Over 400 participants will converge on Ann Arbor, Michigan from October 30th through November 1st, 2015 to share ideas, learn new skills, and look at issues affecting the cooperative movement worldwide. Since 1977, NASCO's Cooperative Education & Training Institute has been widely recognized as one of the most important training and networking opportunities available to members, directors, staff and managers of group-equity cooperatives. The annual NASCO Institute is always a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network with hundreds of cooperative leaders and employers, to caucus about pressing issues, and to work on building an inclusive and accessible cooperative movement.
This year's theme is: Common Interest: Co-ops Investing in Community Wealth
Communities around the world are working together to create more just, resilient, and sustainable economies that nourish people and the planet. Students are calling for their universities to move their funds to more ethical investments; communities are creating healthy, just, local, and sustainable food systems; and cities across the United States and Canada are using Participatory Budgeting processes to engage people in direct democracy for decisions about public funds.
Cooperatives, as member-controlled enterprises, see investment as more than just generating money: it’s about increasing economic democracy, building community wealth, and sustaining our communities. As cooperators, we understand that resilient movements invest in education; we see the firsthand results of investing in our broader communities through our labor and our resources; we know that we must invest in youth and leadership; and our cooperatives invest in one another, because we know that we cannot do this work alone.
How is your cooperative investing in the future? Do you support developing leaders and encourage people to take on new responsibilities? Are you building the economic power to survive and grow for future members? How does your cooperative support and engage with the communities where you are located? What legacy are we leaving the next generation of cooperators, just as we inherited the labors of our movement elders? The next wave of the cooperative movement is building, and you’re a part of it.