. UK cooperatives retain a strong market share in food retail, insurance, banking, funeral services, and the travel industry in many parts of the country, although this is still significantly lower than other business models.
The Cooperative NATCCO Party (Coop-NATCCO) is a party-list in the Philippines which serves as the electoral wing of the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO). Coop-NATCCO has represented the Philippine co-operative sector in the Philippine 11th Congress since 1998.
Since cooperatives are based on values like self-help, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity, they can play a particularly strong role in empowering women, especially in developing countries. Cooperatives allow women who might have been isolated and working individually to band together and create economies of scale as well as increase their own bargaining power in the market. In statements in advance of International Women's Day in early 2013, President of the International Cooperative Alliance, Dame Pauline Green, said, "Cooperative businesses have done so much to help women onto the ladder of economic activity. With that comes community respect, political legitimacy and influence."
However, despite the supposed democratic structure of cooperatives and the values and benefits shared by members, due to gender norms on the traditional role of women, and other instilled cultural practices that sidestep attempted legal protections, women suffer a disproportionately low representation in cooperative membership around the world. Representation of women through active membership (showing up to meetings and voting), as well as in leadership and managerial positions is even lower.
As of 2012, the number of memberships in cooperatives reached one billion, and so the organizational structure and movement has seeped into popular culture.
My So-Called Housing Cooperative is a web series focusing on the humorous side of living in a housing co-op.
Membership in co-operative businesses has grown to 1 billion people across 96 countries, according to new research published by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online publication.
Media related to Cooperatives at Wikimedia Commons
An agricultural cooperative, also known as a farmers' co-op, is a cooperative where farmers pool their resources in certain areas of activity.
A broad typology of agricultural cooperatives distinguishes between 'agricultural service cooperatives', which provide various services to their individually farming members, and 'agricultural production cooperatives', where production resources (land, machinery) are pooled and members farm jointly. Examples of agricultural production cooperatives include collective farms in former socialist countries, the kibbutzim in Israel, collectively governed community shared agriculture, Longo Mai co-operatives and Nicaraguan production co-operatives.The default meaning of 'agricultural cooperative' in English is usually an agricultural 'service' cooperative, which is the numerically dominant form in the world. There are two primary types of agricultural service cooperatives, 'supply cooperative' and 'marketing cooperative'. Supply cooperatives supply their members with inputs for agricultural production, including seeds, fertilizers, fuel, and machinery services. Marketing cooperatives are established by farmers to undertake transportation, packaging, distribution, and marketing of farm products (both crop and livestock). Farmers also widely rely on credit cooperatives as a source of financing for both working capital and investments.Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) (French: Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif, from 1955 the Parti social démocratique du Canada) was a social-democratic and democratic socialist political party in Canada. The CCF was founded in 1932 in Calgary, Alberta, by a number of socialist, agrarian, co-operative, and labour groups, and the League for Social Reconstruction. In 1944, the CCF formed the first social-democratic government in North America when it was elected to form the provincial government in Saskatchewan. In 1961, the CCF was succeeded by the New Democratic Party (NDP). The full, but little used, name of the party was Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Farmer-Labour-Socialist).Consumers' co-operative
Consumers' co-operatives are enterprises owned by consumers and managed democratically which aim at fulfilling the needs and aspirations of their members. They operate within the market system, independently of the state, as a form of mutual aid, oriented toward service rather than pecuniary profit. Consumers' cooperatives often take the form of retail outlets owned and operated by their consumers, such as food co-ops. However, there are many types of consumers' cooperatives, operating in areas such as health care, insurance, housing, utilities and personal finance (including credit unions).
In some countries, consumers' cooperatives are known as cooperative retail societies or retail co-ops, though they should not be confused with retailers' cooperatives, whose members are retailers rather than consumers.
Consumers' cooperatives may, in turn, form cooperative federations. These may come in the form of cooperative wholesale societies, through which consumers' cooperatives collectively purchase goods at wholesale prices and, in some cases, own factories. Alternatively, they may be members of cooperative unions.Consumer cooperation has been a focus of study in the field of cooperative economics.Cooperative banking
Cooperative banking is retail and commercial banking organized on a cooperative basis. Cooperative banking institutions take deposits and lend money in most parts of the world.
