By E.G. Nadeau
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How can we reduce inequality, combat global warming, and become more democratic? Insights into these questions are addressed by author E.G. Nadeau in his fourth book, Strengthening the Cooperative Community. Nadeau believes member-owned, democratically controlled co-ops can be part of the solution to creating a better, fairer society.
Strengthening the Cooperative Community draws on the author’s 50 years of experience in researching, developing, teaching and writing about cooperative businesses. Through case studies and historical examples, Nadeau describes why co-ops succeed or fail. He presents lessons from his experiences and puts forth recommendations on how co-ops can become an even more dynamic force for positive change that benefits people and the environment in the 21st century. Co-ops are a unique business form that are owned and democratically controlled by their members.
The book first presents a historical review that draws lessons from a variety of cooperative sectors including insurance cooperatives that emerged around 1700; grocery, financial and agricultural co-ops that originated in the 1800s; and electricity, employee-owned and social service co-ops that began in the 20th century.
The book then focuses on examples of, and lessons from, Nadeau’s 50 years of experience as a researcher and developer of dozens of cooperative projects in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The third section of the book describes six “building blocks” of cooperative development that have proven to be key factors in creating successful co-ops and a thriving International co-op community with an estimated 1 billion members.
The final section of the book presents opportunities for cooperative development in the 21st century that have the potential to generate jobs, a more sustainable environment, and services for hundreds of millions of new co-op members and employees.
The latter two sections of the book make 16 specific, practical recommendations for strengthening the cooperative community in the current decade.
Praise for the Book
“Anyone interested in concrete ideas for reducing inequality domestically or internationally should read this book about E.G. Nadeau’s 50 years of experience improving economic systems through cooperatives. These ideas can remake capitalism into a fairer system of shared prosperity.” —Dave Grace, Managing Partner, Dave Grace and Associates
“E.G. has made a major contribution to the history and future impact of cooperative enterprise while at the same time penning an autobiography of a cooperative life well lived. E.G.’s use of real-world stories makes the global impact of cooperatives tangible and personal for multiple audiences, including experienced cooperators.” – Dr. Martin Lowery, Chair of the International Cooperative Alliance’s Cooperative Identity Committee
Check out E.G.’s interview with Everything Co-op about the book.