All about co-operatives

If you’ve ever wondered what exactly a co-operative is – there’s still no legal definition in the UKย  – the only way to tell if an organisation is a true co-operative is to assess to what extent it complies with the definition and Principles agreed by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Below you’ll find other sources of information on the co-operative movement in the UK.

Co-operative definition & Principles

Different types of co-operative

Co-op support and information:

Co-operatives UK

The International Co-operative Alliance

and some of our favourite co-ops:


The New Internationalist

Unicorn Co-operative Grocery


Wave Design Co-op

Co-operative & Mutual Solutions

Co-operative Business Consultants

the boot of a new pioneer

There’s a lot of mythology around co-operatives – some people think that everyone decides everything, or that everyone is always paid the same, or that a co-operative is a voluntary organisation or a charity. Here’s some clarity on those myths, and a favourite of mine – The Tyranny of Structurelessness – hideous title for an excellent analysis of why structure is so important for groups who want to change the world. Without it you will be ruled by unaccountable people who owe their power to knowledge or charisma or access to resources, who were not elected and therefore cannot be controlled or removed from power.


Debunking co-op myths

The tyranny of structurelessness