Cooperative banking, as discussed here, includes retail banking carried out by credit unions, mutual savings banks, building societies and cooperatives, as well as commercial banking services provided by mutual organizations (such as cooperative federations) to cooperative businesses.
A 2013 report by ILO concluded that cooperative banks outperformed their competitors during the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The cooperative banking sector had 20% market share of the European banking sector, but accounted for only 7 per cent of all the write-downs and losses between the third quarter of 2007 and first quarter of 2011. Cooperative banks were also over-represented in lending to small and medium-sized businesses in all of the 10 countries included in the report. Credit unions in the US had five times lower failure rate than other banks during the crisis and more than doubled lending to small businesses between 2008 - 2016, from $30 billion to $60 billion, while lending to small businesses overall during the same period declined by around $100 billion. Public trust in credit unions stands at 60%, compared to 30% for big banks and small businesses are eighty percent less likely to be dissatisfied with a credit union than with a big bank.Cooperative gameplay
Cooperative gameplay (often abbreviated as co-op) is a feature in video games that allows players to work together as teammates, usually against one or more AI opponents. It is distinct from other multiplayer modes, such as competitive multiplayer modes like player versus player or deathmatch. Playing simultaneously allows players to assist one another in many ways: passing weapons or items, healing, providing covering fire in a firefight, and performing cooperative maneuvers such as boosting a teammate up and over obstacles.
In its most simple form, cooperative gameplay modifies the single player mode of a game, allowing additional players, and increasing the difficulty level to compensate for the additional players. More complex examples exist, however, with broader modifications to the story and gameplay. Some co-op games include a new ending when completed in co-op mode. This new ending is unlocked only when players work as a team to complete the game. For instance, Bubble Bobble features an ending that can only be accessed when two players survive co-op mode, as do some console beat 'em up games such as Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, and Die Hard Arcade.
Co-op gaming can operate either locally—with players sharing input devices or using multiple controllers connected to a single console—or over a network, with co-op players joining an existing game running on a game server via a local area networks or wide area networks. Due to the complexity of video game coding, co-op games rarely allow network players and local players to mix. Exceptions do exist, however, such as Mario Kart Wii or Call of Duty Black Ops, which allows two players from the same console to play with others online.
Co-op gameplay has been gaining popularity in video games in recent years, as controller and networking technology has developed. On PCs and consoles, cooperative games have become increasingly common, and many genres of game—including shooter games, sports games, real-time strategy games, and massively multiplayer online games—include co-op modes.
Co-op gaming can also exist in single player format, where the player works alongside their previous plays in order to complete an objective.Cooperative multitasking
Cooperative multitasking, also known as non-preemptive multitasking, is a style of computer multitasking in which the operating system never initiates a context switch from a running process to another process. Instead, processes voluntarily yield control periodically or when idle or logically blocked in order to enable multiple applications to be run concurrently. This type of multitasking is called "cooperative" because all programs must cooperate for the entire scheduling scheme to work. In this scheme, the process scheduler of an operating system is known as a cooperative scheduler, having its role reduced down to starting the processes and letting them return control back to it voluntarily.Cooperativity
Cooperativity is a phenomenon displayed by systems involving identical or near-identical elements, which act dependently of each other, relative to a hypothetical standard non-interacting system in which the individual elements are acting independently. One manifestation of this is enzymes or receptors that have multiple binding sites where the affinity of the binding sites for a ligand is apparently increased, positive cooperativity, or decreased, negative cooperativity, upon the binding of a ligand to a binding site. For example, when an oxygen atom binds to one of hemoglobin's four binding sites, the affinity to oxygen of the three remaining available binding sites increases; i.e. oxygen is more likely to bind to a hemoglobin bound to one oxygen than to an unbound hemoglobin. This is referred to as cooperative binding.We also see cooperativity in large chain molecules made of many identical (or nearly identical) subunits (such as DNA, proteins, and phospholipids), when such molecules undergo phase transitions such as melting, unfolding or unwinding. This is referred to as subunit cooperativity. However, the definition of cooperativity based on apparent increase or decrease in affinity to successive ligand binding steps is problematic, as the concept of "energy" must always be defined relative to a standard state. When we say that the affinity is increased upon binding of one ligand, it is empirically unclear what we mean since a non-cooperative binding curve is required to rigorously define binding energy and hence also affinity. A much more general and useful definition of positive cooperativity is: A process involving multiple identical incremental steps, in which intermediate states are statistically underrepresented relative to a hypothetical standard system (null hypothesis) where the steps occur independently of each other.
