To facilitate strategic planning for learning
through cooperation and collaboration
The HUB Learning Cooperative can be defined as "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common educational, social and cultural needs and goals through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise."
This definition and the following information is adapted from that written by the International Cooperative Alliance*, an organization that has guided all types of cooperative enterprises since its creation in 1895. The HUB Learning Cooperative emphasizes characteristics similar to those of other, more market-oriented, cooperative enterprises.
These important characteristics include:
Autonomy: the cooperative is as independent of individual departments and colleges within the University as possible;
Association of persons: the definition deliberately does not read an association of individuals. The term person embraces any legal definition of "person" which includes groups as well as individuals;
Voluntary: members are free to join and leave at will, within the purposes and resources of the cooperative;
Meet needs: the central purpose of the cooperative is to meet member needs, which can be purely educational or social and cultural;
Joint ownership and democratic control: the members own the cooperative on a mutual basis. Decisions are made democratically by the members and are not controlled by the University;
Enterprise : the cooperative is an organized entity that typically functions in the marketplace and engages in the exchange of goods and services.
Self-help: people have the will and the capability to improve their destiny peacefully through joint action which can be more powerful than individual effort, particularly through collective action in the University.
Democracy: members have the right to participate, to be informed, to be heard and to be involved in making decisions. Members are the source of all authority in the cooperative.
Equality: equal rights and opportunities for people to participate democratically will improve the use of society's resources and foster mutuality, understanding and solidarity.
Equity: fair distribution of income and power in society and its economic life should be based on labor, not ownership of capital. Within the cooperative, rewards for active membership in the cooperative will be distributed equitably.
Solidarity: cooperatives are based on the assumption that there is strength in mutual self-help and that the cooperative has a collective responsibility for the well-being of its members.
Learning Cooperative Members will have access to a wide variety of activities, facilities, equipment, expertise and resources. They will also be encouraged to provide the same, as a general contribution to the HUB Learning Cooperative, or as an arranged exchange with another HUB Learning Cooperative member. Arranged exchanges will be documented by a simple Cooperative Activity Proposal (HUB*CAP) that outlines the general purpose, extent, resources and outcomes of the exchange.
*See International Cooperative Alliance at http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/staff/hoyt/princart.html