Part 1: The Case for Partnership
Brett Fairbairn, with Nora Russell
Co-operatives are community-based associations and enterprises accountable to their members and typically competing in markets for goods and services. Based on self-help, autonomy, and ages-old ways of working together, they improve the well-being of their members, foster values such as equity and inclusion, and strengthen communities.
Universities are among the oldest institutions in society, operating under deeply entrenched norms of self-governance and autonomy. They create knowledge for society, foster critical thinking and citizenship, and reproduce leadership and professions from generation to generation.
If a good partnership is one where the partners bring different strengths and characteristics to a common project, then universities and co-operatives have the makings of a great partnership. But partners have to find the right ways of working with each other, and this is more complicated than it might appear. Continue reading