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North American Students of Cooperation—and the upcoming Cooperative Education & Training Institute:

The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) is a federation of campus and community cooperatives dedicated to strengthening and expanding the cooperative movements across Canada and the United States. Since 1968, NASCO has been working with students, worker-owners, activists, and community members interested in applying cooperative principles to meet their needs and fulfill their various missions. NASCO provides   co-ops and their members with training, operational assistance, educational programming, networking opportunities and other services. In addition, NASCO encourages the development of new cooperatives and serves as an advocate for these co-ops. NASCO's programs include educational conferences, member training services, career development, co-op development/consulting, and informational resources.

One of NASCO's most well known conferences is the Cooperative Education and Training Institute (best known as NASCO Institute).   The NASCO Institute is widely recognized in as one of the best training and networking opportunities available for cooperative youth in North America and has provided cooperative training for 27 consecutive years!   Over 400 participants descend on Ann Arbor, Michigan each November to share ideas, learn new skills, and look at issues affecting the cooperative movement.

This year, the NASCO Institute will be held November 5th –7th, with the theme, “Beyond the Co-op Wall: Connecting With Local Communities.” This year's theme challenges cooperative youth to translate concern for community into action.   The weekend's workshops will focus on discerning the cultural barriers that sometimes separate co-ops from their local communities, and explore some of the ways in which cooperatives can be an active part of improving our surrounding environment through volunteerism, social action, coalition building, and local co-operation. This theme builds on recent efforts within NASCO to take an honest look at dynamics of power and privilege within our co-ops, by expanding the examination of issues of equity and inclusion to a broader context.

More information about NASCO and NASCO's Cooperative Education & Training Institute can be found at www.nasco.coop.

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