Word to the wise: "Co-operative" and "Cooperative" sound the same. The latter is not pronounced "COOP-er-a-tive." Thirteen-year-old Janelle was very embarrassed by that.
So I'm sure you're asking 1) What's a co-operative? and 2) Why should I care? Luckily, you have me to explain this to you! Right?!
The United Nations picks something socially conscious to dedicate an entire year to. 2012 is officially the International Year of the Co-operative. Back to the first question you probably asked yourself:
1) What's a co-operative?
A co-operative, officially, is a business owned and run by their members. Co-operatives are usually driven by values as well as profit, and everyone involved has an equal say in business practices and profit sharing. Cool, huh?
2) Why should I care?
Co-operatives contribute to socio-economic development without focusing on reaping in piles of cash. Supporting co-operatives can promote diversity, social awareness, and community, among tons of other things.
Co-operatives can be any type of business, including FINANCIAL co-operatives like . . . CREDIT UNIONS! This year, the UN hopes to raise awareness of co-operatives and their purpose, promote growth, and encourage law-making bodies to support co-operatives in their community.
Head on over to the IYC's official website to learn more about this super cool movement and ways you can become involved!