Co-operating, key to a sustainable economy?
A filmmaker in the valley is trying to show how Co-ops, could change our existence.
Tom Shandel said that Co-operatives are the way of the future, and are run successfully all over Europe.
Tonight, his film Civilizing the Economy will be screened at Vancouver Island University, and he said there is so much in the movie we can apply here in the Cowichan Valley.
“I’d like to see enterprises like Youbou Mill when it went down, or Crofton if it does go down, not to be mothballed. The will is there, the skill is there, the moneys there, the need is there, the product has a market, why in earth would we let it go down.”
Shandel shared the example of Bologna in Northern Italy, one of most prosperous regions of Europe. They generate 45% of their GDP from Co-ops, and are almost entirely self-sufficient.
“From cradle to grave, all the services that are delivered, usually by government, they give the money to Co-ops to run the programs for them, that’s amazing.”
The film airs at 7 p.m. followed by a question and answer period with Shandel and John Restakis, Executive Director of the BC Co-operative Association and the film’s writer.
The event continues Saturday with a Co-op education workshop running from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m at VIU.
The United Nations declared 2012 the International Year of Co-ops, highlighting their contribution to social and economic development, especially in creating employment and reducing poverty.
Internationally, the co-op movement includes 800 million members in 85 countries and is one of the strongest movements in the world.
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