IMPACT+ is right around the corner!


While we just wrapped up the 2021 Cooperative IMPACT Conference, our IMPACT+ programming begins next week!

And that means it’s not too late to register for IMPACT 2021. Throughout the month of October, new registrants will receive on-demand access to all our programming from the first week of the conference, in addition to IMPACT+ programming.

If you’ve already registered for IMPACT 2021, you’re all set! Use the same link you used to access IMPACT 2021 sessions to be part of our Purchasing Workshop Day, Farmer-to-Farmer session and session. Please note that the Saint Mary’s course does require a separate registration and an additional fee to attend. If you haven’t already purchased the course, it’s not too late. The course is available for $200 as both a stand-alone item and an additional item when you register for IMPACT 2021. When registering, you have the opportunity to select the course, the conference, or both.

Register now

Here’s a preview of what we’re looking forward to next week:

International Centre for Co-operative Management Executive Education Course

The International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax is once again launching a new Executive Education Course in conjunction with NCBA CLUSA’s 2021 Cooperative IMPACT Conference. “Operationalizing the Cooperative Identity – Strategy to Practice” will be held virtually October 20-21 from 10 am-3 pm EST.

This course will examine all aspects of the cooperative identity while providing you with concepts, tools and examples. You will broaden your understanding of the deeply rooted links between your values-based enterprise model and the International Cooperative Alliance’s Statement on the Cooperative Identity. While studying the connections among cooperative values, principles and enterprise model, you will finish the course with a rich set of examples, plus more knowledge of the diversity of the cooperative model in practice. The course participants and content will span governance, management and operations perspectives.

Presented by the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, this course is facilitated by KAREN MINER, Managing Director of the International Centre for Co-operative Management; and DR. SONJA NOVKOVIC, cooperative economist, Academic Director of the International Centre for Co-operative Management and chair of the International Cooperative Alliance’s Committee on Cooperative Research. The course includes key presentations by FRED FREUNDLICH (LANKI, University of Mondragon) and ERBIN CROWELL, a graduate of the Centre’s Master of Management, Co-operatives and Credit Unions, Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association and immediate past chair of NCBA CLUSA’s Board of Directors.

Purchasing Workshop Day

We’ll kick our Purchasing Workshop Day off with a session called “Supply Chain Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” led by Heidi Traore, Business Development Manager for National Co+op Grocers (NCG). This session will unpack how NCG’s Board of Directors, in collaboration with its leadership team, has been leading the organization on a journey to create a more inclusive culture. We’ll explore what it looks like to operationalize a supplier diversity system that serves both member co-ops and NCG as a purchasing cooperative.

Next, we’ll transition into a report from Paul Giudice, CEO of CoMetrics, on the 2021 Purchasing Co-op and Buying Group Benchmarking Report, a partnership between NCBA CLUSA and CoMetrics. This year’s benchmarking compared year-to-year data, in addition to an aggregate view of FY2020 impacts to the COVID-19 pandemic and a host of various economic and cooperative governance indicators.

We’ll close the day with a Purchasing Co-op Game Night led by Gary Pittsford, partner and chief valuation officer of Castle Valuation, a Division of Creative Planning. Join us for an evening of networking and a game of Jeopardy featuring trivia categories like succession planning, co-op conversions and more. This is also a great opportunity to experience a new engagement and teaching tool to use with your own members!


IMPACT+ will feature a session from NCBA CLUSA Farmer-to-Farmer team. NCBA CLUSA’s USAID-sponsored Farmer-to-Farmer program sends American farmers and agribusiness professionals on 2-4 week agricultural development assignments, promoting sustainable economic growth and agricultural development worldwide.

The Hard Work of Building an Inclusive Workplace

A newly concluded survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives reveals how cooperatives are implementing best practices in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This session will discuss the findings of the survey and highlight how some cooperative sectors are taking on the hard work creating a truly inclusive business.

Understanding Governance Practices Across Sectors

In 2021, the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives (UWCC) launched the Cooperative Governance Research Initiative (CGRI), the first national, cross-sector, longitudinal survey on cooperative governance practices in the United States. This session will feature an overview of CGRI’s preliminary findings as well as a dialogue on the opportunities and challenges of working across sectors and with practitioners to collect good data on cooperative governance practices. The discussion will be based on the direct experiences of those working to launch CGRI. Participants will be invited to reflect on the prospects and pitfalls of this type of research and how the lessons we are learning through this project can be used to improve governance practices across sectors.

The Ownership Model Canvas

Wrapping up our IMPACT+ week is an interactive workshop on October 22 led by Greg Brodsky, founder and co-director of, and Danny Spitzberg, lead researcher at Turning Basin Labs.

Aligning ownership and purpose is a superpower for co-ops and all mutualistic businesses. In this 60-minute interactive workshop, we introduce a new tool for the job: the Ownership Model Canvas (OMC). We’ll start by showing how a mainstream tool, the Business Model Canvas, omits questions of ownership benefits and risks, and perpetuates economic inequality. Then we’ll review the OMC, discuss an example from a music patronage co-op, and facilitate an exercise for you to use the OMC template to align or realign your business success with key stakeholders. Finally, you’ll get peer review from other participants and advice and next steps.

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