In Participation, the first chapter of the Blueprint document, members are at the forefront, which highlights the voice that people have in co-operatives, whether this power is handled by consumers or workers. Read more. Democratic member participation is the best-known feature of the co-operative way of doing business, and a major part of what characterises a co-operative in contrast to an investor owned business. Co-operatives have an opportunity to elevate participation within membership and governance to a new level, according to the Blueprint, and to do this by focussing on the practical aspects of participation.
The Blueprint describes a range of ways, which it calls "possible or indicative actions" which have already been suggested in order to prompt discussion and action:
Finding new ways of ‘joining up’ co-operators within the movement to create a more connected network of co-operators.
Gathering and collating information about best practice; finding and sharing the best ideas, including in such areas as age and gender balance; identifying negative or damaging trends, helping to expose bad practice and developing tools and techniques to improve it.
Gathering and collating information which demonstrates how such examples of best practice are positively linked to strong performance across a broad range of indicators, including, for example, financial success, employee engagement, social engagement and environmental sustainability.
Working with young adults and young people and the social media industry, which explores the motivation of younger generations in relation to collaborative activity and affinity, how communication and the forming of relationships has changed and is changing; examining the practices which have evolved in recent movements.
Examining and challenging existing practices of co-operative democracy, gathering evidence of innovative practice, encouraging trials of alternative approaches, collating data.
In relation to participation of non-user funding members, gathering evidence of existing models and practice
Engage the Global 300 co-operatives to strengthen visibility of co-operative success and impact and to amplify the co-operative voice, such as through a Leadership Roundtable.
Tell us what you are doing to deliver the Blueprint themes.