Developed by TPFF with support from The co-operative
The Power of Us, a new film about co-operation, is fully developed and seeking production funding.
Co-operation is in our DNA – from the personal to the political, from the social to the economic. The fruits of this human endeavour is all around us to see – and not least in the global economy where co-ops have a turnover of $1.1 trillion, represent 800m members securing the livelihoods of 3bn people. (UK Co-operative Economy, Co-ops UK 2011)
Picking up the baton of the UN Year of Co-operation, The Power of Us will be a film to shine a very bright spotlight on a global movement that has its roots in the UK and will initiate an urgent and timely global conversation about the power and possibility of cooperation.
There is a quiet revolution taking place across the world, right here, right now. Sometimes it’s hidden and often it’s missed by the global media. But it’s there – a low-level rumbling, motivated by the financial crisis, bolstered by the Arab Spring and global protest movements; and fueled by a general sense that something has to change.
The Financial Crisis exposed many things. One was that our economic model is fragile. Another is that the way the majority of people choose to live is not the only way. When the global economy went into free-fall, people started to look around and ask – can we stop it happening again? Is there an alternative? But in fact, there were people are already out there, living the alternative. These groups of individuals were more than surviving the crash, they were often immune from it. And these people who have chosen a different model are not just in Wales or California: they are all over the world. These are the stories at the heart of this film.
The film will show that beyond the brutal individualism of our world today lies a thrilling – and viable – future alternative. An alternative that has already been put into practice across the world for more than 150 years and has been flourishing in recent times. It evokes a future, which could bring about a radical shift in human values and happiness. A future which could result in a more stable economic model, more benign business processes, smarter technology, more meaningful government, leveled inequality, reduced crime. A future whose potential is infinite.
Propelling the visibility of the co-operative movement ~ where-ever it is ~ to the forefront of global public attention
It’s safe to say that the co-op movement as a whole – its principles, reach and success – is far from being as prominent or as widely appreciated as it deserves to be. The Power of Us intends to build on the success of the UN Year of Co-operation by delivering a film of quality and impact that will reach audiences, media and decision-makers around the world in order to raise the level of awareness and debate about co-operation. In other words, the power of ‘us’….
Our ambitions for the film
- have a tagible, positive, economic impact on the co-op economy
- draw a whole new generation to the co-operative vision and movement
- empower existing co-ops to use the film as a way to take their message to new members.
And you can help us achieve this!
Reflecting the film’s international content, we will be launching a major global crowd-funding campaign for The Power of Us.
In readiness for this, we’re putting the word out and developing our co-op partnerships around the world as we invite the international co-op movement – from the smallest to the largest co-operatives– to be involved in this fundraising campaign.
The Power of Us can take up the baton of the UN Year of Co-operation, and play an important role for the movement in the coming decade.
Background on the co-operative movement
Values and principles that underpin much of what we cherish in our day to day human relationships also are embedded in the ethos of co-operation and the co-operative movement. Values that are being re-discovered as essential to a fully rounded (global) society.
Such values and principles have been central to the co-operative movement for more that 165 years – and then as now, it was forward-looking and standard setting.
A century before the application of ethical labour standards were main-streamed into the consumer conscience of today, the co-operative wholesale (CWS) movement had adopted a ‘no sweat’ principle to the production of its garments. (See image – from Wheatsheaf Magazine 1899. Thanks to the National Co-operative Archive).
This is a truly global movement founded on the principles first laid down by the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844. Today, the International Co-operative Alliance (founded in 1895) has 222 member organisations from 85 countries active in all sectors of the global economy. Together these co-operatives represent more than 800 million individuals worldwide.
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