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?