Stories.coop started on the 22 December with the story of an African Football co-operative. It now has over 380 stories of co-operation in celebration of the International Year of Co-operatives (IYC). This innovative campaign aims to use these co-operative stories to inspire people across the world.
Ilana Bodini, from Eurisce has worked on Stories.coop from the beginning. She explained: ”We really wanted to do what the IYC was setting out to do – to raise awareness about co-ops: about who they are, and what they do. We really wanted this to reach both the Movement and the general public.”
Ilana added they wanted to make it an open project, so co-operatives were encouraged to add their own stories. However, she said one of the biggest problems they faced was that co-ops often do not have the time to stop and promote themselves. “We’ve been chasing co-ops all year!” she added.
The website has been a huge success, it has attracted visitors from all corners of the globe, has featured 383 so far and had over 100,000 visits in the last year.
With the IYC coming to an end, Stories.coop is looking to the future. Ilana explained: “We’re asking people now, what do they want Stories.coop to be? Some of our partners have already asked us, can we use these stories in training? Can we link to the website? It’s an open database that we hope people will use."
At the Co-operatives United conference in Manchester, ICMIF used the stories about finance for people to read out in mock news broadcasts and other organisations have used them as part of training exercises.
The website will remain up and running, but it will not be posting a co-op everyday – however, co-ops can still submit their stories.
Ilana’s previous work was not with co-operatives, so the project was a learning curve for her as well. When asked, she could not pick one favourite story; instead she said she loves the “togetherness” of all the co-ops.
She added: “When I started putting these stories on there, at a certain point I looked at the results, when you saw them tiled out one by one and I thought – my goodness, these stories all put together are so beautiful!”
100 stories from Stories.coop were used as part of a special book for the International Year of Co-operatives called: ‘Building a Better World’.
What would you like to do with Stories.coop now the IYC is coming to an end?