Co-op leaders have called on members to reengage with the businesses we own. Here we are.
Catalyzing citizen action for democracy, participation, and excellence in cooperatives, through member education and organizing. Our vision is an economy that works for all of us, with many democratically-owned businesses working to build civic leadership and local assets, equity and economic security, and long-term sustainability.
In 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, leaders of the international cooperative movement and national cooperative business sectors called for a fundamental shift in how co-ops engage with their member-owners, and vice versa.
Whether to ensure that the co-op will still be in business in the face of changing markets, or to ensure that the co-op is well-run and serving the needs of its members and community, or to make cooperatives the preferred business model by the end of the Cooperative Decade, or to bring cooperatives into the movement for a just transition to a New Economy, the prescription is the same.
Members must rediscover their role as owners of a democratically-controlled enterprise.
Have questions that aren't on our list? Let us know.
The short answer is, a co-op is a democratic association that owns and controls an enterprise. Common co-ops are rural electric co-ops, housing co-ops, credit unions, and food co-ops. It can be any sort of business, and just about any kind of business you imagine has been done as a co-op.
For the long answer, see our page on, "What is a cooperative?"