Emily A M Lippold Cheney considers herself a cooperativist because “[t]hrough the co-operative movement [s]he is made conscious of [her] worth and becomes aware of [her] responsibility for the good and welfare of the entire community.” [M Hatta]
Her leadership role in the cooperative movement began in the United States with the founding of a community housing cooperative network, and was followed by years of managing and developing others at a local and national scale. She currently serves the cooperative movement as the Executive Director (www.nasco.coop) of NASCO, a North American federation of common equity cooperatives, a community-centric organization with its work rooted in social justice and anti-oppression. Emily serves on various international and national committees and working groups dedicated to a range of fields, among them youth empowerment, cooperative education and training, data aggregation and analysis, and credit union development. Much of her work explores the cooperative business model, non-fiscal budgeting, chronicling the cooperative movement, and the potential squatting movements have to transform modern conceptions of ownership and home [“Kraken gaat door!”].
Emily likes thinking about the noosphere, doing tricks on her bicycle, wearing short shorts, eating drop candy, and has worn the same pair of shoes almost everyday for the past seven years.
Most people, if asked, would be quick to tell you “cooperative” is an adjective. I think most people, too, would report wanting to live with others in a way that was more cooperative. As I understand it, the quickest and most effective way in which to get to that place is to consider “cooperative,” first and foremost, as a noun. The cooperative economic model presents both the means and an end to a movement beyond individualist and profit-motivated capitalism. It is the Principles and Values of the cooperative model that define it and have maintained its integrity and distinctness for centuries. As tools for economic self-realization, cooperatives are respected and utilized by communities around the globe but remain largely misunderstood in the United States. During 2012, the United Nations’ International Year of Cooperatives, it is time to actively cooperate (v.) and spread the word to build a movement towards collective liberation.