Thoughts and success stories

Episode 10: In conversation with Dr. Brett Fairbairn

Dr. Brett Fairbairn has been researching co-operatives for over 30 years; as a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, he has become…

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Episode 9: Member Engagement

In this episode, Kyle, Dan, and Aasa discuss what member engagement looks like for co-operatives, given how many different types of co-ops – and different…

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3 essential ingredients in successful co-operative start-ups

At its most basic, every co-op needs a champion with a vision, a group with a shared interest and a market for the service or…

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Context and Opportunity: A brief survey of Indigenous Co-ops in Canada

The co-operative business model has been relatively underutilized by Indigenous peoples in western Canada. Corporate structures and limited partnerships have more often been the go-to…

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Episode 8: Five big ideas for leveraging the co-operative advantage in a rapidly changing world

In this episode, Aasa sat down with Dr. Dionne Pohler to discuss her keynote speech from the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association’s 2018 conference. Dr. Pohler’s address…

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Episode 7: The Importance of Board Diversity

In the last episode in our series on board governance, Audra, Kyle, and Aasa talk about the importance of diversity on boards. Having people with…

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Saskatchewan’s Newest Chamber of Commerce

Saskatchewan is getting a new Chamber of Commerce. A group of Indigenous business leaders in Saskatchewan have formed this province’s first Indigenous Chamber of Commerce….

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Episode 6: Dealing with conflict on a board

In this episode, Audra, Kyle, and Aasa tackle what happens when things get contentious on a board. We discuss the kinds of conflict that boards…

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This innovative construction company is a co-op

In the construction sector there is plenty of room for inefficiency. Often one contractor will frame a building, another will wire it, someone else will…

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With Growth on the Horizon, Stocksy United Removes its Membership Cap

For the first time since inception in 2012, Stocksy United, an artist-owned photography + cinematography co-op run by some of the world’s best creatives and…

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Episode 5: Working board versus policy board

We dive right into the discussion of working vs policy boards with a controversial question: Why do working boards suck? Being on a working board…

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What succession planning is and why it matters

Succession planning is how business leaders answer the question of how their business continues without key players, like owners and high performance or essential skill…

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A catalyst for opportunity

The Mountain CoLab co-operative The nature of work is changing, and with it, the model of traditional office space. With the rise of the gig…

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Podcast Episode 4: Getting People Involved in Board Governance

This episode kicks off our four-part series on co-operative governance with Co-operatives First’s Executive Director Audra Krueger. Kyle, Aasa, and Audra talk about why people…

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5 ways to increase membership engagement

Most co-ops have, at some point or another, encountered difficulties getting their members involved in the organization. Low engagement can reveal itself in a variety…

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What the heck is Membership Engagement

Defining member engagement for a specific organization is often tricky. It can also be hard to measure. But defining member engagement for your organization and…

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Video: The Food Forest and Learning Centre Co-operative

The Food Forest and Learning Centre Co-operative Maggie Bluewaters shares a story of healing and food security in rural Saskatchewan. Our thanks to Maggie and…

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Podcast Episode 3: Why we need governance

Episode 3: Why we need governance In this episode, Kyle and Aasa from Co-operatives First talk to Paul Thompson, Research Officer at the University of…

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6 unique businesses that also happen to be co-ops

The co-operative business model is versatile and being used successfully in every sector of the economy. Businesses using the model bring utilities, like power, water…

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How newcomers are using co-ops to succeed in Canada

For newcomers, barriers to well-being can be bigger and more complex than for much of the Canadian-born population. Newcomers often experience isolation when they arrive…

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Podcast Episode 2: What makes a co-op?

In this episode, Kyle, Dan, and Aasa discuss the different definitions of co-operatives, the seven co-operative principles, and the ways co-ops are different from other…

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