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Conventus-verkefnið og,,hið lærða samvinnufélagsform” Cooperative knowledge transfer through the Conventus-project Dr Sigrún Lilja Einarsdóttir Lektor.

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Presentation on theme: "Conventus-verkefnið og,,hið lærða samvinnufélagsform” Cooperative knowledge transfer through the Conventus-project Dr Sigrún Lilja Einarsdóttir Lektor."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Conventus-verkefnið og,,hið lærða samvinnufélagsform” Cooperative knowledge transfer through the Conventus-project Dr Sigrún Lilja Einarsdóttir Lektor / Assistant professor Bifröst University

3 Aims of the project To create greater understanding and knowledge of the situation of cooperatives in Europe among cooperators themselves To strengthen cooperator’s self-esteem, cooperative identity and entrepreneurial skills To collect and create learning modules for cooperatives, cooperators, members, managers and employees of cooperatives Partners: – Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Science, Finland – Coompanion Cooperative Development Agency of Skaraborg, Sweden – Federazione Trentina della Cooperazione, Italy – National Cooperative Council, Poland – Centre for Retail Studies, Bifröst University, Iceland – Osuustoiminnan Kehittäjät - Coop Finland

4 Iceland’s involvement – why? Negative general attitudes – Associated with the collapse of the cooperative movement in the 1990s – Negative political debate, corruption Little knowledge on the cooperative form and its possibilities Around 31 registered cooperatives in Iceland No existing up-to-date learning materials or modules for cooperatives Cooperative legislation needs to be updated

5 5 Modules of cooperative learning 1.History, ideology and status of the cooperative movement – What is a cooperative? – The cooperative principles – Different forms of cooperatives 2.Being a cooperative member – Active, cooperative membership – What do cooperative principles say about membership 3.Establishing a new cooperative – How to start a cooperative – Creating a cooperative business plan 4.Managing a cooperative 5.Training and development of existing cooperatives

6 How do the cooperative principles apply in the contemporary Nordic society? 1.Voluntary and open membership – Cooperatives are open to all who want to become members – Little investment, possible for all 2.Democratic member control – One member, one vote – Less risk-taking 3.Member economic participation – Profit used for further development of the cooperative – Members get a fair share in the profit (discounts and other offers) 4.Autonomy and independence – Cooperatives are controlled by their members and not subject to hostile takeovers 5.Education, training and information – To strengthen the cooperative identity and emphasize the awareness and meaning of the cooperative values and principles 6.Cooperation among cooperatives – Instead of competition, cooperation is the key 7.Concern for community – Increased awareness on sustainable development and social responsibility

7 The cooperative form - why? Public anger and frustration towards big, private enterprises in the aftermath of the 2008 economic recession Corruption, lobbyism and political involvement of finance owners and enterprises Call for democracy, fairness, sustainable development and increased social responsibility Cooperatives fared better during and after the recession due to low risk-taking (Fici / Euricse, 2011) Cooperatives are relevant today

8 Next steps Informed, public debate on the cooperative form – Deal with the past, but do not dwell on it – Focus on future potentials Increased public awareness on the potentials of the cooperative form Support future cooperators and entrepreneurs The government should, with an open mind, look into how the cooperative form can best be used in public service

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