What one thing needs to change to make co-operatives the dominant business model?


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Rank Title Number of Votes
1 We must LEARN how to work in cooperatives. It must be taught. 103
We must LEARN how to work in cooperatives. It must be taught.

There is security in doing as others do and in doing as we are taught. We are herd animals. The solution must be taught in lower and middle school. Students should have coops and participate in them throughout their school years. Then they will have the ability, confidence, and desire to be cooperative peers instead of wage slaves or dog-eat-dog professionals.

2 Sustainability and social justice principles should be required of all co-ops 83
Sustainability and social justice principles should be required of all co-ops

The imperative for environmental sustainability in a world of 7 billion people is an undeniable truth. Businesses of all types are learning that nothing less than systematic and embedded sustainability strategies will do for companies of the future. Co-operatives have a relatively good record in this regard, but until a clear commitment to environmental sustainability becomes unambiguously the eighth co-operative principle (see /www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html for the first 7), the model itself will not be future proof. And without this clear commitment, winning the hearts and minds of the majority of people on a mainstreaming co-operation project will be impossible.

3 shoaling - networked co-operation giving the local and small power of the big 67
shoaling - networked co-operation giving the local and small power of the big

Small and localised co-operatives are more adaptive of the demands of their community but find it hard to compete with the economy of scale of the Trans-National Corporations (TNCs). The result is ethical co-operatives are widely considered "value added" luxuries. When large co-operatives (i.e.The Co-operative Group) successfully compete with TNCs, then there is some loss of ethics and localisation.
The solution is holistic. We need to consider not just the increased creation of individual co-operatives but the enabling of efficient and cost-effective trading between them.
We can perceive the problem as the same as insulating our house. But instead of combating heat loss, we need to combat money loss. Potential co-operative trading is currently being leaked to TNCs, we need to plug the leaks and recycle our money within. This can be achieved by a fully networked movement, offering greater rewards for trading within the network, with disincentives to spend outside. Additionally, co-ordinated purchasing can increase economy of scale while keeping each co-operative small, local and thus genuinely democratic. The bridges are the solution not the islands!

4 We must learn - and learn to communicate - the value of health over that of growth. 64
We must learn - and learn to communicate - the value of health over that of growth.

"Growth is good" no longer rings true. In a shrinking world we know it's not that simple any more. We still need it of course, but we also need to know it's appropriate - not just another inch on a wooden puppet's nose.

Like a living body, the systems that make our world work need balance, flow, and self-regulation to work well. A nervous system in which each cell has a vested interest in a healthy outcome, but also plays a part in the decision that might lead to it.

The Co-operative model might not be the only way to build and promote healthy business, but it's a uniquely powerful beacon of the very best intent: we're all in this together - let's do something worthwhile.

5 Getting the public to choose co-op before capitalist! 48
Getting the public to choose co-op before capitalist!

Co-ops with a conscience are at a disadvantage before they open their doors because they will not screw their suppliers to the edge of bancrupcy in the same way that commercial businesses seek profits for their shareholders.

Consumers, that is you, me and all our neighbours, friends and families, need to make the active decision to use their local co-operative even if their products are 1p more expensive because they have paid their suppliers a living wage.

A few of us can not afford the extra penny, but for most of us, that penny is less than one beer per week, less than one cappuchino or less than one bottle of pop!

How many of us can not afford the price of a drink to make business more fair for all of us!

It is a shame that fairtrade only applies to farmers and workers in the developing world! Perhaps the co-op should pioneer 'fairtrade at home', so that we know that a fair price has been paid for the products that we buy.

6 Promote local co-operatives - people are passionate about local issues 39
Promote local co-operatives - people are passionate about local issues

People tend to be passionate about local issues and good causes.
We should promote local co-operatives and the fantastic work that they do in the communities in which they are based.
Too often it is a well kept secret!!
There are many types of co-operatives out there and local co-operatives coming together at a local level multiply the visibility of co-ops and there effectiveness.
Do people associate capitalism with national and multinational organisations? Is there a danger that a single national or multinational co-op is seen as no different to a national plc?
Big is not always beautifull, Vive la difference! Lets promote the fantastic work that local co-operatives do and when they work together they could be a formidable force!

7 Non-profit COOPS 35
Non-profit COOPS

By removing the idea of profit motivation from the coop economy in favour of benefitting members and staff in their health,wellbeing and job satisfaction.
This places the care of individuals and their families
above the profit motive.In increasing the social
caring attitude there is a possible reduction of the lost working hours through ill health and a move to a more efficient coop system.

8 A co-operative government 33
A co-operative government

Instead of a hierarchical party system with leaders every party should have to be organised like a co-operative. Each paid member being equally valued, with no prime minister figure. And every party member who pays to support the party should be allowed a say in how things are run or a vote.
That way, the government would have to be sympathetic to co-operatives and that business model. Co-operatives are much likelier to be fairer too.

9 Social Entrepreneurship and Co-ops in education 31
Social Entrepreneurship and Co-ops in education

I am an university lecturer. Currently "employability and entrepreneurship" are a hot potato in education. However, there is little (near to none) emphasis on the importance of knowing there is something called "social entrepreneurship". There must be pressures on the government (for schools) and Further/Higher Education institutions to include co-ops and social entrepreneurship as more than valid expectations for future professional paths after graduation.