Likewise, a definition of negative cooperativity would be a process involving multiple identical incremental steps, in which the intermediate states are overrepresented relative to a hypothetical standard state in which individual steps occur independently. These latter definitions for positive and negative cooperativity easily encompass all processes which we call "cooperative", including conformational transitions in large molecules (such as proteins) and even psychological phenomena of large numbers of people (which can act independently of each other, or in a co-operative fashion).Cornell University
Cornell University ( kor-NEL) is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's founding principle, a popular 1868 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."The university is broadly organized into seven undergraduate colleges and seven graduate divisions at its main Ithaca campus, with each college and division defining its own admission standards and academic programs in near autonomy. The university also administers two satellite medical campuses, one in New York City and one in Education City, Qatar, and Cornell Tech, a graduate program that incorporates technology, business, and creative thinking. The program moved from Google's Chelsea Building in New York City to its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island in September 2017.
Cornell is one of ten private land grant universities in the United States and the only one in New York. Of its seven undergraduate colleges, three are state-supported statutory or contract colleges through the State University of New York (SUNY) system, including its agricultural and human ecology colleges as well as its industrial labor relations school. Of Cornell's graduate schools, only the veterinary college is state-supported. As a land grant college, Cornell operates a cooperative extension outreach program in every county of New York and receives annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions. The Cornell University Ithaca Campus comprises 745 acres, but is much larger when the Cornell Botanic Gardens (more than 4,300 acres) and the numerous university-owned lands in New York City are considered.As of October 2018, 58 Nobel laureates, four Turing Award winners and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Cornell University. Since its founding, Cornell has been a co-educational, non-sectarian institution where admission has not been restricted by religion or race. Cornell counts more than 245,000 living alumni, and its former and present faculty and alumni include 34 Marshall Scholars, 30 Rhodes Scholars, 29 Truman Scholars, 7 Gates Scholars, 55 Olympic Medalists, and 14 living billionaires. The student body consists of more than 14,000 undergraduate and 8,000 graduate students from all 50 American states and 116 countries.Credit union
A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative, controlled by its members and operated on the principle of people helping people, providing its members credit at competitive rates as well as other financial services.Worldwide, credit union systems vary significantly in terms of total assets and average institution asset size, ranging from volunteer operations with a handful of members to institutions with assets worth several billion U.S. dollars and hundreds of thousands of members. Credit unions operate alongside other mutuals and cooperatives engaging in cooperative banking, such as building societies.
"Natural-person credit unions" (also called "retail credit unions" or "consumer credit unions") serve individuals, as distinguished from "corporate credit unions", which serve other credit unions.Credit unions in the US had one-fifth the failure rate of other banks during the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and more than doubled lending to small businesses between 2008 and 2016, from $30 billion to $60 billion, while lending to small businesses overall during the same period declined by around $100 billion.. Public trust in credit unions stands at 60%, compared to 30% for big banks Furthermore, small businesses are eighty percent less likely to be dissatisfied with a credit union than with a big bank.Game theory
Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. It has applications in all fields of social science, as well as in logic and computer science. Originally, it addressed zero-sum games, in which one person's gains result in losses for the other participants. Today, game theory applies to a wide range of behavioral relations, and is now an umbrella term for the science of logical decision making in humans, animals, and computers.
Modern game theory began with the idea regarding the existence of mixed-strategy equilibria in two-person zero-sum games and its proof by John von Neumann. Von Neumann's original proof used the Brouwer fixed-point theorem on continuous mappings into compact convex sets, which became a standard method in game theory and mathematical economics. His paper was followed by the 1944 book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, co-written with Oskar Morgenstern, which considered cooperative games of several players. The second edition of this book provided an axiomatic theory of expected utility, which allowed mathematical statisticians and economists to treat decision-making under uncertainty.
