Ethical Consumer launches essay competition on co-operative alternatives to capitalism

Building on previous work on Co-op Capitalism by Professor Noreena Hertz, Co-operatives UK is pleased to support a new essay prize and crowd-sourcing website launched by Ethical Consumer, the UK’s leading alternative consumer organisation.

What would the world be like if most businesses were co-operatives? Would it be fairer and more sustainable? And what would it take to get to that place? The new Ethical Consumer competition site has been established to explore these ideas at a time when serious questions are being asked about our current economic model.

Users can submit 200 word ideas on what one thing would create a more co-operative economy and click on your favourite ideas to vote them up a list.

And people can win up to £1,500 in an essay competition addressing the question: ‘Is there a co-operative alternative to capitalism?’.

The competition seeks to provoke debate about what the world would look like if the size of the co-operative sector grew considerably.

The project has been created by Ethical Consumer, a UK-based co-operative, to coincide with the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives.

According to Rob Harrison of ethical Consumer, project co-ordinator:
“One of our goals at Ethical Consumer is to promote environmentally sustainable business models. Our research has shown that co-ops often – but not always – lead their sectors in responsible business practices. Understanding more about this, and about how to build the sector, could hold the key to some of the most pressing problems of our era.”

The project is keen to encourage participation and is open to everyone from university professors to shop-floor workers.
The closing date for entries is 5 October 2012 with the prizes announced at Co-operatives United, the culminating event of the International Year of Co-operatives in Manchester on 29 October.

Prize partners include Co-operatives UK, New Internationalist and Unicorn Grocery.
More details at:

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Alex Bird is an experienced co-operative searcher and activist. Follow him @coopalex3
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