10 Spread the word 30
Spread the word

The answer is publicity. The more that people become aware of the benefits, and are sickened by the selfishness of capitalism, the more they will want to join.
We have amazing chances this year. The Co-operative Energy has taken over tens of thousands of consumers from the ‘big six’. We have to prove that we are better than them. Our tariff is already much simpler, but we must also prove that we are cleaner, greener, sustainable and affordable too. We must push for growth of ALL forms of renewable energy, which will get cheaper. We must advertise everywhere, and spread the word.
Also the Co-operative Bank may take over 632 Lloyds TSB branches, following on from the merger with Britannia. This will open up great opportunities for both business and private customers. Our ethical stance should go down well with ordinary people sick of greedy, tight fisted bankers. To achieve this we have to advertise in a big way. There may be opportunities to take advantage of Post Office closures in towns, if not in villages, and become a focus in the community, particularly if it can be combined with Co-op Food.

11 Make it easier to set up a cooperative 30
Make it easier to set up a cooperative

The process that has to be gone through to set up a cooperative is daunting and almost certainly puts many people off. There is also the fear of getting it wrong and being criminalised for doing so. Organisations that help set up cooperatives need to have a higher profile and need to be adequately funded.

12 Co- operative funding for citizens income for start ups 27
Co- operative funding for citizens income for start ups

The main bar to starting any sort of business is the fear that you won't have an income while it is built up. We need for co-operative banks and other successful co-operatives to fund startup co-operatives - with citizens incomes to avoid people having to stay on benefits and apply for jobs. There would be no interest or repayment but it would be done on the `gift economy' principle that, if and when successful, regular contributions to fund the next up and coming co- op would be made.

It then needs advertising so that people know they can take the gamble and still pay the rent, and who is sponsoring what tables should be published so that we can all praise (and patronise) those co-ops who benefit the most new co-ops.

13 Increased support of free range farming 26
Increased support of free range farming

We spend a lot of our advertising talking about the cooperative difference and make a huge impact on fair trade farming however from the outside we seem to have little interest in supporting free range farmers.
I understand there is difficulties with selling free range foods due to cost however we could do more with regards to supporting farmers (financially or with ideas and advertising/branding) and identifying affordable product ideas which would use free range products therefore supporting the industry.

14 Local financial co-operatives 24
Local financial co-operatives

A co-operative business society that works for the benefit of its saver and borrower members to invest in local co-operative businesses providing ethically-sourced, environmentally-friendly and sustainable goods or services for the local community by the local community - and that doesn't hold going national or international and floating itself on the stock market as its barometer of success.

To meet needs locally where possible and by starting an alternative to the international corporate distribution chains that we have come to rely on, for example farcical food miles, but which are not sustainable in the long-term. Distribution chains that could prove to be surprisingly frail if subject to disruption from whatever cause, be it natural or man-made.

By meeting needs locally wherever possible, co-operative communities could become more self-reliant resilient and robust, and less at risk of disruption from events beyond their control.

And an alternative to avaricious, greedy, conglomerating banks. Banks to whom the customer is a faceless number to be ruthlessly milked to squeeze every last drop out of them, to gamble their money in the dark arts of investment banking where if they win, we lose; and if they lose, we bail them out.

15 Networking to evolve a co-op movement 20
Networking to evolve a co-op movement

Networking with groups or movements (climate change, transition, fairtrade, tax-havens, sustainability, etc.) shareing co-op values will raise the profile of co-operative principles and at the same time gather supporters. A resulting co-op movement can function as disseminator of knowledge, encourage support and, in time, reach a critical mass.

16 Less for me and more for us 19
Less for me and more for us

Capitalism pursues more for the individual. This must be detrimental to the group. Cooperatives teach us to share and to only take an equal share. If there is less in the bank we all get less. If there is much in the pot we all get more. The challenge is one cooperative competing against another in the market place. The answer must be in a cooperation between cooperatives to share the market. It is a philosophy not a profit driven process. As I am sure somebody else has said; we need to require less so others may have more.

17 None animal tested Products 19
None animal tested Products

Wouldn't it be a fantastic and positive attraction for an already ethical company to stock ONLY detergents,hair products etc.which have no animal ingredients and no animal testing involved and thus make the general public aware how many hundreds of thousands of these products are still being tested,when in fact,there is NO real need as already shown by the increasing amount of Co-op products on your shelves which are backed by BUAV.

18 Spreading the word about what The Co-op Movement already does. 18
Spreading the word about what The Co-op Movement already does.

There are many things the British Co-op Movement already does, but insufficient members of the public know about or understand them.

19 Co-ops need to become multinationals to compete with global businesses 16
Co-ops need to become multinationals to compete with global businesses

To become mainstream, you need to do what the mainstream does - only better. Globalising business - whatever its many other faults - does bring economies of scale and often better and lower-cost products. While many larger co-ops do have international supply chains, they remain nationally based. Co-ops maybe able to do this by creating 'networks' (or co-ops) of affiliated companies in the same sector around the world - rather than mimicking the more mainstream hierarchical model - but do it they must, or being out-competed on price and quality will be an ongoing issue.

20 A maximum annual wage (or income) that's a fixed number of times more than the minimum wage. 16
A maximum annual wage (or income) that's a fixed number of times more than the minimum wage.

This would operate across any company, nation or even the world. It gives everyone in the company motivation to work harder, more creatively or efficiently, values everyone's contributions, recognizes that some (who take more responsibility, have irreplaceable skills or work longer hours) deserve a reward and incentive, and prevents the emergence of a '1%' elite appropriating the economic rewards of other people's labour.

21 tax incentives for co-operatives 15
tax incentives for co-operatives

in order to facilitate co-operative businesses, from shops for the public to collections of trades persons, then a tax incentive could engender a co-operative spirit within the workforce[s] keeping them together and eg using the tax rebate for common purposes - like a uniform / work clothes / transport/ tools / training / social events etc

22 Banking 14

re open a local branch for customers to use,rather than travel 50 miles to the nearest co-op branch to put in cheques ect rather than risk posting them. Think of all the fuel wasted + the carbon footprint + the inconvenience of your customers.

