WHAT is Cooperatives Connect?
Cooperatives Connect is an online platform using Linked Open Data (LOD) technology, created to help the cooperative movement connect, communicate and collaborate. This extensive directory of cooperatives will be accessible via the Internet at no cost and can serve as an easy way to locate and engage with fellow cooperatives in every continent.
WHY is this an important tool?
Cooperatives always seek each other out to share ideas, request assistance, trade with, or simply just engage and show solidarity. Today, there is no centralized location for anyone to find cooperatives in any sector and region – no matter how big or small.
Cooperatives Connect is a logical tool to make it possible for people to start looking for information for (or on) cooperatives, because it can help:
- Cooperatives be easily found by customers or potential trading partners who wish to do business with cooperatives,
- Put into context the actual size and scope of the cooperative movement,
- Cooperatives find each other to exchange ideas and ask for and help in times of crises.
- People easily find cooperatives to buy from, bank with, stay at, and be part of their daily lives.
HOW does it work?
The ICA and domains.coop are partnering with the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA) to launch this project. To make it possible, entities that manage and operate any databases or directories of cooperative organisations are invited to share any of their data that can be made public. For a small fee, SEA will transform this data and make it accessible via LOD. SEA can provide your organisation with a map of all the cooperatives which are in your database.
SEE an example
DotCoop is beta testing their new .coop directory. The directory is integrated with a map, which places pins on the map at the location of the organizations using .coop domain names (for their websites, email). When you register and use a .coop domain name, your organization will be added to this map, promoting your business. Visit the .coop directory in its beta version at https://identity.coop/directory/
The ICA is also testing its new member directory. See below the directory map of ICA members in its beta version.
WHO will own and maintain the data?
Because the information provided to populate this directory will be open and publicly available data, nobody will own it. By the same token, organisations who submit information will need to do so regularly to the SEA to ensure that updates are conducted and shown accurately online.
WHAT are the next steps?
Help us make a directory of the global cooperative movement today. Contact Gretchen Hacquard at firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of this project!