Interview with Donna Balkan of the Canadian Co-operative Association
Click the audio player above to hear my interview with Donna Balkan who is the Communications Manager for the Canadian Co-operative Association in Ottawa. Right click here to download the file (14:30).
Did you know that 2012 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Co-operatives? This was done to highlight the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. Now Earthgauge Radio is an environment show of course but if we are to have any hope of solving some of our very serious environmental problems, it seems clear to me that we’re going to have to look at moving towards business models that do not place the profit motive of shareholders as the primary force driving our economies today at the expense of social and environmental concerns. Co-operatives operate very differently. Although they are still businesses and need to make profits to survive, co-ops are guided by other values and the objective to meet the common needs of their members. It may be for these reasons that the popularity of the co-op business model is exploding across Canada and around the world. Co-ops simply seem to be a much more sustainable, and frankly less destructive business model and we can only hope that they continue to grow in importance here in Canada and abroad.
In our interview, Donna explains some of the benefits of co-ops and their potential as an alternative business model.