23 How to make co-operatives the dominant business model 14
How to make co-operatives the dominant business model

All that's needed is to explode the myth that competition is the best way to provide goods and services. Bogoff deals and heavy loss leaders are paid for by someone, somewhere. this truth needs to be in the minds of most people.

24 Call them staff partnerships 11
Call them staff partnerships

Staff partnerships like John Lewis have an incentive to do well, and it's that sort of co-op that is an alternative to capitalism.

Co-op is just a word for an organisation. It can mean a consumer co-op, a staff co-op, or I once saw it used for a shareholder co-op!

Staff partnerships have an incentive to do a job well that applies right down the hierachy. The top brass are accountable too. You can't imagine Fred Goodwin bullying his colleagues, covering-up the long term problems and then making a mad bid for ABN bank if his colleagues had a veto. There are examples of staff partnerships on employeeownership.co.uk while people in Spain might know of ones around Mondragon. They're less common in the UK than other countries I think.

Consumer co-ops are great where customers can't vote with their feet, or want to take part in something, but on a big scale I've never seen the point except that it's something other than a PLC!

25 True ownership must be encouraged 11
True ownership must be encouraged

There is a disconnection between the owners of capital and the managers of capital. As a result decisions are made on solely financial criteria. All participants in an enterprise should also be co-owners and involved in the decisions for its future direction. This could also be extended to the users of the enterprise. Start small, enterprise by enterprise, and develop the model carefully monitoring which is the most effective. Government, assuming it is democratic, should have a role in the this.

26 The political economy of company law 10
The political economy of company law

Incorporation is a privilege granted to investors to shield them from full liability in the event of business failure. It is a right without a corresponding responsibility and means corporate governance is skewed towards investor interests. Enshrining co-operative principles of democratic control and a limited return to capital in company law would prevent the necessary evil of corporate personhood leading to the multitude of sins it does today. The unlimited returns available to monetary capital crowd out returns to human, natural, and social capital. The voices of staff, customers, suppliers, and investors, should be heard as equals - one member, one vote - in governing all firms. Pursuing this reform would entail the co-operative movement engaging in political lobbying and consciousness-raising with more than the intention of allowing equal competition with capitalist firms - realising that capitalism is not merely an economic system but also a political order inhibiting the growth of a co-operative commonwealth.

27 Subsidies for co-ops -- voluntary, crowdfunded. 9
Subsidies for co-ops -- voluntary, crowdfunded.

Currently, (in the U.S. at least) my tax dollars involuntarily go to subsidize corn production. This makes high-fructose corn syrup and all its nasty products outcompete everything else.

A) attack those corn subsidies, and
B) create and promote structures whereby co-ops can be endowed. create a culture of endowing co-ops, from the mindset less of a collage endowment and more of a subsidy.

28 Create a cooperative champion. The rest will follow 9
Create a cooperative champion. The rest will follow

To use a timely analogy, many modern Olympians attribute their initial interest, and ultimate success, to previous outstanding athletes who inspired them. The cooperative movement needs a champion, a Gold Medal winner. Success breeds success.

29 Attracting new business 8
Attracting new business

Co-Operatives should be better at pitching for new business. I tried to get my employer ( a mid sized public sector body) to swap to Co-Op Bank but they were not really geared up to deliver a great pitch. Personal customers and charities are moving, but business customers need the co-ops to raise their game. A website specifically aimed at business customers where Co-ops show case their work would be a good start

30 Generate enough insight to focus on the belief we can create a universal ethos for a Co-operative way of living. 8
Generate enough insight to focus on the belief we can create a universal ethos for a Co-operative way of living.

We can learn a great deal from our knowledge of the past as far as growth in small businessess were concerned. When the ethos of cooperatives were about the people...when they offered a sense of unity and belonging, with responsibility based upon hard work and perseverance - not profit and greed. Empowering people to be confident and satisfied with less for long term sustainable gains. To have the patience to save and watch the small dividends grow. The confidence that filtered down from partnerships nurtured in insightful ethical business strategies. When quality of life was underpinned by a need to build something together for the future to pass on...when family life meant looking out for each other and respect went automatically to those that had the knowledge to educate others. Many things can be learnt from looking back - not to dispair and regret that we never as a nation sustained what we set out to do...diversification happenes naturally, and in the evolving world greed and opportunistic power became the norm. Fortunately man can learn from past misguided judgements...and move forward with renewed focus of our beliefs that we can can create a universal ethos of quality.

31 A fairer kind of socialism 8
A fairer kind of socialism

I'm afraid that I have not got a definitive plan of how to make this happen, but I am certain that a more equitable distribution of available wealth to those who are prepared to work for it would greatly benefit society. It seems to me that the last 40 years have brought about a situation where increasing mechanisation and computerisation have meant that a handful of people have become obscenely rich, and those whose skills are no longer required are pretty much left on the scrapheap of modern commerce and industry. That cannot be right in any fair-thinking society.

32 Use local resources 8
Use local resources

to uitilize local natural resources ie crops farm animals etc not from abroad.

33 Competition - But not as we know it. 7
Competition - But not as we know it.

Get every business to open up all of its documents to anyone that wants to see them. Whether they be businesses in antagonistic competition with them, or any individual.

"Competition" [for profit still??] then, as it were, would be to see who had the best "information" gathering skills and who could bring a product to market quickest. If Glaxo wanted to know what ICI was up to, they’d only have to ask. So they could, in theory, combine their half of the solution with the ICI half of the solution and produce a new product. If ICI did not undertake the task of looking at Glaxo’s documents and research, then they would be "behind the game".

