Building a democratic economy rooted in community.

In Belfast: CDI’ s own Rob Brown

Co-ops: New Directions, Common Roots presentation

1/14/13    6:30pm, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St, downtown Belfast

On Monday, January 14 at 6:30pm in the Belfast Free Library, at 106 High St in downtown Belfast, join the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) and the Belfast Co-op for a free presentation with Rob Brown, who will give an overview of the variety of co-ops that exist in Maine, the U.S., and across the globe.  His talk will examine how cooperatives improve economic and community development, and provide practical information on how individuals can join together to start new co-ops.

Co-ops come in many shapes and sizes but, at root, are business enterprises formed by groups of people who voluntarily develop, jointly own and democratically control the enterprise to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs.

While many area residents are familiar with the Belfast Co-op, they are likely unaware of the larger cooperative community, of which it is a part.  According to Brown, “the cooperative enterprise sector nationally is comprised of over 29,000 businesses with over 2 million jobs, 130 million members, $652 billion in annual sales and assets of $3 trillion.  Perhaps more than any other policy innovation, cooperative enterprises hold the greatest potential to simultaneously advance economic opportunity, social justice and environmental sustainability, offering fresh thinking beyond the traditional prescriptions of the left and right that usually accompany our country and state’s stale economic debates.”  And, he adds, “A lot of people talk about sustainability, but there can be no sustainability without broadly shared prosperity.  Economic insecurity is the greatest threat to sustainability.  Therefore, sustainability initiatives must be built, first and foremost, on an understanding of what the community members economic needs are, and a plan to address them.”

Brown works for the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI), the Northeast’s center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance.  CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.  He Lives in Liberty and works with CDI’s Resident Owned Communities Program, which works with mobile home park residents throughout Maine and New England to form an affordable housing cooperative and buy and manage the parks where they live.

For more information about CDI’s work, visit:   For additional information about this event, email Belfast Co-op’s education coordinator, Kate Harris, at kate @, or call the Co-op at (207) 338-2532.

t300-Rob Brown

Courtesy of: Rob Brown, sailing in Belfast Harbor

from:      <>


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: