Collaboratory Melbourne Meetup July 2012 – Cooperative Enterprises: Transforming Communities & Economies
We’re working toward establishing Collaboratory Melbourne as a member owned community enterprise by the end of 2012. Coincidentally it happens to be the UN International Year of the Cooperative. So thanks to John Baxter and Melina from Social Business Australia, we’ve pulled together a special Collaboratory Melbourne Meetup exploring the power of cooperatives.
Cooperatives are at the frontier of global trends of community organisation, and are increasingly proving to be effective vehicles for community action and empowerment.
Cooperatives are one of the oldest models for social enterprise, preceding the social enterprise movement by centuries. They are nevertheless one of the fastest growing modes of business, and are proving their value in tackling some of our biggest social and environmental challenges. Cooperative models are versatile, and recent examples prove the range of areas they can play a role - renewable energy, food security, employment and housing, to name just a few.
The United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, recognising the contribution of cooperatives worldwide. The Collaboratory will be hosting a discussion on the role of cooperatives in social change as part of the International Year of Cooperatives, and to spark a discussion about the future of our own collective.
What role can cooperatives play in bringing people together to address pressing social and environmental issues and build resilient communities?
How do cooperatives do business differently, and how do they make us think differently about the roles of business and the community in building our futures?
How might a cooperative role underpin collaborative communities like theCollaboratory Melbourne?
This meetup will be tapping in to The Big Co-op Conversations, part of the International Year of the Co-operative. (Note the next Conversation is in Melbourne, on 7 August.)
A special thanks the Melina Morrison from Social Business Australia, for her help rounding up guests for this evening. Social Business Australia is overseeing Australia’s 2012 International Year of the Co-operative program.
*Registration includes beer, wine and light snacks. Doors open at 6pm, with panel starting from 6:30pm sharp.
Les Cameron: Chair Goulburn Valley Food Action Committee and Goulburn Valley Food Co-operative.
Dave Kerin: Project Officer, Earthworker Cooperative. Dave’s experience in the anti-Vietnam War and Green Ban’s movements evolved in the 90’s to helping establish Earthworker Cooperative.
Earthworker is a micro-financing venture that enables community driven energy transitions, while supporting workers and manufacturing communities. Dave and his colleagues are helping form world-first partnerships between unions, workers’ cooperatives, green energy manufacturers and social finance organisations to achieve mutually beneficial results from manufacturing and energy transitions.
In his current work with Earthworker, Dave is helping establish the first union supported workers cooperative, Eureka’s Future Workers Cooperative, manufacturing solar hot water systems in Morwell.
Earthworker look forward to being able to include us in their pioneering journey.
Martin May: Treasurer, Hepburn Wind. Martin has a strong interest in environmental issues and believes that Hepburn Wind is an important project on many levels and can become the basis for a national model of community renewable energy sites. Martin has had a holiday house in Daylesford for the past 11 years. In Melbourne he is an active member of the Bayside Climate Change Action Group.
Hepburn Wind is the owner and operator of Australia’s first community owned wind farm, at Leonards Hill, just south of Daylesford Victoria. with over 1900 members, the majority of whom are local to the project.
bankmecu: bankmecu is a new kind of bank in Australia – a customer owned bank. This means we put our customers first because they also own the bank. At the heart of bankmecuis a belief that strong synergies exist between social and environmental responsibility and a cooperative approach to banking.
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