In this way, humans, you, me, your mum, your loved ones, would all benefit. And one of the scourges of humanity, antagonistic competition for profit, would have the edge taken off of it and the productive forces ( what our tech level can do )could get moving again.

The central notion is that the Profit Motive is anti-human. For a more detailed look at that; see my website. http://www.realityinfo.org

34 Education (or, perish the thought, more Marketing) 7
Education (or, perish the thought, more Marketing)

Co-ops are seen as a "worthy" / leftist ideal. Better public education on the benefits of co-ops to society as a whole. Focus on the 99%

35 Improve range and quality of goods and services 7
Improve range and quality of goods and services

In my view, we need to reach the point where the range and quality of goods and services offered by cooperatives are genuinely competitive with the best of the standard alternatives. At present this is patchy. The choice at my local Co-op food store is drab compared with the alternatives; the Co-op bank does not offer the range of services of my own bank. The philosophy of cooperatives would appeal to many people, but if standard companies can offer them things to buy which they find more attractive or services which they would prefer to use, most people will vote with their feet.

36 small businesses getting together 7
small businesses getting together

I think if small businesses of any type could get together in large groups or cooperatives then it would be finacialy better for them ie: better buying power and pooling of rescources like offices and staff ,and maybe even working envirements.
For example small local bakeries could have one very large unit and operate as individual companies under that umbrella specificaly for getting discounts on the products that they need to buy.
And of course the sharing of rescources can cover most things like delivering there products and sharing transport costs etc.

The list of benefits is endless ,and should be exploited to its full potential.

37 economic democracy 7
economic democracy

All companies over a certain size to be run by the people who work for it. Elected Boards of Directors with representation from all sections of that company. This Board hires the management team to run the business AND sets the pay rates for all employeees. All employees to receive part of the profits via a bonus scheme (50% to the employees, 50% to the shareholders). Hopefully this will start to modify the ridiculous bonus culture of the self serving rich and greedy parasitic class.

Public sector to have the same democratic structure with an emphasis on providing a service to the citizens. Target culture and over-managed bureaucracy to be hauled back in favour of ground floor service providers.

We have a choice - the jungle or 'society'. The jungle is what we have now - greed on a massive scale.
Society means we work and create for the good of all
so that we ALL have a decent standard of living. But the basis of a co-operative society is democracy. Political democracy on its own means nothing if groaa inequality is allowed to thrive. Vote economic democracy. Vote society. Reject the jungle.

38 Removing Government support for legalised greed. 7
Removing Government support for legalised greed.

All the main political parties are supported, to differing extents, by big business.

This link needs breaking.

39 Sharing and caring in community must be rediscovered 7
Sharing and caring in community must be rediscovered

Co-operation is an activity which, if it is to be successful, must take place between people who know; care about; and trust one another to some degree. Personal wealth cannot bring happiness and contentment to a life lived in isolation, no matter how materially splendid. The myth of consumption and acquisition being the key to personal fulfilment has to be dispelled. The cooperative model alone is able to do this and give a vision of how living cooperatively with concern for community could enrich us all. Sharing our ‘common wealth’ of capital, both social and monetary, would enrich the lives of the whole community by ensuring that everyone’s needs are provided for in an equitable fashion. A cooperative community would not promote ever more consumption for its own sake since a cooperative organisation needs only to be sustainable, not to keep on growing in perpetuity. In such a community there would be little cause for envy or resentment and little inducement to acquire personal wealth for its own sake. Being a member of such a community would be reward enough in itself.

40 Take the power of creating money away from banks 7
Take the power of creating money away from banks

Only people-sanctioned governments should issue money, debt-free, spent into the economy as now, but without interest and without the corresponding national debt. Money is taxed back out of the economy to control its quantity.

This would mean major projects - such as setting up true co-operative enterprises - could be funded at low cost by central or regional government.

The idea of controlling the amount of money in the economy is not new or untried; giving banks the power to create money is, however, comparatively new and, now it's been tried and found desperately wanting, it needs to be ditched in favour of ordinary people.

Just as a household needs responsible management of money to survive, so it is with countries. We seriously need to take back control of our money supply.

41 Beating capitalists at their own game. 6
Beating capitalists at their own game.

How about?
Use a reputable company like 'Which' to offer lower rates than all your competitors. Then, as soon as you've sucked everyone in... raise your prices!!

42 Ethical probity 6
Ethical probity

Working with suppliers to pay a fair price for products and the pass on to consumers at a fair price ... for example, working with milk producers to pay them a sustainable price for their milk.

43 Working capital 6
Working capital

The government says it wants to encourage cooperatives and similar bodies but continues to give contracts to large companies instead. What cooperatives need is access to sufficient working capital to allow them to make viable bids for services. The government should create an investment bank, e.g. by turning RBS into one, with a duty to provide such funds.

44 Understanding co-operation 6
Understanding co-operation

I'd urge anyone who is interested in understanding co-operatives and co-operation to watch Jonathan Haidt's TED lecture (or read his book "The Righteous Mind").


A couple of quotes that you might think relevant:

“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation — a force for construction and destruction.” — Jonathan Haidt

Business, like “[Politics is] about the eternal struggle between good and evil, and we all believe we're on the good team.” — Jonathan Haidt

Co-operation is like any tool - it can be used unwisely. Or it can be used wisely. And most individuals believe that theirs is the wiser view - whether they are Adolf Hitler or Mother Theresa. So all I would say is, don't let it put you off, but be respectful of the power of co-operatives, be cautious, and very careful."

