Monday, April 30, 2007

Social Economy Centre Symposium

Posted from Ontario Co-op News, April 30, 2007

The second annual Social Economy Symposium, held April 26-27, 2007, brought together researchers, academics and community partners to discuss cutting-edge research issues facing the social economy. Sessions included Mapping the Social Economy in Ontario (including presentations on the On Co-op co-operative and credit union census), The Impact of the Co-operative Model on Minority Francophones, Ontario's Mandatory Community Service Program and its Impact in Introducing Students to the Social Economy, and The Ontario We Want and the Role of the Social Economy in Building It. To learn more about the role of co-ops and credit unions in the Social Economy, or to find out more about the Symposium, visit

Le Forum national sur l'investissement communautaire et la responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RSE)

INSCRIVEZ-VOUS DÈS MAINTENANT, pour obtenir les meilleurs prix et pour obtenir l’hébergement (l’hôtel ou l’université) de votre choix. Nous nous attendons à votre participation à cette excellente occasion, entre autres, pour bâtir le Réseau national en RSE pour les coopératives et les caisses populaires, ainsi que le Réseau de CoopZone. En plus que d’excellentes occasions d’apprentissages, des déliberations importantes sur la création d’un Réseau national en RSE pour les coopératives et les caisses populaires, ainsi que sur l’avenir de CoopZone, auront lieu à ce Forum.

Tous les détails sur le Forum sont disponibles au “” à la page d’accueil, sous le titre “Les Possibilités de formation”; voir “CSR Forum Brochure(Fren).pdf”. De l’aide financière est disponible (veuillez vous inscrire le plus tôt possible pour être éligible; les prochaines demandes d’aide financière seront considérées le 1er mai). La date limite pour s’inscrire au Forum est le 2 MAI.

Inscription: Cela ne prend que deux minutes!

Corporate Social Responsibility & CoopZone Forum

A National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Community Investment Forum

Members of co-operatives, credit unions, co-op developers and all involved in the social economy are invited to an exciting event called “Working Together to Make a Difference”. This will be a Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Investment combined with CoopZone meetings. The Forum registration deadline has been extended to MAY 2ND.

REGISTER NOW - to secure the best rates and ensure the hotel or university accommodation of your choice. Looking forward to your participation in this exciting Forum, and in building the National CSR Network for Co-operatives and Credit Unions, as well as the CoopZone Developers’ Network. In addition to excellent learning opportunities, important deliberations on creating a National CSR Network for co-ops and credit unions, as well as on the future of the CoopZone Developers’ Network, will be held at this Forum.

All Forum details are available at:, home page, under "Training Opportunities". Or, simply click on this link: and see "CSR Registration Brochure.pdf". Financial assistance is available (please register asap to be eligible; the next round of financial assistance applications will be considered on May 1st).

Register now at It only takes about 2 minutes to register!

Edmonton tax dollars to fund social enterprises

Edmonton City Council agreed last week to bankroll a fund that would lend money to businesses whose profits go to worthy social causes. Council will give $1.8 million to the Social Enterprise Fund this year, with the possibility for another $1.8 million next year. The city's seed financing will be matched by the Edmonton Community Foundation, The Edmonton Real Estate Board has also promised to invest money. The fund will establish a $10.5-million endowment to finance socially beneficial businesses that might not qualify for loans from banks. For more information, visit:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Social Economy Centre (OISE/UT) Lunchbox Speakers' Series: Corporate Social Responsibility. Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 at 12:00 noon

Corporate Social Responsibility: The Paths Taken by Two Ontario Credit Unions

Panel: Scott Windsor, Meridian Credit Union and Kimberley Ney, Alterna Savings
Moderator: Denyse Guy, Executive Director, Ontario Co-operative Association
Wednesday, April 25, 2007, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm.
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
252 Bloor St. West, Toronto
Room 12-199

Scott Windsor of Meridian Credit Union and Kimberley Ney of Alterna Savings and Credit Union discuss Corporate Responsibility from their credit union perspectives. Scott will discuss the challenges of implementing a new CSR program following his organization's corporate merger. He will focus on the development of Meridian's Good Neighbour Program and the formation and implementation of the credit union's CSR, sponsorship and donation programs. Kimberley will present Alterna Savings' initiatives in community economic development and its role in shaping financial literacy, corporate accountability and environmental sustainability programs. She will share Alterna's perspective on philanthropy, including some unique "twists." Denyse Guy, Executive Director of the Ontario Cooperative Association, will moderate the session.

This event will be webcast and we will accept questions via e-mail from remote participants. Go to the following webpage for detailed instructions to set up for and view the webcast:

Bring your lunch and a mug; coffee, tea and water will be provided. To RSVP, or for more information, go to or contact Sherap Winn at or (416) 923-6641, extension 2087

Mark you calendars, other sessions will include: May 16 - Fair Trade
For more information, visit

Monday, April 09, 2007

The role of community-based green co-operatives in advancing sustainable development and energy literacy: Tuesday April 10, 2007

Community Development Collaborative Program (UT), Transformative Learning Centre, Social Economy Centre and Adult Education and Community Development Program (OISE/UT) present:

‘Part of the Solution’ The role of community-based green co-operatives in advancing sustainable development and energy literacy

Fiona Duguid, Ph.D.