Game theory was developed extensively in the 1950s by many scholars. It was later explicitly applied to biology in the 1970s, although similar developments go back at least as far as the 1930s. Game theory has been widely recognized as an important tool in many fields. As of 2014, with the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences going to game theorist Jean Tirole, eleven game theorists have won the economics Nobel Prize. John Maynard Smith was awarded the Crafoord Prize for his application of game theory to biology.History of the cooperative movement
The history of the cooperative movement concerns the origins and history of cooperatives. Although cooperative arrangements, such as mutual insurance, and principles of cooperation existed long before, the cooperative movement began with the application of cooperative principles to business organization.Housing cooperative
A housing cooperative, co-op, or housing company (especially in Finland), is a legal entity, usually a cooperative or a corporation, which owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings; it is one type of housing tenure. Housing cooperatives are a distinctive form of home ownership that have many characteristics that differ from other residential arrangements such as single family home ownership, condominiums and renting.The corporation is membership-based, with membership granted by way of a share purchase in the cooperative. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit. A primary advantage of the housing cooperative is the pooling of the members' resources so that their buying power is leveraged, thus lowering the cost per member in all the services and products associated with home ownership.
Another key element in some forms of housing cooperatives (but not Finnish housing companies, for example) is that the members, through their elected representatives, screen and select who may live in the cooperative, unlike any other form of home ownership.
Housing cooperatives fall into two general tenure categories: non-ownership (referred to as non-equity or continuing) and ownership (referred to as equity or strata). In non-equity cooperatives, occupancy rights are sometimes granted subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. In equity cooperatives, occupancy rights are sometimes granted by way of the purchase agreements and legal instruments registered on the title. The corporation's articles of incorporation and bylaws as well as occupancy agreement specifies the cooperative's rules.
The word cooperative is also used to describe a non-share capital co-op model in which fee-paying members obtain the right to occupy a bedroom and share the communal resources of a house that is owned by a cooperative organization. Such is the case with student cooperatives in some college and university communities across the United States.Joint venture
A Joint Venture (JV) is a business entity created by two or more parties, generally characterized by shared ownership, shared returns and risks, and shared governance. Companies typically pursue joint ventures for one of four reasons: to access a new market, particularly emerging markets; to gain scale efficiencies by combining assets and operations; to share risk for major investments or projects; or to access skills and capabilities.According to Gerard Baynham of Water Street Partners, there has been a lot of negative press about joint ventures, but objective data indicate that they may actually outperform wholly owned and controlled affiliates. He writes, "A different narrative emerged from our recent analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) data, collected from more than 20,000 entities. According to the DOC data, foreign joint ventures of U.S. companies realized a 5.5 percent average return on assets (ROA), while those companies’ wholly owned and controlled affiliates (the vast majority of which are wholly owned) realized a slightly lower 5.2 percent ROA. The same story holds true for investments by foreign companies in the U.S., but the difference is more pronounced. U.S.-based joint ventures realized a 2.2 percent average ROA, while wholly owned and controlled affiliates in the U.S. only realized a 0.7 percent ROA."
Most joint ventures are incorporated, although some, as in the oil and gas industry, are "unincorporated" joint ventures that mimic a corporate entity. With individuals, when two or more persons come together to form a temporary partnership for the purpose of carrying out a particular project, such partnership can also be called a joint venture where the parties are "co-venturers".
The venture can be a business JV (for example, Dow Corning), a project/asset JV intended to pursue one specific project only, or a JV aimed at defining standards or serving as an "industry utility" that provides a narrow set of services to industry participants.
Some major joint ventures include MillerCoors, Sony Ericsson, Vevo, Hulu, Penske Truck Leasing, and Owens-Corning – and in the past, Dow Corning.List of legal entity types by country
A business entity is an entity that is formed and administered as per corporate law in order to engage in business activities, charitable work, or other activities allowable. Most often, business entities are formed to sell a product or a service. There are many types of business entities defined in the legal systems of various countries. These include corporations, cooperatives, partnerships, sole traders, limited liability companies and other specifically permitted and labelled types of entities. The specific rules vary by country and by state or province. Some of these types are listed below, by country. For guidance, approximate equivalents in the company law of English-speaking countries are given in most cases, for example:
≈ Ltd. (UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth)
≈ public limited company (UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth)
≈ limited partnership
≈ unlimited partnership
≈ chartered company
≈ statutory company
≈ holding company
≈ subsidiary company
≈ one man company (sole proprietorship)
≈ charitable incorporated organisation (UK)
≈ non-governmental organizationHowever, the regulations governing particular types of entities, even those described as roughly equivalent, differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When creating or restructuring a business, the legal responsibilities will depend on the type of business entity chosen.Lists of PlayStation 3 games
This is a list of lists of PlayStation 3 games.
List of PlayStation 3 games released on disc
List of download-only PlayStation 3 games
List of best-selling PlayStation 3 video games
List of PlayStation 3 games with 3D support
List of PlayStation Move games
List of PlayStation Now gamesSNAC
Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) is an online project for discovering, locating, and using distributed historical records in regard to individual people, families, and organizations.Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. With more than 15 million members as of 2015, it is the world's largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States after the Catholic Church.The word Southern in Southern Baptist Convention stems from it having been organized in 1845 at Augusta, Georgia, by Baptists in the Southern United States who split with northern Baptists over the issue of slavery, specifically whether Southern slave owners could serve as missionaries. After the American Civil War, another split occurred when most freedmen set up independent black congregations, regional associations, and state and national conventions, such as the National Baptist Convention, which became the second-largest Baptist convention by the end of the 19th century. Others joined new African-American denominations, chiefly the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 19th century, as the first independent black denomination in the United States.
Since the 1940s, the Southern Baptist Convention has shifted from some of its regional and historical identification. Especially since the late 20th century, the SBC has sought new members among minority groups and to become much more diverse. In addition, while still heavily concentrated in the Southern United States, the Southern Baptist Convention has member churches across the United States and 41 affiliated state conventions. Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice. As they emphasize the significance of the individual conversion experience, which is affirmed by the person having complete immersion in water for a believer's baptism, they reject the practice of infant baptism. Other specific beliefs based on biblical interpretation can vary somewhat due to their congregational polity, which allows local autonomy.The average weekly attendance is 5,200,716.Utility cooperative
A utility cooperative is a type of cooperative that is tasked with the delivery of a public utility such as electricity, water or telecommunications to its members. Profits are either reinvested for infrastructure or distributed to members in the form of "patronage" or "capital credits", which are dividends paid on a member's investment in the cooperative.Each customer is a member and owner of the business. This means that all members have equal individual authority, unlike investor-owned utilities where the extent of individual authority is governed by the number of shares held. Like cooperatives operating in other sectors, many utility cooperatives conduct their affairs according to a set of ideals based on the Rochdale Principles. Some utility cooperatives respect the seventh principle, Concern for community, through Operation Roundup schemes, whereby members can voluntarily have their bill rounded to the next currency unit (e.g. $55.37 becomes $56), with the difference (e.g. 63¢) distributed to a fund for local charities.Many such cooperatives exist in the rural United States, and were created by the New Deal to bring electric power and telephone service to rural areas, when the nearest investor-owned utility would not provide service, believing there would be insufficient revenue to justify the capital expenditures required. Many electric cooperatives have banded together to form their own wholesale power cooperatives, often called G&Ts for generation and transmission, to supply their member-owners with electricity.
Many utility cooperatives strive to bring the best service at the lowest possible cost, but often the high cost of maintaining the infrastructure needed to cover large, rural areas without the support of large cities as a rich customer base causes prices to be high. However, a few such co-ops have managed to tap into urban markets (due to growth into previously rural territory served by the co-ops) and have proven to be very cost-effective. More recently established energy co-ops began with national coverage: Co-operative Energy in the UK and Enercoop in France are examples of consumer cooperatives. Other co-ops have formed to concentrate on the generation of renewable energy, especially wind energy co-operatives.Worker cooperative
A worker cooperative is a cooperative that is owned and self-managed by its workers. This control may be exercised in a number of ways. A cooperative enterprise may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision-making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which management is elected by every worker-owner, and it can refer to a situation in which managers are considered, and treated as, workers of the firm. In traditional forms of worker cooperative, all shares are held by the workforce with no outside or consumer owners, and each member has one voting share. In practice, control by worker-owners may be exercised through individual, collective, or majority ownership by the workforce; or the retention of individual, collective, or majority voting rights (exercised on a one-member one-vote basis). A worker cooperative, therefore, has the characteristic that each of its workers owns one share, and all shares are owned by the workers. The International organisation representing worker cooperatives is CICOPA. CICOPA has two regional organisations: CECOP- CICOPA Europe and CICOPA Americas.
Cooperatives and mutual organizations
|Schools of thought|
|Key topics and issues|