Save the Date: NASCO Institute 2016
Over 400 participants will converge on Ann Arbor, Michigan from November 11th through 13th, 2016 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.
Conference registration and scholarship applications will open on September 1st. If you have any questions about NASCO Institute, please contact Morgan Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply to Lead a NASCO Institute Session
NASCO is inviting proposals for presentations at this year’s Institute. The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, August 19, 2016. Proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis, so apply early! Final programming decisions will be made by the end of August.
This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and sharpen your skills as a cooperative educator. Also, presenters are eligible for conference travel and registration compensation!
To apply, and for more information, please see our website.
Conference Theme: Cooperative Resilience
As the wealth gap continues to grow and our systems of production and consumption are increasingly revealed to be unsustainable, people around the world are building alternative structures to a degrading and dehumanizing economy.
Cooperatives are robust and resilient organizations that succeed in times of crisis. Rather than prioritizing shareholder profits, they are driven by the needs and desires of their member-owners. As they provide necessary goods and services, they can provide hope that a just and sustainable economic system rooted in democracy and solidarity is possible.
In service of their members, cooperatives provide dignified jobs and business ownership to undocumented and low-income people, create access to healthy food in communities that have been neglected by grocery corporations, keep money local by providing communities with strong financial services and access to capital, unite small farmers banding together to sell their goods at market, and drive away the predatory landlord by providing affordable resident-controlled housing.
This year’s Institute focuses on the innovative and resilient nature of cooperatives, and how these qualities are essential to adapt in a changing world as we build the next economic systems.
Keynote: Changing the World in a World that is Changing
As we see social alienation, economic crisis, international contention, and the growing social movements in response to it all, many of us are moved to try to change the world. But, to state the obvious, the world is not just sitting there waiting for us to change it. In fact, the world is changing every day and we cannot stop it. The challenge, then, is how can we change a world that is already in motion.
In his keynote presentation, Ed Whitfield will explore how we go about changing the world for the better, recognizing the motion and counter-motion all around us. In particular, Ed will talk about how the access to tools and resources is the key to the power to direct change along the path we care about, toward a wholesome, equitable, sustainable and just world.
Ed Whitfield is a social critic, writer, and community activist who has lived in Greensboro, North Carolina since 1970. He is co-founder and co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC).
Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Ed’s political activism started with attending Little Rock Central High School and beginning to do anti-war work as a teenager. Ed retired after 30 years in industry before becoming involved with philanthropy. He now speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development while continuing to be interested in issues of war and peace, as well as education and social responses to racism. Ed serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition and The Working World.
While he spends much of his time practicing bass guitar, Ed can often be found playing jazz or blues flute along with singer-songwriters and bands in Greensboro and wherever he goes in the world. He recently won the “Plays the Most Instruments” award at Greensboro’s long-running Open Mic night.