Cooperatives and the Internet (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic
format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
August, 1997
(Source: ICA News, Issue No.4/1997- pp.4)

Co-operatives and The Internet

There are more and more resources on and for co-operatives
Available on the Internet everyday.  Here is a summary of some
of the ICA's online resources, followed by some highlights 
of co-operative resources available on the Internet.  It is
by no means an exhaustive list.  Explore the ICA web site 
for more links and resources, and feel free to contact ICA to
suggest additional internet and web sites for co-operators.

New ICA Web Site Announcement -
The International Co-operative Alliance is proud to present the
new ICA web site. The increasing amount of information presented 
on the web site led the Communications Department to improve 
the overall structure to facilitate navigation  and enable 
users to easily download relevant information, informing them 
at all times of their location within the site.

The largest section of the site contains the information 
in English, and has been separated  into four main chapters. 
Each chapter has an index page which you can reach by clicking 
on the images at the top of each page. The four chapters and 
their contents are as follows:

The ICA: information concerning the International Co-operative 

Co-op Info: information related to the co-operative movement 
and other co-operative organisations.

Outreach: information related to the Internet, to the 
Co-operative Gopher, to Newsgroups, to relevant business sites 
and international organisations.

New!: regularly updated new information.  Any new additions 
to the web site will be included in this section, and eventually 
placed in their relevant chapter. 

This section contains a link to a new site called Co-ops for 
Kids (see below).

The ICA also contains information in other languages, including 
French, German, Spanish, Swedish and Portuguese. At present, 
this information is limited - any additions to this part of the
site or translations of the original English information would 
be gratefully received in any language. Each language section 
contains an index page accessible through a flag on the home page, 
or at the top of each language page. 

You can return to the ICA home page at any time by clicking 
on the ICA logo at the bottom of each page.  You will also 
be able to search the ICA web site by using a search engine. 
The Communications Department would appreciate any feedback 
concerning the recent changes.  

Co-ops 4 Kids
ICA is going to be launching a new part of our web site 
entitled "Co-ops 4 Kids"  in September 1997, which will 
introduce children and young people to the co-operative movement.

To make Co-ops 4 Kids both fun and informative, the site will
emphasise interactive elements and will encourage input from 
young people (articles, pictures, photos, etc.), communication 
and networking with other kids and co-op members around the world.  

The site will provide basic information on the the co-operative 
movement, educational resources, and will also include links 
to online games and fun sites.  By teaching kids about co-ops,
we hope to encourage them to become co-op members, consumers 
and leaders in their own communities.  

Comments, feedback and volunteers to help build this site and 
From teachers or schools interested in participating in the 
project are appreciated. 

The Cooperative Gopher 
An ever-growing inventory of co-operative information, the 
Gopher is the product of a joint effort between ICA, Geneva 
and The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives 
(UWCC) in Madison, Wisconsin. Essentially a large database of 
text from various co-operative resources including newsletters,
articles on specific topics such as board trainings and co-op 
history, and publications, the Gopher is a  comprehensive, and
internationally accessible source of information about

COPAC Web Site
The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives
(COPAC) now had its own web site.  COPAC is a successful and 
on-going partnership between representatives of the cooperative 
movement together with farmers' and workers' organizations, 
and the United Nations and its agencies. Members work together
on equal terms to promote and coordinate sustainable cooperative 
development through policy dialogues, technical cooperation and 
information, and concrete collaborative activities. The web site
contains sections on COPAC's mission and structure, service
and activities, member organisations and publications.

Society for Co-operative Studies

Information on the Society for co-operative Studies based in 
the UK is now available on the Web through a site linked to 
the co-op education section of the ICA Web site. The Society 
is an independent voluntary organisation committed to public 
education on all aspects of the movement. It aims to commission,
identify and publish research on the co-operative movement, and 
actively promote the exchange of information and experiences of 
co-ops through research and publication. Co-op members, employees,
managers, specialists and academics from overseas as well as the 
UK are welcome. The society convenes an annual conference (this 
year's will be held on 20-21 September on the theme "Working 
Towards a Stakeholder Society), publishes the quarterly Journal 
of Co-operative Studies, and maintains the International Register 
of Co-operative Research. In May, the ICA established a searchable 
data base for the Register. At present, entries coming via the 
internet and those received through completed questionnaires are 
being processed by Dr Peter Davis, from whom further information 
can be obtained at fax : (+44 116) 252 3949, 
E-mail :

Working Group on Trade and Communications Web Site

ICA Communication Committee Working Group on Trade and 
Communication Network Technology
now has its own web site. This included information on the group's projects, resources,
background papers, members, and links to other related sites.

