Sharing Prosperity – A report on the Cooperative Economy in Wales

With its rich heritage of co-operation and the shared commitment to sustainable development written into the DNA of devolution in Wales, there are few more fruitful areas for business innovation than the emerging green economy and co-operative enterprises.

Why green?

We are used to the forward momentum of economic growth, that at some fundamental level we can believe that there is more stuff coming our way, more good and services we can access. When that happens, we have consumer confidence – when we don’t, it is a recession. The trouble with this mindset is that it is fast becoming incompatible with the world ahead, because it rests on the assumption that we can strip more resources out of the earth and pump more waste into the biosphere. If we can’t, then we need a new framework.
In the words of Ruben Nelson, Executive Director, Foresight Canada, we need to “learn the future faster in order to cooperate with our own evolution.”

Why co-operative?

The co-operative model offers a good fit for the challenges of the transition ahead, both to a low carbon economy but also to a model that can offer resilience for local people and local resources in the face of climate change. It is a proven business model, at small and large scale – from sustainable Finnish woodlands co-operatives to fishery co-ops
in India.

There are certainly limits to what we can safely do to the environment, but as this rich and fertile report by Pat Conaty shows, we have yet to discover limits to what we can achieve through co-operation and community.

Ed Mayo
Secretary General
Co-operatives UK”

See Also :

Sharing Prosperity

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