In From the Cold: Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises in the National Interest
What is the role of 'for profit, for social purpose' businesses in our national economy? Why are co-operative and mutual enterprises (CMEs) important now more than ever? If there are more Australian 'member-shareholders' of CMEs than Australians trading on the ASX - why don't we hear more about community investors?
The GFC showed the limitations of business based on short-termism and monopoly finance. In the UK, The 'Red Tory, Blue Labour' debate suggests a new political consensus based on social reform and a macro-economic alternative that serves the needs of all; with co-ops and mutuals, the star pupils of Cameron's 'Big Society' agenda and 'devolution' of public services.
Back home, there is a quieter evolution going on. After decades on the fringe of public perception, the co-operative is making a comeback. Australian communities have built dynamic businesses in health and renewable energy; credit unions have been anointed the 'fifth pillar' for providing the banking market with its competitive dynamic; and our largest co-op businesses deliver reliably and profitably against a backdrop of market doom.
Join us for a timely debate about why a 'people-centred' approach to business is in the national interest. Three sector leaders discuss how their business models reinvigorate communities, boost market competition and provide scale, efficiency and innovation for small business.
With Simon Holmes à Court, Chair Hepburn Wind, Louise Petschler, CEO Abacus - Australian Mutuals, Colin Heavyside, Chair Capricorn Society Ltd. In conversation with former SMH business journalist and Walkley Winner, Anne Lampe.
"In From the Cold" is a free event with lunch provided - please RSVP by 30 November.
When: Saturday, 3 December 2011, 12.45pm-2.00pm
Where: Australian National Maritime Museum (The Theatre), Darling Harbour, Sydney
Part of the ALP Conference Fringe Program.
Presented by Australia's Secretariat for the United Nations declared International Year of Co-operatives 2012.
Video introduction from IYC 2012 Patron - Bob Debus AM, Former Attorney-General and Minister for Co-operatives, New South Wales.