The Working Group also maintains a list called ICN, which all 
interested co-operators are invited to subscribe to. Just do
the following:
1. sen an e-mail message to :
2. include no subject in the subject line of the message
3. in the body of the message include the following: SUBSCRIBE ICN
4. do not enter any other text and turn off automatic signatures, 
if you use them.

Byron Henderson, Director of communications of the Center for 
the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan would be 
pleased to answer any questions you might have about the Working 
Group or about electronic commerce for co-operatives. Contact him 
by e-mail at

Co-op Listservers
The "Cooperative bus":
Sponsored and maintained by the University of Wisconsin Center 
for Co-operatives, the listserve is an electronic bulletin board 
intended to facilitate discussion about strengths and weaknesses
of co-operatives in solving people's economic and social needs. 
The Co-op bus is probably the largest co-op listserver, and many 
subscribers are based in the U.S., but co-operators from around 
the world also subscribe. To subscribe, send email to,
with the message: subscribe cooperative-bus [your name]

Co-operative - 1:
A source of news from and about co-operatives, with subscribers
providing news releases and full articles or edited abstracts 
from the newsletters. Cooperativen-1 is committed to promoting 
co-operative philosophy and principles.  The list is maintained 
by Co-operative Energy Ltd. of Victoria, Australia.To subscribe,
send email to with the message: subscribe 

Co-opNet is a new initiative set up by the Southampton Co-op 
Network in the UK to promote co-ops in their area and to encourage communication,
networking, and positive discussion about co-ops and co-operation. Subscribers are mostly
UK-based, but are welcome from all parts of the world.  Discussion often focuses on the
European movement and on worker co-ops. The list is maintained by Total Coverage, a co-op
graphic design consultancy in Southampton. To subscribe, send email to, with message: subscribe co-opnet.

ICA Member Web Pages Service
ICA is pleased to announce a new service for its members.  
Beginning in September 1997, individual pages for each ICA member 
organisation will be added to the ICA web site. This will make
information on all members organisations accessible electronically,
whether or not members have set up their own web sites. This new 
service is an effort to give priority to members, and to facilitate
information dissemination between ICA member  organizations, 
and to their own members, and vice-versa. Links will be provided 
for those organisations that already have their own sites.
Each member page will contain the co-op's logo, mission statement,
Basic contact information and, when available, e-mail addresses.  
Please send us any specific information you wish to be included - 
either by mail, on computer disk, or by e-mail.

Just two years ago, there were no ICA members on the World Wide 
Web. Now over 10 percent of the total membership have its own 
websites, in addition to the thousands of other co-ops on the web. 

ICA Members Already on the Web 
Confederacao Brasileira das Cooperativas de Energia Telefonia e
Desenvolvimento Rural (CONBRAC)

Organizacao das Cooperativas Brasileiras (OCB)

Unimed do Brasil Confederacao Nacional das Cooperativas Medicas

Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA)

Statsvejviseren: F3/4llesforeningen for Danmarks Brugsforeninger

Confederation Nationale du Credit Mutuel (France)

Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives, Japan (JA-ZENCHU) 

Faellesforeningen for Denmarks Brugsforeninger (FDB)

Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU)

Korean Federation of Community Credit Co-operatives (KFCCC)

National Agricultural Co-operative Federation, Korea (NACF)

Instituto Antonio Sergio do Sector Cooperativo, Portugal (INSCOOP)

Folksam Insurance Group

HSB: Riksfoorbund (Union of Housing Co-operatives)

Koopertiva Forbundet (KF)/Swedish Co-operative Union

Lantbrukarnas Rikforbun (LRF)/Federation of Swedish Farmers

Riksbyggen, Sweden (Co-operative Housing Union)

Coop Suisse

Co-operative Bank plc, UK

Cooperative Insurance Society

Co-operative Union Ltd., UK

Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd., UK

Plunkett Foundation, UK

National Cooperative Business Association, USA

Nationwide Insurance, USA

Confederacion Uruguaya de Entidades Cooperativas