45 All companies will be obliged by law to be co-operatives. 6
All companies will be obliged by law to be co-operatives.

Either by a model of worker ownership, annual elections of management, or a formal mutual co-operative business status, no company will be privately owned. Management will stand for election at regular intervals. Those who claim to have the specialist management skills, contacts, experience or knowledge will be obliged to persuade the workforce to elect them.

With their jobs at stake, staff are unlikely to elect anyone irresponsible or incapable of delivering what they promise.

46 FairTrade for All 6
FairTrade for All

Fair trade for All - from the supplier to the consumer - no tricks, no scams, no false claims or cheating presentations of goods. Regulated, transparent profit margins and
local community involvement and investment in local trade and supermarkets.
A fair, honest and open cooperative trading policy within our communities and our country as a whole.

47 What one thing? Crisis 5
What one thing? Crisis

The answer to the question is not only economic, but as always psychological. If confidence is shaken in mainstream financial and commercial organisations, especially large companies and banks, then co-operatives will attract people much more. In fact, co-operatives need to plan for this possibility in their strategies, in case they become over-whelmed by rising demand! Crisis in the profit-monopolising mainstream is thus both a great opportunity to get more co-op members, and a danger since it may result in capacity becoming over-stretched inside co-operative institutions like banks, evergy suppliers and others.

I say good luck mopping up alienated staff and customers of non-co-op companies.

48 buy local mindset 5
buy local mindset

a change in the mind-set of the public. They need to want to and actually stick to a rule of buying local produce wherever possible, then buy British after that and only if what they need is not available in that way, buy foreign, starting with the near continent.

49 Trust. 5

If peoples, Governments, and countries had more trust and faith in each other and less suspicion...then trade and production of what each countries do best would help this world and it's peoples...feed better...produce more..and of better quality.

50 John Lewis version 2 5
John Lewis version 2

Split profits between staff AND customers. Foster well-trained, expert staff. Offer products at competitive, but not cut-throat, prices with good post-sales service as standard. Eschew all short-term pricing/long-term milking strategies. Win trust. Loudly and knowingly champion the fight against rip-off capitalism and exploitative marketing.

51 socialism or capitalism. society or the jungle. 5
socialism or capitalism. society or the jungle.

Firstly it is essential to define what socialism is not.
It has benefitted capitalism to discredit the idea of socialism by linking it to what happened in Russia, China etc. That was not socialism but bureaucratic totalitarian state capitalism. The policies of the 1945 Labour government followed the Stalinist version too -nationalise industry and put bureaucrats in control.
This is the opposite of socialism. The essential essence of socialism is Democracy. A co-operative society can only work if all citizens are, and feel they are, part of a partnership. Democratic control of the economy through democratically run businesses and public services is the core of socialism. An English parliament and devolved power to the regions/Scotland/Wales/NI is also essential. Democracy cannot be left to the politicians. We can see today what that leads to. A psychiatrist I worked with once told me 'if you want to know what a psychopath is go to parliament, it is full of them'. Psychopaths have to control the outer world to contol their inner turmoil. They cannot let go of 'power'; it is their raison-detre. Thus politicains will never 'give' us full democracy. We have to fight for it ourselves.
Choose society not the jungle.

52 A legal right for all workers and customers to share profits and vote on policy. 5
A legal right for all workers and customers to share profits and vote on policy.

An Act of Parliament that states that all companies should pass 50% of their profits to their workers and in the case of utilities and transport companies 100% of profits to their workers and their users/customers. Similarly for voting rights. An end to debt fueled share owning short termism.

53 Volunteering and Cooperatives 5
Volunteering and Cooperatives

Itis only an idea as I have no business experience or acumen. But as a 25 year volunteer in the environmental area, I know that volunteering is beneficial to both parties involved. Also there are many people keen and available to work as volunteers (it is far from a new David Cameron invention).
Could a combination of Cooperative ethical business management experience and the enthusiasm of volenteers be somehow harnessed to to tackle the issue of high street revival?

Is possible to negotiate beneficial terms for the use of the many empty high street properties, which could then be managed on the principles of the cooperatives,using ethical suppliers, environmentally friendly practices and staffed by volunteer workers?

I,m thinking in terms of possibly small specialist shops that have been dissappearing under pressure from the supermarkets. - craft shops,habitat type shops, wool shops, craftsman made items from third world.
But perhaps with the economies of volunters and cooperatives it might even be possible to take on the big retailers in their own field of groceries and other everyday cusumer goods, which is I suppose more what is meant by 'an alternative to capitalism'.

54 No more stock market 5
No more stock market

The Stock Market...! As long as the co-operative stays Private,,and retuns gains back to the Memder..then it is 'self-dependent' on 'Customer/Co-operative ! We 'Make it...or 'We Break it ' !...

55 Develop an internal creative culture 5
Develop an internal creative culture

Bodies,websites, facilties to bring in creative and talented individuals into and invest in culture and new iconic product lines. It is the co-opting of creativity which has been the fuel of capitalism. The difference is that cooperatives could ensure people have access to the products. Reasonable reward combined with a stimulating environment rather than corporate appropriation of ideas and patents.

56 Raise awareness that they are run for social good and not for profit of shareholders 5
Raise awareness that they are run for social good and not for profit of shareholders

This is the advantage of co-ops and needs to be better understood and promoted. If well run, it can lead to many other ethical reasons for supporting co-ops. But otherwise they will need to compete with other business models.

57 Can't we make it what few things? 4
Can't we make it what few things?

What if it needs more than just one thing to get to this goal? What if there needs to be a combination of factors? Surely what few things would be a better question? Can't you change the title of the project?

