For those hopeful on the political left, there is a fascinating series of essays on mutualism and Labour now out from the http://www.policy-network.net/content.aspx?CategoryID=375&ArticleID=3454&fp=1Policy Network.
I have been in Hampshire, visiting Simply Health. Des Benjamin walked me through their work and model for health insurance.
As with co-operatives more widely, they can reduce some costs because the relationship with customers is a mutual one of trust. For example not insisting on paperwork for every part of a claim and working online, they don’t have to police what their members put in. We are not in conflict with our customers, Des says, which is a rare and precious commodity in the world of insurance.
There’s a great resource coming out from the worker co-operative, Dynamix, on engaging children under the age of eleven in decision making.
Commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government, it is called Participation – Young Spice, and contains exercises and activities, tools and skills training, all geared toward supporting adults who contribute to child development, such as teachers, social workers and nurses.
The UK’s Co-operative Bank has been named not too long ago the world’s most sustainable bank by the FT and now The Banker magazine has awarded a “Bank of the Year” prize to Desjardins, Canada’s leading co-operative bank.
Some banks you just have to love.
For the first time, I have cut a ribbon to launch something. This was a new shop for the credit union serving Runcorn and Widnes.
The local MP (Conservative) was there and said he’d been doing too many cuts himself…
Congratulations to all involved in a fabulous community credit union.
I’m on panorama tonight as part of their investigation on the sexualisation of childhood. This draws on my work with Agnes Nairn, published in Consumer Kids.
If you create an index of academic brilliance and times it by genuine humility, on my list you will find Johnston Birchall – the UK’s great co-operative thinker, based out of Stirling University.
Unfortunately, his new book, People Centred Businesses: co-operatives, mutuals and the idea of membership, is pretty expensive.
But if your pockets are deep, there is no better business book out there.