WindShare Co-operative and OISE/University of Toronto

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

12.00-1.30 pm

OISE/UT, 252 Bloor St West, Room 7-162

After five years of development, WindShare Co-operative in Toronto, Ontario became the first urban wind turbine in North America and the first co-operatively owned and operated wind turbine in Canada. The development of WindShare Co-operative has spurred the growth of a green energy co-operative sector in Ontario. This presentation, which draws on 27 interviews and a focus group with members of WindShare Co-operative, focuses on the roles of community-based green energy co-operatives in advancing sustainable energy development and energy literacy. Members of WindShare expressed resounding feelings of pride, efficacy and understanding of WindShare’s role in sustainable energy. WindShare Co-operative provided the structure whereby members felt a part of the solution in terms of sustainable energy development. From this study it was found that policies and practices at all levels of government should encourage the advancement of green energy co-operatives to support Canada’s efforts at public involvement in addressing climate change.

Fiona Duguid has completed her Ph.D. in the Adult Education department at the Ontario Institute for the Study of Education, University of Toronto. Her research looks at sustainable energy development through green energy co-operatives. She is working with WindShare Co-operative and with the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Social Economy Centre half-day workshops for social economy organizations

OISE Workshop – May 29, morning seminar
The Mentors Circle, Clear your path to growth

Learn this new model to collaborate with others in a co-mentoring program. This half-day session will introduce key templates and exercises that help you to grow your organization. You will gather new ideas and resources to help clear your path.

Elizabeth Verwey, from Small Office Mentors will facilitate this half-day session. Elizabeth was the founding Director of New Development for Performers for Literacy. She will share information, resources and encourage groups to collaborate in new and innovative ways.

Material from The Mentors Circle will be used in this session.

For more information, send an email to

Special Panel Discussion: Towards a Canadian community-based research network?

Towards a Canadian community-based research network?
April 12, 2007
4-6 pm
Room 7-105 OISE/UT
252 Bloor Street West, Toronto (St. George Subway stop)

Community-based research (CBR) is experiencing a new wave of energy in Universities across Canada. Building on traditions of participatory research, feminist research, anti-oppressive research, SSHRC and other research councils such as Canadian Institutes for Health Research now fund various forms of CBR. There have been two large meetings in Canada on Community University Partnerships, Policy, and Progress (Cuexpo 2003 and 2005), with a third planned for May of 2008. There is a growing interest in more intentional networking across the country. Should this be done? How can it be done? What pre/cautions need to be taken into account? What are the existing building blocks? What can be learned from others?.

Panel Members

  • Pramila Aggarwal, Community Worker Program, George Brown College
  • Sarah Flicker, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
  • Budd L Hall, Office of CBR, University of Victoria
  • Ted Jackson, Centre for Community Innovation, Carleton University
  • Peter Levesque, Knowledge Mobilisation Project
  • Sarena Seifer, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, University of Washington


  • D’arcy Martin (Centre for the Study of Education and Work) and
  • Daniel Schugurensky (Transformative Learning Centre)

Centre for the Study of Education and Work, Transformative Learning Centre, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, and Community Development Collaborative Program

Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Investment Forum: May 15- 17, 2007.

2nd Annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Community Investment Forum, May 15- 17, 2007, Guelph, ON.

Organized by a steering committee of credit union and co-operative representatives, including Credit Union Central of Canada, the Canadian Co-operative Association, Canadian Community Investment Network Co-op and CoopZone following the first successful 2006 Forum.

Details will be available shortly. Contact Miruna Nichita for registration information.

Co-operative Development: Harness the Hidden Potential: June 26-29, 2007

National Congress and Canadian Co-operative Association and Newfoundland-Labrador Federation of Co-operatives AGMs, St. John’s, NL.

Through a range of interactive and participative keynote presentations, plenary discussions and workshops, the Congress sessions will explore what co-operative development means and how the system can look to build a lasting legacy for the communities it serves. As part of the broader discussions over the three days, sessions will include dialogue and learning exchanges focusing on leadership and movement-building strategies from a global, national and local perspective.

For more information, go to

The three-week program Co-op Studies program in Vancouver and Bologna

Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies, 2007
June 25 - July 29 – SFU, Vancouver Sessions
July 2 - July 13 – University of Bologna, Italy

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are very pleased to inform you of the upcoming Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies for 2007, and we invite you to explore this unique opportunity to pursue advanced level co-op studies in one of the world's most elegant cities. Bologna, world renowned for its exquisite cuisine and quality of life, is also at the heart of one of the world's most advanced co-operative economies.

The Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies for 2007 gathers together outstanding scholars and leaders in the co-operative movements of both Italy and Canada to deliver a unique blend of co-operative theory and practical experience to program participants.

The program will offer graduate level instruction and, although will not require an undergraduate degree for admission, will be geared to those with substantial professional experience in the co-operative or community economic development fields.
The Bologna Summer Program offers both credit and certificate streams, and will combine co-operative studies with site visits and a study tour of the region's co-operative economy. It is also intended for students of co-op and CED studies who are prepared to work at advanced levels of study.

For additional information visit or contact Michael Zelmer at the BC Co-op Association 604.662.3906.

The Bologna Summer Program for Co-operative Studies is jointly sponsored by the BC Co-operative Association, Vancity, and the Faculty of Economics, University of Bologna

MARK YOUR CALENDARS - Building Sustainable Co-op Futures: May 23-26, 2007

The 5th Annual International Building Sustainable Co-op Futures conference is being held in Guelph, Ontario, Canada on May 23-26, 2007 on the University of Guelph Campus.

For more information, or to register visit or contact

Todd Britton
Event Planner
Ontario Co-operative Association
450 Speedvale Ave., West, Suite 202
Guelph, On., N1H 7Y6
Ph: 519-763-8271, x31
Toll Free: 1-888-745-5521