58 Unity 4

All sectors of the cooperative economy face political and economic challenges. In America these challenges take the form of an artificial regualtory devide between capital aid for rural co-ops and urban ones, or divisions between producer and consumer cooperatives. If bank portfolios and wealth funds can develop "markets" for thier producers goods. Then why can't rural or industrail co-ops? If big banks are screwing things up, why cant credit unions handle the business? What stands in the way? The worlds co-ops are not imune to the ravages of American banks. Yet co-ops in America are not the political force they are in other countries. The work that Mondragon and the United Steel Workers union are doing suggests a future for international cooperation. But many of the fights we face are political and immediate, and like it or not our politics effect you. I think that the best thing we can do to grow co-ops across the world is to unite and mobilize co-ops to build a global political capacity, to tear down the walls that devide us and level the development playing field for co-ops.

59 Co-opetition 4

Co-operative competition - which occurs when organisations interact with partial congruence of interests. They co-operate with each other to reach a higher value creation when compared to the value created without interaction, and struggle to achieve competitive advantage.

60 nothing wrong with the coop, just some of the staff 4
nothing wrong with the coop, just some of the staff

The trouble is the young staff these days done care anymore all they thing about is how much time is laft before I go home ,They are last ones to come to work and the first ones to go home they no the time then ok but not starting time just coming through the sdoor when its time they should have started ask them about something and they don,t wont to be bothered, There are plenty of good bargains on offer all the time and plenty variety as well

61 fat cats 4
fat cats

People need to realize that in a coop there are NO fat cats

62 Support for small business 4
Support for small business

I would be more prepared to support your efforts if you were more willing to help small businesses like the "No-Moo" chocolate company, a successful venture which needs to borrow only £40K but you refused.

63 All companies will be obliged by law to be co-operatives. 4
All companies will be obliged by law to be co-operatives.

Either by a model of worker ownership, annual elections of management, or a formal mutual co-operative business status, no company will be privately owned. Management will stand for election at regular intervals. Those who claim to have the specialist management skills, contacts, experience or knowledge will be obliged to persuade the workforce to elect them.

With their jobs at stake, staff are unlikely to elect anyone irresponsible or incapable of delivering what they promise.

64 Reinvestment of excess profits as start-up capital 4
Reinvestment of excess profits as start-up capital

The primary purpose of companies will be to provide products and services to the community, not to generate accumulated profits. Once a company has exceeded a maximum periodical income threshold in net profits, the excess will, by law, be reinvested in companies of their choice, or will be automatically redirected by default into a democratically controlled investment board whose function is to provide start up capital loans to small businesses.

65 Name and shame the bankers 4
Name and shame the bankers

i think we need to know where the greedy bankers stashed all the cash, name and shame all the people involved, be more transparent where ordinary peoples savings is involved, have normal people at the top not greedy self opinionated in it for themselves high risk gambling on other peoples especially the normal person in the street savings, stop paying out bonuses for failure, pay out bonuses that have been agreed by the majority of the shareholders and no more, pay a decent wage not an obscene wage have accountants checking the books every week it would be affordable because the bonuses would be slashed, the pay would be slashed, whay annoys me is the bankers lost me 1000s nobody gave me cash back i just lost it people made millions of the normal working class, and then there was the trusted members of parliament fiddling like mad i used to say i was from the uk its the place to be if your a bent mp. if we were in a co-op it wouldnt or couldnt happen.

66 Re-educate the consumer 4
Re-educate the consumer

Profit should not be the basis of the salary of any exployee. And any co-op movement would have to avoid the pitfall of using profit as a guiding principle of success
Consumers have been conditioned by the capitalist system to regard consumption, per se, as synonymous with the good life. So profit for the supplier is regarded as synonymous with profit for the consumer.
The consumer needs to be weaned off this symbiotic relationship with a profit-orientated capitalist world. Economic co-operation must therefore involve a process of re-educating the consumer so that an acceptance of equality and lower, or more realistic, types and levels of consumption become acceptable across the population as a whole.

67 Developing "Share Credits" 4
Developing "Share Credits"

Gradual introduction of incremental credit points, "earnable" from childhood onwards; based on volunteering, small and large tasks within a full range of work area placements through the years. Whole population eventually gains exoerience of all work. Assessment and grading of tasks agreed through grass root, school and work place debates. Opt-in system with evolving support and monitoring. Credits go towards selected digital "banks" of points accrued, to be redeemed at chosen points in life; as time out from work, additional professional service, legal, commercial, service sector etc AND as financial benefits in additional contributions to retirement income.

68 Co-ops must not only be taught, but encouraged. 3
Co-ops must not only be taught, but encouraged.

We can teach and teach to our hearts content, which will notify pupils and businessowners of the idea of co-operative businesses, yet we must push this idea toward those who we teach. Drive the idea toward pupils at grammar school level that co-ops are often a more efficient and more appealing than traditional business methods.

69 Invest More In People 3
Invest More In People

Although I am a big fan of the Coop and admire its ethical principles, I still find myself frustrated at the standard of the staff. Over the last 10 years the marketing has become slicker, the uniforms smarter, many shops have been very well developed and re-fitted, and more importantly the range of products has improved enormously.

However from my own experience here in Oxford we still have the same mixture of poor quality permanent and young temporary staff who just don't have the requisite qualities to deliver a positive and memorable customer experience. In my opinion until this is addressed the Coop will continue to occupy the same ground as Spar and Budgens, which is a shame as the principles are sound and the products can be very good and in some cases best in class.

