The co-operative economy is thriving in Northern Ireland. But why here and why now? Through bespoke study tours, Co-operative Alternatives offers a unique first-hand insight into this alternative model which emphasises fairness, community benefits and working together to make a better society.
These popular tours are tailored to your learning needs. You will be accompanied by a Director from Co-operative Alternatives who can give you an overview of the co-operative economy. You will be taken to your choice of co-ops where you will be able to speak to members of the society and learn more about their work, how they financed their start up and what it means to work co-operatively.
This is an excellent way to see different economic models and to truly understand the variety and diversity of co-operatives today. It’s also a great chance to learn directly from the organisations and to meet the people who had the vision to set up a successful co-operative.
Examples of participating co-ops include: Northern Ireland Community Energy, Drumlin Wind Energy, Down to Earth woodland burial, Lacada Brewery, Boundary Brewing, Creative Workers Co-op, Belfast cleaning co-op, Swatragh Farmers, An Creagan eco centre plus a variety of other organisations and credit unions.
Testimonials from past tours
“The tour was excellent and very informative. It is great to see local co-operatives developing and people being empowered to take control of their own employment in a creative and inventive manner,” – Dr Alistair Herron, Ulster University
“This was an opportunity to see four or five very different community projects in action and be able to engage them in a Q&A. I thought the Belfast Cleaning Co-operative was very interesting in that it really brought home to me the idea of equity in terms of employment – everybody being on the same level,” – Fergal O’Donnell of the Rural Community Network
“I found the tour very interesting because it gave me the opportunity to meet with people engaged in the social solidarity economy and how it works in practice. We think there is a natural synergy between what we are trying to achieve with our campaign and the co-operative movement. The co-operatives I saw are a very good example of a social solidarity economy. I really enjoyed visit all of them, they all come across passionate about what they do.” – Eleftheria Papamichali Challenging the Crisis Project
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