If you look around the tech sector, it would be easy to think that this was the only model of generating wealth. And generating wealth for whom? A Co-operative is a business that exists for the benefit of its members (as opposed to its shareholders), and is built around a set of co-operative principles. As I’ve found with our own co-op, our shared ownership affords us a different level of care towards each other – and I’ve found it totally refreshing.
This thought was sparked by an excellent keynote at the Co-op Education Conference by Emer Coleman of Co-op Digital.
Catherine Cronin put me on to the book “We make the road by walking” by Paulo Freire and Miles Horton. And when Catherine puts you on to a book, you’d better read it…
It resonated deeply – and today, because I’m at a Co-op conference, I’m reflecting that one of my recent newly trodden roads is one of working co-operatively with We Are Open Co-op.
Listening to Momodou Sallah’s keynote at OER18 instantly transported me back to my days living and working in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I found myself deeply resonating with his desire for change and his willingness to be a part of it. Social Entrepreneurship; Confronting the poverty of imagination; The Empire narrative; The missing Southern voices. I found it inspirational.
Momodou’s Community Interest Company: Global Hands
I was reflecting to another attendee afterwards that I find some talks lend themselves more towards a sketchnote than others. Someone who knows what they are talking about, and cares deeply about it, is a must. But another key ingredient for me are the speaker’s homemade philosophies sprinkled through their talk – and it’s often this mix that I find paints a picture worth drawing.
As a family, we made a Sunday evening habit of watching the David Attenborough BBC series The Blue Planet 2. I then participated in a #RethinkPlastic workshop with Zero Waste Europe. Shortly afterwards, the Queen of England announced that she was cutting the use of Single Use Plastic on royal estates. Obviously, these events must be connected…
And cutting out Single Use Plastic is certainly harder than it seems. But for starters, I have promised myself that I will acknowledge the Single Use Plastic that passes through my own hands.
The conversation I had in my local shop this morning, when the man behind the counter automatically put my pint of milk and packet of almonds in a black plastic bag:
– No thanks, I don’t need a bag
– It’ll not make any difference to the environment
– It’s single use plastic, of course it will…
His defensiveness and poor attempt at shop humour caught me off guard, as I was making no judgement of him, just the plastic bag. Then again, I suppose none of us are comfortable with self judgement…
This thought originated from a Plastic Solutions Lab I was invited to near Brussels, where I met a fantastic mix of activists, artists and policy makers.