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Ten short provocations on social innovation

Here are ten short provocations on the theme of social innovation that I have pulled together from the Brazilian radical thinker, Roberto Unger, from a recent visit to the UK. Social innovation is the issue of our times – after all, what it is, is applied social change.

1. In the wake of the traditional economy, new forms of production are emerging that are characterised by permanent innovation.

2. The ‘path of least resistance’ is a hegemonic project in the richest part of the world, hostile to structural innovation.

Co-operative society legislation changes in 2014

Co-operative society legislation changes in 2014

We have an important briefing note on recent and forthcoming changes to legislation affecting co-operative societies. These include an increase in investment limits for co-operatives (Withdrawable Share Capital), the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, electronic registration, insolvency rescue and the investigatory powers of the register.

The briefing note can be read here.

Tailored accountancy standards can help level the playing field for co-operatives

It may be intuitive to believe that a level playing field means co-operatives and plcs both using the same accountancy standards, but this is not necessarily true.  Current international accountancy standards are applicable for all entities, with certain exceptions, but are far more suited to plcs than they are to co-operatives, and this puts us at a disadvantage. An accountancy framework that offers separate standards as suitable for co-operatives as those for plcs would address this imbalance, as many a co-operative accountant struggling under the current imposition may agree.

Social Economy Alliance

In 2014, the Social Economy Alliance is asking co-operatives to feed in to their manifesto that sets out social and economic policy recommendations for the next Government. 

New Year, New Blog Post - Pensions

Does your co-operative employ people?  Does your co-operative have a pension scheme?  Have you heard about auto-enrolment?

This month's blog post from Co-operatives UK's advice team may fill in some of the gaps?

Top 5 co-operative business books for 2014

Just as our wider world is seen, more than ever, through the lens of competition, the world of business and markets is in fact more aware than ever of the benefits of co-operation. Here are my top five books on co-operation and social enterprise for 2014:

out now

1. Redemption: the cooperation revolution, by Berny Dohrmann – why co-operative models of organisation and business innovation are taking off across the business world

Five co-operative trends for 2014

In the spirit of possibility, as much as prediction, here are five hopeful trends I see for 2014:

1. The emergence of ‘open co-operative’ models that blend the ideas of free (or libre) software, open knowledge and democratic social enterprise, for example in work for a new vision for the economy coming out of Ecuador.

Policy position on the Social Investment Tax Relief announcement

Following an announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Government has released details if the new Social Investment Tax Relief, due to come into force in April 2014. The measures will incentivise private investment in the social economy, by providing tax relief on investors’ returns.

More UK share offers in co-operatives than in the stock market

It is great news this week that the Treasury will openly encourage increased investment in the country’s co-operative sector. The first new consolidated act for co-operatives since 1965 has been introduced into parliament, along with a fivefold rise in the limit for any one investment into a co-operative business (from £20,000 of withdrawable share capital to £100,000).

Clevedon Community Bookshop celebrates

Clevedon Community Bookshop Cooperative Ltd will be celebrating 2 years trading this New Year's Eve from 12noon to 4pm.

They have continued to be successful, selling books in the bookshop, online, cataloguing of a large store of books, repairing books, running courses and evening talks.

Local entrepreneurs have used the shop as a backdrop for their advertising and filming, and the bookshop starred in a short video for the Haynes Zombie  Survival Manual!

Schools and local churches have used the bookshop for their treasure hunts and Christmas advent trails.


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