Lyman Manzanares

Vertical to Lateral to Vertical Cooperation

Published: (Updated: ) in Co-operatives by .

Co-ops of the near future could find themselves asking less what they can do for their members and more what their members—and potential members—can do for each other. This might include co-ops facilitating peer-to-peer lending and mutual credit systems among their members, for instance, or online forums and marketplaces that help members build ties and meet needs together.

Through the trust and relationships these kinds of strategies generate, lateral business can lead to more lateral governance. As more of a co-op’s business happens through member initiative, it will be only natural to explore new approaches for incorporating member voice into decision making. Members can help guide their co-ops into the missing markets that the capitalist competition doesn’t know how to notice.

Nathan Schneider

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