Launch of new E-book on Social Economy with strong focus on Co-operatives

Produced by the Canadian Social Economy Hub in partnership with Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) three new E-books on the social economy are now available and can be downloaded for free from the CCEDNet website.  See:

Assembling Understandings: Perspectives of the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships, 2005-2011 by Joy Emmanuel and Matthew Thompson, may be of particular interest to anyone wanting in learning more about Canadian co-operatives.  This book provides a thematic summary of the major findings of close to 400 final projects of the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships (CSERP).

An entire chapter is devoted to co-operatives and provides a rich portrait of the multiple ways co-ops have been adapted in communities throughout Canada to serve members needs.  Summarizing the results of over 60 research projects this chapter provides an overview of the size and scope of the co-op movement in several regions of Canada. Some studies focus on specific sectors, such as worker co-ops and housing; some projects provide insights into certain dimensions of the model through case study research; others illustrate various ways co-ops are used to address social issues, such as food security, fair trade and child care; new tools for measuring the co-operative difference were created, tested and evaluated through several CSERP projects; recommendations for co-op-friendly policies are set-out; the studies illustrate how co-ops are being used to meet the needs of specific populations, such as First Nations people, recent immigrants and Francophones living outside of Quebec; further documentation is provided on the history of the co-op movement in certain regions; and new insights arise on many questions related to best practices in co-op development.

Other chapters provide sections that focus on a more in-depth look at mapping the social economy (including the co-op sector) and how co-ops have been used in Inuit and First Nations communities to meet their needs.

Overall, the research summarized in these chapters demonstrates the strong roots of the co-operative movement in the tapestry of the Canadian social economy. Through this collection of co-operative focused social economy research studies, the evidence is mounting on the substantial role co-operatives are playing, and can play, in creating vibrant local economies while improving social standards, and respecting the environmental bottom-line.

Thanks to Joy Emmanuel for submitting this post!

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