70 The moment is now! 3
The moment is now!

Talking about talking is not enough. The rich have been getting richer, and today that is growing exponentially. The distribution of wealth has never been less fair.
This is the time when we have to be counted, and show that there is a better way. The co-operative movement is the single most relevant socio-political system that can benefit the whole community, consumers and suppliers, on a truly ethical basis.
A system that people can be proud to work in, knowing that they are not gaining, solely by disadvantaging someone else. That is the hallmark of unrestrained capitalism. The so called 'Captains of Industry' have bled the wider community dry, taking more in their pensions, than most of us will earn in a lifetime. They have no remorse.
We must band together to capture the high ground and give it back to the people.

71 Prove the benefits - then they may come 3
Prove the benefits - then they may come

Like it or not, the most dominant human trait is self interest......turkeys don't vote for Christmas. People may say they believe in cooperation, sustainability, green or whatever but, when it comes to buying decisions, for most of us, price at the till is the ultimate decider. So prove that cooperatives can deliver price benefits to both suppliers and consumers. For example, prove that, under the cooperative alternative, farmers can be paid a fair price for milk, deliver economies in distribution and........ result in a competitive price for shoppers........then you may be onto something. Until then, there is no alternative to capitalism as we know it.

72 Say THANKS 3

When I got your email I though back to the days when you could go down to the butchers and buy a knuckle and get a trotter thrown in for free. I also thought of the old ‘baker’s dozen’, which really worked in the 50s. The fair society though is a real issue I care about. Fairness in sport is Chris Hoy going over to the man he just beat and congratulating him on a fair race. Should then fairness in society be me meeting up with the developer and saying ‘well done’? I would if I thought he had done well but the truth is many fail. What then? Do I still go and say ‘well done’? When the developer or the business do do a good job we should reward them with thanks but what about them rewarding us? As a Union Official, a District and Town Councillor and a Sportsman I have experience of all sorts of responses. A fair society and a co-operative business is still I am afraid a dream. Mayhap the Olypics will make Coca-Cola and McDonalds think about the damge they do, but sadly I doubt it.

73 eco ecologial 3
eco ecologial

see intro to 'the vegan diet,vital
get co-op bank easier choice
bring new wave of reps to replace fuds duds
agree values think global effo

74 Freedom from inescapable piped music 3
Freedom from inescapable piped music

Co-op food stores are among the worst offenders in imposing inescapable piped muzak. Sadly it keeps me, for one, from supporting the most prominent of co-op businesses.

75 Education 3

Educate this country in working together, start with the farming community, better still with Parliament. Disallow the BBC to foment division which appears to be its present management's raison d'etre.

76 We are to be the 'CO' in action: The way forward now is for us all to ‘co-alesce’! 3
We are to be the 'CO' in action: The way forward now is for us all to ‘co-alesce’!

‘Is there a co-operative alternative to capitalism?’.

Why the question - we know that being co-operative in all areas of our lives ‘is’ the way. We know that co-operation is the key to our lives being more co-mmunity orientated. We know that co-llective thinking and behaviour takes everyone and everything in our immediate and wider community into consideration. We know that capitalism doesn’t work for the co-llective which is why so many have chosen the path of common-unity. Living a co-operative life in ‘all ways - every day and in every way’ is not an alternative to capitalism it is the norm that is outgrowing capitalism. Look around, the signs are there for all to see, capitalism is dissolving - making way for a very co-nscious rising of the co-operative. The question you pose was asked many years ago – a question that a ground swell of supporters answered by way of co-creating a movement for us all to follow. The way forward now is for us all to ‘co-alesce’ – ‘come together and form one mass and co-essential co-operative – united and inseparable in essence or being. We are to be the 'CO' in action.

77 Ethical Auditing 3
Ethical Auditing

All co-operatives to have their ethical index independently assessed and tabled for public perusal.

78 mondragon co-operative corporation 3
mondragon co-operative corporation

Introduce the Socio/Economic Business Mondragon Plan into this country

79 For People -- Not Profits 3
For People -- Not Profits

Common ownership. This means the resources of the world being owned in common by the entire global population.

In practice, common ownership means everybody having the right to participate in decisions on how global resources will be used.

It means nobody being able to take personal control of resources, beyond their own personal possessions.

Production is directly and solely for use by the people, not for the profit of the few elite as the current social-economic promotes.

80 Mrs Johanney Woodhead 2
Mrs Johanney Woodhead

This is easy peasy. 2000 years ago a special guy gave us complete directions on how to live amicably as a society. We've got the instruction manual, we're just not doing it.

As for the current economic situation, we are on a hiding to nothing. It is based on accelerated growth - an impossible situation to sustain. "sufficient is not enough" defines growth economics. What we are seeing now is de-acceleration of economies world wide. A correction that is long overdue. Present society is based on wants and greed not need. Thank goodness lots of things in life are free: A moonlit night, refreshing rain and sunshine.

Also this form is driving me nuts as you can't scroll down.And why does the co-op chuck out good food that could go to people in need.Two big binfuls every morning. If you want to make a difference start there. Or is this invitation to make a comment just another load of PR .

81 Looking backwards to move forwards in smaller groups. 2
Looking backwards to move forwards in smaller groups.

There was a time when man provided his family with a home, clothing, warmth, food and had use of ALL TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS relative to his time.

He achieved this by WORKING AN ESTIMATED 4 HOUR WEEK!He worked in small non hierarchical groups enjoying an egalitarian social structure. Sounds good to me.

How have we gone from this to now having both partners working a 40+ hour week and still struggling to provide these same basic human needs for the family!?

One of the reasons for these changes are:

We no longer work together in small groups (or cooperatives) where we know each other and feel a shared responsibility for the goals of the group. Capitalism on the other hand paves the way for us to rip each other off because we have no personal connection with the persons we're trading with. For example, would people be as inclined to put in a false insurance claim if they were self insuring within a small cooperative of neighbours on their street alone? Probably not.

