Plastic Challenge 2017
July 19, 2017 – 11:17 am | 4 Comments

What is the challenge?
June 2017 was officially the Marine Conservation Society’s  ‘Plastic Challenge’ month.
This is the third year of the challenge, which encourages people to pledge to cut down the amount of single-use plastics they …

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Home » Community News

Food Cooperative Forum

Submitted by on January 12, 2010 – 3:23 pm2 Comments

ants_appleCo-operativesUK would like to invite you to the Food Co-operatives Forum. This event is being run by the membership team and the Making Local Food Work project and will be held at the Birmingham Midlands Institute on the 12th February 2010.

The day will be chaired by Kath Dalmeny from Sustain who will share the key note speaking with Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operativesUK.

This networking event will include workshops and case studies enabling attendees to share best practice and embrace the co-operative principle of ‘co-operation among co-operatives’.

This is a free event and the day will run from 10.30 to 4.30 with lunch supplied by the Warehouse Café, a vegetarian and vegan café based at Friends of the Earth.

Visit the Food Cooperatives Forum booking page for more detail and to book your place online.

If you are staying in Birmingham overnight on the 12th February please let us know as we will be organising a social event to enable people to continue networking.

For further information about the day and the Making Local Food Work project please contact:

Zena King, our Legal and Project Support Officer: phone: 0161 246 2953; email:

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  • Akazamen says:


    I’ve read a story about Suma and the Viable System Model…. It is rather old (more than 10 years)

    I’m studying this model, trying to make something out if it… Are you still using this model or something based on it?

    Thanks!, and it is a nice site you have 🙂

  • bob cannell says:

    hello Akazamen, thanks for your enquiry about VSM.

    No we don’t use it now. In the late 80s/early 90s we had a governance structure based on it and one team that used it in some detail. For various reasons it was not applied fully to Suma and so it was not a good trial of VSM.

    My personal views are that VSM is based on an old cybernetic systems model that thinks of organisations as (complicated) machines. Modern thinking is that human organisations are actually nothing like machines and should be thought of as networks of relationships.

    Worker cooperatives are especially fluid. Members change their minds constantly!! The only way to keep up with that is by coordinating and facilitating the communications, relationships and evolving and emerging collective agreements in the membership.

    Luckily there is a new school of organisational theory which supports this way of thinking. It’s called Complex Responsive Process theory. There is a good summary at

    It is a completely different way of thinking about organisations because it is not based on abstract systems theory but on the way humans actually interact with each other. Once you start thinking in that way you see how so much of what passes for management practice is really about dehumanising workers so they fit the ‘machine’. We just can’t do that in a democratic worker cooperative where the workers are the bosses.

    Management gurus are saying 21st century enterprises must be more flexible and responsive. CRP enables you to do that but will management elites allow their employees the freedom to do it?



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