Think capitalism is broken? Try cooperativism, says co-op enthusiast and researcher Anu Puusa. In a new TED Talk, Anu lays out how cooperatives—businesses owned, operated and controlled by their members—can both make money and have a positive impact on the environment and local communities. With co-ops, Puusa says, doing good business and doing good at the same time becomes possible.
Anu is a business professor and researcher in Finland with a special interest in cooperatives. She is also a board member at the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), which unites, represents and serves cooperatives worldwide. In her TED Talk, Anu covers the origins and history of the cooperative movement from the Rochdale Pioneers nearly 200 years ago to the global impact we see today. There are 3,000,000+ co-ops in the world, serving 1,000,000,000 members and employing 280,000,000 people, ultimately selling $2 trillion in goods and services. Anu highlights the appeal of the cooperative business model as people centered businesses run by and for its members.
“What is so wonderful about the cooperative system worldwide is that while cooperatives may sell different products or services, the goal is still the same for all of them, to create sustainable businesses that benefit the people and the communities they serve, lasting for generations.”