Hot Co-op Topics to be Explored at Gathering

Hot Co-op Topics to be Explored at Gathering

‘Blueprint’, ODCs topping the list

The Nov. 1-2 Gathering of Alberta Co-operatives is designed to build upon the successes of last year’s event, with the opening day featuring a discussion on what people learned in 2012 as well as many other exciting topics.

Also top of mind at the second annual Gathering, which is taking place in Red Deer, will be the International Co-operative Alliance’s (ICA’s)blueprint” for a co-operative decade. One of the main objectives in the blueprint is to have co-operatives become the fastest growing model of business by 2020.

Denyse Guy, the Canadian Co-operative Association’s executive director, will lead a panel discussion on Day 1 centred on the five pillars of the blueprint: capital, sustainability, identity, participation and legal framework.

Another session later that day, Unrolling the Blueprint — Creating Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs), will focus on each of the pillars and what co-operatives can do to make the blueprint a reality.

For their part, Alberta co-ops need to create strategies to make the blueprint’s goals a reality, says Michele Aasgard, the Alberta Community and Co-operatives Association (ACCA) executive director.

“We really want to make it Alberta’s own (blueprint for co-operatives) as well,” she tells ACCA News.

“That is a big drive this year for where we would like our work in Alberta to go, and how we can support the rest of Canada. We’ve got some very passionate people that want to support what’s in that document.”

Much of Day 2 of the Gathering will focus on opportunity development co-operatives (ODCs) in Alberta and updates from 2012 and 2013 pilot communities.

The future of ODCs and how the model can be adopted in communities will also be discussed.

Marlene Schonheiter, an activation specialist at Servus Credit Union’s Lloydminster offices, will be attending this year’s Gathering. She also attended last year’s event and says she’s looking forward to seeing the momentum built upon.

“ ‘Gathering’ is such a fitting word to describe the event — it truly is a gathering of the co-operatives to share ideas, learn and plan with each other and be energized in exploring the possibilities of the co-op model,” Marlene says.

You can check out the itinerary by clicking here.

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Deron Hamel

Deron joined Axiom News in March 2007, having previously worked as a news reporter for print, online and wire services. He serves as Axiom News’ long-term care pod lead, after several years of writing stories and editorials for our clients in that sector. An award-winning advocacy journalist, Deron has seen first-hand the strengths long-term care brings to the greater health-care sector and through his work he seeks to share successes and best practices.

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