The International Cooperative Alliance defines A Cooperative as :
a people-centred enterprise owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations.
Cooperatives bring people together in a democratic and equal way. Whether the members are the customers, employees, users or residents, cooperatives are democratically managed by the ‘one member, one vote’ rule. Members share equal voting rights regardless of the amount of capital they put into the enterprise.
As businesses driven by values, not just profit, cooperatives share internationally agreed principles and act together to build a better world through cooperation. Putting fairness, equality and social justice at the heart of the enterprise, cooperatives around the world are allowing people to work together to create sustainable enterprises that generate long-term jobs and prosperity.
Cooperatives allow people to take control of their economic future and, because they are not owned by shareholders, the economic and social benefits of their activity stay in the communities where they are established. Profits generated are either reinvested in the enterprise or returned to the members.
The cooperative movement is far for being a marginal phenomenon, at least 12% of humanity is a cooperator of any of the 3 million cooperatives on earth.
Since it is our belief that the future of humanity is interdependent on cooperation, we have much to learn from todays conversation.
A cooperative story: Cheeseboard, Berkeley, California, USA
A Cooperative story: Up and Go, New York City
A cooperative story, Lago do Junco, MARANHÃO, BRAZIL
Aroundtheworld.coop aims to enhance and share with the wider society best practices from the social and solidarity economy, contributing to raise awareness that alternatives to the mainstream is possible.
The Aroundtheworld.coop project was born from the idea of Andrea Mancori and Sara Vicari, a couple who traveled the world to document innovative cooperatives.
We work together with cooperative members to retrace their own coop story. By combining documentary filmmaking and participatory action research, we share these stories with the wider society.
Aroundtheworld.coop is committed to strengthen the ability of cooperatives, collectives, and social and solidarity economy organizations in general, to communicate their story of positive impact.
About Sara Vicari
Sara Vicari, PhD, is a socio-economic researcher, expert on qualitative and participatory methods, passionate about coops and their role in sustainable human development. She has built her expertise working with primary cooperatives, apex organizations, international institutions and academia.
In 2019, together with Andrea Mancori, videomaker, they founded aroundtheworld.coop, and in partnership with the International Co-operative Alliance, they travelled across the five continents documenting and telling stories of innovative cooperatives. All the videos are available here:
Since 2019 Sara has also been a Postdoc Research fellow at the Department of Economics of Roma Tre University in Rome, Italy. Among her passions, Sara loves writing. “Tana Libera Tutte!” is her first novel that is about sisterhood, empathy and collective action (in Italian – edited by Doithuman). Sara fluently speaks Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese.