Lucas Burns


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"Franchise" cooperatives

People start cooperatives to build mutually-beneficial, democratically-run businesses, driven by a common purpose -- may it be economic or social or cultural. (by the way: 2012 is International Year of Cooperatives by the UN).

Let's begin creating a replicable franchising model for cooperatives to (1) use the same name, (2) follow the same purpose and practices, and (3) participate in a support network of all the other franchises.

This is essentially the same model that TED is using with TEDx -- providing the name and format in a rich community of TEDx organizers as a support system.

Specific franchise ideas I've had, for example, are:
- Clean energy cooperative franchise: uses the same name, follows consistent practice, and has a support network with all other clean energy co-ops. This benefits those that are a part of the community economically, as it is not a money-driven business, and environmentally, clean energy being its driving purpose.
- A Juicing Co-op: use the same name, practices such as partnerships with local schools and "juicy mondays" to give the week a kickstart. (you get the idea) Think Naked Juice, but locally-driven.

I think this sort of model could potentially serve society very well if embraced.

Thoughts? Any ideas (or existing cooperatives) which would work with this model?

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    Nov 27 2011: A collage professor once told me "The problem with standards is that there are so many of them". So many people have good intentions and want to help the world.
    In and article by Brian Reich,, he also states the same thing. We should stop trying to change the world one person at a time. If we work together we would be able to accomplish SO much most.
    This means a common name (same as TED). One marketing campaign (save on time and money). And learning from one another more effectively.
    I think TED (or one of the other big franchises) should expand it's umbrella to include all social impact ventures.

    If one already exist I would also want to join!
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      Nov 27 2011: While I agree that creating more organizations is overwhelming, the problem with that is just that many organizations pursuing the same cause don't work together. This should not become a call to inaction to "stop creating new organizations," as Brian Reich says. More than anything, this should become inspiration for cooperation between organizations to pursue common causes collaboratively.

      At the core this cooperative model supports the idea we need to stop creating more and more disparate organizations. We should not wait for big names to bring us to action. We must create our impact together, as well as reach out to big names.