On-Line Conference on Cooperative Principles, Sept. 1995

                         CO-OPERATIVE PRINCIPLES 

If you can't make it to the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
Manchester Congress in September, join the discussion on co-op
principles from your desktop! If you have a modem and an Internet
e-mail address, joining the conference is as easy as sending an
e-mail message.  An online conference allows you to make comments,
post information, and "listen" to what other people have to say. 
Conference contributions come automatically to your e-mail box each
day. Instructions on joining the on-line conference are given below
(see "How To Join the Conference").    

At the ICA Centennial Congress in Manchester (U.K.), Sept. 20-23, the
ICA General Assembly will adopt a "Statement on Co-operative
Identity" which will replace the "Co- operative Principles" adopted
by the ICA Congress in 1966.  This Identity Statement will guide
co-operatives into the 21st century.  The ICA Board is proposing that
co-operatives should consider including the Identity Statement in
their by-laws, implementing it in their daily work, and encouraging
governments to base co-operative legislation upon it, where

The Statement follows a complete review by the ICA of the values and
principles that characterize co-op movements around the world.
Delegates and observers from co-operatives and credit unions
worldwide will congregate at the Manchester Congress to continue the
discussion on co-operative principles.  Become part of the discussion
even if you can't make it to Manchester. 

The on-line conference will run from September 6-29 (two weeks prior
to the Congress and one week after the Congress). You can join the
conference at any time, for however long you like, anytime after
Sept. 6.  At the conclusion of the on-line conference, the Canadian
Co-operative Association (CCA) will summarize the on-line conference
comments and distribute the summary electronically.   

This on-line conference is designed for members, staff, management
and volunteers of co-operatives and credit unions worldwide.  It is
designed to be a forum to discuss both philosophical AND practical
concerns regarding the co-operative principles which define
co-operative uniqueness and identity. 

A World Wide Web Site (WWW) will also be accessilbe. The WWW address


With financial support from the Community Access Project (CAP) of
Industry Canada, CCA will work in partnership with the University of
New Brunswick.  UNB will provide the technical support for the
on-line conference and the CCA will moderate the conference discussion
and summarize the conference. 


There will be three topics for discussion during the on-line
conference.  The full (draft) Statement on Co-operative Identity is
outlined below.   

1.   Statement on Co-operative Identity: general comments on the
Statement or the definition, values and principles of co-operatives
are invited. Comments on specific principles, such as "Member
Economic Participation", are also encouraged. 

2.   A seventh principle on "community" has been added.  How do you
think co- operatives can or should implement this principle in their

3.   What role does information technology, such as the Internet,
play with respect to the principles - particularly the principles of
"education"; "co-operation amongst co-operatives", and "community"?  

         The International Co-operative Alliance 


A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united
voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs
and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled


Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, democracy,
equality, equity, and solidarity. Co-operative members believe in
the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and
caring for others.


The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put
their values into practice.

     1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership

Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able
to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of
membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious

     2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control

Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their
members, who actively participate in setting their policies and
making decisions.  Men and women serving as elected representatives
are accountable to the membership.  In primary co-operatives members
have equal voting rights (one member, one vote), and co-operatives at
other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.

     3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the
capital of their co-operative.  They usually receive limited
compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of
membership.  Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the
following purposes: developing their co- operative; benefiting
members in proportion to their transactions with the co- operative;
and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

     4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence

Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by
their members.  If they enter into agreements with other
organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external
sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their
members and maintain their co- operative autonomy. 

     5th Principle: Education, Training and Information

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members,
elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can
contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. 
They inform the general public - particularly young people and
opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation. 

     6th Principle: Co-operation Among Co-operatives

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the
co- operative movement by working together through local, national,
regional, and international structures. 

     7th Principle: Concern for Community

While focusing on member needs and wishes, co-operatives work for the
sustainable development of their communities. 


To join the conference all you need is a modem and an Internet e-mail
address.  If you're not sure whether you have an Internet e-mail
address, please ask your technical or computer support staff.

To join, or "subscribe" to the on-line conference, all you have to do
is send an e- mail message to:  majordomo@cythera.unb.ca

In the body of the message type: 

                 Subscribe coopvalu <your e-mail address>

Example:  Subscribe coopvalu ccainfo@web.apc.org  

Do not write anything in the subject line of your e-mail message.

Once you have subscribed, any comments or information posted to the
conference will automatically come to your e-mail address each day. 
Check your mail daily, if possible, for e-mail messages.

If you have any technical questions on getting connected, please
contact Patti Kirby by e-mail at: pkirby@cythera.unb.ca. Type "TECH"
in the subject line of your message for easy identification.  If you
would prefer to talk to someone about technical issues, please
telephone Dwight Spencer at (506) 453-4614.  All other questions can
be directed to Carol Hunter at: ccainfo@web.apc.org (Telephone:
613-238-6711; Fax: 613-567-0658).

After you subscribe to the conference you will automatically receive
an online information package with information on online etiquette
("netiquette"), directions for posting comments to the conference,
unsubscribing, and directions for accessing our HomePage on the World
Wide Web.