The Co-operative Innovation Project

Collaborative, Community-Led Solutions

Contact Us

We can be found at:

1-306-966-8502 phone

We look forward to your thoughts on our research!

Hey…did you hear: we measured co-op knowledge in western Canada. What do you think?

Source: CIP telephone survey 2015. Question: Do you know what a co-operative is? The chart below shows those who answered “no” or “don’t know” to that question.

Coop knowledge

Co-operatives are an important contributor to a community’s quality of life, offering opportunities for economic and community development in areas citizens feel are important, such as housing, social services, retail, energy, recreation, and the sustainable management of natural resources and traditional economies. In combining economic with community development, co-operative businesses harness, and contribute to, the energy and success of both.

How did CIP get started?

In November 2013, the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership with Federated Co-operatives Limited to explore co-operative development in rural and Aboriginal communities in western Canada.

If you’d like to learn more about Federated Co-operatives and their amazing community work and public profile, check out their website.

The Co-operative Innovation Project (CIP) spoke with communities, municipal managers, and co-operative developers across western Canada throughout 2015.

One of the critical components of the research is a ‘snapshot’ of rural and aboriginal western Canada in 2015. It asked: what are your community’s needs? And, are those needs being met by conventional solutions, or would a co-operative solution be a good fit?

Why this is unique: CIP spoke with both Aboriginal and rural communities, using the same questions and guidelines. That gives us some ability to consider how rural and Aboriginal communities might differ, and how they might have similar needs.

The goal of the CIP is to create a model of co-operative development that responds to the unique and changing needs of rural and Aboriginal communities across western Canada.

Strategic direction for the project management group came from the following partner organizations:

  •       Federated Co-operatives Limited
  •       Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
  •       Plunkett Foundation
  •       International Centre for Northern Governance and Development
  •       Edwards School of Business
  •       Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy

The day-to-day operations were led by a project director under the supervision of the director, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives. Please feel free to contact the Centre at 306-966-8502 with any questions.