A Year Long Program Connecting Campuses and Cooperatives

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TESA worked with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) to create the Cooperative Teach-In: a program during 2012 (the International Year of Cooperatives) that connected learning communities and campuses around the country with nearby cooperatives and educational resources on cooperatives. By the time this year-long program was over, TESA had helped to facilitate nearly 100 co-op education opportunities around the country, benefiting thousands.

Challenges faced
Engaging youth and the younger generations with cooperatives has always been a difficult task for the cooperative movement. However, this was an essential goal for the International Year of the Cooperative. The NCBA wanted to use this opportunity to inspire a new generation of cooperative enthusiasts and supporters, but the co-op movement has long been plagued by dry and stale educational materials. That’s where TESA stepped in.

How TESA helped
TESA designed a program for the NCBA that was massive in scope: a year long program that connected campuses directly with the cooperative movement. To do this, TESA created a whole new website to act as the program’s hub. From there, we coordinated an effort to connect campuses and learning centers with nearby cooperatives and cooperators. We also worked with both the campus organizers and the cooperators to create new educational resources that were engaging, exciting, and directly relevant to their needs and interests. Through this huge effort, TESA helped facilitate nearly one-hundred cooperative events engaging youth and college students across the country.

What would you say to others about TESA?

The numbers speak for themselves. 100 events in every region of the continental US. TESA delivers. Cooperative Teach-in was a primary element of the US youth outreach strategy for the International Year of Cooperatives. TESA integrated input from national leaders across cooperative sectors to craft an adaptable, engaging platform for community-based cooperative education. The TESA team then partnered with local/regional leaders to meet emerging leaders where they were–in law school, health care systems, and community college. TESA knows co-ops, pedagogy, and grassroots outreach.

-Eric DeLuca

A note from TESA
Working with the National Cooperative Business Association was a huge honor. They are a historic organization that has created opportunities for cooperatives around the world. Their belief in our ability to envision and then enact such a large project was incredibly appreciated, and we enjoyed the collaboration every step of the way.

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