Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists


2019 The International Year of the Cooperative

Sunday 30 December 2018

Every year I aim to identify what I think a major focus of the upcoming year will be and in that light I'm declaring 2019 the International Year of the Cooperative. I'm prompted by a multitude of signals that my daily research has uncovered, many of which will be familiar to you -

Cost of living increases as wages stagnate; collapse in trust of major institutions like banks and politicians; rising housing costs, questions over the vailidty of exeuctive levels of pay, and others on the issue of Capitalism; people being asked to choose between paying a power or gas bill or feeding their family; costs associated with private transport and so on.

Some of the precursors have been around for quite a while - things like car share schemes, small localised  food coops targeting specific community segments. And now we're seeing Apps that allow people to share food they've grown themselves, younger people delaying getting their license or preferring non car ownership of their own. Expect to see coops emerge in small energy hubs - local housing with independent solar will be sharing the power with others nearby rather than feeding it into the grid where they essentially get no benefit for doing so.

The increasing number of independent politcians is also a sign of the drive for special interest groups (another form of co-op) to gain influence. Co working spaces are now normal. Those factors and many others suggest the emergence of a strong and broad cooperative movement is upon us and it will change the way many sectors engage with consumers or will be asked to provide services.


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