A world full of co-ops?
Ethical Consumer launches crowd-sourcing website
What would the world be like if most businesses were co-ops? Would it be fairer and more sustainable? And what would it take to get to that place?
Today, Ethical Consumer launched a new crowd-sourcing website (along with an essay prize) to explore these ideas at a time when serious questions are being asked about our current economic model.
You can click on your favourite ideas to vote them up a list, or submit your own. You can win up to £1,500 in an essay competition too. The question - 'Is there a co-operative alternative to capitalism?' - seeks to provoke debate about what the world would look like if co-ops grew to replace private businesses everywhere.
Ethical Consumer, which is itself a UK-based co-operative, has created the project to coincide with the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives.
According to Rob Harrison, project co-ordinator,
"One of our goals at Ethical Consumer is to promote environmentally sustainable business models. Our research has shown that co-ops often - but not always - lead their sectors in responsible business practices. Understanding more about this, and about how to build the sector, could hold the key to some of the most pressing problems of our era."
The project is keen to encourage participation and is open to everyone from university professors to shop-floor workers.
The closing date for entries is October 5th 2012 with the prizes announced at Co-operatives United world festival on October 29th.
Prize partners include Co-operatives UK, New Internationalist and Unicorn Grocery.
The homepage for the new site is at: www.ethicalconsumer.org/co-operativealternative.aspx