What Would the Pioneers Say About Us Today?

Many years ago, I was part of a workshop on managing growth in a recently expanded food co-op. As a warm-up exercise the leader asked participants if there were any individuals from history that you’d like to have a conversation with or ask advice. We went around the room and people threw out big names like Einstein, Jesus or Elvis. I said the Rochdale Pioneers. Honestly, I felt like a big dork saying it, but it was heartfelt. What I most wanted to ask them was how they kept the faith when things were tough.

That’s why it was a great pleasure to discuss with author David Thompson his thoughts on what the Rochdale Pioneers might say about that to contemporary cooperators. Revisiting Thompson’s book Weavers of Dreams and taking into account the circumstances of the founding of the modern cooperative movement, and how it applies to today’s state of affairs, was a privilege and a fantastic exercise.

Everyone at the CDS Consulting Cooperative is inspired by the outright practicality and hope-inducing vision the Rochdale Pioneers developed. We are here to contribute our part to creating the best models of cooperation and adhering to those practices that made the Pioneers such a success. We hope that by considering anew the Pioneers example, you feel as hopeful about the future of cooperation as we do.

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By |January 30th, 2009|Categories: EXPORT, Solutions|Tags: |

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