In Memoriam: The research community mourns passing of Ian MacPherson

Canada’s co-operative movement is mourning the passing of one of its leading lights, historian, educator, author and passionate co-operator Ian MacPherson.

Dr. MacPherson, known internationally for his role in the 1995 revision of the co-operative principles and his work linking co-operatives to peace and social cohesion, died on November 16 at the age of 74.

As both a scholar and a co-operative activist, Dr. MacPherson personified the relationship between Canadian co-operative academics and co-op practitioners. In Canada, he served as president of both the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and Credit Union Central of British Columbia (now part of Central 1 Credit Union), as well as on the boards of various consumer, financial and health care co-operatives.

He has written dozens of books and articles about co-operatives, including A Century of Co-operation, the commemorative book marking the 100th anniversary of Canada’s organized co-operative movement in 2009.

He was also a founder of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC), a multidisciplinary research organization which brings together co-operative academics and practitioners.

Read more about Ian and contribute your memories, comments and reflections to a tribute blog for Ian at

-Canadian Co-operative Association

The Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation has also released a communique about Ian found here: MacPherson – In Memoriam

Co-operatives, Peace and Social Inclusion

Co-operative Initiative for Peace and Social Inclusion

For over 200 years, the international co-operative movement has advocated peace and social inclusion. It has done so partly because it often emerged during periods of war and social violence and because of a commitment to economic democracy and social inclusion and its principle of being open to everyone who can use its services.

The Co-operative Initiative for Peace and Social Inclusion brings together researchers and practitioners concerned about this important theme in Co-operative Studies. It focuses on co-operatives that bring people together who traditionally have not collaborated effectively because of historic, ethnic, religious, or political reasons. It explores how co-operatives serve diverse members through the kinds of governance and managerial approaches they employ; their connections with other civil society organisations; and their understandings of co-operative thought.

An Executive Committee drawn from the University of Victoria and from other organisations, including the International Co-operative Alliance, will guide its work. Currently 40 research associates from 17 different countries will be involved in this work.  This initiative will be under the direction of Dr. Ian MacPherson, Emeritus Professor of History and specialist in Co-operative Studies.  The Univerity of Victoria’s Centre of Co-operative and Community Based Economy will host and support this work in association with the Centre for Global Studies.

-Centre for the Study of Co-operatives and Community-based Economy

New Institute at UVic! Co-operative Institute for Peace and Social Inclusion

The Institute will explore generally how co-operatives contribute, directly and indirectly, to more peaceful communities through the application of their values and principles, their capacity to include people from different backgrounds and their concentration on specific, achievable objectives. The Institute will be formally established on January 1, 2013.

It will be located in the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. The Executive Committee consists of: Charles Gould, Executive Director of the International Co-operative Alliance, Yehudah Paz from the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, Ian MacPherson, Emeritus Professor of History, the University of Victoria. A fourth person, yet to be appointed, will come from the Centre for Global Studies. An Advisory Board of 14 people, drawn from around the world as well as Victoria, is being appointed.

Please communicate with Ian MacPherson at