Patterns of Our Footsteps - Competition, Cooperation and Collaboration

November 4th, 2013

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) is currently holding their 2013 Global Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. At this gathering, Sustainability Solutions Group is presenting the outcomes of our joint research project: an analysis of the relationship between the cooperative model and sustainable community development. As part of this research, we recently held a Solutions Agenda e-Dialogue on cooperatives and just released an animation on cooperation and collaboration.

The graph below examines trends in income and GDP over the last 40 years. GDP per capita and mean incomes have increased since the mid-1970s; however, when looking at the middle (median) income, we see that this has decreased. What this trend shows is that, although total amount of income and GDP has increased in Canada, this is not reflected with the ‘average person’ and these increases in financial wealth are mostly associated with those in higher income brackets. How would this curve look if we transitioned to more cooperative, equitable and socially just systems based on the 1950s government policies of building a more robust middle class?


Data used for above graph was retrieved from Statistics Canada.


Economic Imperative,