Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance: A new model grounded in the cooperative difference
by Marilyn Scholl and Art Sherwood
Published in "Cooperative Grocer," Winter 2014
"Great leaders demonstrate how to be a force for good in local communities and beyond. Our cooperative heroes—the Rochdale Pioneers—were striking weavers who opened a grocery co-op in 1844 in Rochdale, England, to help themselves and others get free from indebtedness to the company store.
The Pioneers asked and answered some compelling questions: Shouldn’t the economy serve the people rather than the people serve the economy? What does it look like when that happens? Their belief in economic equity and fairness led to the worldwide consumer cooperative movement.
In keeping with the Rochdale Pioneers’ vision, and a well-defined current global need for financial and environmental stability, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 2012 outlined a strategic agenda for cooperatives.
At the same time, the present authors had been asking ourselves whether there should be a model of cooperative governance, and if so, what would it need to look like to support and drive forward the success of our cooperatives?"