During the transition from steam and horse to fossil fuel, the co-op model really began to prove its worth as a tool for helping people work together. The model also helped rural farmers and businesses compete as local economies began interacting globally in the past. This raises the question: what does the future of rural co-ops look like?
The co-op model is a tool for organizing people and sharing resources in a way that is fair, efficient, and effective. It can also do a mean job of helping groups of people compete in a regional, national, or global marketplace. The model does this by increasing a group or individual’s capacity to participate within markets and economies they otherwise couldn’t.
With the ongoing amalgamations of municipalities, growing influence of Tribal Councils and increasing sophistication of digital communication tools, there is increasing opportunity for working together. Co-ops have a place in capturing this opportunity.
But there is one key piece of modern infrastructure missing in a lot of rural and remote areas: broadband. To enter new markets, create capacity and grow new opportunities, both rural and Indigenous communities need consistent access to high-quality broadband.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”
Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)
Libro Credit Union
“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”
Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)
Arctic Co-operatives Limited
“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”
Lori Sanders (President)
“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”
“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”