If it's a sustainable high quality of life we want for all people we must encourage a return to working, supporting and sharing within small groups, with shared responsibilities and goals.

Good luck friends.

82 Co-operation in the 21st Century and Beyond. 2
Co-operation in the 21st Century and Beyond.

To my mind Co-operation is one of the finest definitive ways of being and doing that the people of the world can do espically in these trouble times of created chaos. Its not neccessary to be competitive war like and environmental destructive, here in the 21st Century.
Neighbourhood Co-operative models linked in with Community business enterprise locally, District, Regional, National and International following the 7 International principles of Co-operation
TO start,create and establish Co-ops and SEs from Grassroots and beyond creates a co-operative movement that becomes all inclusive, local currency, re-investment of surpluses and the full use and potential of all those who are members. customers and supporters is ethical and creates what could be termed Right-Livelyhood Co-operatives that benefits us all now in the 21st Century and Beyond.
Yours in the Spirit of Co-operation.

83 No alternative 2
No alternative

There is no alternative to capitalism. Its what makes the world go round. There are people starving because they breed like flies in a country where the land cannot support such numbers. There are rich people who have worked hard or had great ideas and others who have inherited their wealth. You could be starving or you could be rich but most of us fall in the middle. Thats the way it is and the co op isn't going to change anything.

84 Don't change your freephone number 2
Don't change your freephone number

The idea that the Coop was planning to change from a freephone number to one that charged and make £2.4million p.a. is shocking and disgusting.

85 Compete in the open marketplace, not on the fringes. 2
Compete in the open marketplace, not on the fringes.

Contrary to the wishes of many cooperative converts, the world of commerce is dictated by quality, price and image, not worker ideals. Cooperatives that are able to demonstrate that they can compete with mainstream businesses in all these aspects will attract the customer base automatically. The Cooperative Bank clearly demonstrates this. Too many cooperatives have an uninspiring counter-cultural image which puts off the majority of the population. To beat business you need a better business!

86 No more buy-one-get-one-half-price offers 2
No more buy-one-get-one-half-price offers

I have been a user of the Co-operative society for decades now and generally have supported the ideals of the society. In the last few years however I have used my local Co-operative store in Caversham, Reading.
I now find that the Co-operative principles have been compromised by the marketing policy in operation.
In a nutshell 'Buy two get one half price' offers or variations on that theme.
Where is the ethical reason for this marketing strategy, it penalises the single person, is wasteful of resources, basically the whole thing is rotten to the core. The word Hypocrite comes to mind. Get your house in order.

87 Democracy plus Size 2
Democracy plus Size

The biggest problem is that once an organisation reaches a certain size democracy wilts. That size is probably the minimum necessary for serious economic viability. Flat and imaginative management and member control structures using the new technology may offer a solution. So might incentives for all forms of member participation. Keep democracy direct.

88 educate and make available 2
educate and make available

Educate the public regarding healthy food and the cost of healthy food if shopping wisely.

make co-op's which reduce costs more available. Many seniors of which I am one live on cpp and oas.

89 Fairer trading with our customers. 2
Fairer trading with our customers.

I am comfortable with the concepts and ideas being set out. Where I have a problem is the treatment of customers as a `revenue stream`, people to be exploited in the traditional capitalist fashion. The Co-operative movement does not seek the savings of its members so they may be applied to other members in the manner of traditional building societies for example. I hold the view that the good works undertaken all over the World by the Co-operative movement are achieved through the generation of profits. The `support` of our customers is assumed to be there and the wealthy always get a better deal than the poor. Customer support is something to be cosseted, not taken for granted. Ever seen a customer suggestion box in your your local co-op? I haven`t and I am not expecting one any time soon.

Hows that for a few minutes spent before I walk the dog? But then I have been around for a fair old time.

Edit this if you wish,

90 Consumers Unite! For World Change 2
Consumers Unite! For World Change

Consumers in the world have the power to change the world order. We are in capitalist order which benefits producers, businesses and corporations. I consumers themselves manage to be more powerful through their cooperatives then the least we can see is the spread of profit to consumer-owners and the subordination of profit-conscious corporations to profit-sharing cooperatives. In the end, this would result to a more equitable, egalitarian and fairer world than what the present one can offer centuries and decades under a profit-hungry capitalist order benefitting businesses and corporations.

91 Work needs to be shared out more, to enable those who want to work less hours to be able to do so. 2
Work needs to be shared out more, to enable those who want to work less hours to be able to do so.

The idea of a Co-operative Society should give everyone a chance to participate. Feeling part of a Company that has ethical values helps individuals to identify with those values, and the benefits that ensue as part of a larger movement. We need to feel a sense of belonging and that we are part of something that we can believe in and contribute too. Where possible work should be more fun and that means a more creative approach to bringing on-board ideas from the people actually doing the job. If we are just chasing more and more money by following our heads, we will not be satisfying our emotional needs for a happier workplace. Most people have something to offer and are interested in developing to their full potential. Efficiency studies can help to show the best ways of working, in terms of rest periods and alternative processes that bring results for Companies and individuals.
Let's get back to looking after each other a bit more and a community approach to getting things done.

92 Market co-operatives before marketing 'the market'. 2
Market co-operatives before marketing 'the market'.

We need a co-operative-based ethical advertising agency that goes further than explaining the value in the product. Ethical advertising should not only focus on product value, but also on the ethical benefits of its consumption.

93 Open our mouths 1
Open our mouths

People need to just talk to each other , just create a bit more trust in each other .

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